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Needing someplace to get support

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Jen Wiseman, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. Jen Wiseman

    Jen Wiseman Jen

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    Hi, all, and thanks for letting me join! I am a Nurse Practitioner, married for 24 years to my husband who is a college professor. Gradually, over the years, I have realized that he is probably on the autism spectrum, though he refuses to consider the possibility. I am needing help in trying to figure out if I am reading the situation correctly, and also needing to learn how to deal with this better before it destroys our marriage--I am very committed to him, but am also deeply unhappy. And sometimes I just need a place to vent. Hoping I can find this here, since I don't want to hurt him by talking to mutual friends or family members.
     
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  2. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    upload_2020-10-17_23-12-46.png
     
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  3. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    I went to this forum to learn about someone and found out l was on the spectrum.
     
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  4. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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  5. Barymore

    Barymore Active Member

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    Hi Jen
    Welcome here and I hope you find it as welcoming here as I did. There are a number of us in relationships with neurotypical (non autistic) partners, so I am sure we can get a conversation going about that! Having said that, everyone and every relationship is different and not everything will be applicable.
     
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  6. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi and welcome. I would suggest that if you think this may be the issue, you finding out more about autism could really help, even if he doesn't want to consider the issue. Some strategies may work well for you both whether he's diagnosable or not, and as in any issues where couples are different from each other, could also help you adjust your expectations, adjust and allow for some of how he is.

    However, if a partners behaviours are not acceptable then they may need a wake up call such as discussion in therapy or other alternatives, but it's good to find out about reasons he may be like this.

    Lots of other issues could apply, take a look at the thread here where I posted about narcissistic behaviour, this can be much more of a problem than autism, and I think a lot of the people who are labelled autistic by therapists who only meet their partner, and are not diagnosed, are actually neurotypical and narcissistic, (or could be autistic and narcissistic). Narcissism is a developmental personality style based on childhood lacks usually, and is hard to change. Good luck with this.
     
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  7. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi there, I am married to an nt and from my experience, even if he does not want to get tested, there are things you can do to help and since you are the one who wants him to be tested, it shows you are the kind of person who wants do the right thing and thus, there are things that can help your marriage.

    Don't ask too much of him. He WILL have meltdowns ie shutting down, because of overloads.

    If you need to talk about emotions, it is best to talk to someone else, other than him, because he can't even deal with is emotions. It is so hard for us to explain how we feel.

    If he needs to be on his own, let him be.

    You can vent by all means, but be aware, that we are not neurotypicals and so, if one is defaming their aspie partner, we will not defend you personally.
     
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  8. Alexej

    Alexej Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi @Jen Wiseman, welcome to the Forums
    I am one who was diagnosed in my 60s and it was my wife who led me to the place where I was able to consider the possibility of me being on the spectrum.

    Good luck which your learning
     
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  9. MyLifeAsAnAspie

    MyLifeAsAnAspie Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forums. Let us know what you are going through.
     
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  10. Jen Wiseman

    Jen Wiseman Jen

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    OK, so here's our story. We met while both in grad school (different schools), and he was the one who first expressed interest--I had just had a relationship end. I was attracted to his intelligence, quirky sense of humor, the fact that he seemed very authentic and didn't care what other people thought of him, and his persistence in being sure that we were meant to be together. We dated long-distance for a year, and then were 90 miles apart for another 3 before we got married. We did not live together before marriage. Very shortly after our marriage I realized there were some things about him that I didn't really realize or understand. He has a lot of anxiety, and has been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (mainly rumination, not a lot of behaviors). As time has gone on, I have seen that routines are very important to him, and if plans change he does not easily adapt. Some of the small things that started to make me wonder about autism spectrum were his sensitivities to high and low pitched noise, discomfort with any tight clothing (and preferring to wear the same style of clothes every day), very restricted types of food in his diet, and what seems like a true inability to imagine other people's internal state of mind--even something as simple as when we are sitting on opposite sides of the room and he looks out the window from his angle, he is so surprised that I can't see what he sees from my angle. He also has some very specific interests that can occupy hours for him--collecting transistor radios and also raising praying mantises. He is very successful in his job as a psychology professor, though his students find him quirky as well. He mainly lectures--does not like discussion forums or small group activities with his students. He has very few friends, and prefers to be with me, though he is happy if we are just in the same room--he does not necessarily want to be interacting. He gets frustrated if I am not paying attention to the same thing he is. He feels left out if I am on the computer while he is watching TV, for example.

    We share a lot of the same values as far as our focus on careers, how we save and spend, and our living conditions. He is very loyal. He also lets me live my life and most of the time, does not mind when I participate in hobbies or see friends without him when they are things that he doesn't like (and he is not at all shy about making it clear when he doesn't like something--I appreciate that honesty, though I wish sometimes he could share more joy about the things I do. I sing in an a-cappella chorus and quartet, and would love to have him see me perform but he finds it very hard to support me that way). However, the things that I am having trouble with now are that it feels like our lives are very separate--I am lacking a feeling of connection with him. Also, if I try to involve him in something, his reflexive answer is NO and that hurts my feelings. I am the one who has to initiate any changes or make any plans almost always, and it is such a struggle that we end up fighting and even if we go through with something, by the time we do I am irritable and don't enjoy it as much. We had to stop trying to exchange gifts about 15 years ago, because his gifts were so off-base or impersonal that it made me feel like he didn't know me at all. To @Thinx 's observation, I don't believe he has narcissistic personality disorder--his mother does, so I am aware of what that looks like, and Dave's behavior is not calculated, cruel, or nearly as self-serving. If I knew for sure he was on the spectrum, I think it would be a lot easier for me to accept the distance between us as just what I should expect, and to take joy in the good things and find connection in other ways or with other people (after figuring out what that looks like within our relationship--I am not talking about infidelity, but just friendship with my female chorus-mates for example). I guess it doesn't really matter if he gets a diagnosis, but it would make it easier for me not to interpret his lack of understanding me as a lack of caring. Does that make sense, and does it sound like I may be on the right track?
     
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  11. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    While not knowing his actual diagnosis, it is more a matter of "If the shoe fits,..."

    Due to his general success, if he is autistic, he would most likely be ASD1. That means that you won't have a neurological pathology to deal with (which is unstable), just a different frame of mind. Once you get a handle on that, you should find that you communications can improve in both directions.
     
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  12. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    Welcome to Autism Forums!
     
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  13. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes that description sounds much more like autism than narcissism. Whether one gets a diagnosis can be fairly random especially as a successful adult. His line of work would likely make him reluctant to go down that path. Autism is not at all well understood, and it could damage his career to gain such a diagnosis.

    But you can look into it and come to your own conclusions, that will likely be helpful whatever his attitude to this is. Good to have you here, I hope the discussion threads and resources may be useful.
     
  14. Jen Wiseman

    Jen Wiseman Jen

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    Thank you very much!
     
  15. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. A professor of psychology no less. I'm afraid the most critical aspect of what the OP has posted is that this person chooses not to acknowledge the possibility of being on the spectrum.

    IMO one coming to terms with their own autism is not something that can truly come from the outside. Rather it has to be something the person themselves comes to terms with. I know in my own case it started out as a mostly a matter of curiosity. Though my curiosity always seemed to get the best of me, as even in denial I continued researching this condition. It was a long and bumpy road for me, full of denial until I finally acknowledged that in fact I believe I am autistic.

    For me I wanted the truth regardless of any stigma that might come with it. But I realize that not everyone does. In the case of a medical professional, I can understand the choice of not wanting to even acknowledge it. Where the possibility of professional repercussions can exist. Even here I am one of my in this community who share a fervent belief in keeping your autism on a "need-to-know" basis.

    For the OP, I can only say that your work is done. You've put the notion in his mind, and it's his choice as to whether or not he wants or should pursue it. Though beyond that under such circumstances, there's little else I can suggest.
     
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  16. Jen Wiseman

    Jen Wiseman Jen

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    @Judge , thank you for your reply. I really would like to find ways to improve communication with him, as there is a lot I value in the relationship, but it is hard for me to know what is reasonable or unreasonable to hope for when I am asking for him to consider my feelings or perspective. I have figured out that it really helps for me to wait until I am calm to talk about issues that are frustrating me, and that actually for us, sending an email that he can respond to is often better than having a conversation when it comes to discussing emotions or my needs. Sometimes I don't know where to draw the line, though. From my side, it seems like I am doing the lion's share of compromising or accommodating, and I do have to remember to take care of myself, even when that gets lonely. We both deserve to be happy--it is a two-way street--and I don't do either one of us any favors when I forget to lay down some boundaries.
     
  17. Rectify

    Rectify Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi Jen, I'm pretty sure that you will find lots of helpful info and advice from other members here.

    Can I say - 'if' that is a real picture you have as your profile pic - then please make sure that you have the okay from the other person in the photo to use it on here.

    Welcome to the forum :)
     
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  18. Rae Ray

    Rae Ray Active Member V.I.P Member

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    Welcome Jen !
     
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  19. MyLifeAsAnAspie

    MyLifeAsAnAspie Member

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    I find the Lorna Wing types to be useful in understanding ASD individuals. However, as it's a spectrum, we can fall anywhere between these types. I am clearly the Passive type and I think your husband is another type. My wife's difficulties have some some overlap with your's but also many differences. Here are descriptions of the types and there is a link to a quiz to identify your husband's type at the end of the page.
    Lorna Wing types – Defiantly Divergent
     
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  20. VictorR

    VictorR Random Member

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    Welcome!

    Judge has covered much of what I would have said, especially in regards to having to be open to things - one thing that I'd like to add is Dr. Tony Atwood, who has authored or co-authored a number of books on Asperger's, missed seeing it in his own son for a number of years, if I recall correctly.
     
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