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Aspie husband's social anxiety

Discussion in 'PDD-NOS, Social Anxiety and Others' started by BlueSky Aozora, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. BlueSky Aozora

    BlueSky Aozora Well-Known Member

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    I think my aspie husband has lost his identity, when he moved to my country.

    His special interest is his specific research work, which there's no any other people in my country is doing that, so he feels really out of place, no sense of identity/belonging. He had a team in his country, and he left it.. for me. He tried to adapt. He got a job at the same place as mine maybe partly out of mercy, but he seems like he can't adapt to our work culture too. He began to resent me and my country.

    I feel very conflicted about how he could not adapt to our work culture. People always invite him to join us, but he always decline ever since I've started working again after my medical leave. During my leave, he seemed fine mixing around with a small group of people at my workplace, although not always. He did always decline invitations too before that, but it worsen after I start working again. Probably he's conscious of me, maybe he feels I'm the reason he lose confidence. He doesn't want to work in the same department as me, but he has limited choice. He couldn't communicate very well, to the point he stutters and stops communicating. This makes him isolating himself, losing confidence and sense of self & belonging.

    People would ask me about his whereabouts. We feel very conflicted. We prefer they communicate anything about him directly to him, but if he doesn't attend department's events, well, surely people will ask me, and I dislike that. If he continues like this, he probably could not fulfill his work performance index and his relationship with people here will get strained.

    I feel very conflicted. Any opinion?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
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  2. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I am like your husband. Had no choice but move to a different country with a different language and for a long time, I resented my husband, because he knew the story, but still went ahead and basically, left me all alone, as he works.

    Have now lived in this country for nearly 20 years and still find the language an issue and my social anxiety is FAR WORSE here!

    Since you are thinking about your husband's wellfair, it may be an idea to suggest moving back to what he knows. Afterall, he has tried it in your country, but not coping.

    My husband has said many times that he would move back to our country, for me, but I am a realistic person and see that it is just no feasible and so, cope living here.

    Since I am at home virtually all the time and thanks to covid ( sorry), my anxiety levels are at a minimum and hubby has never forced me to go to work.

    Talk to your husband with pointed questions. Are you happy here? Would you like to move back home? Things like that. And give him time to think, since we aspies need time to think, as we cannot always form words to discribe how we feel.
     
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  3. BlueSky Aozora

    BlueSky Aozora Well-Known Member

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    Dear Suzanne, thanks a lot for your advice, and for sharing your personal experience. You're amazing that you try to cope for even 20 years.. hopefully things will get smoother for you, even a little bit..

    Yeah, glad that corona lets us to minimize face-to-face interaction, although that's not the case with my workplace.. dunno why they insist on face-to-face when everything they planned can be delivered online.. oh well, it's not all bad though..

    If he really can't make it, I think it's ok if he goes back to his home country. Thing is, I wonder if the years he spent here was a waste, means his success got delayed; if we assume that he will already be successful if he spent time there instead here. He maybe even forgot how to live/work there because he spent too much time here. If that's the case, I will feel sad and guilty.. I know he could be a very successful person in his career..
    Oh, I'm worrying about lots of uncertain things..

    He did say that he wants to go back, but sometimes he said he doesn't mind living here.. I don't know if he's 100% serious, or just frustrated, 50% serious, or if he's joking..
     
  4. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Not joking. I do this as well and it is because I have got used to living where I live, but at the same time, miss my country and see that living there would help me enormously with social anxiety, but to get there, means a lot of change and that is just plain scary.

    I have my own home where I live ie it is in both our names, whereas in my country, that would not be the case.

    I have a friend who says that if my husband was to die, she is sure that I won't return to my country and at the moment, I feel she is right, but doesn't take away that I still suffer enormously living here.

    So, if you were to take control of going back together, he would probably jump at the chance. He obviously does not want to leave you and to have a huge change, which is why he says contradictory things.
     
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  5. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    A lot, if not most people on the spectrum find socializing uncomfortable and even painful. That is very unlikely to change, and trying to force it will probably only strain things further. Your husband isn't 'broken' and all you have to do is fix him. He has a somewhat different nature then you. In my marriage with a NT woman for 35 years that meant her accepting I will do social events only rarely and me accepting and allowing her to do social events whenever she wishes.
     
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  6. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Many of us have an inherent sense of feeling that we are "on the outside looking in". No matter how inclusive people around us may be. Going into a country with a very different culture and very different work ethic make this that much more difficult. Some people might overcome such challenges, while others simply can't. Having social anxiety can be a debilitating and miserable condition. Not easily overcome if at all. A condition that for me has ebbed and flowed all my life. Optimized by choosing to live my last years in relative social isolation.

    In this instance I'm afraid this sounds like a downward spiral in which will result in either a breakup of the relationship, or a move back to his country. Being conflicted about it all is certainly understandable. However at this point of the relationship, it sounds like you still have the opportunity to save it if you value it more than your country of origin.
     
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  7. BlueSky Aozora

    BlueSky Aozora Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Tom. The thing is.. it's not up to me, but him & our bosses.. Our bosses are quite accommodating and understanding of his depression, thank God.

    but the performance index still needs to be fulfilled. And once he's assigned the tasks of teaching, and he will be assigned that soon, it's compulsory sadly, he can't just bail out - just think of the poor students and we do not have enough staffs to cover for that and cannot hire another new staff just because he doesn't want to do it..

    i can help, but most effort must come from him.. problem is he doesn't have motivation to do it & he said he can't speak. he said to me that i prepare everything then he can just upload it to the online class. he prefers synchronous instead of recording video, but he worries that he'll stutter and cannot utter a single word after that, then class ends abruptly. this maybe will hurt his confidence too. but i do hope, through this tasks, he can learn to gain back his confidence in speaking & teaching.

    do i need to do everything..? how can i motivate him to do this & speak & gain confidence?

    how can i not worry too much about him & this problem? anything about him, the colleagues will ask me. i feel very conflicted, and feel ashamed if he bails out suddenly (making troubles, sorry to say..)

    thank you.. would love to hear your opinion again & other people's as well..
     
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  8. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think I did not understand the issue correctly. I thought you were referring to semi-compulsery after work socializing (ie. having drinks after work, going to work outtings, parties, etc.) But this is a work related issue it sounds like. You both are teachers? If so what subject does he teach?

    P.S. When my wife and I first started dating we were both scheduled to work togther, one supervising the other, starting soon on a new radar system (we were both in the US Air Force). As soon as we got together one of the first things I did was meet our higher ranking supervisor at his home after work and explain the new circumstances and ask if they could seperate us so there was no conflict of interest, and they did.