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Aspergers in adults

(42 Posts)
specki4eyes Fri 13-Sep-13 16:54:17

For 30 years my DH (soon to be ex DH) has been a mystery to me. His behaviour from the start of our relationship just didn't add up but I could never pinpoint the problem, because he is very clever at describing any problems which we have had, as my own fault. Recently, and by chance I read about Aspergers and my reaction was "That's him!" TO A T! I still feel that there is nothing I could have done because our relationship was never functioning as it should, but the problems were masked by our respective careers. It was only when we retired and were thrown together day in day out that I began to find the issues intolerable. Now we are going to part company and however much I try, I feel unable to condone his behaviour even though I strongly suspect there is a neurological cause for it.
We are having very heated debates at the moment about (his words) my attitude - but I find he is applying all his negative traits to me - I feel as though I'm in some sort of vortex, whirling around amongst complaints that I have levelled at him either privately or openly over many years. These debates aren't intended to draw us back together - they just seem to be initiated by him in order to justify himself. It is so weird. He exits the discussion looking smug and I am left in complete confusion!

Can anyone shed some light on this please?

JessM Fri 13-Sep-13 17:14:30

I don't think we can hazard a diagnosis over a forum, but there is a well known psychological process (psychoanalysts discovered it) called "projection" in which someone believes that someone else is having their feelings. My sympathies anyway - all sounds a bit familiar from my first marriage. The sooner you are apart, the better by the sounds of things.

Galen Fri 13-Sep-13 17:45:59

You aren't married to my next door neighbour are you?

Tegan Fri 13-Sep-13 17:55:53

specki; my ex used to say to me that I shouldn't be angry with him if he upset/hurt me because he didn't mean to hurt me by his words/actions etc.

Iam64 Fri 13-Sep-13 19:17:10

Asberger's is a different animal I think speci, though as Jess says we can't diagnose on a forum. It does sound like projection - or maybe just controlling behaviour?

specki4eyes Sat 14-Sep-13 09:08:00

Tegan - exactly! He has always done that, but he somehow blanks it when he has the same effect on other people. They of course can retire hurt, and then avoid him, but I haven't had that luxury.
Often times in the past he has asked, "we haven't seen so and so for ages, what HAVE you said to him/her?" Grrrr!! And like a daft puppy I dash to them and ask if I have offended them and they say "no specki, YOU haven't"

I'm not trying to say I'm a saint - I'm not, far from it - but in my opinion, diplomacy rules in all relationships whether casual, cyber or personal.

Tegan Sat 14-Sep-13 11:55:17

It's not going to happen because I can't bear to be in the same village as her [which I am sad] let alone have a conversation with her, but I'd love to ask the woman my ex left our marriage for how she felt living with him for several years. She eventually went back to her ex husband. I blamed myself for the break up of our marriage for years but the more I look back the more I realise how difficult he was to live with. I used to look at other peoples marriages and wonder why mine was so unhappy.

JessM Sat 14-Sep-13 12:15:14

tegan brew

Tegan Sat 14-Sep-13 12:53:51

I'm impossible to live with; but at least I acknowledge the fact smile.

HildaW Sat 14-Sep-13 13:45:00

Rationalising how someone else thinks is always going to be an upward slog. My father was a horrid husband and still is a dire father. All three of us have basically had to cut him out of our lives to save our sanity.
Everything was always someone else's fault for him - even when we were very young children and woe betide us if we tried to win at anything!
Having recently read about low grade psychopaths (supremely self-centred and narcissistic) that seemed to fit him to a tee too.
However, Specki, now that decisions have been made I'd be inclined to just emotionally walk away as soon as you can. You will just be perpetually trying to solve the problem of how he sees the world and (take it from me) that way madness lies. Its really a waste of time, far better to spend time helping yourself to see your future and to heal yourself. All the best.

Silverbirch Sat 14-Sep-13 15:36:39

Specki am so sorry that you are going through this. I feel for you. My son
who is 42 has this condition which is connected to Autism and it makes for very difficult relationships, as those suffering from it are unable to empathise
with others and often feel socially isolated. The very best of luck x

BerylBee Sat 14-Sep-13 19:47:34

I agree with HildaW.
Don't waste any more time trying to figure him out.
Focus on yourself. The best revenge is to live well.
((Specki))

specki4eyes Sat 14-Sep-13 21:37:38

Hilda Silver Beryl you are all so right of course - I must stop gnawing away at myself - he isn't losing a moment's sleep, naturally! Its only that I feel completely mystified by the fact that 30 years have passed in a semblance of normality. I now believe that I've actually spent most of those 30 years trying to find a way back to the heady, romantic days we shared at the beginning, whilst being systematically brainwashed into believing myself always at fault. The hoops that I have jumped through - backwards - in my attempts to make things better! The resentment I now feel over that is palpable. I WILL walk away emotionally, yes of course, but it is in my nature to conduct mental 'inquests' when trouble surfaces.

Tegan the disparaging anecdotes my H told of his first wife have always given me food for thought - i.e. I kept to myself a vague empathy and understanding with his ex, in the telling of them. I too would like to have a conversation with her but there would be no point because as our Gransnet friends urge - its time to move on.

Thank you all for you wise and kind words. brew

HildaW Sun 15-Sep-13 16:45:00

Speki4eyes....went through a divorce years ago and found myself wasting so much time doing the old 'why me' and the 'what ifs'. Try not to let the thoughts take over...do something practical. I found clearing out cupboards and decorating very useful.
I've recently read a book on Mindfulness and although I've not put too much of it in to practice as yet, I have found the idea that we should not let unpleasant thoughts swamp us, very useful. The book underlined the message that so many of these deep emotional thoughts we have are based on basic human chemistry....the flight or fight syndrome etc. Its something we all know but forget in times of stress. However, once you can recognise the bad thoughts as almost manufactured by our personalities and life experiences helped along by basic instincts and hormones, we can learn to almost ignore them.
Yes it is human nature to wonder why, but once you realise you are developing a boring pattern that gets you nowhere, then you need to say 'enough' and start to live.
Yes, I know its all very well other preaching, and can be so annoying, but at least you know a lot of us have gone through similar and kinda come out ok(ish). hmm

specki4eyes Sun 15-Sep-13 21:58:32

Hilda you are not preaching - of course not - your advice and experience is valuable to me. If you could see my diary at the moment, you would see that I truly am 'living' - choir, golf, tennis, painting, bridge, keeping in touch with my friends and their lives, not to mention making sure the house and garden will appeal when potential buyers visit.
The pensive moments and introspection surface when I'm alone - usually late at night - which is when I often check out Gransnet and do my posts.

What is the book you read? I could get it on my Kindle perhaps.

Faye Mon 16-Sep-13 01:12:35

specki I found affirmations helped me immensely when I was in the middle of separating from my Narcisstic ex partner of five years. I am happy, healthy, my heart is strong, blah blah blah. Every morning in the shower, driving to work, anywhere I said them and they did lift my spirits and made me more positive. My heart is strong was included because I truly thought I was going to have a heart attack from the stress he put me through. Everything was my fault, even though they were his decisions, he wouldn't listen to me, he was too clever, or so he thought. He was physically abusive and I was looking at losing everything I had.

I kicked myself for getting involved at first but now nearly three years after leaving him I don't think of him much, when I do it is only to wish him ill. smile

While your husband is still in your life it will be difficult to put him out of your mind. You do have lots to look forward to, it is the best feeling to get rid of a man who is just hard work. Good luck. flowers

HildaW Mon 16-Sep-13 10:01:40

Speki4eyes....sounds as if you are doing well, yes its those alone times that allow the thoughts to come crowding in...and they really can take over in a nanosecond!

The book I read was talked about on Gransnet - Its 'Mindfulness - a practical guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic world by Williams and Penman.
To be honest I also found a really brisk pounding walk one of the best 'treatments'. On the walks I would plan my future, sometimes rather impractically almost to the realms of fantasy. Turns out I was unwittingly doing the right thing as on reading the book it explained how much damage negative thoughts can do to your body chemistry and even pretend good thoughts give you a boost of the 'good' chemicals. To be honest deep down I think we know most of the thinking behind it, its just that at these hugely stressful times our rational brains go 'off line' as it were.
All the best.

specki4eyes Mon 16-Sep-13 16:01:47

Faye yes it is interesting how certain phrases can trigger something off. When I can't get off to sleep, the phrase, 'A warm bed on a winter's night' makes me drift away.

And Hilda I'm doing a fantasy in-detail design and refurbishment of a little house that I've inspected and liked. I've even chosen all the paint colours from F & B!!!

Bez Mon 16-Sep-13 16:21:38

Speckie - I PM'd you - to do with where we both live!

granoftwo Fri 21-Feb-14 22:36:14

Speki, When my grandson was diagnosed with Autism aged five, five years ago, my partner stated that he remembered acting like him when he was a child. We all stood open-mouthed and I had to say, what do you mean when you were a child, you still do it. Needless to say he thought I was joking.
Now that he has taken early retirement and we are together most of the time
I am finding it very difficult.He has all these various rituals and routines and does not like his daily routine disrupted. I am beginning to feel like an eighty year old instead of in my fifties. We look after our two grandsons and the younger one who starts school this year is even rebelling. He wants our grandson to do things his way if he is playing with him. I comment to him about the way he does various things but don't know how to approach it properly. If I say anything he has what I would describe as a tantrum !!
We don't have a social life anymore. However i am working part-time, that is keepimg me partly sane.

durhamjen Fri 21-Feb-14 23:42:30

If you look at www.autism.org.uk there is a link to an adult Aspergers site. It's very interesting.

alchemillamollis Sat 22-Feb-14 09:41:50

Someone I know is currently developing a website for people in neurodiverse relationships. It starts up at the beginning of March, and I can link to it here once it's up and running. Speki, all the issues you're having are completely typical, hence the need for a website to discuss them - otherwise it feels like you're going nuts! Anyone not living it won't believe the extent of it, or its effect on you.

durhamjen Sat 22-Feb-14 14:03:30

You also need to look at the autism.org website. At the moment there is something going through parliament to ensure that people with ASD, which now includes Aspergers have a chance of employment, but you need to get MPs to sign up to it.
I know mine will because she worked in education, with kids with learning difficulties, and is on the education sub-committee. But not all of them are as interested.

seaspirit Sat 22-Feb-14 16:18:20

thats a hard one, like Down's syndrome there is such a huge difference from good to impossible, you really do need an experts testing.

specki4eyes Sat 22-Feb-14 16:37:08

Oh dear granoftwo how I feel for you.. all those meaningless routines and desperately sad insistence that they are adhered to. A friend told me the other day that they could set their watches by our arrival at their house - it HAD to be exactly on the dot of the time we were invited. What she didn't know is that he would have been pacing the house manically for up to half an hour before we left in order to achieve this precise timetable. Any hold ups had to be factored in - these included potential problems like flat tyres, traffic lights, railway barriers....grrr!!
I have now divorced my AS husband of 30 years but he still manages to get to me. possibly because we are still living under the same roof until a buyer emerges for our house. The house is large and its not too difficult but he has now developed some kind of paranoia which results in him accusing me of plotting against him and sabotaging his personal effects. When I get angry at these ridiculous accusations he further accuses me of being "aggressive". I didn't know I knew so many words beginning with 'F'!! I'll be very interested in that website!