Looking to connect with others who can relate to my situation. In everything I read, I feel like my situation is unique, on the low percentage of incidences, and is just not the norm for those in these relationships. Everything I read is about autistic or aspergers males in relationships with females. I can barely find info on supporting females, especially wives or mothers, who are on the spectrum.
While I see similarities between the posts I see about AS husbands and with what I encounter with my wife, I have a number of differences that I don't know how to handle.
I met my wife about 14 years ago. When I met her, she had little to no self confidence, was almost feeling worthless and talked a decent talk sounding like she was suicidal, and was just in a really bad spot. Being that I had been involved in various counseling and support type environments for a while, I was able to make that connection where we would be able to talk, and she felt like she had someone by her side. As time went on, though, she didn't get better or happier; she became different...
As life went on, she became more and more frustrated that things weren't happening how she expected them to. I noticed more and more how upset she was getting when things didn't happen the way she expected them to. Whether it be following a recipe, following instructions on other things, or, the worst one, raising kids and reading things online on what the kids should or should not be doing at their specific ages. As we got married, she had lots of things on how our wedding should be, and it had to be her way, no compromise, no discussion. Afterwards, she had timelines on when and how we were having each child. They had to be girls (not like she had control over it, but she expected to), and they had to be specific years apart, etc.
The turning point in this whole thing was when my oldest daughter was a month or two old. She was having a fussy day, and my wife was getting more and more stressed because the book she would rely on said things to do, and they weren't working. She was looking up websites, and nothing was working. And she was completely stressed because the things she tried should have worked like the book said. At that point as I was working with her and trying to calm her down, she hit her breaking point and started screaming a ton (basically a large panic attack). Our dogs were barking, baby was screaming, and I'm trying to keep control over it all. Long story short, after my mother in law took over and I left for the evening to go to a chorus rehearsal (at my mother in laws request so I can calm down), I mentioned this whole situation to a buddy of mine who's a psychiatrist. As I described it all to him and he asked me more and more questions, he asked me if anyone had mentioned anything to me about autism in her. I said no, and he said that everything I described fits things with people on the spectrum. Came home that night and pulled up WebMD, and sure enough, out of the criteria listed in the DSM-IV, she didn't match one of them, but matched all the rest.
Here's where I am now stuck:
- As a mom, she is trying to control our kids. She's frustrated when they don't do things exactly as she thinks they should. She's mad that they have their own thoughts, their own ideas, and they don't just follow hers 100%. She has little positive connection with them, she just is wanting to mold them to be the exact way she wants them to be. She's incredibly angry and stressed with them
- She does the same thing to me. I'm not allowed to have my own thoughts or ideas, things have to go her way and I have to follow her rules 100%. Any time I do things differently, I get yelled at for not doing things right and screwing things up. I have to follow her rules completely and at times feel like I'm treated like a kid she has to parent, not her husband who is the one responsible for a lot of the things in her life and is an adult.
- She believes in being all natural, organic, etc. Over time, I've had to deal with her flexibility becoming smaller and smaller. It's not just natural and organic, its specific brands, only certain things, and has to meet a ton of requirements. It's gotten so bad that she will only drink water (and only give our kids water) that comes from a well that her friend has access to and gets purified treating it like it's the only clean source of water.
- She doesn't understand how actions cause reactions, how her emotions and mood affect those around her. She doesn't understand how what she does cause other things to occur. She very much lives in a victimized world where she feels that everyone is against her, and she doesn't understand how many times her actions, her reactions, and her emotions towards things are causing other things to happen. She tried to get me agitated, and as I walk away to avoid conflict, she pushes more. When I do react, she turns into a victim of someone attacking her with little to no real understanding that I am defending myself, not just flying off the handle for no reason with uncontrolled emotions.
- She doesn't sleep well at night, I don't believe she has a well balanced diet (especially since she is vegetarian, so she doesn't have good sources of protein), and she is CONSTANTLY stressed and unhappy. She cannot relax, the tv shows she watches are mostly things from the Lifetime channel where she's watching movies about women being victimized.
- The last one is the hardest one: she's an adult, but doesn't have the full capacity to take on adult responsibility. Worse, this all happened in figuring this out while she was an adult, not as a child. For her to get diagnosed properly, for her to get further support and more appropriate services, she is the one in charge of it all. I can't make these calls for her, I can't arrange it all for her. She has to be the one to do it. In her world, though, she thinks I'm the problem and she's just the victim of it. But, she's not thinking that she's any part of the issue at hand. And so because she's an adult, she has to take this on, and I feel helpless because people won't talk to me without getting her consent. And because she doesn't feel she's the problem, then things don't progress.
Without flying from the situation and divorcing her (which won't solve any problems, especially with my kids), how can I bring positive support into our marriage with someone who doesn't feel that she's any part of the problem because she's trying to make it go the way she wants, so it's our fault it isn't...