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Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Stormgreenwest, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. Stormgreenwest

    Stormgreenwest New Member

    Jan 13, 2021
    Hello, been wanting to find a group like this. Hopefully I can learn and share.
    *female neurotypical spouse of Aspie male
    *both 60 yrs old, married 35 yrs
    *his diagnosis came out in marriage counseling approx 4 yrs ago
    * he will not accept diagnosis but agrees his brothers are
    *abuse of alcohol is being an issue also
    *passive aggressive behavior is getting worse
    I am looking for a place to meet like minds and situations
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  2. tree

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

    Jun 29, 2013
  3. Wolfsage

    Wolfsage In training to be Wolf King.

    Oct 27, 2020
  4. clg114

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

    Oct 27, 2011
    Welcome to Autism Forums!
  5. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Jan 12, 2019
    Sorry your husband is not accepting his diagnosis.
    That does not mean that you have to hang around if he is causing you misery.
    Warm welcome to the forums.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

    Dec 9, 2017
    Welcome, @Stormgreenwest.

    I've always thought a diagnosis came with a big decision - whether to use it as an excuse for behavior or to use it to understand and improve behavior. I hope that what you find here will help you understand - but not excuse - your husband's behavior.

    in general, the probability of addiction among autistic people is about twice that of neurotypical people. I have my own theories about why, based solely upon my own experience and not upon any formal science (I think I suck at recognizing and regulating emotions, so it's too easy for me to use escapist or numbing activities as coping mechanisms).

    In addition to this forum, if your husband's alcoholism is a major issue, I recommend looking at the resources that AA has. The AA book has a section addressed to wives (click link to see it). It's well worth a read. There may also be an Al-Anon group near you, which is a support group for people whose loved ones are alcoholics - you might try looking here.

    When someone in crisis asks which one of many possible resources to use for help (e.g., talking to a friend, seeing a counselor, going on AutismForums, looking into AA, etc.), my reply is "Yes. Use them all."

    Almost every autism-related topic you can imagine is somewhere on this forum. If you don't find what you're looking for, start a thread of your own. I hope you find this forum as welcoming and helpful as I have.
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  7. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member

    Dec 14, 2020
    Welcome. I am 53. Married for 33 years. Diagnosed November 2019.

    As far as acceptance,...I imagine everyone has their process,...but it may have been HOW it was diagnosed that is the issue.

    I sought out help on my own, made the appointment,...then told my wife. For me, it was a relief, and that my whole life now had some answers.

    Your husband's situation was different,...marriage counseling. I am guessing, you initiated the counseling session. I am guessing, he was already in a defensive mode. Then, reluctantly, he gets tested and this "mental bomb" dropped on him. In his mind, as he may have interpreted it, he was told "something was wrong" with him,...as a person. It's one thing to have a spouse call you out on your BS,...if it is silly BS,...but quite another level when you're being told, somehow, that "you are defective" as a human being. The passive aggressive behavior may be "just" some underlying anger at how the diagnosis came about.

    Keep in mind, when we were kids there was NO such thing as an autism spectrum. We just "masked" our symptoms and went through life not quite understanding why we were socially awkward. When we were kids we had "behavior issues" that usually ended up with some form of punishment. Our parents were clueless. Kids that did have severe autism were in special homes and schools,...we never saw them. Then came Dustin Hofman in The Rainman, then came vaccines that "caused autism",...and a long list of misinformation and false stereotypes. Autism is a "mental illness", or you are "mentally disabled",...more BS. Most folks our age have ZERO idea of what autism is, and/or have these false mental images of what it is. So, having said that, if your husband is in denial of his autism, this may also be a contributor. He hasn't gotten to that point of doing some serious research into the topic in order to understand the science,...and that sometimes, because of his autism, he may actually be superior at performing some tasks and some mental abilities. My autism creates some limitations,...which I am acutely aware of now,...but I also can do some things easily that many others really struggle at.

    I had to do hours and hours of studying scientific journal articles and watching scientific lectures on YouTube to understand what autism is, in general,...then had to study up on MY autism to understand myself better. Frankly, I had no idea that I had so many sensory issues that I pushed into the background,...things that I just grew up with and never gave much thought to it. Nobody told me that what I was experiencing was NOT normal.

    Why the alcohol? There may be an addiction there. However, he may also be (unknowingly) "self medicating" due to common autistic symptoms,...anxiety and stress. Neurotransmitter imbalances between GABA (inhibitory) and Glutamine (excitatory) can cause anxiety. Cortisol and ACTH hormones are often elevated in autism creating a higher baseline heart rate, higher blood pressure, weight gain, sleep disturbances, and a long list of other health issues. Alcohol, in sufficient amounts relieves this anxiety and stress,...albeit, in a very unhealthy way. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/science-choice/201703/why-do-people-drink

    Having said that, we have made a specific point in our marriage to not point out each other's short comings, but rather lean on each other's strengths. Between the two of us, we make one great person.;):D
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Dadamen

    Dadamen Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2020
    Hello and welcome, it is normal not to accept diagnosis because it makes him sure he is different than others. I also had hard time accepting my self-diagnosis. I tried to force freindships and going out to "have friends" and "not to fulfill criteria for diagnosis" in 2019. But what isn't ok is his alcohol abuse and passive agressive behaviuor. Alcohol is an addiction and he should to to psychiatrist becuase of this, if he gets rid of alcohol, passive agressive behaviuor might also get better.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. VictorR

    VictorR Random Member V.I.P Member

    Jul 19, 2020
    Welcome! Sounds like there are likely some other issues which may benefit from specialized addressing, taking into account of each other. All the best.
  10. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    May 22, 2017
    Welcome to the forums.

    Hope you can work together with posts and threads here and asking questions that will help
    your situation.

    It was both a relief and a difficulty when I got my diagnosis in my 50's.
    Didn't grow up knowing anything about ASD.
    I knew I was different, but, didn't think much about it except for the problems high anxiety and
    panic attacks created.
    But, to actually hear the words being on the spectrum or autism were a bit difficult to process.
    I saw how the symptoms fit my life, but, I think because what little experience I had about it
    lead to thoughts of Rain Man scenarios and how people thought about it due to lack of knowledge.
    It was bitter-sweet for me.