Can anyone relate to being married to a guy with Aspergers and feeling like his carer? Feel so lonely in our relationship and unless we do what motivates him or talk about his hobbies we literally don’t talk or spend time together. Don’t want to use this forum to moan as he really is a kind hearted guy but I just feel so unimportant, forgotten and alone.
Yep I do and am now realising I should never have married him. It's not the Aspie part that's the problem, its the human part, you get good and bad NTs and Aspies its just that if you get a bad Aspie and bad human, its magnified, we are self focused by nature but are still by and large able to think of others, but and it is a big but, if you get a selfish human being who is also Aspie, that's not good. I have one its my worst nightmare. I don't feel like his carer but I feel like as far as he's concerned I don't exist. sorry this isn't more positive but its my experience and its not just an Aspie thing but a human thing. BTW there are some fantastic lovable and loving Aspies its just the bad human and Aspie mix are not good, as Im finding to my detriment.
BTW Ive just changed my avatar to write this in case the selfish OH notices or does a search
Have you considered how you come across to him?
Please forgive me if I say something that comes across incorrectly, but Aspies tend to be eternal children looking for life to be simple (no chaos, stress or hassle) and looking for fun and the sparkle in all that they do.
Have you looked at what you do that makes him lose interest in engaging with you?
What fun things did you used to do that brought you together?
It's unlikely that his views have changed so is it the fact that you have 'grown up' and left him behind the problem?
Do you have hobbies and an interesting life to spark his interest? (if all you want to do is watch Eastenders then he probably won't join you on the sofa).
If you step back into his world, you might find he's 100% still there for you.
Thankyou for your response @plastic. It was really helpful to think of these things and have insight into an aspie world. I do recognise that I am pretty tired and fed up with a few things so my life probably has lost the spark that he noticed when we met. I do think I have ‘grown up’ because the reality is, life isn’t simple, it IS chaotic, stressful and with hassle. That’s just the truth. I like what you said about stepping into his world but I would also love some time when he at least tries to step into mine even if it does seem uninteresting to him. Isn’t that what sharing life and loving each other is about. I don’t want to be married to an eternal child. I don’t want to be his mother and my world is a grown up world and I am married to a grown up. I know I’m full of self pity right now I think I just need a place to say out loud that it’s hard, frustrating, lonely and disappointing.
But why does life have to be stress & hassle? The more chaotic life is, the less he will be inclined to want to engage with it. When we're young, us aspies seem to manage ok - but as we get older, the processing involved in juggling all the complex balls of a neurotypical (NT) world takes its toll and it becomes very difficult to keep going.
As an aspie, I feel like I'm only 16 inside - although I'm 53 on the outside. We still try to find the fun in life - we go to Disney Florida, we still go to gigs and we are still up with current trends. Growing up and becoming boring old farts is optional. People tend to get stuck in the groove of being 'too old to do that' but why? Pretending to be mature and competing with the Joneses doesn't actually make you happy so why bother?
If you had a link when you were younger then why not re-ignite that link? You say you dan't want to be with a child but do you really want to be with an old fart? Doing childish things can be fun and exciting.
I suspect you'll find he's equally frustrated at losing contact with you, but you may have moved too far out of his ability to understand your actions and motives that he literally has no idea what to do or say to you to re-establish communication or how to make you happy - or how to even talk to you.
It may sound stupid, but you might need to have a long chat (calmly - no shouting or tears) with him to explain where you are now and what your expectations are (like to a child) so he can have a clue what he's supposed to be doing with you. The gradual drift of life may have left him totally lost so you need to bring him up to speed with what you want. From his point of view, he just wants stability and no arguements - so you need to be careful about confusing him with your emotions and to just consider what you say to him as a data transfer of facts and clues about dealing with you.
If you want flowers from him, then say so - he might never work it out for himself. I'll bet he'd like to have his brain stimulated to find you the most interesting thing around so why not indulge one of his hobbies with him - demonstrate you value him. See what happens.
As an aspie I have an alternative view. My need for independence and control meant I acted as an adult from an early age and I don't have an desire or need to be an eternal child.
The overwhelming need to talk about his own interests can be an aspie thing. However, I think your focusing too much on the aspie angle rather than the fact your two humans and as such need to work together to make the relationship work. My partner understands that being around others is extremely tiring for me and I need alone time to recover. I work 30 hours a week as this gives me a recovery day on a Weds and he's happy to contribute more to the household finances to enable this. He also doesn't complain when its getting to the end of a semester and I'm out of energy and spend most evenings upstairs alone, as without this time my MH would seriously suffer. On the other hand, my partner is a typical NT and enjoys group socialising, I hate it. One compromise we've agreed on is that every so often we'll have a max of two people around and we'll host for the evening. That's because were both adults and understand there needs to be give and take on both sides to make a relationship work.
Would it help to make a list of what frustrates you so you can talk about it together? If it isn't something your partner is willing or able to change and you are unhappy accepting him as he his then you might need to consider if this is the right person for you or if you'd be better of looking for someone else.
I can't relate to this as I'm not married. But I would like to comment from an autistic point of view. I'm not having a go, this is just the way I see it.
Autism isn't something that you can switch on and off. Conversation is hard for us. I only know how to talk about things I like. I find conversation about anything else seriously hard. It may come across as selfish but it's really not. It is just how the autistic brain works. Being around other people is also exhausting.
You are married though. Something must have attracted you to him in the first place. What did you used to do? What did you used to talk about?
My tips would be to schedule things that you want to happen. If you want to spend an evening together then schedule this into your week. If you want something to happen then tell him. People with autism need others to be really specific. We don't tend to be very good at guessing.
If you expect someone with autism to change, then you are likely to be disappointed. This doesn't mean he doesn't care. It is just the nature of autism. Having said this, it doesn't mean you should be in a marriage that you are unhappy in. Maybe have a think about what has changed to make you feel the way you feel and is there anything you/he can do about it.
I am married to an Aspie (27years) but only realised last year, after many years of misunderstandings, when our son was diagnosed.
You have some good tips in here, scheduling time is crucial, and in my case insisting on some bottom lines if I can schedule far enough ahead, so that I don't end up doing important big family things on my own.
In my case I have to be several weeks ahead to get agreement from him to deviate from his planned course of action which I often don't know about till last minute unless I ask (this includes national, and even on occasion international travel, and nights, weekends or days away. He is a good provider, and our Aspie son adores him, which is partly why I stick it out, but a lot of his absence is also due to music - so random gigs I learn about at the last moment).
Setting up a routine is also very important with my son as he finds doing things he doesn't like more palatable if it's known and accepted ahead of time and not something coming out of the blue.
The difficulty for me is always being able to think on my feet and predict things, and not being frustrated when the predicted things that are unpleasant can't be prevented (missed assignments, broken treasures, unexpected trips away etc).
It does help that I am not overly attached to outcomes but I do have times when the adaptation required of me to keep things from falling apart feels too much to bear.
However, having separated on two occasions and tried to create a different life for myself, I have come to the point where I know we are in this together for life, so I need to figure out how to make it work. I have succeeded in getting new ways of going about things from him over the years, but there is also a limit to this and it's pointless expecting him to change what can't be changed.
I think the next frontier for us is probably trying to come up with new solutions to trigger points.
Thankyou @camilia. It sure sounds like you understand my frustrations. I think I’ve just come to a place of needing some emotional support at home and needing to recognise and accept that I can’t/ won’t get this from my husband. Im emotionally drained just now and need some space to not have to be planning ahead and being able to oversee everything. I need some space to not have to think about doing life ‘his’ way in order to be in this together. I need to not have to try so hard for a bit but be able to pass the baton to my husband but I also know that this will bring change which he finds hard. I need to be able to communicate my feelings and my needs without him feeling like he is a rubbish husband and I’m making life difficult for him. I’m not planning on leaving him but would love to know that others get where I’m coming from and can offer ways that they have found helpful in their own relationships.
NAS62020 said:feeling like his carer? Feel so lonely in our relationship and unless we do what motivates him or talk about his hobbies we literally don’t talk or spend time together.
Does he agree that you are his 'carer'? That he needs a carer?
Does he also have mobility needs? It can come across as patronising and somehow devaluing his contribution and his choices, insisting on his disability rather him as a man, an individual. Isn't there anything at all he contributes to your life? What would he say?
Maybe it may help to take a step back and consider that your exhaustion and frustration makes you to take a stance and embrace some views that might put a barriers that pulls you apart, makes it difficult for him to get through to you and for you to acknowledge and row back to him?
All relationships are about caring for each-other, they are about valuing each other. It seem you have a breakdown in communication that is not necessarily to do with ASC. All relationships can hit the rocks and the signs are exactly the same. Do you have a good sex life?
Obviously he is an adult with autonomy of his own, he doesn't have to comply with all the parameters of your NT preferences, it should be a matter for negotiation.
Are you actually trying to get him to talk with you about things that motivate you, your hobbies as it were? Is he aware that it is so interesting and important to you?
I think Plastic is spot on. Relationships do tend to erode with age and to repair them you need to reignite the fun and to re- stimulate the oxitoxin... the care and love hormone and preferably the sex hormones too, as a priority.