Undiagnosed spouse?

I've gradually come to believe my husband has asd and that this underpins our problems. This may sound arrogant, which is partly why it's taken so long for me to speak up.

He finally agreed to raise it with gp but 2 questionnaires later and the gp says there's no hint of asd showing.

This is crushing for me and I'm wondering what experiences other people have had?

  • Were you actually involved with those questionnaires? Most of the real authorities on this issue would say it is extremely important that family stakeholders have their say, as they are almost always heavily impacted, Hopefully you were there for the filling in of those questionnaires, whether at home or at a GP practice; and in some way contributed to them or motivated your husband to be realistic in his responses. It's perhaps a possibility that your husband might have had a nice cosy little chat with his GP, and together they might have decided to gloss over matters somewhat. But, of course, you might have been present and participating throughout.

    Those questionnaires were probably only designed to establish whether a referral was a possibility. UK GPs are not widely famed for giving much support on this issues; in fact they're frequently very anti- the whole idea of a referral. They tend to see it as yet another burden on their admittedly heavy workload.

    Although not actually now in the UK, I do know what it is like to have practice staff trivialize issues lived with for decades. Did you at any point actually communicate with  the GP yourself? What I don't know however, is what your legal situation now is. I expect other posters here will know  a lot more about that.; regarding the possibilities of an appeal or a change of GP. I'm told it is an entitlement.

    Was your husband satisfied by what occurred, or is he still inclined to see your side of it?

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I wasn't involved, because part of the problem is that my husband has in the past said I'm controlling and I think he needs to take more personal responsibility.

    I think the gp has agreed to forward a referral, so I guess I just need to wait for now, but it's unsettling to be so sure he is at the same time as a professional being so sure he isn't!

  • Do you know about masking?      We project a fake 'user friendly' persona in a professional environment so we can avoid and hide all our social problems.         Some of us are very good at it and can pass as NT on first meetings - so if your spouse doesn't see the gp very often, it's likely that he comes across as a totally charming, professional bloke.        If people meet us more often, they start to notice something isn't quite right -  but we are often able to fake a cursory chat sufficiently well.

    You, as someone who spends a lot of time with him, will start to spot all of the strange behaviours as you start to see around the mask.

    Also, if he's in partial denial about his potential ASD, he may not be answering the questions truthfully and may have been able to put the gp off the scent.

  • I totally agree, Plastic. You are right that people mask. I had a recent diagnosis with a psychiatrist and my wife was there throughout, I thought it was important that she was. Partly, I wanted her to know that partners of someone with ASD have a tough time and she's not separate from my life, so what I do and how I am affects her too. So it's only right she was involved. Don't stop here with your GPs uninformed diagnosis. It can really help your marriage if your husband sees that you are both involved, and that the diagnosis can be the start of a new chapter.

    And don't feel bad about saying that the ASD underpins your (plural) problems. It's often true. It doesn't mean he's doing it intentionally of course, but I found that owning this point put me and my wife then on the same side, as it were, both of us facing the struggles I have rather than both of us squaring off against each other. Good luck! 

  • Thank you to Plastic and Russ - yes, I think there's probably masking going on, but I thought the written questionnaire would show up something - he found fault with many of the questions and wrote lengthily in the margins, but this didn't seem to hint anything to the gp!

  • While chatting to the gp he probably came over as perfectly normal - and that will sway the average gp - they have no knowledge of autism except the more obvious 'Rain Man' flapping type.

    You might want to ask for a second opinion and go with him - you might be surprised at his Jeckyl / Hyde completely different personality with the gp compared to how he is with you - and that's worth pointing out to the gp.

  • We had similar. I then begged my husband to see a psychotherapist who is being very helpful. It's blindingly obvious my husband is asd. It may be worth both of you consulting a therapist though it costs. Aspergers people won't always be able to tell the full story and your insight will help a therapist understand. Good luck. It's very lonely and hard  

  • Oh NAS I hear you!!

    My wife is happy to say in day to day conversation that she's from a long line of Aspi's but flatly refuses to be tested or even acknowledge it it in our 'difficult times'...sorry is a word that does not exist in her extremely wide vocabulary...she's a professional writer!!

    Sometimes you just have to roll with it, you loved this guy for a reason, and if you're anything like me part of the attraction was the personality traits our partners exhibit! (strength of opinion).

    You're not alone, there is help out there, don't lose faith especially if you have children. Take a deep breath, try to diffuse any conflict by understanding that the way that you and your partner think is fundamentally different...neither right or wrong just different!!

    Once you realise that different doesn't mean "wrong" your arguments will be fewer and further between...you'll still have them and sometimes hey will be blazing, the children will cry and you will think that the world has ended...but its all over something small where you had DIFFERENT views.

    I am not sure if this will help but my wife, who is the best mother and can be the most loving, caring, affectionate partner has made threats to "ruin' me when she is angry with me. We have been to counselling together and her occasional anger with me was highlighted, but also my lack of understanding of her 'difference' was also highlighted...that was a watershed moment for me. Once you realise that an Aspi thinks different to an NT you start to realise that you have to modify your behaviour...you're not right, you're not wrong...you're different, and it's your job to accept that and change the way you deal with situations.

    My wife has lost her temper so badly with me sometimes and "raged" at me threats that 'she a woman and people will believe her" (I'm 6ft 6 and 19 st) and she'll 'ring a bell you can unring" and threaten to accuse me of some of the most awful things you can imaging during an argument in order to try to 'win' because she is frustrated to the point of being apoplectic with me and my lack of understanding of her point of view,...and she's right I will never understand her perspective on life and she will never understand mine. So breath deep, walk out of the room (thats what works for me) and then when you're ready say sorry...even if you're not. One of you has to say sorry and in my experience its quicker, and normal life can resume if its me!

    Neither of us are wrong, we're just different, but as NT's we should be more flexible..but sometimes thats really tough!!

    As I say, your partner is different to you, not wrong, just different, but as the NT in the room you have to step up and try to acknowledge that difference and try to alter your behaviour accordingly.

    Good luck, as I say you're not alone and never forget you met and love that person for a reason...its worth the effort!