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Aspie Husband is Depressed and I don't know how to help him.

By BlueSky Aozora · Oct 23, 2019 · ·
  1. Actually I wanted to write a blog last week, when he's surprisingly seem happy in his daily life... for a week.. which sadly only lasts until last Sunday.

    After his previous work contract ended 2 weeks ago, he continued to come to the institution where I'm working (he's unpaid now; he's been here before too but unpaid). Since he's been here before, he managed to meet many people - people from the lab he's sitting in now, people from his home country, etc. He also started doing many of the house chores too since he understands I'm probably pregnant.

    Anyway, he looks like he's living happier than 2 weeks ago. I thought that he likes this place much better than his previous workplace.

    However, several days ago, I went to his lab to pass him his stuff. After that, I greet a new student in his lab, then he also come out from his office room in the lab to greet her. That's the first time I see him stuttering. He always say he's stuttering and cant even say what he wanted to say. But since he never stuttered in front of me, I didn't even really know it before. He always say he ends up keeping quiet because of the stuttering.

    That day, he didn't speak to anybody anymore after that stuttered greeting.

    Last week, he said that he decided to stop avoiding elevator with many people, even though he struggled with it before. Last week, he said that meeting people is a way for him to practice to getting better about the stuttering. Daily, he also learned a new language with a friend through chat messages. He seemed happier.

    But all that stops that day, the stuttered greeting day, where I was there.

    That night, he said to me that he's depressed because of the stuttering. I said something like, "yeah indeed, you stuttered." We talked but it ends up in an argument. He was angry. Later he said to me that, "You was mocking me when you said I stuttered." I was like, wth?? You always say that you stuttered, and I just repeated the fact..

    Anyway, maybe I shouldn't go to the lab that day. But if I didn't go, I will never knew how his stuttering is actually like.

    Seems like he started stuttering since he moved to my foreign country. His aspie worsen too since moving here. I feel bad. He's trying hard everyday to cope.

    Seems like he's getting better in coping, but still, he feels like he has no place of belonging here. The most important reason is because, here's nobody doing his field of research in my country. The research is the most important to him. That's his career. But here, he feels like nobody needs him & his skills. Yes, my foreign country is just a developing country which focus more on business and not research. His developed country has the most advanced research in his field.

    I'm in academia too and I cant leave here because I'm 'trapped' in my scholarship bond, for a decade, ugh, although i'm not a good academician at all. I was 'lucky/unlucky' to get this bonded job, which I'm not qualified actually. It'll be hard for me to find a job in his high-level country. And he said that he can't pay the bond for me, since we don't know the future. I always hope that if only he's good in finance management, he can always calculate.. but it's actually my problem, not him. He told me to stay here if he moves there, because he cant pay for me and he doesn't like me being with him there. I don't know, probably because I'm ugly by his country standard, and I do nothing good for him.

    Since we're both academicians/researchers, the problem we have is often called the "Two-Body Problem". My husband chose to sacrifice his career to move here (Prior, we were doing long-distance marriage for about 5 years and it was hard especially for him). At first I didn't understand; I thought he can easily continue his research here if he becomes an asst. prof. in any university here. Unfortunately, I didn't know that his particular field is non-existent here, and I didn't know that he wants to have meaningful discussions about the particular research. He left his career when he was close to blooming. He couldn't be an asst. prof. here because of the language barrier, the stuttering, and he has no motivation whatsoever to teach in my country. (He and his special interest..)

    Now he is depressed. I don't know what should we do.

    He decided to return to his country next year, but he cancelled his plan - since I'm pregnant and the baby is important too. But I really feel bad seeing him depressed, unpaid, his career also sacrificed.. when he can do lots more in his country with his research. But he did learnt lots of things after moving here too, and we managed to see new sides of him growing up too.

    But since his main source of living motivation - his research job - cant be fulfilled here, he's depressed ever since, although he does his best to cope everyday.

    Me telling him to return also is maybe not a good action, especially when he decided to stay. I have indecisive problem, which also makes people around me stressful with my indecisiveness and asking them again what they have already decided. I always ask him if it's better for him to return since I feel bad seeing him like that everyday. Maybe in this way, I'm belittling his decision.

    Okay, I don't know. Seems like i'm ranting in circles.
    Hope he'll feel better. Hope somebody befriends him, because I'm not enough to help him cope - he needs friends who cares about him. How can he get friends like that, when he's new here, and he's not the type to socialize? I don't know.. but he managed to do it sometimes. I hope there'll be somebody busybody to tend to him..

    Oh God, please help him.

    He always say he's depressed blah blah to me, but i'm too quick to ignore him. I feel uneasy hearing the same thing and the fact that I don't know how to help him get better. Maybe I just need to listen and stop thinking about how to solve it, and just go with the flow..

    Sometimes I think he doesn't like me. He doesn't like it when I'm together with him with his acquaintances, because he feels nervous/stutter/quiet when i'm there. Okay that I can understand. But he doesn't like me with him in his country? That feels like an insult. Maybe he doesn't mean it because he was stressed. But who knows. Sometimes, both of us think that the easy way to solve our problems is when one of us die. It's sad but a logical solution. Maybe I'm just being lazy. I could've work harder. But I'm tired. It's not like I want to die or want him to die. I just want him to be happy.

    Probably, the spouse who sacrificed everything for the move, will always resent the other, and feel depressed... Sometimes I think, cant he just try to be happy here..? Oh he tries everyday.. I feel bad and guilty and unhappy too. I cant focus on my work too (Ok that's an excuse).

    He seems better last week.. why cant it continues to rise....
    I'm alone not enough to tackle his problem.. Every evening and weekend already feel tired..
    Ok seems like I'm just a lazy bum who just wishes this problem can solve itself. Lol.


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  1. Marcus Holmes
    So much work, especially research, can be done over distance now. I live on the East coast, but worked as adjunct faculty for a graduate school on the West coast. Are there creative ways he can make use of his skills and knowledge other than being at a particular physical location? Also, he should carry on his research best that he can, even without a job. Staying active is key. I am unemployed now and on disability, but continue to research and write every day. More than anything, this helps me maintain a sense of self-worth and keep the depression at arm's length.
    1. BlueSky Aozora
      Thank you so much Marcus for your reply. It's good to hear that you continue doing research even unemployed. Yes, he's also doing his research everyday even though unpaid. I do think research can be done anywhere, but there are several things he found it to be uncomfortable. All these make his self-esteem drops. But he's doing his best. I'm proud of him. Hope your life is becoming better too. What kind of research are you doing?