Just before I post at any length, could someone please let me know that I am writing this in the right place? I’d love to have contact with someone about my husband who I think is undiagnosed autistic. He may be Aspergic, I have no real idea. I just know that he has some behaviour which is extremely challenging for me and also quite antisocial at times. He presents to the world as a highly capable businessman, but at home he is often more childlike. He has tantrums and tempers. He has unusual aversions and equally unusual fixations. We’ve been together 35 years. I’m exhausted and frayed and he has no idea. He’s also fraught at times but that passes and he’s forgotten it. Id love to be in contact with anyone who has any understanding of such a situation
If we go on the premise that he's Asperger's, then there's a couple of things I can point out.
We usually become aware we are different and a bully-target when we're at school - out intense hobbies and nerdiness stands out so we create a fake persona that allows us to survive the day - our mask.
This mask has a load of set responses to the world which seems to fit most situations. It's incredibly tiring to have to run 2 operating systems in parallel so we get tired easily. It also means we don't have the processing power to analyse situations on the fly so things that make no sense to us get stored up through the day - all the stresses of unresolved social contacts or events are stored for later so by the end of the day, we're either totally overloaded or close to it. It's why we try to avoid unnecessary social situations.
Home is our 'safe space' where we can relax and unpack all of this internal conflict.
Unfortunately, you are there too - so as we walk through the door, we're brain-fried and need time to unwind before we're 'in the room'. During this period, we can be twitchy - like a grenade with the pin pulled out - we're at 99% stress so if you add any extra, you will get the full blast as we 'go off' which from your point of view will seem totally unreasonable - what you said was not deserving of all that blast. It's just us venting in a safe space all the things we've had to hold in because of being unable to vent in the work environment.
Bad things can be said in this time - and probably not meant - it's just the level of frustration needs to be dissipated in one go.
It's why a lot of us like to play video games or do strange hobbies - it's a world we are in control of that doesn't cause stress - it's therapeutic to be able to push all the stress away in our little world.
We often get bullied for liking things like Lego or making models so we hide things away from everyone. Doesn't stop us liking it though.
What things do you call fixations and aversions?
Thank you so much for this. He’s never been bullied. If he has been, he hasn’t noticed. Theres much he doesn’t notice. I didn’t know about masking. It explains a great deal, although he actively seeks out stressful situations. I suppose, on reflection as these are self selected he will react differently from those he can’t control.
It seems to be me that is his biggest challenge. I just can’t quietly accept his behaviour. I always have to ‘have a go’ at him about it.
I know that in many ways I feel disappointed in the relationship and this must come out in my carping and criticising. If I knew for sure he couldn’t help the things he does, I think I’d try harder to shut up.
It's often at school - we learn to fake our responses. What you also get is that as we grow up, we analyse everything in great detail - and so we *know* the right way to do things - the logical, simplest way to solve problems. It's EXTREMELY frustrating to see people doing things the *wrong* way (Our way works for us - therefore every other way is wrong).
You will also be seeing the 'comfort venting' where when small things occur, he'll discuss it it forcefully with you - it actually him processing his mixed-up thoughts out-loud - although it might sound aggressive.
We are often driven by the logical 'greater good' - we will forsake our own needs if the bigger picture dictates - we are seen as kind and honourable.
The problem with that is users and manipulators quickly spot this feature - and so take advantage. It's such a deep-seated compulsion that we will carry on doing 'the right thing' even though we are getting very annoyed inside - but are unable to break the programming - so we get very, very stressed.
I don't know if you are familiar with Star Trek the Next Gen - but if you think of Cmmdr Data - very knowledgable, very skilful, but limited in expressing feelings. Not quite enjoying the full human experience.
With your inside knowledge of how he functions, you must notice that it's stress that drives his difficult behaviour - so do you know how to de-stress him?
Thank you. reading this is like a pen portrait Of my husband. Although it’s still too early to say, I really believe he is autistic. According to him, his way is the only way. Although more recently during lockdown, he has been asking for my opinion slightly more. he is highly respected amongst his peers and really doesn’t get used or taken advantage of BUT he always goes the extra mile for them...Probably to avoid anyone doing so!
You have given me a lot of food for thought here. Would it be ok to contact you again later?
Autistic individuals often attract other neurodiverse individuals as partners. You have one way of grieving and certain expectations of how people should behave in those situations. Your husband is a completely different person and is unlikely to have the same needs and think in the same way as you. Have you considered that you might be 'fixed' in your own thought patterns and this makes you frustrated when others that do not think in the same was as you.
Personally, it comes across as though you struggle with communicating and that you are quite fiery. I I can image other people using the words you've used to describe your husband as a description of you.For example, I never insulted your husband but you mis-read the post and came across as arsey.
AuroraC said:I didn’t ask for insults for him
You then went on to insult him yourself.
AuroraC said:I would like to know if it is autism because I would then try harder to understand instead of thinking he’s just being a twat!
Did you communicate you needs clearly to your husband in regards to what you wanted when you were grieving? I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't. Plus, even if you did your husband will have is own boundaries and needs and your are no more, or less, important than his own.
Yeah - feel free. Can't always guarantee a speedy reply.
The going the extra mile for the team is the 'greater good' thing - he's spotted obvious weaknesses with the team so he's filling in the gaps - to get the perfect product across the finish line - on time, on quality - been there, done that. It gets old eventually when no-one else ever steps up. (used & abused).