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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Marriage to a spouse with Aspergers?

Anyone here married to someone who may be on the spectrum? My wife has not been diagnosed, but it seems fairly obvious now that I have researched it in more detail. In fact, as my daughter and I discussed some home issues with my daughter's long term counselor, the counselor mentioned that my wife appears to have Aspergers.

To be specific, she has a difficult time showing emotions and empathy. She has serious issues with "her space". A hug of more than a second or two becomes "Okay, that's too much now", etc. She does not crave physical intimacy, and she really just doesn't show many emotions. She rarely says "I love you" unless I or my children say it first, and there's never any depth to the words. Not sure how to better desctribe that last part other than this.: If I look deep into her eyes and say "I love you so very much and you mean the world to me!" her reaponse is "Love you too" and that's pretty much it.

I discussed this with my wife and she agreed she probably does have it. Now, with that being said, we have been married 21 years, together for 23 years. It works for us. But, it's hard.

So, any others here in this boat? How do you work with your spouse? How do you not take it personally?

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 12:52 PM
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Re: Marriage to a spouse with Aspergers?

Deleted by a lesser ...

Post was not helpful..but was entertaining.

My reply post was off the mark....not accurate for TX-SC needs.

Firing from the hip...sometimes hits the wrong target. And the owner of that target gets the credit for your triggering impulse.

Hopefully, not seven shots out of a six-shooter.

People who fire for credit get my gist, my humor.

This....This is the nub of the stick that pokes me in the eye when the light of day energizes my optic nerve....SunCMars.... The Allegory of the Cave--> On this, I did a '180' and stepped out.

The Lion in Winter. Invictus..By Will, Shall... Saved from harm by my friends.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 01:30 PM
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Re: Marriage to a spouse with Aspergers?

@TX-SC I can't say that I've ever been in a relationship with someone with Aspberger's, and I don't think that I could be. I require a lot of physical touch and want to be close to my partner all the time, or as much as possible. (Which, fortunately, my guy is ok with, because he knows it's important to me.) And empathy is also very important to me, because I need to be heard and understood. Oddly enough, I get along very well with people with Aspberger's on a platonic level and enjoy their company--I think it is because they are less emotional, which makes them easier for me to deal with than other people.

Obviously, your wife's behavior isn't going to change, it's part of who she is. My best friend, whose brother has Aspberger's (with whom I get along with very well, he apparently likes me more than any of her other friends), says that she has to explicitly TELL him what she needs out of a particular exchange, like "I need a hug" or "I just need you to listen and be supportive." He's learned what some of the motions and the right things to say are, but primarily she's learned that she may love him, but he can't give her the same type of brotherly love and support that a brother without Aspberger's could. But she can better rely on him for other things. Like, when she got married, she was freaking out/having second thoughts beforehand and something went wrong with one of the vendors; he couldn't help with the freakout (I took care of that), but I was able to say to him, "I need you to go do X, Y, and Z to take care of the vendor thing." And he did it promptly and without any sense of panic.

I guess my point is this... being in a relationship with someone with Aspberger's isn't easy, because they have their limitations. I think that maybe you have to appreciate the strengths that come out of these limitations, and be direct in what you need. I bet your wife is really good in a crisis, and is really good at following "instructions." So, maybe what you have to do is emphasize the good and downplay the bad. If you can explain to her what your cues are and what you need when, maybe she can start acting on those cues so you don't have to prompt her all the time. They won't necessarily be genuine, emotional, empathetic reactions, but they will be authentic in that she is trying to meet your needs.

I hope someone else has more specific, experience-based advice for you.

~Happily un-married since December 9, 2013~
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 01:37 PM
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Re: Marriage to a spouse with Aspergers?

Thanks for posting this, my wife has all the symptoms you've talked about, definitely no empathy and no emotions and hates touching, difficulty controlling anger, paranoia, narcissism . Maybe she's got it to.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 01:44 PM
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Re: Marriage to a spouse with Aspergers?

The fact that your wife admitted the possibility of having Asperger s, is hopeful?

Only in the admission, not in any chance of "cure".

After marriage, while in the basement of your marriage, you reached into a hole and pulled out with what looked like an aberration, an anomaly.

You knew that this "thing" was unpleasant and that if you turned your back on it, tried to ignore "it", the revelation never went away. It remained and it remains unpleasant.

While in the Doctors office, it gained a name and a commonplace identity.

Unfortunately, naming is not a cure. Naming is nothing more than a validation of an unpleasant dread. A dread found in the basement of your mind...of your marriage.

This....This is the nub of the stick that pokes me in the eye when the light of day energizes my optic nerve....SunCMars.... The Allegory of the Cave--> On this, I did a '180' and stepped out.

The Lion in Winter. Invictus..By Will, Shall... Saved from harm by my friends.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 01:58 PM
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Re: Marriage to a spouse with Aspergers?

In post #2 I likened Asperger's and Spectrum Disorder to BPD. I added them all in a single jar and shook it up. My Bad.

Yes, they are all related to some degree. They originate in the brain [and in it's construction and it's functioning] and any variances, be they genetic, chemical, blood-brain-barrier chemical crossings, have some impact, some cross-fertilizing of adverse natures. Additive in harm and damage.

I probably over-used Alliteration and mixed up a toxic mess. One suitable for a trained psychiatrist, not an arm-chair babbler like me.

Sorry Folks...

This....This is the nub of the stick that pokes me in the eye when the light of day energizes my optic nerve....SunCMars.... The Allegory of the Cave--> On this, I did a '180' and stepped out.

The Lion in Winter. Invictus..By Will, Shall... Saved from harm by my friends.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 02:11 PM
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Re: Marriage to a spouse with Aspergers?

My ex is probably on the spectrum. Both of my boys are.

I honestly could not tolerate living with the man. We get along fine when it comes to almost everything but the children and a couple other things. His rigidity turned into constant power struggles and his upbringing deeply influenced who he was as a parent...and with 3 kids, there was no way in hell I would bring mine up like he was brought up. I was not like his mother who just smiled and laughed everything off while everything around her went to crap.

If it is tolerable for you, great. You have been married a long time and that is positive.

A lot of understanding is necessary that is for sure.


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 02:44 PM
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Re: Marriage to a spouse with Aspergers?

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 04:04 PM
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Re: Marriage to a spouse with Aspergers?

I sometimes think I have it myself.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 04:46 PM
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Re: Marriage to a spouse with Aspergers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TX-SC View Post
Anyone here married to someone who may be on the spectrum? My wife has not been diagnosed, but it seems fairly obvious now that I have researched it in more detail. In fact, as my daughter and I discussed some home issues with my daughter's long term counselor, the counselor mentioned that my wife appears to have Aspergers.

To be specific, she has a difficult time showing emotions and empathy. She has serious issues with "her space". A hug of more than a second or two becomes "Okay, that's too much now", etc. She does not crave physical intimacy, and she really just doesn't show many emotions. She rarely says "I love you" unless I or my children say it first, and there's never any depth to the words. Not sure how to better desctribe that last part other than this.: If I look deep into her eyes and say "I love you so very much and you mean the world to me!" her reaponse is "Love you too" and that's pretty much it.

I discussed this with my wife and she agreed she probably does have it. Now, with that being said, we have been married 21 years, together for 23 years. It works for us. But, it's hard.

So, any others here in this boat? How do you work with your spouse? How do you not take it personally?

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Oh, brother!

My wife and I have been together for 28 years.

It's not that they don't love us as strongly as we love them, it's just that they have difficulty expressing it, I think.

Does your wife have a sense of humour? Mine doesn't. Well, that's not strictly true. She doesn't understand jokes and will often ask for explanations as to why something is funny. (A little bit like Data in Star Trek NG.)

But if there is a report of a dreadful tragedy she will often laugh at it and upset people who can't see the funny side of the event. (To them there is no funny side.)

She can't multitask and sudden loud noises will send her into an instant and quite frightening rage.

And touching? Well, let's not go there!

She has a laser focus on what does and her studying is incredible as she generally obtains a degree in one to two years, rather than three to four. And she has an in depth knowledge of whatever subject she has studied.

On one occasion she did a course for fun in a very short timeframe and was shocked to receive a degree qualification when she had finished her course. In the fastest ever time, naturally!

She has several degrees, an MA and two Doctorates.

My wife has been diagnosed as a High Functioning Asperger's.


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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Marriage to a spouse with Aspergers?

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Oh, brother!

My wife and I have been together for 28 years.

It's not that they don't love us as strongly as we love them, it's just that they have difficulty expressing it, I think.

Does your wife have a sense of humour? Mine doesn't. Well, that's not strictly true. She doesn't understand jokes and will often ask for explanations as to why something is funny. (A little bit like Data in Star Trek NG.)

But if there is a report of a dreadful tragedy she will often laugh at it and upset people who can't see the funny side of the event. (To them there is no funny side.)

She can't multitask and sudden loud noises will send her into an instant and quite frightening rage.

And touching? Well, let's not go there!

She has a laser focus on what does and her studying is incredible as she generally obtains a degree in one to two years, rather than three to four. And she has an in depth knowledge of whatever subject she has studied.

On one occasion she did a course for fun in a very short timeframe and was shocked to receive a degree qualification when she had finished her course. In the fastest ever time, naturally!

She has several degrees, an MA and two Doctorates.

My wife has been diagnosed as a High Functioning Asperger's.
Thanks for the great reply Matt, and to SunC, and Feminist, and everyone else.

To answer some questions, yes she has a sense of humor but she doesn't show it often. My wife laughed at something at dinner the other night and my 15 year old said "Oh my God, mom's laughing!" Instead of laughing, she usually just smiles, but she does laugh occassionally. I believe she gets all of my corny "dad" jokes but simply doesn't find them all that amusing.

I don't shed a tear often, but sometimes after a particularly sad movie scene, I might get a little teary eyed. I have never seen her do so, except when her mother died.

My wife is very smart and is a software engineer. I don't think loud noises are her favorite, but she doesn't change moods over them. She does not like crowds but can handle them.

Honestly, all of these years I just thought she was introverted and not good at emotions. A few years ago, she mentioned that her two nephews were diagnosed with aspergers. I had never heard of it so she explained it. I thought no more about it until the counselor mentioned it. That's when I researched it and came to the conclusion that the counselor is probably right. But, even though she agrees she may have it, she has no interest in seeing her own counselor. I think she has a huge aversion to being told there might be something different about her. She takes it personally.

I am a very affectionate person and so my kids have to gravitate to me for that attention. Their mom rarely doles out hugs and "I love you" isn't overlly common. She is otherwise a great mother, but she just can't seem to fill THAT need. The counselor even mentioned that in our family, the roles are somewhat reversed. Where the mother is usually the more openly affectionate one and the dad more stoic, our roles are reversed.

The aversion to physical touch and words of affection are difficult for me, and for the kids. My two top love languages: physical touch and words of affirmation! sigh...

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 09:23 PM
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Re: Marriage to a spouse with Aspergers?

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Thanks for the great reply Matt, and to SunC, and Feminist, and everyone else.

To answer some questions, yes she has a sense of humor but she doesn't show it often. My wife laughed at something at dinner the other night and my 15 year old said "Oh my God, mom's laughing!" Instead of laughing, she usually just smiles, but she does laugh occassionally. I believe she gets all of my corny "dad" jokes but simply doesn't find them all that amusing.

I don't shed a tear often, but sometimes after a particularly sad movie scene, I might get a little teary eyed. I have never seen her do so, except when her mother died.

My wife is very smart and is a software engineer. I don't think loud noises are her favorite, but she doesn't change moods over them. She does not like crowds but can handle them.

Honestly, all of these years I just thought she was introverted and not good at emotions. A few years ago, she mentioned that her two nephews were diagnosed with aspergers. I had never heard of it so she explained it. I thought no more about it until the counselor mentioned it. That's when I researched it and came to the conclusion that the counselor is probably right. But, even though she agrees she may have it, she has no interest in seeing her own counselor. I think she has a huge aversion to being told there might be something different about her. She takes it personally.

I am a very affectionate person and so my kids have to gravitate to me for that attention. Their mom rarely doles out hugs and "I love you" isn't overlly common. She is otherwise a great mother, but she just can't seem to fill THAT need. The counselor even mentioned that in our family, the roles are somewhat reversed. Where the mother is usually the more openly affectionate one and the dad more stoic, our roles are reversed.

The aversion to physical touch and words of affection are difficult for me, and for the kids. My two top love languages: physical touch and words of affirmation! sigh...

Sent from my LG-US996 using Tapatalk
I have to remember not to suddenly touch my wife as it can freak her out.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 09:55 PM
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Re: Marriage to a spouse with Aspergers?

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I have to remember not to suddenly touch my wife as it can freak her out.
Join the club...

The no-touch mom is part of our family legend...
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Marriage to a spouse with Aspergers?

My wife doesn't mind being touched, but she certainly has a strong sense of space. Almost like claustrophobia.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 12:38 AM
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Cool Re: Marriage to a spouse with Aspergers?

Talking with my eldest son earlier tonight while we were minding the puppy together, with him having gotten his BA in a medical discipline, I asked him about what Asperger's actually entailed. And if it could be hereditary!

He told me that from the clinical standpoint, Asperger's was the marked inability to show or share loving or altruistic emotion toward other people. He went on to say that my youngest son might possibly have it as he is entirely that way. Notwithstanding, this young man graduated with honors from Texas A&M in Journalism, and has standing scholarship offers to attend Methodist seminary school, which he wants to defer because he had busted his butt in hitting the books for his BA!

Having said that, his mother, my first wife, is exactly the same way, feigning and resisting loving touch and emotion. Which posed the hereditary end of it ~ to which my eldest son said that it very well could be either a hereditary or a "learned" characteristic!

Let's just say that the "old man" certainly received a real primer on Asperger's earlier tonight and that I'm not redundant about it any more!

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