Wife with a Aspi husband - This is SO hard!!

Hi all,

I'm very new to this group, I literally just and this is my first post.

When I first married my husband I had no idea he had Asperger’s but I knew something was a-miss with him, I just figured we could eventually work it out. Now I’m 11 years into this marriage, we have kids and it seems to be getting worse instead of better.  It was my mother-in-law who is my husband’s step mother that told me that he has Asperger’s. She said he was diagnosed in HS but his father never told him that he was an Aspi. Consequently he doesn’t believe anything is wrong on his part and as far as I know he has never bothered to look into what Asperger’s is.

He has all the classic symptoms: Can’t give eye contact, emotionally immature, any criticism, concern or correction turns into a battle as if he was being attacked by an army of dragons out to take his life and I’m the queen leader of the dragons. We can’t communicate normally about anything…ever! He keeps information from me, big stuff and minor stuff, all of it. It gets in the way of raising our children, finances, everything, right down to the groceries!!  There is no intimate conversation between a husband and wife, no hugs unless instigated by me and even then it feels empty. No conflict resolution or discussion after the air settles from a fight which can take days or weeks just for the air to settle. We can’t go to a traditional marriage therapist who doesn’t understand the dynamic in a AS/NT relationship and I can’t seem to find one that specializes in it.

I’m at my wits end and don’t know where to turn for help. I’m not interested in walking out the door and blowing my family up because I’m angry or sad. I don’t believe in making life altering decisions in the height of an emotional outburst.  I know that I haven’t looked hard enough for help, which is what brought me to this site in the first place. I wish I could find a support group that I can go to physically as well as online but can’t seem to find any in the Phoenix area. But again, maybe I’m not looking hard enough.

I just need some input and help because I don’t know how to navigate these waters. I need other women and men who are in the same position to give me some insight. I need other Aspi’s to teach me how to get out of this place of stuck with my Aspi husband. I don’t need or want negative input, I have enough of that in my head already and certainly don’t need someone else’s negative input to fill more space. It’s heavy and it doesn’t feel good. So please, if you have something constructive to say, teach or a similar situation, I’m all ears and desperately seeking a marriage that has the potential of moving powerfully forward.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I’m grateful to have found this site as I have been asking the universe for help in a big way.

  • I know this thread is old. yet, I want to share a wonderful online support group for spouses of those with aspergers. It is out of the UK, but people from all over the world post to it. It is called Different together forum. Web address is ; different-together.co.uk
  • I know this thread is old.  yet, I want to share a wonderful online support group for spouses of those with aspergers. It is out of the UK, but people from all over the world post to it. It is called Different together forum. Web address is ; 

  • I know this thread is old.  yet, I want to share a wonderful online support group for spouses of those with aspergers. It is out of the UK, but people from all over the world post to it. It is called Different together forum. Web address is ; different-together.co.uk

  • In reply to ahasp:

    "Our counselor recommended that when we have discussions that are going down a road of conflict, to step away from the discussion and give each other some space, but to schedule a time to resolve our conflict." -- This sounds like excellent advice, if you can make it work for you. Just "stepping away" WITHOUT scheduling a time to resume the discussion leaves the other person hanging. Hopefully the approach of the scheduled time doesn't make you too anxious again.
  • Carol Horton wrote: "We can’t go to a traditional marriage therapist who doesn’t understand the dynamic in a AS/NT relationship and I can’t seem to find one that specializes in it. [...] I wish I could find a support group that I can go to physically as well as online but can’t seem to find any in the Phoenix area. But again, maybe I’m not looking hard enough."

    Googling "Phoenix autism," I find the Autism Society of Greater Phoenix, which does have support groups of various kinds. They don't have a support group specifically for spouses/partners of autistic adults, but they do have support groups "for everyone" as well as support groups for parents, etc. If you haven't tried this already, perhaps you could go to one of the "everyone" groups and see if you can them interested in starting a group for spouses/partners? They also have support groups for "Adults with High-Functioning Autism/Asperger’s"; perhaps you could eventually convince your husband to go to one of those?

    Also, perhaps someone at the Autism Society of Greater Phoenix might be able to refer you to a suitable couples counselor?

    You also wrote: "It was my mother-in-law who is my husband’s step mother that told me that he has Asperger’s. She said he was diagnosed in HS but his father never told him that he was an Aspi. Consequently he doesn’t believe anything is wrong on his part and as far as I know he has never bothered to look into what Asperger’s is."

    Is there any chance your mother-in-law, or better yet your father-in-law, would be able/willing to tell him now? (NOTE TO ALL PARENTS: The above is a good example of one of the many reasons why kids SHOULD be told their diagnosis!)

    You also wrote: "any criticism, concern or correction turns into a battle as if he was being attacked by an army of dragons out to take his life and I’m the queen leader of the dragons. We can’t communicate normally about anything…ever! He keeps information from me, big stuff and minor stuff, all of it. It gets in the way of raising our children, finances, everything, right down to the groceries!!"

    Such an extreme degree of defensiveness is NOT intrinsic to autism, although it may be common among autistic people because so many of us have had horrible experiences with being bullied and rejected. This is the kind of thing an ASD-aware couples counselor should be able to help you with. I hope you eventually find one.

    You also wrote: "No conflict resolution or discussion after the air settles from a fight which can take days or weeks just for the air to settle."

    Taking that long to recover from a fight may be a sign of untreated depression or other mood disorders. My boyfriend isn't like that normally, but was like that for a while during a time when he let his Prozac (anti-depressant) prescription lapse.
  • Hi there. I am in a second marriage . First failed after 22 years. Had three kids with him . Married an undiagnosed aspie almost 5 years ago and like u am looking for support as I am at my wits ends. I have started research books on NT and aspie marriages. Wondering of there are any good ones that may be helpful?
  • Hi there.  I am in a second marriage .  First failed after 22 years.   Had three kids with him .  Married an  undiagnosed aspie almost 5 years ago and like u am looking for support as I am at my wits ends.  I have started research books on NT and aspie marriages.   Wondering of there are any good ones that may be helpful?

  • In reply to Carol Horton:

    I can relate to the challenges. I have just been diagnosed with an urgent medical issue and waiting for the hospital to call . Being married to as aspie (who has not been diagnosed and thinks the rest of his family have problems on every level(words he uses) is difficult. Yeah when you marry someone is sickness and in health you do have expectations that when you get sick and you explain in detail how concerned you are that the matter is not brushed off. He is high functioning and seems to manage things quite well with friends and coworkers.
  • In reply to Legoking6399:

    My husband and I are also christians. I would enjoy having a conversation with you as it relates to a NT and aspie marriage. When my husband is unkind to others and I try to discuss some inappropriate things that he does based on what God's word says about treating others he only becomes defensive. It's as though he reads his bible but is not a doer of the word . An
  • I am also desperate for help, reading your post was very relatable. I am married to an aspie, we have three small children. He never got an official diagnosis but our marriage counselor brought the possibility of asd up in one of our sessions and encouraged me to read a few books on the matter. It was like reading about my own relationship, very accurate and while figuring this out was groundbreaking it was also unsettling. What now? He wont go to counseling anymore and I am trying to avoid leaving him at all costs, but I am frustrated, exhausted and emotionally lonely. While I am not super religious, I do like to pray about the matter because no one else seems to believe or understand. Good luck and take care of yourself and your family.
  • I am also desperate for help, reading your post was very relatable. I am married to an aspie, we have three small children. He never got an official diagnosis but our marriage counselor brought the possibility of asd up in one of our sessions and encouraged me to read a few books on the matter. It was like reading about my own relationship, very accurate and while figuring this out was groundbreaking it was also unsettling. What now? He wont go to counseling anymore and I am trying to avoid leaving him at all costs, but I am frustrated, exhausted and emotionally lonely. While I am not super religious, I do like to pray about the matter because no one else seems to believe or understand. Good luck and take care of yourself and your family.
  • I am also desperate for help, reading your post was very relatable. I am married to an aspie, we have three small children. He never got an official diagnosis but our marriage counselor brought the possibility of asd up in one of our sessions and encouraged me to read a few books on the matter. It was like reading about my own relationship, very accurate and while figuring this out was groundbreaking it was also unsettling. What now? He wont go to counseling anymore and I am trying to avoid leaving him at all costs, but I am frustrated, exhausted and emotionally lonely.  While I am not super religious, I do like to pray about the matter because no one else seems to believe or understand. Good luck and take care of yourself and your family.