Emotional Abuse & Neglect Or Asperger’s Syndrome?

Over thirty years in a marriage which has been an emotional rollar coaster ride brought increasing confusion, loneliness, heart ache and a deep desire that someone could understand what my marriage consisted of behind the doors of our home.

“But he is a Christian!” too often echoed in my mind and my heart. The multitude of pleading prayers for God to show me where this problem was all my fault progressed into pleas for God to help my husband realize the errors of his ways…his sin. My growing impatience with his way of thinking and processing information and my questioning God for a reason why my husband would not ‘grow up’ became endless. My aging brought heightened intolerance for, and hurt by, my husband’s actions, lack of compassion and admitted turmoil in his mind which resulted in living with “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” with outbursts of anger and emotional distance.

“Seek and ye shall find…”. The Holy Spirit’s job is to lead us into all truth and He did that for me. In ways only God could have orchestrated, coupled with much reading with much prayer, I found peace—and disappointment—in realizing my husband has Asperger’s Syndrome. Disappointment? Yes, for with this understanding has come the realization that I must learn to cope: Because he will under no circumstances seek counsel I must learn what “coping” means for me.

With my understanding, and my meeting other wives with husbands who have Asperger’s Syndrome, I have a burden to bring information to other wives and families that will afford them understanding. I am now in the stage where I am trying to replace my intolerance with my husband with empathy as I learn how to better relate to, and deal with, a person with Asperger’s Syndrome.

The following is a good start for those who want to learn about Asperger’s and the web site has links to many good articles to enhance understanding.

–S.Michaels

Asperger’s Syndrome in Adults

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16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have created a Free Guide on Key Information about Emotional Abuse, both in Spanish and English, as well as some Videos and PowerPoint presentations, you may download them for free at http://www.abusoemocional.com/

    Hope they will help people stop and prevent emotional abuse.

    • Abuse is abuse and I’ve felt it for years. Now we go to a psychologist who specializes in Asp. couples where one person has it. Made a large difference in how we both think. Research and find one in your area! Now!

  2. Please, please don’t peg all of this on Asperger’s – it sounds like some of your husband’s issues stem from personality problems like passive aggression or narcissism. Calling those things Asperger’s does a huge disservice to those of us who work very hard on improving our interactions with others.

    For years after my dx, I did NOT seek help, b/c I’d heard about things people called “Asperger’s,” things that were cruel, disgusting, irresponsible. That’s not me, and I didn’t want to be grouped with that. Turns out it wasn’t Asperger’s at all, just people so glad to finally have a label that they’d leaped to presuming the diagnosis covered EVERYthing unpleasant they’d seen in the person they knew w/ the diagnosis.

  3. veganhunter,

    Thank you so much for your comments! I too dealt with this. I’m fairly certain my husband had Aspergers or a similar developmental disorder; however, I came to the conclusion it did not explain all his behavior and there was a distinct difference between abuse and Aspergers. It was not the Aspergers that led to our permanent parting.

    One thing I am actively seeking is more information about the combined tangle of the two. I am going into the profession of psychology in part because of this very issue. We’re finding not much is available. And partners need professional help. If spouses won’t go for help, their partners need assistance sorting out where to draw lines – what can they help with in working with a spouse with genuine different-ness and what is behavior that is just plain not acceptable and not part of Aspergers or a developmental disorder?

    — Danni

  4. I am a catholic Have been married for 25 yrs to a man I am convinced has aspergers syndrome. He wont agree with me and neither will his doctor.
    I am living a life of hell but he wont ask for the help I know he meeds.
    Our three children in their early twenties are aware that their father is not quite like a dad should be.
    I am 55 and things seem to be getting worse.Help.

    • Hi Lily!

      This is a very difficult situation. And you are right to be concerned! Sharon would like to “talk” to you about your situation by e-mail rather than in this open forum. Please e-mail her at nhwo@sbcglobal.net (New Hope’s primary e-mail address).

      The New Hope Team

    • Try to get him to take the online Aspergers Spectrum Quotient test and you take it too. It’s easy, free and kind of fun. It lead to my husband’s diagnosis of Asp. and now we see a psychologist. After years of feeling abused, I now know what is wrong. I am in shock but it’s a good shock as knowledge is power! Stay strong.:)

  5. I recently seperated from my husband of nearly 6 years due to mental/emotional/physical/spiritual abuse and his porn addiction. I wanted to be a good, Christian wife, but nothing I did made any changes, I left twice before, but then went back to try and live out my ‘spiritual calling’ as a wife. My husband would verbalize what he did was wrong, but the behavior never changed. I finally realized that I have been enableing him to continue in these behaviors and patters, and in order to be a helpmeet I needed to get us help! So far he has been submissive to our Church and says he wants reconcilliation, but sometimes it seems like he just doesnt get it – and sees himself as the victim. Yesterday someone suggested to him that he may have Aspergers… I’ve done some internet reading, and many things fit, but how do you tell when it’s Aspergers and when it’s just sinful choices and behavioral patterns? Who makes a diagnosis? Is this just another manipulation tactic he’s trying? He says he’s sorry and he sounds like it, but there isn’t any emotional evidence. I tell him this will take time, and he tells me that he wants to wait and work it out, and then he’s impatient. I am having a hard time letting go of all my anxiety and trusting God. Where do you draw the line?

    • Erin,

      The line can be hard to see clearly, especially when an issue like Aspberger’s is in the mix. If he can be officially evaluated, you may be able to get some professional insight into what the boundaries are between Aspberger’s and sinful flesh.

      Also, the Holy Spirit really is the best counselor of all. There is a difference between behaviors that result from the way someone is wired, and deeds of the flesh. Does he act different with you and at home than he does with everyone else? If he can control it elsewhere he can control it at home too. That’s one indicator of deeds of the flesh. But this is something that you pretty much have to discern over time, to see what changes of his spirit are transpiring. Is he living a life submitted to the Holy Spirit, in real relationship with God? That will affect his daily behavior, his attitude, and his heart – even though Aspberger’s specific behaviors patterns and needs may not be eliminated.

      — Danni

      • Thank you! And thank you to the makers of the website – it’s been very encouraging(although painful) to read. There is comfort in finding others with similar painful life experiences, and hope too. To God be the glory!

  6. Asperger’s is a problem that can lead to hopelessness. I think most people who don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior feel hopeless. Jesus is our great hope. I know what it is like to deal with Asperger’s syndrome, and how it can cause hopelessness to the person suffering from it and family members who live with it on a daily basis. You want to see the person be free from it with all your heart. I have a stirring in my heart to see my loved one free from it. But if you have asperger’s syndrome, don’t give up. Just believe in Jesus and he will help you. For those who have a loved one with asperger’s pray for a miracle because this disorder isn’t God-given. The person is a God’s creation, but the disorder isn’t…as it causes frustration and sadness.

  7. With all this new information about asperger’s, I am not sure where people are going to go with this. In the educational system, teachers will try to work with those who have asperger’s. But I am not sure how the world is going to respond to the asperger’s. With the way the economy is, people want people who are charismatic, and highly intelligent at the same time. Most people are average, and people who are highly intelligent, are usually not charismatic; however, there are some people who are both. I think it is frustrating to me to see that this condition is a stubborn one, and that it is lifelong, like rosacea for example. I am a person who likes to see healing and with it hope. I just wish that I could hear of cases where people were getting healing from Asperger’s. I think that it is okay to be different and have some quirks in your personality, but with asperger’s, there is a lot of negative things going on. It causes extreme frustration because the person is not able to communicate in healthy ways, and enjoy living in reality, not a fantasy world. This is particularly depressing and frustrating for someone who is married to a person with asperger’s or has a child with asperger’s. Asperger’s creates barriers. A person without asperger’s may really want to connect on a deep level with someone who has asperger’s but is unable to do so. That causes a lot of pain in a relationship-especially a marriage. I want to believe that the Holy Spirit could keep the person’s individuality in tact, but destroy the non-communicative, narcissitic, and destructive attributes of asperger’s. I believe that this is possible. But how do you convince a person with asperger’s to go all the way with the Holy Spirit when oftentimes, the asperger’s individual resists the Holy Spirit due to pride. I am sure that there are some people with asperger’s who are willing to seek Christ and humble themselves before Him; however, many aspergers do not. I don’t know if they can or if it is a matter of not wanting to. The confusing aspect of asperger’s is determining when the person cannot think a certain way or when the person refuses to think a certain way. There is definately an issue of how the asperger’s brain works; however, there seems to be a lot of pride connected to the person with asperger’s syndrome. Do demons take advantage of a person with asperger’s and create control issues and stubborness in the individual with asperger’s or what? So confusing? Just wish that God would work in my loved ones life and that a miracle would happen.

  8. ith all this new information about asperger’s, I am not sure where people are going to go with this. In the educational system, teachers will try to work with those who have asperger’s. But I am not sure how the world is going to respond to the asperger’s in the work place and socially, now that more and more light is being shed on this condition. In my opinion I don’t believe that accomodations are going to be made for people with asperger’s syndrome. People, who do not have loved ones who suffer with asperger’s, are not going to be sympathetic to the condition. It repells most people and people usually want to get away from someone with asperger’s if they have a choice in the matter.. With the way the economy is, people want people who are charismatic, and highly intelligent at the same time. Most people are average, and people who are highly intelligent, are usually not charismatic; however, there are some people who are both.

    I think it is frustrating to me to see that this condition is a stubborn one, and that it is lifelong, like rosacea for example. I am a person who likes to see healing and with it hope. I just wish that I could hear of cases where people were getting healed from Asperger’s even though it has a lot to do with how the brain is wired. I think that it is okay to be different and have some quirks in your personality, but with asperger’s, there are a lot of negative things going on. It causes extreme frustration because the person is not able to communicate in healthy ways, and enjoy living life separate from computers and/or his or her fantasy word.. This is particularly depressing and frustrating for someone who is married to a person with asperger’s or has a child with asperger’s. Asperger’s creates barriers. A person without asperger’s may really want to connect on a deep level with someone who has asperger’s but is unable to do so. God gives us a desire to connect with our spouses emotionally, spiritually and physically. It is almost impossible to connect to someone with asperger’s in normal ways, let alone deep ways. That causes a lot of pain in a relationship-especially a marriage. I want to believe that the Holy Spirit could keep the person’s individuality in tact, but destroy the non-communicative, narcissitic, and destructive attributes of asperger’s. I believe that this is possible. But how do you convince a person with asperger’s to go all the way with the Holy Spirit when oftentimes, the asperger’s individual resists the Holy Spirit due to pride. I am sure that there are some people with asperger’s who are willing to seek Christ and humble themselves before Him; however, many aspergers do not. I don’t know if people with asperger’s can submit to the Holy Spirit fully or if they can’t due to their non-compliant disorder issues. The confusing aspect of asperger’s is determining when the person cannot think a certain way or when the person refuses to think a certain way. Just getting an asperger’s person to have a nice conversation with interchange is a challenge. Oftentimes, they can’t engage in conversations where there is a real meaningful dialogue going on. And as result, it is hard to get close to them emotionally. There seems to be a lot of pride connected to the person with asperger’s syndrome. Do demons take advantage of a person with asperger’s and create control issues and stubborness in the individual with asperger’s or what? So confusing? Just wish that God would work in my loved ones life and that a miracle would happen.

    • Hello J, Your post was very informative because it is exactly the same behavioral patterns that I am currently trying to cope with in my marriage. We all want healthy, positive relationships that are pleasing to God. The very fact that we are able to decipher a loving and loveless relationship shows that we are craving healthy marriage relationships that thrive. When we are faced instead with selfishness, narcissism, verbal abuse, emotional detachment this can really affect us especially our children. I think we owe it to ourselves and our children to maintain our sanity and to maintain our healthy side – emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. We love our spouses but we must not allow their advanced intellectual capacity begin to manipulate and challenge our very definition of what love is and/ what it means to love. Love is not envious, or boastful and self-seeking. If these traits are consistent and repetitive it may be due to other issues such as sin overlaying the Asperger’s Syndrome. My husband is due for an evaluation but all signs point to Asperger’s syndrome. He is also Christian and I believe that irregardless of
      his neurological disorder, he is called as a Christian to do the right thing, the right way for the right reasons. The sin that overlays his Asperger’s, he excuses as a way of manipulating me into accepting sin into the marriage. I am feeling the effects after 8 years and really I believe that I am becoming Asperger’s from the cold, heartless behaviors I’ve been around for so very long. I am at an inner conflict for self-preservation. I plan to separate from my husband for fear of losing my mind to this disorder.

  9. I am also sharing my journey as a Christian wife and mom of aspies on my website called “Aspie Wife, Aspie Mom” at http://aspiewifeandmom.blogspot.com/

    My husband is a kind, faithful Christian man. But the emotional neglect I experience is very real and very painful. He does not intend to be hurtful. And he cannot comprehend that my unhappiness has anything to do with him because he knows he’s doing “all he knows how to do” to be loving.

    I hope that my blog will encourage other Christians along this journey.

    • You both need help and NOW. Find a psychologit in your area who specializes in Asp. couples where one person has Asp. Look online for this. Research. Abuse is abuse and it’s not fun. I’ve felt it for Years! Now we go to a psychologist who specializes in Asp. for adults and it has made a tremendous difference for both of us. Stay strong.:)


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