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DH wants to separate

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Well, this is a complete shock to me.  I'm only 2 weeks postpartum and night before last, DH let me know that he is in complete at the end of his rope.  He has hit 50 and is feeling his midlife crisis.  His work has always been the most important thing to him and he is realizing that having a family is taking too much time and energy away from getting done what he want so do before he dies.  


He had been saying that after the baby came we really needed to talk about things.  I knew that he was burned out and needed to get back on track and reconnected to his inspiration.  But I didn't know that he was so frustrated and resentful in the relationship.  Of course, we have a lot of issues.  I complain way to much about my unmet needs (especially physical intimacy).  He feels that he has sacrificed a lot to meet my needs (especially having children which he describes as the biggest sacrifice of his life).  


The biggest issues, I think, is that I pulled back from working together with him in our business.  But it was so hard to work together.  He has such fixed ideas about how things should be that I felt there was no room for me to bring my ideas (without really big fights).  And I felt that my main value to him was what I could provide in the business.  I actually thought that things were getting better in our space together since I stepped out and let him take the lead completely.  Things got better for the business too when I stepped out of the way.  But it was the final straw for him, I guess.  


So, he feels that his need for undivided attention to his work isn't getting met. He also sees that my needs for relationship intimacy are not getting met.  He just feels that I should be free to find a relationship that will meet those needs.  It is so clear to him. Black and white.  


The problem with that is I don't want my needs met with just anyone.  He is the one that I want to have them met with.  We have been friends for 20 years and married for 11 years.  He has just been in my life for my whole adult life.  I love him so deeply.  Although there are a lot of surface issues that don't match up well, I have always felt that at the core spiritual/soul level we are really meant for each other.  


Well, I should be sleeping now.  I'm so exhausted from new baby lack of sleep and the emotional bomb that has just gone off in my life.  


I will say that he has agreed to wait until the end of the year before moving out or making a final decision, although it is pretty clear that his mind is made up.  (And I know that for someone with AS once something has been decided, it is a done deal.)  I am hoping for a miracle.  He is also willing to see a therapist so that we can work through some of the really most resentful feelings that we both have.  There are so many things that we just haven't been able to talk about because our thinking is so different.  I just didn't realize how much it had built up in him.  I just assumed that we would one day get around to dealing with them.  And, to be honest, I had given up on some things because it was just too hard to discuss.  We would just see things so differently and he just seemed unable to believe that my perception of things might be valid too.   I just didn't realize how much it was eating away at him (for years, I now learn).   His heart is hardened now.  


He says that he still loves me and cares about me.  But he also just wants to look objectively at the relationship and our needs.  He just doesn't think that our needs are compatible.  


His parents separated when he was a child.  So this isn't unfamiliar to him.  He didn't feel it really had an emotional impact on him, so he is a bit surprised that I'm so upset.  He is also really surprised that I'm so shocked.  He thought that there were really clear signs all along the way.  I really didn't get the clues, although looking back I can see them.  I just didn't know he was this far down the road. 


I felt so positive about us being able to make things work.  Getting the AS diagnosis was a huge shift for me.  It had allowed me to see him with new eyes and really appreciate so many things that I didn't before.  I felt that with understanding and compromise we would be able to make our marriage work out.  It would never look like a "normal" marriage (whatever that is), but it would still work.  


Perhaps there will be room for things to shift.  Maybe once he has his deep resentments heard and once he gets some more time and space things can begin to heal.  But that will take some really big miracles it feels like.  I'm so sad to feel like this is such an emotionally disconnected thing for him.  I feel so vulnerable right now.  I feel so sad to imagine my life without him as my partner.  I feel sad to thing of my girls growing up without their dad around the house.  


This has just caught me so off guard.  Please everyone, go tell your partners/spouses just all the ways that they DO meet your needs and how important they are to you.  I can see now that I spent too much time complaining about my needs not getting met instead of focusing on what needs were getting met and looking for positive ways to approach our challenges. 

post #2 of 8

MamaRuga, I read your post and it broke my heart, so even though I'm not a member of the group and don't have an Aspergers partner I wanted to post to give you a hug.gif. Take care of yourself mama. Enjoy your new baby and try to relax. Perhaps these next several months will bring some changes that turn things around. stillheart.gif

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks Cynthia.  I know that the next few months will be tough, but I'm sure that we will come out better on the other side... one way or another.  

post #4 of 8

Oh mama, I am so sorry. I really don't know what to say. I hope you guys can work it out. My husband and I went through a rough patch a few years ago and I was sure we were going to get a divorce, but things got better. Maybe things can get better for you guys too. I'm glad he's open to getting therapy. That in itself is a huge deal. sometimes it seems a lot harder when your partner doesn't want children because children are such a big deal and can put a strain on the relationship when one partner does not want children and the other one does. Children are a blessing, but it's different with an aspie.I hope you guys can figure out what works and come out better on the other side. Good luck and keep us posted. hug2.gifMy heart is breaking for you!

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks. At this point, things look pretty decided.  DH just doesn't want a romantic relationship, although he wants to continue our friendship.  There has just been too many years of feeling like he isn't living up to my hopes and needs.  It is pretty clear that we are a great match on a mind and spiritual level.  But the other levels of lovers/parents/practical world stuff just doesn't match up as well.  I had hoped to get the full package from him, but he can only give what he has to give.  I'm feeling better about it.  In a lot of ways, living with someone with AS is like being in an abusive relationship.  Not that he IS abusive.  It is just that I always walk on eggshells, wondering how today will be.  Will he be happy and easy to live with or will he be stressed and dress me down for any small little thing.  It will be nice to not have that and it will also be hopeful that my girls won't have that dynamic as their relationship "pattern".  


I'm really sad, still.  But I feel really hopeful that we are going to go through this well and still be really good friends.  DH just doesn't have the "relationship" groove well worn in his brain.  His parents split when he was a kid and he just didn't have healthy family patterns.  I think that if he had a better pattern growing up, he could have pulled a marriage off.  But without that background there seems to be little hope that he could do something different.  


I still do believe that it is possible to have a good AS/NT marriage.  It just takes both parties to want to make it work.  

post #6 of 8

I'm so sorry you guys couldn't make it work, but I'm glad you're able to come to terms with it. I can't imagine how hard this must be for you right now, but you're right in a lot of ways. Those are really good points. Are your girls taking it well? Or do they know yet?


I'm so sorry! So sorry that it came to this, but maybe it will end up being the very best thing for both of you after all. You never know. Good that you guys can be friends. :)


And if you ever want to talk, let me know. Sometimes you just need someone that understands. <3

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the offer to talk.  There aren't many people who really understand.  We haven't told our DD yet.  I'm not sure when DH will move out so we are waiting until closer to the time.  It is so odd around here.  We basically are the same family we have always been.  In fact, we leave tomorrow for our annual beach trip.  It may be our last all together, although DH wants to do vacations together in the future.  He has been really stepping up and making such an effort to be a great guy.  It kind of makes me wonder why he couldn't do that all of these years.  Not that he isn't a great guy usually, but he is just really really managing his temper and meltdowns more now.  


The bottom line is he just doesn't want to be in a family.  Said like that it really sounds harsh and self centered.  I write a lot of things off as AS.  It helps me to frame it in my mind as something not intentional.  But I don't think kids can do that.  I wonder what my older daughter (both of them eventually, but the older one will have memories of life before divorce) will think/feel when she learns one day that her daddy left because he didn't want a family and wanted his work instead.  That seems pretty bad.  It is one thing when parents split because they are fighting and can't get along.  It is another when one parent basically decides they just don't want to be with you and your mom anymore.  I would never tell her that, but eventually she will find out as she gets older.  


It just seems like he has no idea what he is doing, what an impact this will have on the whole course of the rest of our lives.  He just thinks he will move out and life will go on pretty much the same for all of us.  He can't understand the emotions that come with it.  It will be interesting to see what happens when we tell our DD1.  I wonder what impact her feelings will have on him. 


It is just so bazar.  I'm sure it will be ok, but it is just so strange right now. 

post #8 of 8

I'm so sorry. :( Maybe it'll turn out that he just needs a good long break and he'll realize once he's on his own that it's not what he thought it would be. Even aspies get lonely. It's so fantastic that he still wants to be in your lives, though, and do things together. That is really priceless in a separation. <3

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