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Featured My wife said can't spend the rest of her life with someone with autism.

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by Kuektal, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. Kuektal

    Kuektal Active Member

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    My step-daughter has autism. We spent a little over 3 years in and out of different therapies and school programs before getting to that diagnosis. We learned a lot along the way, including the near certainty that I have autism as well.

    My wife and I decided that I should get evaluated. I have self diagnosed at this point, but still want a professional opinion. I have an evaluation scheduled for next week.

    She has been acting very different towards me for the past couple weeks. For example, this morning I told my dad I would give him a ride to the beach tonight to spend time with his brother who is here from the other side of the country. I missed a call from him and noticed it about an hour before he had originally asked me to get him. My wife told me not to feel bad for missing his call. I jokingly said that I wished I had gotten it so that I might already be on my way home from the long drive.

    Her response was to say that "Oh yeah, you're self centered. You only think about yourself because you are autistic." As if offering to give my dad a ride was somehow a self-centered act. I gave her examples of when I wasn't self centered and she was willing to say that those examples weren't self centered, but that I was self centered regardless because of autism.

    Right before she went to sleep, she told me that she doesn't think she can handle being with me anymore because there were things about me she thought she could change, but now she doesn't think she can. She also told me that I was probably going to use autism as an excuse to get out of doing things or as an excuse for behavior.

    I have done so much for her and her children (my step-children), over the past few years that it boggles my mind how she could ever say that I'm self centered.

    I've been in love with this woman for 15 years and married to her for 3, but now that we are quite sure I have autism, she doesn't think she can be with me. I'm the same person I was before. What happened? Is this a common experience?
     
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  2. pax

    pax Well-Known Member

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    WTF? She's known you for 15 years and this is her attitude? Did she say the same thing to her daughter? I can't wrap my head around this.
     
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  3. Kuektal

    Kuektal Active Member

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    My guess is that she is in shock. Doesn't make any sense otherwise. The label seems to be the issue more than anything. Those are just my thoughts though. I know her very well and she is not like this person I described.
     
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  4. nowwhat

    nowwhat Well-Known Member

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    "Things she thought she could change.."

    There's your trouble right there. Her long-term commitment was dependent upon HER BEING ABLE TO CHANGE YOU???? Screw that noise.
     
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  5. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Took the words right out of my mouth. For her to have stuck with him for 12 years and married for 3...I can only surmise she may have an ulterior motive for wanting to leave the OP.

    I'd have a lot to say if this had been someone they met only months ago. But with this much time invested in a relationship and a child I find it hard to believe they would just realize it's autism and simply bail.

    The OP may be right though. It could be a manifestation of shock. Being overwhelmed not so much because of the marriage, but their autistic child. Perhaps in time she may be able to better deal with it all rather than do anything rash.
     
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  6. Kuektal

    Kuektal Active Member

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    Our marriage has been great up to this point. We started dating 15 years ago, but went our separate ways for awhile. She got married and had two children in the intervening years. We've been back together for 4 years and married for 3. Her family loves me. My family loves hers. I even get along great with her ex-husband. Things between her and I only got weird after she initially suggested I might have autism.
     
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  7. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Maybe going through marriage counseling can uncover what's really on her mind.

    Given how much time she's had invested in you it's difficult to seriously buy that your autism has suddenly become a "deal-breaker". She's essentially had to deal with it for years unless your perception of her is way, way off. But even then, the time factor makes even that hard to imagine.
     
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  8. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Most if not all of us would as well.

    Given this is a neurological condition, there are traits and behaviors we might be able to change if we truly have the will, and others which we cannot change at all no matter how much we may want to.

    I'd stick with the shock scenario for the timed being. See how things go and if she mellows out over time.

    The more I think about it, the more I believe this relates much more to her daughter. If this is the case, I think she needs to understand that a high-functioning adult recently diagnosed is a very different situation compared to a child. An autistic child has not yet had quite the same experience of being forced to coexist in a Neurotypical world over a long time and developed ways of dealing with it to get by. A big difference for your wife to think about. Though at least in my case, faking Neurotypical behavior to some extent is not the same as living it. Often an exhausting thing to do over so many hours a day.

    For what it's worth, I didn't even begin to unravel this mystery for myself until my mid fifties. Otherwise I've spent a lifetime of being misunderstood and mistreated by others, without getting a "free pass" or blaming it on being autistic. I'd be rather offended for much of anyone to compare my experience to that of a child.

    Just bear in mind we're people on the spectrum ourselves, and not medical professionals or social workers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
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  9. xudo

    xudo something V.I.P Member

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    Ok, so I'm going to be blunt. Partly because that's how I am, and partly because I am flabbergasted.

    She has basically realised that all of the things that she didn't/doesn't like about you or things that you do are likely down to ASD, which means that she is unlikely to be able to break you of these behaviours. She may have been willing to put up with these shortcomings (as she sees it) up until now, because in the back of her mind, she always thought that she would be able to change them.

    If there's an actual 'cause' for these behaviours and the like, then it's far less likely that she can change them and therefore she'd have to put up with them forever.

    This can just go f**k the f**k off. If anyone is using your having autism as an excuse for ANYTHING, it's her! You haven't even been for your appointment yet, and she's already using autism as an excuse to leave the relationship.

    Yes, you absolutely are the same person. What happened is she realised that you will always be the way that you are and she likely cannot change you as she sees fit. It sounds like she also just doesn't want to have to deal with the issues and behaviours that you may have (that obviously you've had the entire time) if they are caused by autism, rather than just being quirky things that you do.

    I'm sorry if I sound like a cow for all of this, but the way this woman is acting has made me irrationally angry. If you love someone, I do not understand how you could act like this.
     
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  10. Meg12

    Meg12 Strange Cat V.I.P Member

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    That's quite disturbing - hope she gets over it- it's who you are.
     
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  11. WereBear

    WereBear License to Weird V.I.P Member

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    Sounds like she is panicking under pressure. And I sense a lot of prejudice, besides.

    She doesn't seem to understand what autism IS, for one thing. She was happy to be involved with you all this time, sees how much everyone loves you and appreciates you caring for them, but one word, "autism," gets dropped into the mix and she is acting like someone who hasn't had these experiences.

    It reminds me of my growing up years in the Deep South, where there is rampant racial prejudice. I saw an incident where two people were very attracted to each other, and then one of the guy's friends, as a "joke," implied that she was bi-racial.

    The guy freaked out.

    She was the exact same person. His prejudices turned on him, and made him someone to be "less than," just because he liked her!

    Incredibly stupid, and, incredibly common.

    I would say she needs some form of counseling to realize how irrational her fears and prejudices are. Not only for your relationship, but her daughter, too.
     
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  12. Rich Gray

    Rich Gray Well-Known Member

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    [1] An excuse seeks to defend or justify. An excuse, by and large, has a negative connotation as if the excuse giver was trying to not take the blame for a stupid or malicious action that was carelessly or deliberately taken.

    [2] A reason or contributing factor does not always defend or justify an action. A reason or contributing factor just is. A reason seems to have a neutral or positive connotation. The term "I had a good reason" seems to have given the word a positive connotation.

    [3] People often seem to confuse a reason or a contributing factor for an excuse. Just simply trying to figure something out is seen as making an excuse by some. It is quite confusing. It is as if many people do not want to see or figure out underlying reasons for mistakes or motives (or perhaps anything). I do not understand how these people think, or learn.

    [4] Attempting to give any explanation for anything seems to confuse the jeepers out of many, many, people who think that any motive or explanation is an excuse.

    [5] I did X, because of Y. <----- This here is seen as an excuse by way too many people.

    [6] Not noticing someone giving a hint is not the same as being selfish. This is a valid reason, and is definitely not an excuse. This is not you attempting to justify doing something insulting using the skills of a snake-oil salesman. This is not you attempting to justify selling olive oil as a cure for cancer because it employed people and was good for the economy.

    [7] Thinking that using ASD as an excuse for missing social queues would be like getting mad at a blind person for not noticing your new haircut. That would be quite the jerk move.

    [8] For example: As a child I would gleefully get my mother a drink of water if she asked me directly. If she told me "a nice glass of water sounds good right about now" I would not have understood that as a request for me to get her water, just that she likes water, or was thinking about getting water. As a child I would have never said "I like candy", and expect to get candy. I would have said "May I please have some candy?"

    [9] I would not be a selfish kid in the water example above. The main contributing factor being my ASD. ASD is not an excuse (in the bad way), and I would not be a kid ignoring a request. I would be a kid not understanding the format of the request, and would not have seen the request as a request.

    [10] Perhaps this is what she is mentioning. She may think that you are using ASD as an excuse for missing social queues, while not understanding that you are impaired in noticing social queues.

    [11] Basically tell her that if she wants something, than she should ask for it directly. If she does not want to ask for it directly, then have her set up parameters so she can get what she wants in the future without asking directly. If she does not want to set up parameters to get what she wants, then she is not trying.

    [12] She likely needs to learn more about ASD. Many people ascribe notions of ASD that are crazy wrong. Educated folks tend to think that I must be some super-genius, and less educated folks tend to think that I must be a drooling dolt. I have been learning to not tell folks I hardly know that I have ASD, as many folks seem to think the latter.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
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  13. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    I am afraid it is quite common and it is called: a misconception of what autism is about.

    My husband is certainly not as bad as your wife ie wanting to get out of our relationship, but he does have this huge fear that I will use aspergers as a way to get out of things, which, as I pointed out: I haven't so far and so, why would I start now? It is an awakening; not an excuse to get away with being nasty etc ie my meltdowns is one thing he cannot cope with.

    He says things like: Is it your aspergers or just you being like this and so, ironically he gives me permission to act up, as he would put it. If it is your aspergers, then you can get away with it; but if it is you, then no way!

    Or: we all have things that we struggle with; what is so special about you?

    But, saying this, he seems to be able to deal with the fact it is just our brains are wired differently and rather conversily, he is great when it comes to other people. He says things like: you need to go up to Suzanne and wave the paper in her face and she will take note; because just calling me, does not get my attention, which has caused him to be distressed, as he will call out my name and because I do not answer, he does it louder and that prompts disapproving looks from others, so we both came up with a way that might work, and it does seem to work, but that is, of course, both of working together.

    It is very sad that your wife was the one who suggested you have autism and yet, behaving like this. Perhaps what she sees are two complicated ones in the family and is having a form of meltdown herself. So in her frustration she blurts out: oh for goodness sake, it is your aspergers again!

    It can only go two ways: she is willing to read up on what it all involves; or she isn't, in which case, the marriage will collapse.

    I hope it is the former.
     
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  14. Rich Gray

    Rich Gray Well-Known Member

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    My wife gets mad at me when after she talks for a while, I look up at her and say "Are you talking to me?" This reaction of her's is understandable. I just keep telling her to make sure to get my attention first (in my case I ask her to use my name, and wait for a reply). I can be lost in thought or I could be typing away debating someone on the internet.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
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  15. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately there's a social dynamic between Aspies and NTs that seems to come up a lot. An inability to differentiate between that which is psychological, and that which is neurological. The difference between that which may constitute "attitude" versus that which is "hard-wired" in our brains for which we have either limited control or none at all.

    The notion that "can't means won't" must be set aside. This isn't like being in the Marine Corps. Otherwise there will be endless conflicts and accusations of poor attitudes and excuses over things autistic people likely cannot control in whole or in part.

    And in the case of that for which one may have "limited" control, it becomes critical for their partner to understand where those specific and individual limits may begin and end. And not to use it as an excuse to berate their autistic partners of using it only as an excuse for behavior that doesn't meet Neurotypical social standards.

    Sadly the real dilemma remains fundamental and unchanged. That two different neurological profiles are unable to "get into each others' heads" to truly understand their conflicting thought processes. For such relationships to work, they must learn to take each others' word for what they can and cannot process. Otherwise continued skepticism is likely to degrade and eventually destroy such a relationship.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
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  16. WereBear

    WereBear License to Weird V.I.P Member

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    I can see why you have trouble getting dates. Thanks for insulting half the species! Won't see you later!
     
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  17. tree

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

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    Please keep the discussion civil.

    Forum Rules include the following:

    1. Insulting or personal attacks on other members is prohibited.
    2. Do not attempt to "flame", "troll" or bait other members into arguments.
    3. Racial, gender (sexist) and religious hatred/discrimination will not be tolerated.
     
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  18. AustinTheAspie

    AustinTheAspie Just Another Member

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    Sorry. Not trying to start anything, just voicing my opinion. I'm sorry if I came off as sexist, but the kind of crap OP is talking about really gets on my nerves. I'll leave the thread.
     
  19. xudo

    xudo something V.I.P Member

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    I know plenty of women who have had their heads played with and been taken advantage of by men, but none of them believe that this means that this means that all men are the same.

    That part that I put in bold really stuck out for me. Women who are genuinely interested in kind hearted men do exist. Maybe if you are only finding women who are attracted to 'bad boys' then you're looking in the wrong places.

    If you really feel that women on the whole aren't worth the trouble, than that's fine as it's your life but I don't think you should let the women who have let you down in the past put you off the entire female population.

    EDIT: while I was writing this some messages about keeping things civil were posted, so I realise I may not get a reply, and I wasn't trying to cause an issue...as like I said I was composing this as they were posted.
     
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  20. ksheehan88

    ksheehan88 :)

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    My opinion? You'll be well shot of her.

    The fact there were things about you she wanted to change would be enough for me to say, "Woah, don't think so".
     
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