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.
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.
Do you have something for yourself, something to relax and nurture yourself?
It might help if you create yourself time and space to pursue a hobby, some art lessons, pilates, whatever.
Do you have family and friends with whom you can have some laugh? You don't have to go everywhere with your husband. You need to have friends and social life of your own.
Do you actually make use of all the financial and organisational support potentially available to you?
Do you claim all the benefits? Do you need a carer's needs assessment?
Can you afford a cleaner, some holidays where you don't need to do chores?
Can you access respite?
Did you talk to your GP about how you feel? Maybe it could be helped with medication. What about some psychotherapy, some ethical counselling?
I also think you need to discuss how you feel with your husband, you need to assert your needs and get the support from him. Some bottom line as Camilia says. You might need to be a bit flexible on outcomes and on the trajectory, but you will get the response if you engage it in a non threatening way.
One of the reasons aspies avoid discussion and don't respond is because it might feel overwhelming, so you need first to connect and relax together, so he would not be in a state when he can't engage, not in an anxiety ellert. It might help to reduce the intensity and scope of the discussion, so it would not feel like the hell breaks loose to your husband. Put some floor and ceiling to it.