Originally Posted by Dice2mad
My question is to the moms married 10+ years to men with Aspergers:
Is it worth the heartache, loneliness and carrying the full load during the hard times?
Does it get easier?
How come when I know in my head why my husband does the things he does I still get mad and hurt?
My husband was diagnosed with Aspergers 2 years ago. We have an 8 month old baby who was pre-planned and the pregnancy was very high risk. For the last year and a half he has gotten progressively more angry and blames me for every hard thing and change in our life. He has completely withdrawn emotionally. I have to carry the financial, domestic and relationship load 100% by myself. We have decided to take a 6 month break so that I can decide if I have the strength, skills and emotional capacity to be his partner and so that he can cool down and decide if he wants to stay together.
I am devastated and need real life help from women who have faced this situation. Although others may offer ideas and hope, I am really just looking for advice from the women who have lived this life already and who can help me make an informed decision.
Because it is harder than anyone who has not lived it will ever really know.
Oh, goodness, yes! DH and I just celebrated our 10th anniversary last month and we have lived together for 13 years.
I don't think everyone is the same, but for us, it is so, so, SO worth it. My husband is my soulmate. I just don't think I could ever be happy with someone else. He's perfect for me. It took me a long time to figure it out, but I understand him now and he understands me. It has gotten easier for us. Like breathing. There is a flow I think we both have learned and everything works so well for us now.
You'll still feel mad and hurt when he does some things, but that's a normal part of relationships. You'll ALWAYS feel mad and hurt when you have a disagreement with your partner, no matter who it is. The good thing about Asperger is you know why it is happening and while you'll still get angry, I at least feel as though it makes it a lot easier to make up afterward once you get past the knee-jerk anger stage.
I know exactly how we (I) made it work, but I have no idea if this will work in every situation or even if it has anything to do with being with an Aspie partner. All I know is that I don't cry anymore. I never feel sad. I'm always happy, my husband is always happy, and we almost never fight at all now. The negativity is all gone and I feel like we could never be apart. I'm thrilled to be with him. This is all I know, so it's the only advice I can give.
First, I had to figure out a way to separate our domestic duties into something we could both handle. My husband was too overwhelmed trying to be a dad. He just can't do it. He doesn't like children and he's no good at it. This stressed him out and made him yell all the time. So we began a traditional, old-fashioned marriage. I know it's not right for everyone, but it works for us. My husband is the breadwinner. He has the job. He is the one who works. He makes the money, pays the bills and handles the finances. That's it. He doesn't do housework and he doesn't look after the children.
I quit working to take care of the kids full-time. I'm always here. He never has the kids. I also do pretty much all of the housework, though DH sometimes helps with things like carrying the laundry basket down the stairs so I don't trip with the baby, etc. He also mows the lawn and does any other job that would typically be considered "the man's" job.
This created a problem for us in one way: money. I was freaked out by finances. I had always handled my own finances and we had always both worked and finances were the #1 reason for upset in our marriage. I would get mad at DH's purchases. I would get so pissed at the way he would have four or five overdrafts for something as stupid as a pack of gum or a gallon of milk. I would be simply outraged by it.
I came to the conclusion that I either needed to just not care or we were going to get a divorce. I didn't want a divorce, so I stopped caring. I don't mean that in a negative way like I stopped caring about DH or our marriage. I mean that I stopped caring about money. It was SO HARD. It took almost a year before I was completely and entirely uncaring about money. At this point, if my husband came home and told me he had spent everything we had on a brand new car and then wrecked it on the way home with no insurance, I'd just shrug and say "meh." I totally do. Not. Care. And that has been what has saved our marriage. Whatever it is we would fight about, I do. Not. Care. He makes the money, he spends it how he wants to. I opened up a little craft business on the side and I take the money I earn on Etsy and use it to buy things for the kids.
Let me put it in perspective. We are poor. Really poor. Poor like you cannot believe. We have been homeless (before we had kids). We lived in a tent for a year. We rented a one-room efficiency when I had DD where the living room was the kitchen was the bedroom. Right now we are living in an abandoned house (which is actually not at all what it sounds like - it's a very, very nice house and we happen to have the approval of the previous owners who just abandoned it hoping the bank would take over though they never did). Still, we can't pay rent. We have to have welfare to survive and I could not care less. We are happy. My children are well cared for, my marriage is fantastic, we don't fight and I'm happy. Truly happy. I'm so happy every day. No amount of money is worth that.
Some women say they "have" to work, but you really don't. If you can find ways to just let go of the things you think are important that really are not, you'll find you're just happy all the time. Maybe it will only work for me in my particular marriage, but it might work for someone else, too.
Can you look at the things that really upset you and let them go? Whatever it is that gets you feeling tense like money or working or living in a certain situation and find a way to let it go? Just give it up? Yeah, you might have to be dirt-poor but is your marriage worth it? Is it worth it to just be happy? Giving up a second job and living like that seems unthinkable at first, but happiness is worth everything to me.