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Featured Should I Give Up On My Aspie Husband?

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by Eden, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Eden

    Eden Active Member

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    Hi All,

    I'm new here. I have a 13-year-old son who was diagnosed with ASD when he was 5. His dad and I divorced in 2012, initiated by me, because of lack of communication and emotional intimacy. We had been together for 12 years, married for 8. He's a great guy. Reliable, honest, trustworthy, loyal...it was really hard to let him go, but I was so unhappy and he just refused to talk and I felt unloved and rejected. So for the last few years we've been raising our children and although divorced, have maintained a pretty good relationship. He's still close w/ my family, here for every holiday, and even spends nights here to be closer to the children. We've even taken family vacations together once a year. He's a great dad and provider.

    Three years ago when my son went in for a re-evaluation, my ex realized from talking to the doctor, that he is probably on the spectrum too. Unfortunately, he didn't pursue diagnosing at the time. Last month we finally sat down before the new year to talk about our divorce. I felt there were some things I needed to say, questions I wanted answered about us. He's very shy, but surprisingly, was able to communicate his feelings and answer some of my questions. Feeling buoyed by his growth and willingness to communicate--something he refused to do when we were married--the subject of possibly getting back together came up. I mean, we spend so much time together as it is and I still love him, and have been single for the last three years. In my heart, he's still my husband.

    So, we said we'd see if we could spend more time together to foster those feelings again, as it's been a while since we've behaved as a couple. So we've been watching TV together sometimes and he invited me out to breakfast two weeks ago. Last week he came into my room shyly and laid down in the bed with me. We talked a little and just cuddled. Was so nice. He then slept in the bed with me for two or three nights. (We've been careful so as not to confuse the children until we know what this is). Well, one night we ended up making love. I could have waited, but the vibe was right and it just happened. (He told me he hadn't been w/ anyone since our divorce).

    Well, after the sex, which was nice, he started being weird. The next evening he went back to sleeping on the couch two nights in a row, and I was really hurt. We had a small fight about it and he revealed that things were moving fast for him. Five years apart, he said, with no inkling that we would ever get back together, and now we're spending time and sleeping in the same bed and he just felt overwhelmed and needed a chance to think and see if this is "100% the right thing." I was hurt, but in my newfound understanding and respect for who he is, I said okay. I mean, going slow is fine as long as we're moving forward, I thought. We agreed, for now, no more sleeping in the bed together, and no more sex and more space.

    That was about a week ago and he still seemed distant so we talked again yesterday and he said that it occurred to him that something may be wrong with his emotions. That he has internal mood swings. That one day he feels "oh, wow, this is great, a dream come true, this feels really good", but then next he feels "trapped" or worried that he will disappoint me and that he doesn't have the basic skills to be in a relationship. That what if it doesn't work out and then I blame him and the good relationship we've had during our years apart is destroyed? Then what if he blames me for even bringing up the topic of getting back together? He's had a routine for five years, he said, working on his music and going everywhere alone, and only OCCASIONALLY feeling "Man, I wish I had someone." So basically, he's been relatively happy without me. But, he says, there's another side of him that doesn't want to be alone for the rest of his life, and getting back with me may be his only shot to be in a real relationship. And he thinks of how great it would be to tell our friends and family that we're back, and all that. He goes back and forth on these two positions in his mind. An "internal conflict" he calls it. And he can't seem to land on either side of it to make a decision to move forward with me: to A, possibly pursue counseling to get a diagnosis and understand more about this and get tools for himself and us as a couple, or just drop the idea of getting back together and continue his solo existence. It's only been one month since we've attempted trying, so maybe this is alot for him all at once.

    And here I am, this sensitive, heart on her sleeve kind of individual, just sort of stuck. I was excited at the prospect of putting my family back together, because I never really understood why we couldn't work it out. My kids would love it so much and I love him dearly. Up until this last discussion, I thought our biggest challenge would be re-acclimating ourselves and me adjusting my expectations based on what I understand about him now that I didn't when we were married. But it would seem, with his confession about the mood swings, I don't know what to think. Is this a lost cause? He's a reserved quiet guy and so sweet. I'm not worried about him lashing out; he doesn't do that. But living with someone who may wake up one day and feel trapped being with me and not tell me...

    Even though he realized three years ago he probably has Asperger's, he hasn't done anything to find out what it all means. He doesn't even know that there are people out there who have successful relationships with people like him. I think he just assumed he'd be alone for the rest of his life anyway, so he was ok with not doing pursuing a diagnosis. Now with the prospect of being with me, he seems all stressed out about it and thinking about his shortcomings and going back and forth about what to do, making himself crazy. And me too. He's also without a job for the first time in 10 years and worrying about money and taking care of the kids...so he's stressed. I asked him if it's possible he's overthinking all this -- bc, i know from dealing with my autie son, there's a tendency for OCD-like thoughts. He said, "possibly". I don't know if I should take what he's saying at face value and give up on the idea of being with him or what. I guess I'm wanting to know if some of the things he's saying sound like typical Aspie fears or should I see them as red flags and let the idea go. What should I expect for him to do at this point? Because "I don't know" and "possibly" are not real answers. Any advice or insight would be welcome and appreciated.

    I'm so sad today and I'm not ready to have my heartbroken again.

    Eden.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  2. Beguiling Orbit

    Beguiling Orbit Neurotribe Champion V.I.P Member

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    Ugh. I'm so sorry you're both having to deal with this situation. It sounds like every single relationship I ever had with a woman who was not on the spectrum. Every time, they would either tell me they left me because I was distant and cold when I thought I was pouring out my love to them the entire time, or they would just leave and cut off all communication. Every time, whether they told me why they broke it off or didn't say anything, I would be devastated. I finally resolved to live life alone until I met a fellow Aspie and had an instant understanding with her on a whole new level. I have since married her.

    Looking at it objectively, I can surmise that he wouldn't be trying to re-engage with you if he didn't care for you. Would you be content in a relationship in which you had to trust that he was pouring out his love to you even though you don't directly feel it coming from him? That might be what it takes, if you were to be in a relationship with him.
     
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  3. Sabrina

    Sabrina Gentle & brave earthling

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    Please check my recent posts and blogs, maybe you find something there to enlighten you. I am you, my ex is your ex, and I see many similarities.

    In the movie "He's not that into you", they say that if you are wondering if he is into you, it means he is not. A guy that is into you doesn't make you doubt. I agree.

    Now, that's the theory. Putting that to practice is something else. I stayed together for the last eight years of my marriage, in spite that my husband didn't love me (three years dating, 15 of marriage).

    When I started having my doubts about him, I couldn't do anything about it (I was pregnant). Four years ago I realized, without a doubt, that he didn't love me, but I convinced myself that I was going to make him change his feelings.

    I asked him to separate six times, and he always asked for a chance, and I gave it to him, until nine months ago, when he said he loathed me. Still, I gave him another chance. We are separated now.

    I don't know if you have reasons to go back with him that you didn't talked about here. But if your post is complete, and that's the whole picture, I would say, loud and clear: run away, fast and very far.
     
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  4. LucyPurrs

    LucyPurrs NT, INFJ V.I.P Member

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    Sounds to me like you are trying to move things along way faster than he can handle if he has ASD and are not giving him enough space. He may need more space than you can tolerate but that's something to find out. But to me, the fact that he opened up to you and clearly still cares about/loves you and you him, make it worthwhile to be patient before you come to any final conclusions. If he is willing to now pursue finding out whether he is indeed ASD and learn more about it and the two of you can work together to accommodate both your needs , then maybe it could work. Yes, that's a lot of ifs, but I don't think you're going to have an answer quickly on this unless you decide you're not willing to be patient and work with him.
    That's just my 2 cents. Partly based on the main issue in the past being that he had difficulty opening up and communicating to you, not that he was mean, unfaithful, or even unloving-just that he couldn't convey his love.
     
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  5. kay

    kay Well-Known Member

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    It's not easy or quick to figure out as many things as your ex is having to process, it's going to take time. He sounds like a pretty good guy though.
     
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  6. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    With respect OP, did you know he was Aspie before you married him? If so you must've known about his issues?
     
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  7. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My husband says pretty much about me and to me, what you describe regarding your husband and we have been married for 26 years and 27 this July.

    The thing is, you must surely have realised something was different about him, before you married? Or was it a case of: he will improve?

    Just think it is pretty unfair on your children to do this.

    My husband calls me distant and gets frustrated with me and often feels unloved and I have to be reminded to be affectionate with him and yes, many a time we had thought of divorcing, but married is what we are and married is what we stay.

    Just the other day, was the first time EVER that I approached him in an intimate way and happily he responded with great favour lol but it took courage and a lot of hesitancy.

    It seems to me, that you are punishing him for something that he is unable to change a great deal about. Aspergers is where our brains are wired differently to none aspies and although, yes we can adapt and learn, we also find it very hard and some things are always going to be difficult for us.

    The poor man is bewildered by you, because he is unable to give what you want all the time.

    Marriage is supposed to be for life, accept for extreme circumances and well, to say: my needs have not been met, is just a bit self orientated and especially since you have children!
     
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  8. Eden

    Eden Active Member

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    Hi, I'm sorry if I wasnt clear. No, I didn't know this before we were married. HE didn't even know. We had a good relationship, but when things came up that we really needed to discuss he would just sit there and let me do all the talking and either not respond at all, or give me a one-liner. When it got really tough I suggested counseling and he didn't want to go. This was six years ago. He only realized two or three years ago, after the divorce, that he is probably on the spectrum too. And now he is much more communicative, which is why I wanted to try this again with him, and knowing what we both know now.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  9. Eden

    Eden Active Member

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    Hi Suzanne,

    We were in a LDR for two years before we married. When I moved to be with him, the rest happened so fast, I honestly didn't notice. When you're young and no kids there aren't many challenges yet, so the hard stuff didn't come up until after we married. That's when I realized he had a communication issue, or an intimacy issue or both. But he never discussed what he felt his shortcomings were; just kept it to himself so I just assumed he didn't love me enough to try or want the marriage enough to try. So I divorced him, reluctantly. Wasn't trying to change him then, and especially not now that I know he couldn't if he wanted to. I am more capable of change than he is, so I'm the one that's more than willing to change my expectations and give him the space he may need. Actually, I think him being an Aspie is what makes him so special and why he possesses qualities that I just don't see in most men. HE'S the one with the doubts. He started moving forward and then just ran the other way. So, naturally, I'm confused. I'm not so much concerned with my needs being met at the moment, as we are still at the beginning phase of this whole thing. I just want to feel that he's committed to going forward with me and he just seems in this perpetual state of confusion and I'm trying to figure out how to handle it. That's all.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  10. Eden

    Eden Active Member

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    Thank you. This resonates. Patience is not my forte and I fear I am partly responsible for his doubts. I'm still learning what he needs and how to do all of this with him. And him telling me we were moving too fast came as a surprise. I was already envisioning a 2nd wedding in my head. LOL. So now I have to backtrack and try not to feel insecure about him needing more time. It's a scary place for me to be in emotionally. But I'll try. Thanks again.
     
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  11. Kari_Cookie

    Kari_Cookie Active Member

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    Hi, I have something in my mind but I’m not sure if it’s practical. How about just do things would coupld do, without mention moving forward or wedding? Maybe he would get used to the new routine without noticing it…I’m not really sure if this one works, but I hope everything goes well. Best wishes.
     
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  12. OkRad

    OkRad Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Funny things suddenly got clear in his head AFTER he had sex with you. Just saying.......
     
  13. Jane Smith

    Jane Smith Well-Known Member

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    I'm actually kind of dealing with a similar situation, and I relate a lot to what you're saying. I don't think you're being selfish and all, and I completely understand your confusion.

    There is someone in my life I am in love with, and I thought he liked me, too. However, he has a girlfriend, so I never pursued him beyond that point. One day I invited him out to a hang out. I made it VERY clear it wasn't romantic. During this hang out he opened up a lot to me. He told me about how he didn't get along with his family, how he didn't talk to his Dad, etc.

    After that meeting he stopped talking to me. Wouldn't e-mail me, tweet me, message me--nothing. I wasn't sure why. It was very confusing.

    However, I realize now that even though the conversation was harmless to me, it may have been overwhelming to him. We were moving too fast emotionally.

    I talked to my therapist about it, and she told me to be patient. "Appreciate the moment for what it is".

    So, the time you spend with your ex husband may not be ideal. It may not be a 2nd wedding. But, the small moments matter. Be patient with him, but most importantly be patient with yourself. Love yourself for being a caring human being.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  14. Jane Smith

    Jane Smith Well-Known Member

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    OkRad, Noooo!! There is more to a relationship then sex. Hahahaha! xD

    I think the sex was just overwhelming. So he thought a lot about it afterwards.
     
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  15. Eden

    Eden Active Member

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    Aw, don't say that! Actually, we discussed his fears, and mine, several times before the sex happened.
     
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  16. Eden

    Eden Active Member

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    Thank you. That means alot especially today. ❤
     
  17. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I believe where you are making the error, is assuming that he "hid a secret" from you, when, in fact, it is COMPLETELY the opposite. We can say: I am angry or frightened etc ( just about), but to go further is like flounding in the dark and so often, it has got me in a lot of trouble, because of not being able to explain why I elt the way I do.

    The thing is, every single human being has "shortcomings". I mean: are you so "perfect" that you have nothing to work on? Because I can tell you now, it still takes two to make a marriage.

    My husband is very much like you in this regard. But he is learning. So, instead of saying: be back in a minute. He now says: will be 10 minutes and actually, this works for him too, because he is back in 10 minutes; whereas I would be waiting and he would be procrastinating and it would be an hour later!

    Like you, he has the NEED to feel loved; and it is true, that often he doesn't feel it from me, and like you, he hoped that being together officially would "improve" me; but it just confused me. When he told me to do things; it felt like a critisism and yet, he was dogmatic that he was not doing that; but advising me. But I was not able to say: well if you are advising me, why are you demanding? I just felt in the dark all the time.

    We all assume, I know that, but I also know it is a VERY distructive action, because assumtions are often very wrong.

    Please get back together to be a family and WORK TOGETHER and SHARE the responsibility of working together and stop thinking you need to "cure" him of "bad" habits.

    Coming here is great, because you get to speak with aspiess and in turn, hopefully see that we are normal people, who are the ones who have to struggle in the neurotypical world.

    Your husband needs his wife and his wife needs her husband.
     
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  18. Eden

    Eden Active Member

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    ^^^You've made some good points here, but you couldn't be more wrong about me wanting to cure him. I have an 13 yr old who was diagnosed at five, so this is not entirely new to me. I know there is no cure and and I love my son exactly as he is. And now that I have a clear picture of his dad, I can honestly say I love him as he is too. My frustration stems from my his uncertainty.

    Of course, we all have shortcomings, myself included. One of which is my need to feel loved; you are spot on about that -- something I work hard to overcome. Which is why I've been single for so long. Being in love makes me feel vulnerable and less confident now. The past marriage has left us both with scars and we're both afraid. Difference is, I think we can work through it...always thought that. Historically, he's been the one that has been hesitant to step outside his comfort zone.

    I do not blame him or feel he hid something from me. How could he hide something he didnt know about? I carried around some pain and resentment for years believing that he didnt fight for us, but most of that dissolved once I understood why. I simply did not know what I was up against; nor did he, really. And he never gave me any insight into his inner world until now. It's like night and day! We were first married in 2004. It's only 3 years ago he realized he's on the spectrum, after we divorced.

    AS or NT, it still takes two to make a relationship work. You say "a woman needs her husband and a husband needs his wife", but does he need me? I ask myself. As I've said, he's been relatively content being alone the last five years; he's gotten used to it. And he determined during these five years that he's probably not fit to be in a real relationship. He's told himself so many things. So I've pretty much turned his world upside down with the revelation that I still love him and want to reunite. He vacillates between excited and scared. And, although I believe he loves me, idk if that is enough to motivate him to dive into this again and risk failure. Does that make sense? These are things he's shared with me.

    So Im kinda just waiting for him to decide. It's hard and it doesn't feel good waiting to be chosen. Sometimes my ego kicks in and wants to just say eff it, but then I remind myself this situation is unique; he's unique.. But again, it's so hard!

    From what I've been reading here and elsewhere I see that decision making can be tough for some Aspies, and I know this to be true for him. In the past I could never understand why he agonized over things and never made a decision. He may just need time to decompartmentalize. My fear is that he'll think it over and decide he doesnt want this. :(

    I went to him this evening and told him that I don't want him to worry about me (he worries that he's hurting me) and just take the necessary space, that I'll be fine in the interim, that I really am trying to meet him where he lives.

    This is a perfect time to practice control over my emotions and detach a little and do my own thing. I have a tendency to give too much to my own detriment, and I'm having a hard time finding a balance between being understanding of his needs and not losing myself. If that makes sense.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  19. OkRad

    OkRad Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I didn't mean that to be a dig. It just kinda miffed me that he was all confounded and then, wow......but he is your love and I know how that can be :)

    One thing, never fear to love someone more than they love you. It's better to be harmed than to harm----that's an ancient maxim on virtue, but the other side of that is that if you love a lot and the other person is not on the same page, never curtail your own love.

    Yeah it hurts. I am unlovable, but I still love, so I am in terrible bind. I have fallen deeply in love, but only once because I am aware of it......but yikes that smarted. But I am glad I did...........

    He is lucky to be loved by you. Maybe one day he will see it. :) I pray and hope he does before it's too late!
     
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  20. OkRad

    OkRad Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Wow, you really nailed it, Suzanne! Your posts are always so clear and crisp and you never have a scrap of bs, even when the truth required brutal honesty. I wish I could be less fake. I still dance around and never get to the point. Grrrrrrr.

    I never thought about it that way. He was being honest, but to an NT (Eden, this is not a slam on you), our honesty looks like lies! Oh, I have had this so many times I cannot count and THAT is why I had to fake so many times.

    Eden, it is true, what Suzanne is saying. He may have been being honest.

    We are like mirrors of NTs. If you think we are lying, we probably just told you the truth. And if you think we told the truth, we may have had to say something false to make those we love happy.

    It is not a LIE, it is to stop all the confusion and not even on purpose. We are sensitive, not harsh. The idea we are harsh is simply untrue.

    This is a very interesting thread.................

    I could be flat wrong, but I am trying, too.
     
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