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Friday, 28 June 2013

Aspergers side effects



Does Aspergers come with built in self-indulgence, lack of initiative and absolutely no perception of what a situation requires? Or do I just have a husband who is self-indulgent, lacks initiative and has absolutely no perception, as well as having Aspergers? Seems very unlucky!
He has been off work all week with a bad knee. I am absolutely sick of the sight of him lying on the sofa with his iPad. A couple of nights ago I was making tea, baking cupcakes for the school sports day, doing packed lunches (all simultaneously) and being continually interrupted and whined at by small children. Amidst it all, Ethan nodded off on the sofa, opened iPad on his lap.
The day before I instructed him that he had to help Ava with her homework. The experience was traumatic for everyone. Ethan gazed off into the distance whilst Ava tried to equally divide up rectangles in ten different ways. I got cross with Ethan for not engaging in the process (particularly when I came over and saw that Ava hadn’t been dividing her rectangles equally and that Ethan was totally unaware). Ava got upset that we were arguing. Ethan got upset that I was interfering. It’s easier to do things myself.
He’s been hobbling through the week looking for sympathy while I race through my days doing all the jobs (it’s generally at least 9.30pm by the time I’ve finished tidying up from one day and getting ready for the next – I’ve asked Ethan to do the packed lunches a couple of times but the kids never eat the sandwiches he makes. Again, it’s more productive to do it myself!). I’ve phoned the doctor because he wouldn’t remember or be bothered to. The doctor called back while I was doing the school run. Ethan didn’t hear the phone.....argh. So I called them back again and put the phone in Ethan’s hand. I’ve bought him Ibuprofen but he doesn’t take them unless I get them out of the packet and put them in his hand...
The leaving everything to me and being utterly disengaged with family life unless I’m forcing him into it seems to be getting worse. And I’m getting more and more impatient and irritable about it. The relationship does not feel equally weighted. It feels like a drain at the moment, rather than a healthy, functioning relationship in which we are both being built up and developed.
Don’t know what the answer is. In the meantime, I’m going out tonight BEFORE bedtime and leaving it all to him. Don't know who I feel more sorry for - him or the kids!

8 comments:

  1. You need to talk to the Asperger Experts. They have a website and also are on Facebook. They are a couple of Asperger sufferers, like myself, who have made it their life's ambition to correctly help people with Aspergers to become active members of society. You won't be sorry, they are living proof that you can have Aspergers and function successfully.

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  2. I am so glad I found you. Our three year old was recently diagnosed with autism and I believe (without formal assessment) that my husband has aspergers. It is so hard at times, and like you mentioned previously, sometimes the relationship doesnt feel like it is weighted evenly. Most of the time I feel as if my needs aren't as important as the schedule he has set in concrete in his mind. His needs, 3 kids, and my own desires for self-fulfillment brings conflict often. But I am so glad I have found your blog. It helps to know someone else is going through it and brings hope that we can work with it too. Take care and all the best! Helen, Perth Western Australia

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    1. Hi Helen, Thanks so much for your really encouraging message. It's so hard for me to find time to keep the blog up, amongst working, three kids and all the other demands of life. But messages like yours keep me going. I find there's so little support around for partners of adults with Aspergers and, like you say, living with the condition in your relationship is really, really hard. It helps me too to know that other couples are dealing with the same issues and that we're not on our own. Also, from other people's feedback, it helps to know that Ethan's behaviour is 'normal' for someone with Aspergers - it reminds me that Ethan's not being deliberately difficult or insensitive.
      I really hope that you and your husband are able to keep working at your relationship with all its highs and lows. It's a constant journey of steps forward and then stumbles backwards but, I'm finding, that as long as both Ethan and I are committed to making it work as well as we can (and relationships are always dysfunctional sometimes to some degree!) and as long as we are both trying to change ourselves (because I'm discovering that making a Aspergers/neurotypical relationship work is as much about changing me and my expectations and behaviours and how I interpret things as it is about him changing) then we're muddling through. And that's as good as it gets! But, personally, most of the time I feel the alternative would be far more difficult for all of us. Sorry that's quite a jumbled thought-shower reply - I'm rushing because it's time to collect my youngest (also 3) from pre-school. But sending you all my best wishes and support to keep on going. And, try to carve out some time for you to re-charge too. x

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  3. I know this is months after your post, but I wanted to add: When my husband (undiagnosed Aspy) is physically suffering, his pain (even as simple as hunger or a sore neck) becomes "louder" than anything else--It consumes him, just like any other meltdown trigger, and it's incredibly difficult for him to control. He usually does not think to tell me that he is pain, so I, unfortunately, don't pick up on it right away. Instead, it usually comes out as snippy or aggressive remarks to me or to others (which I hate). I agree, it is incredibly frustrating, and often times I feel that I'm being taken advantage of--until I (much later) consider his frustration, misunderstanding, and pain. We are definitely still "muddling through" our communication with each other and seeing each other's perspective.
    Thank you very much for your blog! It is very, very helpful to see consistencies across relationships involving an Aspy.

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    1. Hi M.B.,
      Thanks for getting in touch. It's really helpful and useful to hear other people's experiences and perspectives - this is all still pretty new for me and my husband.
      My husband becomes all consumed and irritable in a similar way if he can't do a practical job. He can't rest, speak to us (in any real way) or think about anything else until it's done. It's getting better (it has to with three young kids in tow, sometimes he just has to pause what he's doing) but his mood and temper will be hard to be around until whatever the issue is has been resolved. Like you say, at the time, it's hard not to react and feel hurt/cross - we're learning too, slowly and painfully to understand each other more. Great to have you on the journey!

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  4. Love this post. Makes a lot of sense to me. Ive always felt this way too, like the relationship is not balanced. It is tiring. I was burned out, and so I asked for a separation from my husband, which didn't last long. We got back together after about a year. Now I am seeking help, which does help me to maintain my sanity. And Laura, your blog is very very helpful. I can't tell you how much it is helping me to know I am not alone and that your experiences are similar to mine. I thought I was going nuts. :)

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  5. So glad to have found this blog! My husband has been recently diagnosed at the age of 51. I can relate to all of this and am reading through your various posts.
    Chloë

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    1. Hi Chloe,
      Glad you found it too!
      With the amount of freelance work I have on at the moment (plus 3 kids plus a husband with Aspergers) the blog is something that has had to fall by the wayside for now - but I hope there are enough entries to provide some insight and help! Have you discovered the Different Together website? It's been set up by a friend of mine and is specially for the partners of people with Aspergers Syndrome.
      Sending love and solidarity!
      Laura xx

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