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Trying to understand how best to support my undiagnosed ASD/PDA partner

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by Artemis, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. Artemis

    Artemis Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hello. I'm new here. I've read the forums many times during bad bouts with my partner, but today I finally decided I need to stop fooling myself and accept that this is real and that I need real help and perspective. My story and questions are intricate, so I think I'm going to post in a few different sections regarding different parts of my story.

    Will keep this post succinct, as more context is elsewhere in this forum about the complexities of our current relationship, but from my eyes. I wanted this post to really try and understand what I need to do to help my partner, I'm finding that my NT instincts are often wrong. When I want to reach out and caress he recoils. It took me a long time to even accept that.

    He hasn't been to a regular doctor or dentist in 3 years, and has been depressed for a little over 2 years now. He needs help and dammit, I'm trying so hard and he keeps telling me I've failed him and yesterday he said "some light of my life" as if I was a failure to him and our relationship. With as hard as I've been trying it really hurt. And I also know I can't help him, he has to help himself. Do you think he can he do that within the context of our relationship?

    I try and talk and he's cold, distant and pushes me away, I give him space, and eventually he comes back, but there is contempt, and yet he doesn't chose to leave, in fact will apologize in a very indirect way usually by playing a song with an apology in it when I come into the room. I think if I were to call him on that he would say the song wasn't really for me, but when I just make eye contact with him to acknowledge the song I can tell he did it on some level intentionally.

    How do I address a huge elephant in the room with someone who just doesn't want to look at it, or worse yet, blames me for making it evident? It like he says, yes it's my elephant—but, it's your fault for not knowing how to tiptoe around it.

    How the hell can I get through to him? Anyone here with demand avoidance? I think that makes the spectrum thing even harder for him, and for me to know how to actually get through to him. He's in a dark place, and I want to help, but he says I've already failed at that. It feels unconscionable to leave him alone at this point though, Thanks so much for any advice.
     
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  2. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Avoiding dealing with poor behavior (with anyone NT or ASD) can sometimes prolong or even encourage it. If he speaks in songs maybe use Nat King Cole's 'Straighten Up and Fly Right'.
     
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  3. Artemis

    Artemis Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thanks Tom, I appreciate that. Great song.

    Feel like I have tried to address the poor behavior, tough love, straight-talk, heart-to-hearts; I've done everything but kick him out of the house. Still somehow he gets mad at me. It's very confusing. I've been listening to "I dreamed a dream" from Les Mis, but not when he is around, he'd definitely see that as too dramatic. Will try your approach perhaps until I figure this out.
     
  4. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    I gave you my opinion of this relationship in the other thread on the topic. Why should it be your job to "support" him? And you don't even know for sure he is on the spectrum - although that still wouldn't make it your job to support a perpetual child.

    Yeah so he has depression. That's not your job either, even if he tells you it's all your fault. (What an extreme cop-out to avoid him having to take any responsibility.) Give him a list of therapists, tell him he needs help, and then stop being responsible for his dissatisfaction.
     
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  5. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You should probably tell him at this point, that he has failed himself and that it has little to do with you. That he needs to take responsibility for himself. That you can't do it for him. That you have been holding up your side of the relationship and he has not. And to stop the blaming behaviour. You might even suggest that only constructive criticism is allowed now. If he begins blaming, walk away, leave the room. When he learns to take responsibility for his actions, then you'll talk.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
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  6. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hey there. Read another of your posts. I would recommend seeing a therapist for yourself. You need to put yourself first and focus less on him. You aren’t superwoman and don’t have the energy to manage everything. If you can’t afford therapy, try codependents anonymous groups.

    I ended up breaking up with my bf and he later said he needed that - to be hit over the head with a sledgehammer.

    My friend is married to a man she believes might be undiagnosed. When she learned she was pregnant he decided to start a masters program and was never around. After the baby was born she had post- partum depression and was suicidal. She would beg him not to go to work and it was like talking to a wall. He just didn’t get it. He’s not a bad guy. She’s basically a single mom bc he doesn’t get that she needs help. That’s my interpretation, at least.
     
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  7. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    Really like the last post. l guess if you are a therapist or counselor, then this is up your alley. And cases like this probably take some time to get to the underlying factors of how he reacts to you. Also are you somewhat of a " l need to save you person", l have had my issues with that , and l don't wish to be that person. So l am nicely asking you, are you able to recognize this in yourself, and realise we maybe enabling these behaviours. Just a quick thought, truly hope you get to a better place.
     
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  8. Artemis

    Artemis Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Just a blanket reply here, because, yes—you all are helping me see how I contribute to this problem. I will say my last relationship (that lasted for about 8 years, oddly, or not) I didn't have any of these problems. In that relationship there was pretty much equal give and take. If anything I would love to feel pampered a bit. I would love random flowers, or a surprise dinner date night or jewelry or any kind of romantic gesture. I would love to know things are being taken care of. But, it stresses me out greatly when I let go and then realize, wow we ran out of toilet paper because I thought he would pick up on the fact that we needed it and he didn't. I wouldn't at all say I'm a "let me save you, rescue you" person at all; but not at all shirking from my responsibility for doing so in this particular relationship / dynamic.

    I think I'm a stubborn lover, and will fight to keep a good connection in tact if I can. And for all of my worry and complaining on these threads, there is a lot, A TON, I love and respect about him. He is so smart, so wickedly funny, has a beautiful voice and often sings in our home, is an amazing father—very attentive to our sons needs, is extremely wise, extremely talented creatively, and for the most part was always a sweet man to me.

    This depression has amplified all of the negative traits and I think he is in despair as well. He also had a close friend from college who he said was "like him" who committed suicide last August—it's been especially bad since then, which is also why I'm not about to abandon him without really trying everything I can to make this better and see this through. We are married, have a son, have shared everything—so obviously this isn't as simple as just walk away.

    But, the suggestions above are really focused on what I can control, and truly you're right, seems simple and easy to see, but couldn't see some of this for some reason. Again I think I do keep doing some of this though, but it's just the basics, paying bills on time, staying on top of household supplies and groceries—if I don't keep up with it all it just won't happen. We'll get late fees, or not be able to brush our teeth. So it's tricky to know where to pull back. I haven't cleaned the bathroom in over 2 months, as that doesn't impact anything really except it is gross, and I don't like living like that. But, you're right I need to stop looking at his issues, and start using that time to focus on myself.
     
  9. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    I agree with all of the "tough love" sentiments offered above. If your husband is, indeed, on the spectrum, it would be good to associate with other groups that are geared toward NT spouses. (You're still welcome here, too, of course.)

    Through that, you will start to get a sense of the "big picture" and you can be more "surgical" in your tough love. As others have said, you are not responsible for his problems, but spouses should encourage remedy where they can.