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Anyone else MARRIED to someone on the spectrum?...

I have a 3 year old son with Autism and that is why I orginally joined this group...but I also am married to someone on the spectrum, my husband has Aspergers. This combination is stressful, challenging and I'm feeling overwhelmed. Decided it was time to ask for help and advice. Can anyone out there relate to what I am going through and how do you deal with it? My husband has always been forgetful, quiet, obsessed with his hobby, uncomfortable in groups of people and detached emotionally, but with having a child with Autism he's gone into his own world even more to cope. I'm discouraged because I don't feel comfortable leaving our son alone with him since his focus is always on himself and he will forget he's watching him (dangerous since our son wanders) or gets angry with our son because he takes all negative behaviours personally (as an attack) and will react accordingly (getting physical when it's not necessary, could just put in time out or redirect, etc...). I'm working hard to implement several treatments for our son and have seen progress, giving me some hope...but each time his Dad is home he will regress. Our son is on the gluten / casein free diet, takes a variety of nutritional supplements (both of which have made a huge difference) and has a "sensory diet" and "behavioural plan" that I implement daily, as well as potty training (chart). I've explained to my husband the importance of being consistent and doing this with him when I'm not home, but he just brushes it off as no big deal and won't follow through and it does more harm than good to have him watch his son in many ways (but then I can't get a break to even take a shower, feel overwhelmed and exhausted). This has caused me a lot of stress and has turned into depression...could use some help, decided to give this a try. Thank you!

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Asked by jennyMOMof3 at 10:14 AM on Jul. 11, 2011 in Relationships

Level 2 (4 Credits)
Answers (3)
  • I know I've had the same concerns about my son, as Moms we all want the best for our children...I feel for you and appreciate your encouragement. The fact that I married someone with Aspergers without KNOWING that is what was going on with him till 21 years later is a good testimony that there is hope. I had known he was different, but I guess opposites attract and it didn't bother me much at first. Over the years though it put a strain on our marriage, I think if I would have been AWARE of his condition sooner it would have helped and instead of just seeing him as being a 'clueless, insensitive jerk' I would have realized it was just the way he thinks and it was nothing personal. After years of counseling he has just now gotten to the point where he can recognize that he should try to show compassion instead of anger & withdrawal, since he cannot cope with emotions...but still needs prompting. EVERY person is different though

    Comment by jennyMOMof3 (original poster) at 10:25 AM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • I just realized (as a Mom) that my last comment may have upset or offended people with children on the spectrum ~ please keep in mind that I am one of those Moms TOO and have a child that I pray someday can have an intimate marriage and successful career. I am AWARE though of my son's needs and am working to help him so that he can better cope in society, it's a challenge but there is hope...but it takes work/effort. The situation with my husband is different, he struggled through life with this condition NOT being aware of it and it's caused a lot of problems in relationships (mainly ours, but with jobs too). I realize that our son is developmentally delayed and can accept that easier than with my husband, it's hard to have 4 children instead of 3 children and a supportive husband...but that is how it feels to me. I'd recommend a book called, "Alone...together, How to make an Aspergers marriage work"

    Comment by jennyMOMof3 (original poster) at 10:42 AM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • I have 2 sons with autism and after all my research and learning about the spectrum I'm almost positive my ex is somewhere on the spectrum as well. Other professionals in the field have echoed my feelings. He would never agree to testing and vehemently denies that he has ASD. However, it was very difficult being married to him - a lot of it having to do with his need for consistency and routine, and feeling like the world revolved around him. I don't envy you at all. We did go to counseling where he refused to change anything and he said it was my problem to deal with it. We separated shortly after that.

    Answer by missanc at 1:44 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

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