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Self diagnosed at 55

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Joopsman, Dec 13, 2019.

  1. Joopsman

    Joopsman New Member

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    Hi, my name is Dave. I am a 55 year old man with two children and a wonderful wife who is far more patient than I could imagine being. We have been married for over 20 years and together for almost 25. I have two grown children, a 26 year old daughter and a 19 year old son. The damage that I have created in my life and the lives of my wife and children with my response to my Asperger's is astounding. I have a wife who is very lonely and scared about her future because all she sees is a shell of a man walking around her house. There is no way for her to get through to me although she does try - repeatedly and often. I do not know how to respond to her pleas for me to check back in to life and to give her the emotional support that she so desperately needs. She suffers from PTSD and severe abandonment issues and feels like I have abandoned her emotionally.

    The good points of my Aspergers: being loyal, hardworking, intelligent, etc. do not make up for the wreckage that I have made of my relationship with my wife. She says there are thousands of success stories out there of people who have learned how to cope with their Aspergers, how to recharge and check back in, drop the masks and negative behaviors, etc. and come back to live their lives much more fully and to learn how to share themselves. I am at the point of begging for any help that can be offered. I have an appointment in two weeks with a counselor that I am hoping can offer some help.

    I have several ways to recharge but I do not employ them with any regularity, furthering my wife's frustration with me. These are: spending time tinkering alone, cleaning, riding my bike, exercising in the gym. How were some of you able to turn things around and improve your relationships and come back to the people who love you? She does love me very much - this I know - otherwise, she would have left me long ago. I am hoping that an Aspergers diagnosis can lead to improvement and not defeat, but that is up to me and right now I feel frozen.

    Thank you all for reading. Have a great day!
     
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  2. Nitro

    Nitro Admin/Immoral Turpitude Staff Member Admin V.I.P Member

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    Hi Dave

    welcome to af.png
     
  3. Varzar

    Varzar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi Dave! And welcome!

    The issues I was having with my wife were remarkably improved when I realized I am Aspergers.
    It gave her understanding of what I was looking for and needed (which was very different from what she needed). It gave me understanding of why it wasn't "obvious" to her what I needed, and why she couldn't seem to understand me. So, just the realization of it helped a lot..

    Beyond that, I still employ a mask with her to make sure she has what she needs from the relationship too. Always have. Having read a lot about AS/NT relationships I gather that is something that is missing a lot. The AS has learned how to mask their way through the dating process, often by copying from TV or such. But after marriage, this mask gets dropped, leaving the NT feeling like the love has vanished. Ultimately, the NT still needs to feel that loving, and if you need a mask on to deliver that, then that's what you do for the ones you love most.
    She in turn, needs to understand you, and that sometimes you'll need your "recharge time" to keep things balanced for you. Basically, it has to go both ways.. Lots of communication.. Lots of understanding.. Seeing a counsellor also helped us..
     
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  4. Joopsman

    Joopsman New Member

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    Thank you for your kind words. Communication is something that I am horrible at. I will obsess and ruminate on the stupidest things and not communicate them until it becomes a bigger issue than it could have been initially. Just today I (sort of) broke out of that by discussing something that I had started ruminating on. It was not a big deal and she had zero problem with it. It could have been a big deal if left undiscussed. (I needed to swap credit cards with her since the one that I use for business travel has a low limit and is almost maxed out until I get reimbursed for my travel expenses.) If I had not discussed it, I would have either gone to her at the last minute - as in literally on my way out the door this coming Monday when I have to go out of town again, or tried in some way to stretch the little available balance on my travel card for a week.

    I am trying to figure out the best way to recharge that doesn't leave her feeling abandoned, or me feeling guilty over the situation. Maybe scheduling time to recharge could work. Right now, I am feeling so withdrawn that I need all the recharge time I can get.
     
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  5. tree

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

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    upload_2019-12-13_19-48-33.png
     
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  6. Isadoorian

    Isadoorian Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Welcome to the Forums! I hope you make new friends and enjoy your stay in the process! :)
     
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  7. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    Dave, welcome to this forum. I am 61;and like you have not been officially diagnosed. I have been married the past 27 years and have heard the same complaints from my wife. Hardly a week goes by that she doesn't tell me I have no empathy. I have explained the Asperger's, but she refuses to believe this. Also I obsess about things that go wrong or that concern me, and it is difficult for me to direct my attention to other things.

    I have not seen a counselor, but exercising and taking time to do things with my wife and her family help. However, once I become overloaded I will excuse myself from activities to have time to myself. I am looking forward to hearing about your experiences in seeing a counselor.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
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  8. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    remember you are exactly the same from 2-3 years old as the second before you know your neurotype either autism (high functioning is just so you get the right help)or the majority neurotypical or anxiety disorders neurodiverse ,autism is included in the latter although autism is labeled as a developmental disorder ,thats how psychiatrists pigeonhole it,what usually happens is ,you start to realise that your possible label weirdness is autism ,you give different names to what you did/didnt do ,it isnt a terminal illness !,its a name label change.
     
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  9. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    It can be difficult to not quite grasp the (where is the empathy) non-part of it. But then l realise that's just normal operating system for that person. Like a computer may run on DOS or Linux but it still functions, there just maybe less functions due to processing emotions maybe in DOS. The emotional schematic or flowchart is different then NT. So if the person in attempting to connect and talk about things, l rate that as a great plus.
     
  10. clg114

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

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    Welcome to Autism Forums!
     
  11. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    There is an idea attached to this post,showing the difference in communication styles.

    I use an app called tick tick.
    It is my to do list,plus it also has a decent habit tracker.

    I also use it to track 'thoughts'

    I have a variety of sentences,which I want to remember and bring into my mind more often.
    Seems to work, but slowly.

    Reminds me all the time.
    As I'm reminded everyday, it makes it easier to bring those thoughts into the everyday.

    Make a list of things your wife has a problem with,
    Things you wish you'd said at the time,stuff like that.

    Then start doing it, change it as you go.

    Lots of people say 'will never work', that's part of an habitual mental process,preventing change.

    Also it can be hard to track results.

    Also, make a folder in the app (diaro) call it positive.
    Start filling it.

    Takes a leap of faith to start. It's impossible to know if it will work.

    It will prevent challenges as you go but,after a while, you can start to realise the change.

    I also use acronyms a lot, as a technique,along with breathing to give pause and break old habits.

    Detail some behaviours,make notes,get them into an app.

    One way to proceed.

    An anchor,if you like, to give you steadiness across an emotional sea.
     
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  12. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Think that sometimes we spend time thinking about other people's frustration when you should just reach out and talk to her. Sometimes we think it's frustration, your wife may walk around thinking you don't care about her. You are frozen in your frustration thoughts, and she is frozen in what do l do now thoughts. Just crossing the hypothetical bridge to remember why you both are with each other and take some time to celebrate that. You rode your mule around and around thinking these thoughts over and over in a track, the track gets deeper and deeper and nothing happens. Time to exit the carnival ride, put the mule in it's shed, and come out and bask in the joy of letting go and moving on.
     
  13. Rocco

    Rocco Wandering Trainwreck V.I.P Member

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    Welcome 218BD8D7-C726-494C-80DD-E716F4099B46.jpeg
     
  14. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi and welcome. I think sometimes guys are up against the gender socialisation divide, as well as your autistic traits or Aspergers, and that makes it extra hard. Your wife and yourself will have had different socialisation that makes relating a bit more tricky anyway, and is often noticeable in problems between male and female partners.

    Then additionally the autistic traits or Aspergers cuts you off further. That's a great suggestion from @Fridgemagnetman, I hope you find strategies here that help you cope with the ways you are different from your partner, but also that you get to accept that this difference is natural, that you need help and support that you haven't had, and that you have coped as best you could.

    This is a useful place to be for help information and ideas. I hope you enjoy it here.

    :walking::bluecar::rowboat::taxi::surfer::helicopter::swimmer::sailboat:
     
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  15. lateundiagnosed

    lateundiagnosed New Member

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    skimmed thru these answers, im 58 and learned like a bomb i was autistic from listening to you tube cases. i had no idea? you name a symptom and i have it. too much to go all thru now. too much for me to comprehend it all now. never married but whats probably the weirdest thing about autism is the androgynous part. im perfectly at peace with being alone. it bugged the hell out of me why for a long long time. this answers all those questions. apparently our brains cant distinguish the difference.
     
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  16. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    just to add a note if you come from certain faiths being androgynous isn’t weird it is seen as a blessing.
     
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  17. lateundiagnosed

    lateundiagnosed New Member

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    i hear you man.
     
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