My name is Ian.
My partner has lived for many years with what she was told was rapid cycle bipolar.
Fairly recently she went for a test for autism and had it confirmed she is in fact autistic.
This seems to of caused a huge change in her for some obvious reasons, and some not so.
As her partner, I have been unable to cope with what seems like a vast change in my partner’s behaviour.
She has always had ups and downs, mood swings and can be very unpredictable.
For what ever reason though, prior to the autism diagnosis, these issues were managed slightly better.
Now though, it seems as the levels have gone through the roof.
To give you an example. The other day I was told how lucky she was to have me in my life and how supportive I am. Then, later that day after a minor argument / disagreement, I was told that she wants me out of her life, wants to split up and I have to move out, and she will call the police to do this.
This is still the current status of our relationship.
Now, the week prior to all this was quite a stressful one for her. She had her grandson up for a week, plus two of her own children’s birthdays as well. All obviously highly sensory stimulating scenarios at the best of times.
We got through the birthdays ok considering, but they obviously took their toll a bit. A few days prior to her grandson being taken back home by my partner, she told me that there is a high chance she is going to crash and go into a meltdown upon her return. I thanked her for telling me how she felt, as it made life a lot easier than trying to guess what is going on as is normally the case. Then the two comments came on the same day about how thankful she was, the that she wants me out of her life for good. It seemed to me the crash / meltdown had already started. I tried to reason with her, talk with her, and unfortunately ended up getting so frustrated with being told to leave, that I snapped back. Unfortunately I get told to leave at least twice a month. However, this one is the worst I’ve seen, and I’m seriously concerned about my partners state of mind and how I can help / cope better than I am for her as much as myself.
since being diagnosed with autism, I totally understand it has raised big questions for my partner, and that there is now a whole new spectrum of things to learn about.
Part of the trouble I’m now finding though, is my partner has taken the approach that the autism is what makes her what she is, therefore has none to little control, therefore myself and anyone else has to deal with it, and anything that happens is someone else’s fault (usually mine). There now seems to be absolutely no sign of comprehension that any her behaviour still leave a mark, can still hurt a lot, and that can result in a reaction from the person on the receiving end of any cutting comments or questionable behaviours.
How do I as a partner address these sort of issues with my partner? How is a productive way to move through any issue my partner may be experiencing, or myself, without falling out or making things worse?
For all the want in the world, dealing with an autistic person is tough and at times, the wheels fall off when you get days or weeks of having to deal with a new dynamic from minute to minute at any given time.
I have very little experience in all this, so, truly, any info from both sides of a relationship would be great to hear from.
As an added bonus, I also have been suffering from anxiety, stress and depression for a few years now, but am getting help. That also can play a huge part in my ability to be understanding or tolerant, which in turn without doubt can influence how things go.
And, as an added extra bonus, my partner is also going through the menopause, just to really help make things tough for her (and me).
Thank you in advance for any replies.
Seriously, I may not be able to reply if I do get kicked out, so please don’t think I’m being rude.
Relationships are complicated and only the two people involved know what is really going on.
How did the situation that you told her she should be thankful come about and what does it tell about your relationship?
Peewicks said:Part of the trouble I’m now finding though, is my partner has taken the approach that the autism is what makes her what she is, therefore has none to little control, therefore myself and anyone else has to deal with it
Why is it a trouble? It is an essential part for her to build a positive identity and self esteem and autism is absolutely what makes her what she is. The fact that you view it as a trouble tells about your relationship.
I’m sorry if my message offended you in any way.
I think I may of put what I was trying to say in the wrong context.
I don’t look at autism as ‘trouble’, not in the slightest. The fact that we now know she has it is a good thing. I / we now have something to work with that might actually make sense, rather than trying to fit round pegs in square holes with her previous diagnosis of rapid cycle bipolar.
We have not long ago only found out this new diagnosis, so, it’s all very scary for my partner and also myself.
I don’t have the skills yet to manage the things that are happening right now. Hence my question on how to deal with a partner.
Regarding the part about ‘being thankful’. It was my partner saying it to me. She was saying how much she loves me and appreciates the support I give her. It then changed not long after to the flip side of the situations I / we can face, where I am dealing with a very angry person over what seems like nothing (obviously I’m now learning that anything big or small can mean something or be important to someone with autism, even if I don’t yet understand why).
My point was more about, what can anyone suggest for me to consider trying to help me learn the things I need to, or how to handle situations that might be deemed as questionable or even unacceptable for want of a better way of putting it without creating an issue?
My partners new approach currently seems to be ‘tough, get on with it, I’ve got autism’. I get that, as fundamentally, that is true. The issue with this for me though is that there are times I might feel I have to ask my partner about a behaviour or an action that I just don’t understand. Right now, I’m just getting a very aggressive and negative response from anything I say. It’s very complicated to know when I can speak or question things if needed, without the fear (and it is genuinely fear at the moment) of getting some fairly aggressive responses from my partner.
I’m aware it is my learning and understanding that needs to change. I’m just hoping I can get some good suggestions from people that have experience in dealing with a partner with autism.
Can you or anyone suggest any useful tips on how we can work through this transition?