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ADVISE ON HOW TO LIVE WITH HUSBAND WITH ASPERGER'S SYNDROME
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An_239414 posted:
I have been with my husband 10 years and have just realized he may have aspergers. I knew from the start he was different in the way he acted but there was something about the inner warmth he gave me that I fell in love with and can't seem to walk away from. He would often do things that really hurt my feelings and then say he didn't know what the big deal was. I was and still am a very insecure person on the inside and this behavior hasn't helped that. In the past year our relationship has gone downhill. For years I was able to convince myselft that I was overly sensitive when it came to the feeling of no empathy from my husband and I was over reacting to him never picking up on body language. I am very much in love with him but I am a basket case always feeling unimportant and not cared about. I am also making him uncomfortable by trying to discuss with him how it feels for me. He just stares at me and says nothing. I have been receving counceling for a few years now and it is still very difficult to live with. Can anyone offer some advise, point me in the directions of good literature or support groups?
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Bioguy22 responded:
I have a suggestion for a support group; its called "Wrong Planet" its a website that connects people living with autism together filled with advice, forums and current events. That would be a good place to look for help. In terms of literature, I would suggest "Look me in the eye" by John Alder Robinson. He has Aspergers and his book helped me understand what having Asperger's syndrome meant ( I have it as well). I am sure it will help you understand your husband's quirks. My final piece of advice is to keep trying to talk to your husband and be patient. If he loves you as much as you love him, then he will eventually understand your situation and want to help you. I hope you can work things out between you and your husband.
Let me know how it goes.
Bioguy22
 
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2BHopeful responded:
I can't offer any advice, but I was so glad to know that I am not alone in having a spouse who also has symptoms of Aspergers as well as our 17 year old son. Reading your story was like a chapter out of my own life. I too am seeking a support group to learn better coping skills. It is good to know that I am not losing my mind and that the things I see & feel are not imaginary. Will gladly pass on information that I come across. Hang in there hope is around the corner!!!
 
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ImSICKtooNOW responded:
GET OUT NOW! I am going thru the same nightmare and have for a few years. I am as close to the fetal position as I can get. IT does NOT matter anymore WHY, WHAT, or BECAUSE anymore. There are plenty of illnesses that makes people abusive, hurtful and a danger to others. Aspergers is one of them.Aspergers in a mate will steal Your LIFE, Self worth, strength, future, happiness, dreams, voice, EVERYTHING. It will make you very ill. There are somethings that we are not equipped to help with and will be the sacrificial lamb.I am climbing out of the fire pit at the altar. I have been so depressed and ill for so long. Any of you women who want to stay and stick it out or brag about how you have stuck it out and sacrificed yourself and given up your life, hopes, sex, companionship, and everything else everyone else has...Sing KUMBAHYA and be my guest!!!. JUST GOOGLE...Husband has Aspergers I need help..Read the thousands and thousands of ill, suffering , belittled, non existent wives and husbands who are crying out and then read the few who say..It's not all bad. I'm saving what little self esteem, happiness, and mental capacity I have left...ONE Aspergers mate PLUS ONE non-Aspergers mate EQUALS..TWO SICK FOLKS...If I abuse you or deny you happiness, love, affection, your voice because I have Aspergers or I abuse you and deny you all those things because I am mean..TA DA!!!..YOU ARE STILL ABUSED!. All support groups do is help you learn how to live without any of the basics everyone needs. May sound cruel but it is the Gospel truth..NO more....
 
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SitBegPlayDead replied to ImSICKtooNOW's response:
I was so moved by reading your post than I created an account so I could reply. Everything you say is true. I have lived it for over 37 years and am also in an emotional fetal position, if not a true physical one. Your advice is absolutely correct but you will never hear this from a therapist. I have such bitterness toward the psychologist who saw my husband and me (as well as both our children) for 15 years. His main goal was to keep our family together when what really was called for was for me to take my children and run as fast and as far as I could. Given that I have no family to speak of and it leaving in all likelihood would have meant a drastic reduction to a below poverty line existence, I stayed and became a buffer between my husband and his rage against our children. Looking back, Aspbergers runs rampant in my husband's family (grandfather, father, at least two brothers and two nephews). I came to this conclusion/diagnosis myself after visiting with my two nephews following my brother-in-law's (husband's older brother's) suicide. When I confronted my husband and told him I suspected he and the other family members had Aspbergers, he said he had no doubt that was the case. They are all scary intelligent but self-destructive to the point that have ruined their own lives and those of everyone around them. I am immobolized with guilt and depression over my complicity in the years of abuse and destructiveness caused by my husband's behavior. What I can't live with now is how this has affected my children who are now in their late 20's. I can't bear to think about the future for fear of what it holds for them and me. Although my husband is a well-known, respected and high-profile professional, he has never had any real friends and has isolated me to the point that I have no energy left to carve out a life of my own. Unfortunately, you are not alone. It sounds like you have enough energy to get yourself out. I wish you luck.
 
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FrenchMaid replied to SitBegPlayDead's response:
I am now just realizing that I am married to a man that has Asperger's. He hasn't been officially diagnosed but I have dragged him to psychiatrists and psychologists. Our marriage counselor suggested he seemed to be "aspie" like and his psychiatrist says he has a "deficit".

We've been married for over 5 years but I have completely lost the feeling of what it feels like to be "connected" to someone. He has never really "let me in" and he is even slightly paranoid. His way of thinking is quite bizarre and sometimes down right baffling. Our sex life has never been great and in general, his libido is low. He has no friends, just acquaintances. I am a passionate, positive and empathetic person. He has ZERO empathy. He can be demanding without thinking of my feelings.

I worry about divorce because I can see that he would be down right evil. It's nice to know I am not alone but at some point, I plan to get my life back.
 
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mommarose74 replied to FrenchMaid's response:
I have to say, this whole discussion saddens me. I was married to a person I know deep down has Asperger's for 9 years. We had 4 children together. It wasn't until a year after the divorce, when I first heard of Asperger's in trying to find out what was going on with my oldest son, that I realized that this was what my ex husband has. Now Ive gone back and forth between narcissism and Asperger's for him, because they are so closely related.
It's true, that life married with an Aspie (If this is what my ex husband has) is lonely, it makes you feel worthless.
Divorce with children of a person with Asperger's is 10 times worse. You cannot make mistakes, because it will be amplified. Professionals not realizing what they have before them, inadvertently can wreak havoc, by simply making suggestions.

It saddens me though, because my son was finally diagnosed, and to hear people talk about NEVER marry a person with Asperger's makes me sad for my sons future. There are a lot of social skills therapies, but are there therapies to teach how to make a relationship work?
I dont want this to be my sons future, but I also don't want anyone to go through what I have.
 
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Mama6 replied to ImSICKtooNOW's response:
Dear Imsicktoonow,

Oh my goodness, you hit the nail right on the head. It took me close to 20 years to finally figure out what was wrong with my husband....he's an undiagnosed high functioning autistic. Me & my six young kids have been stuck in a nightmare. I knew my husband had absolutely zero social skills, zero communication, zero caring or empathy, he could never relate to me or anyone, he didn't take care of himself -appearance-wise, or the maintenance on our home, let alone try to take care of my needs as his wife. He's a slob. I hate living in a disorganized, dirty house, and I'm constantly picking up. He could care less and steps over things and leaves crumbs, garbage, and dirty laundry everywhere. He cares about nothing but his job...but he even falls short there too. He's the complete opposite of my father and he shows no love, compassion, or concern for the kids. I always wanted a big family and realized that he fell short of typical communication, emotions, etc. that other husbands possessed, but I thought since I invested so much time with him already and if I had a family with him that he'd just stay in his own little world, and at least I'd have my kids. Well, he became increasingly more violent as we had more kids. It added more responsibilities to his life. He stresses out at little things that normal people handle with ease. He practices no self control screaming and swearing the worst profanities at the top of his lungs in front of and AT little children (all 7 years old and under). He thinks he's being a great provider by paying the bills (I had to quit my career when I had my forth baby). He's never given the kids (or me) compliments or praise. He just belittles them and they're a thorn in his side. He goes through life looking through his eyes only. When I ask him to spend time with the kids, he gets defensive and angry. It's a power issue for him and he refuses to let his wife tell him what to do...even though spending time with kids is a very normal thing for fathers to do. I've tried to talk to his mom, and I think she has a touch of aspergers or something too, because she really has a hard time with eye contact, feelings, and reciprocal conversation. One of our sons is now autistic too (high functioning). My oldest daughter has behavioral problems and craves her dad's attention. She needs counseling now.My husband gives no attention to anyone, and he's highly abusive with his words. He also man-handles the kids.So, I'm stuck now. It's the point that I resent him so much..I hate him. He bad mouths me to the kids, he disrepsects me and the kids so much. I started fighting back years ago since my pleas for his attention & caring went nowhere. We've had physical altercations too...very uncharacteristic of me, but I've become this resentful over the years and I fight back. I hate that it's become this & that my children think this is how it's supposed to be.Being married to an autistic person, especially one who was (questionably) raised by an autistic mother, cannot yield husband-father-leadership material. My kids are suffering the most. How do we escape? He's very manipulative and constantly bad mouths me and tries to brain wash the kids. I can imagine him doing this in court. He's used the kids as pawns. Wondering how I'll leave him now....I have 6 children - 2 of whom have special needs. I think it would be way too much for me to realistically handle a full time job, housework, meals, schoolwork, doctors appointments, weekly therapies, etc. X 6 kids. My parents are elderly and are not in good health, and that's all I have to turn to. Obviously, moving in with them is not an option. My husband always threatens that if I leave him, the money goes bye-bye., and he will quit his second job too to make sure that I don't get that income. He doesn't realize nor care that it would be put toward the kids, not me! That doensn't matter to him though. He's so spiteful.
 
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francess84 replied to mommarose74's response:
I don't know what to say. I feel this whole discussion is a nightmare. Firstly to mommarose74. My husband claims to be happy with me. I am 28yo and was only diagnosed last week with High-Functioning Autism. Half of my own family don't believe the diagnosis. My husband believes it, but he constantly tells me he's happy and would rather be with me than without. I hope that is some hope for your son.

On the other hand, have you all just told me that I need to leave my husband for his own good? We have 2 children - 2yo and 4mo. Are you telling me that I am going to only make their lives miserable and my only option is to live alone for the remainder of my life? I have always worried about how my problems are effecting my husband and how they might effect my children. My husband tells me to stay. I want to stay. Are you telling me to leave?

I am so shocked at hurt by the remarks that everyone with a spouse with ASD should "get out now". Do you have any idea how hard I work at trying to be better? Ive exhausted myself and I fail at it daily but I try. You all knew what you were getting into when you married these people. They haven't changed. We are unable to change (despite my many efforts). If it was all bad, why did you bother marrying them?

I don't understand but I am truly hurt.
 
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daghda replied to francess84's response:
Get out of these relationships if you can, you will NEVER be happy. Do not leave it until you are too old to leave. Autie/neurotypical relationships, on the whole, are a catastrophe and, as they, the auties, get older they get worse. My family is full of them, I have lived with one for ten years and before that i lived with another for 16 years. This one went undiagnosed and I fell in love with him before I realised he was high funcitoning aspergers. This time I may not be able to get out, I have no money, no friends, no family and no support at all. My partner is absolutely brutal, he has ruined all my friendships, he is rude, mean, extremly verbally abusive, self centered and my life is an utter misery. I say GET OUT NOW, if you can, bite the bullit and set up a new life. Do not end up like me with no money to get away and set up again. I cannot say this enough. No neurotypical can take the kind of verbal abuse these people dole out. It will make you ill, it has made me very ill indeed. We are about to go into another christmas of misery. I used to be able to make the effort, have a life outside the relationship, but, as the business we have was ruined, as he became unable to control himself we lost everything and are just about to hit rock bottom. I had the opportunity to leave and did not take it because I felt guilty, the window of opportunity has now passed. Possibly never to return So, get out now before you end up like me.
 
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daghda replied to SitBegPlayDead's response:
My heart broke when I read your post. I am in a similar position and like yourself leaving would take me to a below poverty line existence. I spent the today working it out. My self esteem is at an all time low. My partner is so abusive right now and for the first time he has started meds, as his depression has got much worse, he is a week into citralopram and has been an utter nightmare to live with. It runs in his family and they are all self destructive. I believe the future holds nothing if you stay with them and now I am hell bent on getting out of it but I am just not quite sure how at the moment. I am in my late 50's, my advice to anyone at all is leave before it is too late. They are never going to change, they are never going to have any empathy and they always get worse as they get older.
 
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patricia1212 replied to francess84's response:
Francesca
I don't know if you are still looking at this blog. I wouldn't be surprised if you have run away from it, but in case you are.....
I am married to a man, for 15 years, who I now believe has Asperges syndrome. It has not always been obvious, because I didn't know much, if anything, about it, and it is only in learning about the syndrome that it has become obvious to me that the characteristics of someone with Asperges fit him perfectly.
I do not plan to leave my husband. In my understanding I cannot leave a drowning man (a sentiment I thought about before any clue about Asperges being a possibility). And although I cannot speak for others who have written on this blog, I believe he tries very hard to adapt to a world that he finds confusing and impossible to understand. That said, it isn't easy. When I broached the idea with him, only a couple of days ago, he dismissed it in a characteristic way, until shortly afterwards he had what I call an 'unconventional' reaction to something, and went of his own accord to do an online test. He came out one point short of definitely Asperges. Since then everything has been asparagus, alzheimers and other plays on the word. Although this is exasperating, I believe it is his way of internalising the whole thing. He is beginning to recognised incidents in the past as 'definitely asparagus'.
Why am I saying all this to you? I believe your husband when he says he is happy with you. I believe you try very hard to 'be better'. But I find that in itself rather sad, as if you are being 'wrong'. Maybe you are 'wrong' in the conventional sense, but that is only because the average person has made the rules. I believe the diagnosis is only helpful if it helps those involved to understand each other better, and to bring compassion into what can otherwise become a nerve-wracking maze of mistakes and provocations. Only that way can any couple live together, whether one or both are 'asparagus' or not; compassion is easy when it's easy; it's when it isn't easy that a relationship is tested. It seems to me that your marriage is full of compassion, on both sides; your husband is happy with you, he doesn't want you to leave; you don't want to leave, except for his and your children's good. It seems a wonderfully strong basis on which a marriage made to last is founded.
I admire the effort you have obviously put into conforming and trying to understand the world around you, over a longer period than only when you were diagnosed. I think your husband is very lucky, as are your children, and so are you. I believe there is SO much for the world to learn about the GOOD sides of ASD, and you are part of that process. Wishing you peace and rest and comfort in the love of your husband, and your children.
 
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CCMae replied to patricia1212's response:
Hi, this is my first time getting involved in an on-line discussion but I thought I would throw it out there. I'm married to an undiagnosed Aspie, after we actually got married all of the things started happening that everyone talks about. He left because I said I wasn't going to move without any discussion at all. I wrote a letter to myself that was somewhat of a list-I married a man who... I married a man who... and all of my answers were "it's just what he thinks". So I googled "rigid thinking" and absolutely everything fell into place-text book. Without getting into the whole story, why is our marriage and our love not worth it to him? We love each other deeply. I know that people can just be "done" but it's unbelievable...
 
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standingpretty replied to Bioguy22's response:
Being married to someone who's autistic can be heaven sometimes and hell at other times. I would say it's impossible to be with an ASP unless you train yourself to do so with good resources (I will get into that at the end of my post). The best resources I have found come from my husbands family- I am married to an aspie. I am NT.

Let me start off by saying that some of the really negative things people say on forums are true at times. There will be times where you feel neglected, wondering why they are being so mean, wondering if the relationship is worth staying in and so on. When you don't know how emotional/situational things work for someone with AS and as someone who is (probably) neurotypical, you will question their terrible behavior-as would anyone who is NT. When dealing with AS, you have to remember first and foremost this is a real and legitimate disability. Even though AS people are usually highly intelligent, for some reason they cannot perceive how their negative actions hurt and confuse those around them- even though it would seem obvious to pretty much all NT people. I will give you some brief summaries on behaviors some ASP exhibit and some reasoning behind them before listing some resources that were helpful to my marriage.


Sometimes, your AS partner will seem like they're ignoring you. I recently read an article where a woman talked about dating a man with AS. In the article, she said that there was this one time where her dad was having a health issue and she really needed the support and when she tried to contact her AS bf, he ignored her email. Ultimately, she ended the relationship because of this. To NT people, this is a rude and callous action and a form of abandonment. There have been times where I have tried to contact my husband and I couldn't for days on end and it made me very upset. Sometimes people with AS need to be left alone for long periods of time, sometimes as even long as 2 weeks, it can be like being in a part-time relationship. You have to be really independent and not clingy to survive a NT-AS relationship. If you are around too much, you will give them sensory overload and it will push them away; or they may act irritated with you. Do not take it personally if someone who has AS does not want to spend a lot of time with you, it's just that their AS makes them feel overwhelmed by the emotions people give them and cannot handle it all the time. You also must understand they won't always be there when you need them.

They may not relate to other's feelings at times and may come across as cold. Aspies have trouble both understanding and relating emotions. Sometimes, they can say something so mean and not understand how it would hurt someones feelings. One time, my husband threatened divorce and I was crying and really wanted to be held, but he didn't want to hold me and comfort me. On top of that, he yelled at me a few times for what seemed like no reason. I was hurt, and he acted like he didn't care. His actions didn't make sense to me as a NT person and I felt like my feelings were not validated. My grandfather is also autistic, and I have had similar experiences with him. Sometimes when I visit my grandfather, he will outright call me fat. He was thinking some how this will help me realize whats wrong with myself and do something about it; instead of thinking about how my feelings would be hurt. Aspies will be blunt and rude about things thinking that it some how benefits the person who they are unknowingly insulting. AS people expect other people to not get their emotions tied into a conversation. You must learn to not take a lot of things personally with an aspie- they don't mean it offensively most of the time.

The book I have used that is particularly helpful for romantic relationships with aspies is "22 Things a Woman Must know If she loves a man with Asperger's Syndrome". It has helped me salvage a relationship with my AS husband and I am now happy with our relationship.
 
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Porqueno replied to ImSICKtooNOW's response:
This is well-put and right-on. THANK YOU.


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