Definitely near the top of my list of most annoying traits of a spouse with Aspergers Syndrome is his need to find someone to blame, outside of himself, for everything that goes wrong.
In Ethan’s case, the trait expands to everyone in his immediate family. But far from being endearing or protective or loyal, it’s just silly and annoying – as if we are an extension of him and nothing that is any part of him can ever be to blame for anything.
Last week, when I was re-telling how Oliver had been told off for swinging on the goal post at football training, his defensive response was ‘He was probably bored.’ When I pointed out that this coach gives up every Saturday morning to ‘train’ a distracted bunch of four and five year olds for very little money often in the pouring rain and does an amazing job of it and that perhaps we should be grateful rather than critical (and that no-one else was swinging on the goal posts), he changed his stance to ‘I didn’t mean that, I meant Oliver was probably just hanging around doing nothing’ ARGH.THAT MEANS THE SAME THING - JUST IN DIFFERENT WORDS!!! I gave up.
The same week, Ethan took a cheque to work. It had been given to us by the school PTA to reimburse us for something and had been sitting around on the kitchen side for weeks. Instead of cashing it, Ethan lost it. Rather than saying sorry, he snapped at me: ‘Why are they giving us cheques? No one does cheques any more. Why couldn’t they just do a bank transfer like everyone else?’ Frustrated that he’d lost the cheque and unable to handle the concept of it being his fault, his blame of the school for giving him a cheque in the first place was almost caricature-style funny. Except it wasn’t, because I’m living with this every day and it’s frustrating and unattractive and depressing. Next he told me that I’d have to tell the school we needed a new cheque. Erm, no because 1) you lost it, not me and 2) it’s ‘our’ mistake not theirs (I’m even willing to share the blame when it’s not directly my fault!). Asking them to write us another cheque which then has to be countersigned by two people because we’ve lost the first one is just embarrassing.
On the plus side, he’s just made me an Ovaltine – even though he knows I’m writing a blog post moaning about him. And the other night when I couldn’t sleep, he got up with me at 2am hugged me, made me (another) drink and stroked my hair, even though he had to be up at 6am for work. He’s very loyal and faithful – but I wish it wasn’t at the expense of him being willing to admit that we, him included, get things wrong sometimes and it’s no-one’s fault but ours.