Living with a husband with Aspergers

Hi there,

I read the piece by the woman who had been married to her husband with Aspergers for 42 years.  I have been with my husband for nearly 50 years and so much of what she said echoed my own experiences.  I'd really like to communicate with other women who are of retirement age and have had a long marriage with a man with Aspergers.  For the last 20 years, since our financial situation has been much better and our children have moved out, life has been lovely.  He had his routine.  We travelled together.  He has his classic cars and garden railway.  So he has been so much nicer to live with and I had relaxed and thought the worst was over.  But in the last 3 weeks our daughter's new marriage has foundered and she has moved back home with her 13 month old son and dog.  So our routine has been totally disrupted and of course we are both very upset and her unhappiness (although she is being very strong about it) is desperately sad for both of us.  My biggest difficulty has been maintaining the swan act, being strong and supportive including getting up during the night to comfort her as she struggles with a baby who screams during the night - all that while at the same time having to cope with my husband's simmering anger and grumpiness.  I remember how, when the children were growing up and we had so little money to live on, I felt like his punch bag whenever our routine was upset or our money troubles were serious.  I thought he had settled down but now we have gone right back to the bad old days when he takes all his anger and hurt out on me and expects me to take it all without complaint.  He has never been affectionate and always used to say if I wanted affection I should find someone else.  He never tells me he loves me although in the last 20 years he has been able to respond with a testy (he would say jokey) 'and I love you too you old bag' when I tell him I love him.  He has never, ever, told me he loves me without prompting.  Once, 15 years ago, I had been away with our daughter for the night and when I came back he came up to me, kissed me and said it was nice to have me back.  I was so flabbergasted, and pleased of course, because he'd never done anything like that before and hasn't since.

When he is like he is at the moment I loathe him, really loathe him.  I want to get away from him for my own sanity.  I can't feel sorry for him any more - I have to maintain my strength to support our daughter and grandson in their pain.  I have also just started (the day after my daughter moved back in with us) a new part time job which is very demanding so I'm exhausted and haven't had a good night's sleep in three weeks.  He isn't working and potters around during the day but still he creates this big black cloud in the house, determined that everyone should know he is not happy.  My daughter is very angry with him (although she doesn't know my feelings about his behaviour and I've tried to cushion her from his moods).

I'm sorry, I sound like a real whinger and I'm not normally.  I just needed to talk to someone who might understand what I'm experiencing.

Thanks for listening if you have.  And I'd love to know if anyone else has experienced the same frustrations.

  • Hello I was wondering has your husband been formerly diagnosed? O do you suspect he is Aspergers.

    He certainly fits with my understanding of it.

    You have coped and stood by him remarkable well. You are indeed an extremely patient and loving women. Most would have left long ago.

    I cannot even try to give any advice to help you or him,

    I have researched a lot about Aspergers and felt sadly that it was indeed who I am,55 years old Male,

    so I am self diagnosed.

    I am ashamed of it. I never considered any of what I do as being wrong, It never crossed my mind that anything I did was any different than mr average.

    I try my best and I am extremely sensitive and empathetic, but like your husband I assume my wife knows how I feel or I wouldn’t still be with her,? Because of what you have said, it has been my story as well. How my wife has put up with me for thirty plus years I really don’t know.

    up until recently I didn’t even know what autism was let alone seeing me and your story just confirms it more.I am mentally up and down with trying to  come to terms with everything,

    I know it may not help, but I never set out to be Aspergers and was unaware how difficult it has been for my wife. Maybe your husband is like me?

    I am trying to find ways to change who I have been,it will not feel natural but the realisation of how lacking I am means I can try.

    Understanding the situation is the first step to rectifying it.

    I honestly wish you your daughter and her child the very best. As for your husband! He needs to know how you are feeling, you said he used you as his punch bag? If there is violence involved then telling him would not be the best option.

    Be strong look after yourself and your daughter, 

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