Open to suggestions - is this appropriate behaviour / what can i do? Desperate but separated wife...

Hoping for some rather desperate help please.

I am going to write about how I feel but try and keep it summarised (some of it is my opinion about my husband so please no one take it that I am being nasty or suggesting that anyone with aspergers displays 'mean' characteristics...I am struggling and  i am happy for any pointers at all.

My husband and I have been together for almost 20 years.  He has always been a little different. He doesnt really have friends, likes his own company and until 9 months ago drank very heavily every night.   He is a lot older than me and we began dating after I became his lodger.  We married 12 years ago and now have two amazing fairly little children.

There has always been what friends & family have described as a jealousy displayed to anyone who takes my time away from my husband.  I was young when we got together, quiet, and shy so was overwhelmed to find a man that seemed to just want me and only me all of the time.  We did everything together and did so - really to the exclusion of everyone else.

This seemed to work well.  The issue is when anyone else is around and seemed to get worse in lots of ways once i became pregnant.  The only way i can describe it is almost like a detachment.  only fairly slight but absolutely there.  Quite usual demands become a huge issue for him and even when i was in labour, i was reluctant to call him because i didn't want to disturb him at work.  He has some great qualities when there are no demands.  he has a great sense of humour, can be very romantic and he has become t total!!  He wont touch a drop of alcohol- super proud of him as after years of heavy drinking - he does have bad liver damage - which he has really started to reverse (i saw the consultants letter)  Well done him :)

Really bad sides are that my husband can become moody, wont make eye contact, he becomes stumbly, rigid in body language and sort of growls.  He will drive very fast as though he is in a computer game for instance - and although admittedly he has never crashed - we live in an area where there are horses, bicycles and lots of tourists dithering - so going fast is ridiculous as u never know what is around the corner!  For 20 years i thought i was car sick.  It was only when my husband left that i realised that i don't get car sick - I'm just frightened of husbands driving.  he would dismiss me when  i asked him to slow down as he would take it that iw as saying he was a bad driver.

 

It has chased friends away for years and it has only been as I approach my 40's that I have made older friends who either ignore it (but later say why was he so rude?)  or just arrange to meet me out sometimes so they don't have to see him.  For years i didnt have any friends (i thought i was un likeable) but  really it has come out that once they met my husband or tried to get the husbands together it all went horrible wrong!!    A few years on - I now have some great friends - who all seem to have the opinion that he treats me badly, lets me work far too much, get left with the kids, expected to arrange everything.  I don't necessarily agree...I just think that i find social situations and multi tasking easier so I am ok with doing the lions share of certain things.  He will state that he does everything himself and that i dont appreciate him.  I have been very open with him over the years and asked him what i can do to help or make things easier - it is never an easy conversation as he shuts down and i cant think of any other ways to ask / offer/  support.

He now has a job where he has to be sociable and polite at work dealing with patients and seems to get on better, as explained by him, when he gets a 'patter' and works in areas where although there may be unknown situations - they can all be fitted into certain 'boxes' so that he knows what the response may be.  I genuinely believe that he is excellent at what he does! and i know he is well regarded at work.

His work, however has wreaked havoc on home life as when he comes home he is absolutely drained.  He can not switch off from work and certain siutations go around and around his head.  His days off - he is still numb and cant seem to engage properly with family life.  He can for instance, take the kids out for a few hours if I have prepared and explained a routine but he often wont stick to it, gets angry at the kids and then they are upset, get out of sorts, kids are too wound up to sleep that eve  and then the following day is difficult too....

12 months ago he was in big trouble at work for doing something / saying something very very silly.  It was all dealt with and he apologised and could see what he had done wrong (but only after i talked it though with him over and over)  he was suspended from work for almost 3 months!  Not a good time.  It has really affected him and he has become quite fiesty and vindictive about it all - he is now in trouble again although i believe that the same person has really picked on him  - and nothing will come of it. i don't know full details because of confidentiality. This has of course, put a huge strain on him and his mental state although he pretends to laugh about it.

A while ago I was diagnosed with an illness that although non life threatening - affects pain levels and energy.  to begin with they thouight it was cancer so it was a bit stressful.   I do all i can to be well - sleep, lots of vitamins ,. positive attitude ( i don't have time or money for gym or spa or holidays or treatments but i garden when i have time and the kids and i are always out and about doing walks and the beach) I havn't found my husband very supportive - in fact i had comments about 'everthing being about me :(  I took this on board and tried hard to just smile and be ' ok' and focus on the kids.  This then promoted a few comments from him about me 'being a martyr'

He reads me totally wrongly.  If i make the wrong smile, he thinks i am initiating sex.  He then sort of leaps on me (bless him) and i feel smothered and struggle to get away.  This is understandably upsetting for him.  There seems to be no half way mark or compromise so for years ive just said nothing, then felt sick and cried after.  He doesn't notice / cant seem to pick up the cues.  He will sometimes accuse me of staring at him (ive checked with some friends and family about my own body language and they all laughed at me and told me to stop being manipulated by my husband)

For years I though i had a serious mental illness although have not been on anti depressants for years and years (might be worth noting that the type of illness that i was diagnosed with doesn't tend to go hand in hand with someone who can hold down a steady job and certainly you would need to medicated with anti psychotics and mood stabilisers for the rest of your life.  Of course - i could be really ill and trying to pretend that i am not or i may be in denial myself but i happily go to the docs and since we moved here 4 years ago - the doctors have been quite clear that they don't find mental illness evident in me and i have been fine.  They are adamant that i have fibromyalgia.

A few months ago my husbands behaviour became even stranger; wouldn't look at me, seemed extra twitchy with his phone, days off seem to disappear (id be at work as work shorter days and not as many hours - but i work from 9 until 5 most days and part of satudays - so he has time off in between.  He could never really tell me what he had done (i dont mean he was doing anything wrong ) but it literally seemd to be exercise, drinking coffee, and going to the beach.

On my 'day off'  i have the kids, activities, housework, animals etc etc - yes - it did seem to be a huge luxury that my husband could have this time to himself and yes, i was a bit resentful but i think he has aspergers so i understand that this time he needs on his own to re charge and just re collect his head.

It cant be easy for him in his 50's being a husband, a dad and working in a social environment.  He is clearly exhausted and finds day to day demands from a wife and all of the multi tasking and the working out how to please everyone very difficult.

6 weeks ago he walked out one evening and arrived at his parents house and has been there ever since.  He didn't really engage with me for two weeks apart from cursory about the kids and collecting them.  He wouldnt look at me and when he did he sort of had a disgusted look on his face (i may have read this wrong as he struggles with facial expressions and doesnt have many to choose from :(

A few days ago he tried to explain to me that I hadnt asked him to come back once.   No, i hadn't!  I have had to be super organised, looking at extra work, applying for benefits as i earn very low wages really, trying to keep the kids happy, not crying in front of them etc etc  I've had the car towed away as it broke down, we ran out of oil, had a broken boiler, my son shattered his foot - you couldn't make it up!   

 

I've held it together and didn't even look angry when my husbands comment was ' he just needed some rest and relaxation at his mum and dads'??

Would we ALL like some rest and relaxation?!  I honestly cant think ive had a proper night off in almost 10 years as there is always a child in the bed, or someone poorly or the cat brings in mice and always lots of jobs to do....isnt this family life?! 

Its now 6 weeks since he left and being honest - the house is happier.  I am more relaxed, i havn't felt sick, jumpy and worried.

The children LOVE their dad and he adores them and i could only praise his parenting skills - he is fun, silly with them and very protective (cant seem to see the bigger picture with some things but then again i can be overly anxious about things like fair rides so i am certainly not perfect.

I miss parts of his company.  he is totally unique!

but I am not sure how to move forward.

He wont accept the possibility of aspergers (he was horrified when i mentioned it as a possibility)  

I work with children with special education needs, my husband has aspergers in the family and also on my family side as well as a good friend so i am not at all funny about peoples brains being wired differently.  I think it is something i hopefully try and embrace but i actually dont know how to make this marriage work.

Has anyone got any practical suggestions or please might you share your story?  Id be hugely grateful ! x

  • I am not an expert in ANYONE'S Aspergers THAN MY OWN but I can share some observations

    Since all people on the autistic spectrum are individuals, one might get the impression that one's behavior and mannerisms would look just like a family members and that is not so. If his relatives on the spectum are not someone he would wish to be like he is off course offended by the idea of being on the spectrum. It is one reason that we ASD folks need to get to know each other. We come to see each other as individuals and that helps me to understand that while i may have the same diagnosis I am not like my uncle who seems to me very obnoxious or my grandson who is very young.

    For some reason people do not like to be sen as disabled and asd is an odd sort of thing where I am better than most people at many things and way worse at other things. How does one define that sort of condition? I don't know how to. Because it is called a disability , it allows a person to have accommodations. Labeling me can feel like i am accepting i am less than the non ASD people but that is not true. Humans tend to think in those ways.

    These are just observations.

    Since you have kids on the spectrum I assume they have a therapist of some sort, would their therapist be able to see you privately? They would be the best person to advise you. They could also point you to councilors who deal with aspergers in the marriage. Even if he refuses to consider a diagnosis you can still benefit from counseling. Who knows? He may not be on the spectrum. It seems like he might to me but I am no expert.

    I am more concerned about his drinking. Even if he is not presently drinking, his drinking has caused you some unhappiness. I am going to ask you to consider the possibility that you would benefit from Al-Anon. I am not saying he is alcoholic for that is a diagnosis too. But if his drinking has made your life difficult you may find real help in Al-Anon. I don't wish to, nor could i, say if you would benefit from it but i know my life has improved immensely. It is a very beautiful program and If you belong there you will know it after a few meetings. It may seem like one more thing for your to do list but I see no harm and much possible good from anyone attending a meeting.

    On both topics, asd and marriage and Al-Anon there is a lot of information out there. Al-Anon is free and you can read and listen to podcasts at http://al-anon.org/

    On asd and marriage try any bookstore or library.

    I wish you well and i hope i have not offended you

    Venting helps but real solutions may take time. Still, i find if matters are going in a good direction i have more ability to handles the ups and downs of life than if i am unsure if things are getting better or worse.

    Much luck to you

    Nora Gainey,
    Aspie woman with loads of asd family and alcoholic family whom I can love today thanks to many people both in and out of Al-Anon . I am very fortunate.
  • In reply to newnoz:

    Hope this posts I always get a it is not working message when i post here. Perhaps it does not world so good with linux OS