Hi everyone, I am new to the community. I am here looking for some advice, or perhaps pointers of where I can find further support.
I am female, married to a man who was diagnosed with Asperger's last year. We have been together 10 years and have young children. I have a part time job, but mostly look after the children, he works full time running his own business and provides for the family as my job does not bring in much money.
Since his diagnosis, it has helped us greatly in understanding lots of his attitudes and behaviours, but I find myself struggling sometimes as we get used to this new way of being. He has become more comfortable in himself after receiving the diagnosis, which is great, but this means he has also abandoned any pretence of the 'normal' life we had previously.
When I want to communicate anything emotional to him, it always ends in a huge row between us. Unless it's surface things like watching a TV show, there's just a huge disconnect. I understand now why he cannot always have the patience to process my feelings, and he understands that for me there are lots of grey areas where he only sees black/white. However I don't know where we can go from here. I might want to tell him something that has been frustrating from my day, or something he's said which has come across as cruel and hurt me, but he will never support me emotionally in a conversation so we always reach stalemate. I can talk to friends or some family about any problems of course, but he is the person I love and choose to spend my life with and he's the one who I am used to chatting with about everything.
He used to 'mimic' a lot (his word) so was very different in the first years of our marriage, issues became really apparent maybe 2.5 years ago when he suffered with a serious bout of depression and anxiety and after that lost any energy to keep up with his mimicking. If I can describe it this way, his personality was a lot more neuro-typical than it is now, he made an effort to talk to me, to go out with me to places and try new things.
I am feeling like he is a different person to the one I married. I know it is not possible for him to change who he is, he is happy that he finally has the diagnosis and can understand more about the way he is after years of trying to mask it and fit in. I am fully supportive of this, but at the same time I am lonely and cannot talk to him any more. I am currently trying to shut my emotional feelings down where possible, or just talk to others if I can, but he is the person who I spend the majority of my time with, bar our young children, and he is the one who after all these years knows me better than anyone and who I want to be able to discuss things with.
Are there any other partners out there who have any words of advice for this situation? I don't want to leave my husband, I love him very much and our life together despite the difficulties, but also I want my emotional needs to be fulfilled and can't see how this will ever happen with him. Is it possible to find a balance, what do others do if you can't chat about important things with your partner? Am I just being selfish in trying to put across feelings to him knowing he cannot process anything like this? Thank you in advance.