Living With a Husband with Asperger’s Syndrome

A few people have asked me if my husband has been for counseling to be diagnosed by a professional? No. He has stated several times that he will leave before talking to anyone. And with my whole heart I believe if he did see a counselor he would go into the Asperger pretense mode and not be truthful. But my daddy always taught me “when it acts like a duck and quacks like a duck…it is a duck.” After much research…I am convinced my husband has Asperger’s Syndrome.

As I stated in another post, over many years I grew to believe I was experiencing pre-meditated emotional and verbal abuse. I have gone through the guiltiness phase of believing it was my fault. I grew up with a parent telling me “if you wouldn’t _________ your mother/father wouldn’t abuse you.” So, transferring this lie to my marriage was easy, painful and emotionally damaging.

The guilt phase is over. What phase am I in now? A wrenching tornado phase. What? I don’t even know if I can explain it.

In this over-50 stage of my life I am faced with trying to decide how to cope and be a helpmeet to my husband, set biblical boundaries for the way I am treated, give him his aloneness that Asperger’s demands without feeling rejected and ignored. I understand that this syndrome causes people to live by rigid rules in their thinking that, when changed for any reason, causes great upset to them. However, by nature daily life is full of changes, which causes great turmoil—frustration and, too often, anger for my husband, followed by a time of pouting.

I have recently found a measure of peace in knowing that all of the tidbits he has told me over the last several years concerning how he thinks and feels have an identity…a clinical name of Asperger’s Syndrome. Now, how do I manage life accordingly—cope? That question is a tornadic dilemma spinning in my heart. Do I become an Edith Bunker who somehow managed to live with Archie?

These web links gave me some answers. I am seeking God for His answers.
Families of Adults Affected by Asperger’s Syndrome
Asperger’s Syndrome in Adults

S. Michaels

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  1. Hello
    this is my story to the exact. I am a christian too who has a husband of 19 years with Aspergers and I am feeling so alone and have no where to turn. I went through all of what you described plus. This is horrible and destructive. Why didn’t I see it. I do want to honor God and not leave the marriage as well as be the helpmeet my husband needs. But I don’t know from day to day what to do. This stress has caused me to have cancer and many other stress related health problems. It has destroyed our only daughter. No one is out there to help us. All the help now a days is geared towards the children who suffer from Autism/Aspergers,not the thousands of families and adults who need help. Is anyone out there? Can anyone help?

    • WOW – to find someone else feeling how i do. I too am married to an aspergers – 19 years, he was diagnosed 5 years ago. I have had years of disappointment, shattered dreams, exhaustion from “trying” everything, denying myself of emotion/physical comfort. It has not been easy. He is a lovely man, he does love me he says, but this has been the lonliest 19 years of my life. We have three children and i thank God everyday they are neurolgically OK!! They have had a tough time growing up, needing a father yet finding a figure who can be very distant and very aggresive! As they get older i now tell them he is different, he does love them BUT… it is NOT easy, had i known 20 years ago i would not have gone down this road.. i am here now and i shrug my shoulders with grief. I thank God i wake up to a new day, try yet again to support my husband, try not to feel so alone and sad, to accept him for who he is and the strenghts he does have but it is truly hard and at the end of the day, smile and be glad another day has passed.

      • I know, but that is no way to live, is it? I feel it is my duty to stay, because there really is no actual reason to leave, how do you describe this? I know about the Cassandra syndrome and boy, that’s me. I am also financially trapped, we would both end up dirt poor. The thought of doing this another 10, 20 or even 30 years is unbelievable! There better be a heaven!

      • I have been married almost 22 years and it’s been soooo difficult. My husband was diagnosed about 2 years ago. At first I was relieved and excited with the diagnosis, but now am broken as I realize we will never have a “normal” marriage and he won’t change. Isn’t it hard to quit trying for that elusive, emotional connection? About 8 years ago I came down with Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia and have about 5 percent of the energy I used to have each day. That makes dealing with this even more difficult. I agree with the person who wrote that there better be a hea ven. I laughed when I read that because I’ve thought that so many times lol. Glad to know I’m not in this alone.

      • Hi, I understand. I am a Christian and lived with an Aspbergers husband for almost 20 years. The condition takes a very far reaching toll on the woman who was created for love and intimacy. I hear you trying to support your husband. Please be careful not to neglect yourself and your own personal needs as I did to some degree. It is imperative to your health and the health of your family that you care for and support yourself. Your children need to see your example of caring for yourself.

        With love,

        Jan

      • I have been married for 34 years and have wondered throughout that time if I was married to the world’s most self-obssessed man! My husband has not been diagnosed as he does not consider it necessary as there is nothing wrong with him the problem is with me, a conclusion I have come up against so many times over the years. I first became aware of aspergers during a counselling session after I had a breakdown, we were discussing my home life and I could see the counsellor getting more and more agitated and finally she announced that she thought aspergers was involved and when I looked on the internet there it was. Lack of eye contact, social ineptitude, anger, lack of communication and total tunnel vision for his business, but no vision for our family. I brought my son and daughter up telling them they had to know Daddy loved them as he would never be able to tell them because he was shy. They are now in their mid to late 20’s and they see right through it, neither has a relationship with their father and my daughter calls him an irrelevance in her life. Having found out about aspergers about 8 months ago I initially found it liberating at last answers to so many questions and finally knowing all the things I had been blamed for over the past 34 years were not my fault, but now I just feel trapped and disappointed, but I get up everyday knowing I have to make MY life within this marriage because if I left he would be completely alone and trust me I know how that feels.

        I am in remission mode at the moment, that’s the period after I have exploded because his behaviour has got to the point I cannot deal with any more, then he goes into overdrive loading the dishwasher, a trip to the cinema and actually answering the phone, of course, I know it won’t last, but the respite is glorious.

        I know life is getting a little harder with each passing year, but it keeps me on my toes looking for the next interest in my life to give me another reason to get out of bed each day. I keep myself busy and chatter to him about my day in the sure and certain knowledge he doesn’t give a damn, but I KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON! My one true sadness is for the children, they were denied a father and as much as I tried there were times when Mum just wasn’t enough and that really does leave me feeling overwhelmingly guilty.

        It is not all gloom and doom we do have a laugh and I have found that I can say NO to his more eccentric notions and mean it, I have found a way of dealing with the only emotion he has ever been really good at and that is anger, I simply, yes you’ve guessed it KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON, walking away works as well. Life isn’t perfect, but sometimes a week away at my brother’s in Cyprus has a very recuperative power, on my own I might add!

        If I knew when I met him what life would be like would I have signed on, I don’t know, but I would have liked the choice!

      • Dear Verina Hyland,

        I just ready your post and hope you will scroll down about half way down the page and read my post dated: “September 27, 2010 at 7:31 am Terry said: BE ENCOURAGED”

        Today I want to tell you that since last September there have been ups and downs, but I can see God working in my husband. The changes are subtle and gradual, but I KNOW without doubt that healing is going on in his brain. A creative miracle is taking place. Don’t give up. Know that there are many out here who love you and sympathize, but above all, ask God and then TRUST HIM.

        Yours in Christ,
        ~Terry

    • Hello, I am almost exactly where you are–perhaps a bit older–but otherwise the same. I don’t want to leave my crazy marriage because I love my husband and also we do not have the money to do so. I feel the same way: no one is out there to help us; all the help is geared toward children. You are the first wife I have talked to who has a husband with asperger’s. I have friends, but they don’t understand. Fortunately, my husband wants answers,too. We are retired and he seems to get worse and worse. Is that common?
      Does anybody know? I take it one day at a time, too, never knowing what’s down the road.

  2. Hello Pegschr.

    Thank you for writing to us. I have gleaned some good information in my search for answers to dealing with an adult with Asperger’s. I also joined a group for the wives of husbands with Asperger’s. It is not a Christian group but I have gleaned much information and help from reading the posts. The url is: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/AspergersAndOtherHalf/

    I also found a very good article that brings a lot of reasearch together concerning brain growth in AS people:

    http://www.dana.org/news/cerebrum/detail.aspx?id=2312

    I understand your frustration. Our children had a very difficult time with their father. I would love to communicate with you privately if you wish. Let me know if you would like my personal e-mail adress.

    Blessings,
    S.Michaels

    • Hello,
      Would you mind also “talking” to me? I am so angry! I can imagine living with someone who has had a stroke, or ended up in a wheelchair, but this, this is so different. My family has been so severely affected, my children dislike their dad, I am super alone, all but one couple wants to have us over, and because I can never have my girlfriends at my home, I have none. My parents are deceased, my brother and I are not close, all family we have is his, so I have no support system at all. If I had not promised my daughter ever to take my own life, there have been times that seems my only solution, since I cannot leave, ever.
      Anastasia

      • Oh Anastasia, i almost cried when i read your comment. You must be so broken hearted, even more so no having close family around you. Please know you are not alone in this – i also am going through such a dark tunnel of life i wonder if i will ever see daylight again.
        I cant offer any words of comfort except – when you close your eyes at the end of the day thank God the day is over and look forward to a new day when you wake up. Honestly – that does help a little :-)xx
        I struggle everyday as you no doubt do too. I’ve found a good site through facebook actually – asperger’s awareness page – and its great reading everyones comments on their lives. Look that up. Feel free to keep in touch if you like. I’m sure we can swap emails – or go on facebook.
        hugs – and do hang in there!
        Nicolaxxx

      • Anastasia, I can really relate to what you are saying. Today is the first day that I have had time to search the net about Asperger’s because just two days ago I came to the thought that maybe my husband has something like Asperger’s. There really can’t be any other explanation for how he is, I believe. And the lonliness is unbareable. I have become a desperate woman who tries to be out of the house as much as I can when he is home. And the paradox of not wanting to hurt the two people that I love the most, our children, but yet that has been totally unavoidable! I just wanted a family. And yet that has been too much to ask God for. That’s what I think in my worst moments, and have also thought many times that I would rather curl up and die! Or jump off the local bridge. Yet, wouldn’t we seal the lifelong pain of our beloved children that way? This is so tough.

        Sincerely,
        Sharon

  3. hello pegschr.just to let you know there are many in your situation – i’m just one of them!its been good to find this website and hopefully gain some help from a christian perspective because for me being a christian actually makes me feel worse about the whole aspie husband thing! guilt mainly that i want to leave him!!anyway my prayers and thoughts are with you,lizzie.

  4. I recommend dailystrength.org. It is helpful. I have been married to my AS husband for one year. You are all correct. It is excruciating. I am seeking help, also. I live in a rural area where help is not readily available. How does everyone cope?

  5. I am a Christian in exactly the same situation. The emotional and verbal abuse is paralyzing. I can’t stand it but don’t know what to do. Counseling has done nothing, and my husband is in denial of Aspergers and everything else. The affects on our children are what breaks my heart. After 24 years, this is like slow torture. I am going to check out the links for help. Getting through each day is not easy. Thanks.

    • I would like to just encourage you that emotional and verbal abuse are not Aspergers. Emotional and verbal abuse are deeds of the flesh and come from one source – the father of all the deeds of the flesh. Abuse and Aspergers can be seen as inseparable because they frequently appear together. But that is not because abuse is an affect of Aspergers. It is because people with Aspergers use their wiring as an excuse to let their flesh rule their behavior. And then the medical and support communities tend to give them both affirmation and license to do so. It can be very difficult to draw the lines when dealing with Aspergers; more than dealing with someone who doesn’t have Aspergers. But still it is not impossible and God promises wisdom if we ask, believing He will give it (James 1). God has hope for you!!!

      — Danni

      • It seems we have opened much dialog and a couple of “cans of worms” with this post. I privately received some responses to this post by Danni that I would like to share:

        Reader: TRULY frustrating. But for Danni to just say to someone that emotional and verbal abuse are not Aspergers, and that it is of the devil and they are “allowing” their flesh to rule their behaviour……that is flat out WRONG.

        s.michaels: I think you had better read her post again. She is absolutely right. If my husband can behave himself everywhere but home, and treat people kindly everywhere but home, it is a sin problem not an ingrained unchangeable behavior problem.

        Reader: I still contend, thru reading, praying and research, that there is MUCH verbal/emotional abuse that my A.S. husband doles out that he literally does not recognize as part of a ‘problem’.

        s.michaels: My Bible tells me that for the Christian the Holy Spirit leads and guides into all truth and empowers us to do right and enables us to be conformed to the image of God’s Son. The Bible does not leave room for excuses for bad behaviour towards one group of people in our lives…those that live in our home.

        Reader: TRULY frustrating. But for Danni to just say to someone that emotional and verbal abuse are not Aspergers, and that it is of the devil and they are “allowing” their flesh to rule their behaviour……that is flat out WRONG. For that statement to be true would mean an Aspie would have to acknowledge God, the devil and their behaviour in such a way as to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.

        s.michaels: First, after 40 years of marriage to an A.S. man I firmly believe what Danni said is Bible truth. God says we can do “all things” through Christ Who strengthens us and self-control is one of those “all things.” Again, why does someone with A.S. only seem to be out of control at home if it is a problem they cannot control? The Bible says a Christian is to be angry and sin not. Hurting other people is sin. Secondly, you said, “For that statement to be true would mean an Aspie would have to acknowledge God, the devil and their behaviour in such a way as to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.” Yes….just like they do at work, in the armed forces, when at church and when we don’t allow that behvavior. My A.S. husband may not feel any differently inside but after 37 years of marriage and verbal and emotional battering I convinced him I would not tolerate any more verbal or emotional abuse…ever!!! And I believe with God’s help he has taken responsibility about 90% of the time…responsibility at home for his tongue, anger, etc.

    • C. Larsen,
      I just have to say that your words hit the nail on the head in my home, too. We just had our 25th anniversary, and it makes me so sad to know that there are no feelings there, and my children have been the ones on the sacrificial block. I have gone to years of counsel with my wonderful pastor and friend. Counsel with my husband has not helped. He forgets as soon as the day is over. Never to be brought up again, ever, unless I bring it up. That is how it is with all subjects, big and small. I might as well talk to myself. I no longer waste my time even saying anything, really. I have hopes and plans for the future, and I really don’t want to have this situation deny my ability to LIVE a life. Then, I feel selfish for that thought too. Just what does God mean he says to deny yourself and pick up your cross daily?
      My husband chooses to spend every evening and a lot of his weekend time watching t.v. That also insures that he avoids thinking, apparently. It is very hard to have positive thoughts about him after all these painful, disappointing years. If he has something like this, that I guesss he could not help, that is something that I have to ponder.

      Sorry I am so long winded!
      Sharon

      • Firstly congratulations on 25 years – that is commitment. We have just done 18(haha and i’ve been writing 19!!) As much as life has been so horrible i still am glad to be together so our kids have two parents together. I hvae often struggled with whether i have done right by them in staying together and having them see a dysfunctional family but the alternative has far reaching consequences i believe.
        Yes it is hard to stay positive – I guess God has given us the stregnth and abilities to manage our marriages as i am sure with you there have been some wonderful times too. As for TV – my hubby from my point of view prefers to sit and watch that over anything else. It drives me to insanity.
        My heart goes out to you, the lonliness is almost unbearable isnt it nothing seems to fill that space our husbands are meant to fill :-( There is something out there for us (I dread the day my kids leave home as they are who i live for). I try to remind myself when things are horrible that my husband deserves and needs my love too, this is not his fault nor would he intentionally hurt any of us – it takes a bit of the ice off the situation. xx hugs to you and remember you are not alone out therexx

  6. My husband has Aspergers and he is in denial. We have two children together, one has full Autism, the other has Aspergers. He has a daughter from another relationship who has been confirmed Aspergers. We had genectic testing done and his test came back with defects, which are often found with people with AS. After all this he states he fine. He has 1 friend who he only talks to 4 times a year. He never harly talks to me, I feel so alone all the time. His communications skills are so horrible. Half the time I don’t understand what is it hes talking about. He is obsess with making money, saving money, where should we spend money…thats all he cares about!! I need help on how to deal with him….because I know I will have to leave this marriage..I am tried of feeling alone.

    • I completely understand how you feel. It is an impossible situation. I also deal with the obsession of the money issue. Everything is measured in terms of money, compulsively. I could have written everything you wrote. You can only take one day at a time, even sometimes an hour at a time. Try and build your life with friends and activities that validate you and make you feel productive. I believe in prayer and that you are loved by God and that is the most important love of all. That doesn’t help the lonliness, but find things everyday to enjoy – even it is as simple as the blue sky or a pretty flower you see. Look for the good in things and make that your focus, as much as you can. Try to give to others. That will make you feel better too. Do something for yourself everyday, even a little thing like really enjoying a cup of good coffee – or whatever it is you like. These are small suggestions, but they do help. You will know what to do with your future as time goes on. Believe me, I do understand!

    • My husband obsesses about money too. I am afraid to spend a penny. He makes me “please audit and return” our bank statements, and he questions what I spend and yet he will buy anything he wants. He always wants to save and make money. Yes, he is a good provider so there is that confusion I go through whether I should be complaining. I know you are tired. I am too. So exhausted of trying to make it work and feeling hopeless. I think this is the hardest thing to understand…my husband can seem like a nice person and yet he can hurt me so deeply in the next breath. There is just that umbrella of not ever feeling quite right and feeling irritated and angry because nothing ever feels really good. I understand.

  7. Dear Tangie, I think the links in the posts and comments above yours can be of great benefit to you. I also recommend that you look for an Aspie support group in your area. If you call local psychologists and/or mental health clinics in your area hopefully they can help you locate one.

    The feelings of loneliness I perfectly understand. I have been married to my husband for over 35 years and life has been challenging…and lonely since empty nest added to the situation.

    Our relationship has been better since I drew a line in the sand concerning how I will tolerate being treated and spoken to. I surprised myself and also told him that God wants us to have a quiet life and a quiet home, and since my name is on the mortgage papers and this home is half mine, I MUST have and WILL have a quiet home. I sat these boundaries and began reminding him of it and this has helped him to be mindful of his tongue and establish some peace in our home. As Danni wrote above: Asperger’s does not give a person a license to talk mean or be mean or vent their frustration on those around them.

    • Dear S. micheals….i admire your way of coping….we must have boundaries to protect ourselves…it helps us, other family members and our husbands, and it creates a more Godly life….This is what i want to do……
      I would like to get more details of practical ways to create a positive atmosphere for all my family members….my counselor just revealed to me that she thinks AS is my husbands problem….we have not told him or our grown kids yet….so i am trying to gather as much info as i can….so we can be ready to turn this into as much of a positive situation that we can, God willing…..on most sights, i am reading about the problems people have living with a person with AS…and i can identify with much of it……but i am looking to find practical, healthier ways of dealing with him …so as to not allow the anger, verbal abuse, put downs, and general negativity to greatly influence our home, as it has been for the last 10 years!….please share some more of your practical wisdom!

  8. Hello
    Through my research I figured out that my husband has Aspergers too. I understand everything that has been written so far. We may all have been writing about the same person. With that said I don’t want to focus too much on the negatives of this illness.

    They all have Aspergers in common, this is what we have in common;
    1. We all seem to be people of faith,
    2. We all married them
    That says a lot , they are obviously lovable people and they have good taste : )

    There are times that he has been so rude I wish in my heart that I could choke him and make him swallow those words. He has been so mean that I started crying. That is when I get on my knees and I pray. I pray for strength (to keep from choking him) to love him at the time he needs it most.

    When he gets lost -surfing the web or in books, or music and video games, I feel like I am all alone. So I join his world. I read a book beside him or watch him play a video game…. all the time being silent, so I have contact and he has space.

    I used to argue, or go to my mom’s house. Then I learned to do better. I made some rules out of love that have been working for us.
    1. We both never argue at the same time, we let the other person air out then give it a day or so.
    Usually I let him do his thing and think about the rubbish, then the next day I address it like the calm person I am.
    2. I put in a time out system. Sometimes the verbal attacks are too much, I cannot handle it, or
    he may be hitting below the belt. I call time out, and if he breaks it he gets house chores. ( I know kind of like a child but it works)
    3. I put the definition of love – Corinthians 13 – on the bathroom mirror. We talk about what
    it means to really love very often, he even started using it to stop arguments!

    I know it is not always easy dealing with them. When I tell him he has Aspergers he thinks I am teasing him, he will not accept it. I don’t know about your husbands but I have been watching him in situations outside the home without his knowledge…. He is socially awkward there too. Pray for them, love truly and see what happens.

  9. My husband (j)and I have been married 22years and we are christians. He has not been diagnosed asperges as he wouldn’t dream of going to the doctor he doesn’t think there is anything wrong. We have a 18 year old son who is off to university in October. He has been my rock. We have been both verbally abused, not physically. My son now copes with his negative ways and just lets it wash over him but I do wonder what damage it has done psychilogically. J and I have had chistian councelling with Ellel ministries, been to talk to our pastor and have had prayer, but he hasn’t changed. He is negative thinking, suspicious, set in his mind, hates changes, very stubborn in his thinking, unaware of other people’s emotions, unforgiving and basically keeps in his own safety zone. He’s not supported us financially as he makes excuses not to work but does a little gardening for the elderly and does a little housework. I work part time for learning disabilities so our financial support has come from my parents who worked hard as farmers.I’m not a confident person and his undermining ways has made me worse, I have become very unhappy and sinical and find it difficult to hope he will change. My faith is being tested.

    • Carole,
      I have been married for 22 years also. My oldest is 19 and getting ready to go to college away from home. He is my rock too! I am getting so frightened of what it will be like without him around to give me hugs and tell me he loves me. My father died who was my rock and now my son is going to go. I dont know what I will do. I feel so cranky and cynical too. I read in a book one time..If you get bit by a vampire you will become one too. I try to stay happy and true to my real personality..a very upbeat person, but around my husband and the pain of our relationship has made me almost change into a bore too. I feel like the real me is being overcome and Im slowly drifting away. This makes me really sad

  10. Does anyone have any positive experiences of being with an AS partner ? I was engaged to a man whom is a christian and has what I beleive to be AS. There have been some issues which caused me to call off the engagement and I am just wondering is it possible to overcome in this situation.

    • From S. Michaels:

      With all of my heart I believe every Christian can live in the ways God tells us to. Everything God tells a man concerning his relationship with his wife he CAN obey…whether he has A.S. or not.

      How can I say this? I have seen my husband do so when he is working on his relationship with the Lord. When he has taken a few steps back from the Lord he goes into his angry ways. And, let us remember that God says we are to control our anger and He never asks us to do something He will not enable us to do.

      • Same with my husband. When he gets on his knees and gets really in touch with God, he is so much nicer and pleasant, but then he falls away and he gets so cranky and depressed. I just walk on eggshells. Hate that. Im sick of it. I want things to get better and now after this discovery of AS,Im not hopeful.

    • I agree with S. Michaels but that depends on the AS spouse actually working on his relationship with the Lord. I find that my husband has an AS relationship with God. Albeit he is a good man and well intentioned. I think it also depends on the degree of AS within the spouse. One AS man can be totally different than another. Some only have traits while others more obvious. I can only say from my experience that you will have to make choices on what you can live with for the rest of your life. Although AS can learn tools to compensate for their defecits, there is no cure for that autistic-like disconnection, rigid routines and sensory sensitivities etc. Which means if you are the type of woman who likes to lie in bed with your mate at 3am and have pillow-talk, fliting and having him in-tuned with your deepest desires than…an AS spouse may not be for you.

  11. Hi,

    I’m really glad I found this site. I was searching for scriptures relating to emotional abuse. According to the information you provide and the other sites you reference, sounds like my husband is a good candidate for Aspergers. I suppose in someway it’s a relief that there could be a reason and that I didn’t marry the meanest most self-centered person alive. For me, I find myself here after growing up with a wonderful, amazing family that showed me nothing but love. My parents have been married for 57 years and when I talk to them about what is happening with my husband, they feel I am being abused and are concerned for my well-being. I feel I am being abused. Most importantly to me, what does God say? I like your advice of laying down the law. I have tried to reason with my husband and now understand why that hasn’t worked.

    My question for all of you is, does your husband go from very happy to very sad quickly or happy to frustrated or annoyed quickly? Or has your experience been mostly bad all the time? I ask because my husband can be kind, considerate and thoughtful and then in the blink of an eye..usually over something that I did that didn’t meet his rigid demands..I am 41 years old, we have been married for a little over a year, I own my own home and have been on my own for a while but i have modified every domestic household chore to meet the needs of my husband- from the way the towels are folded to the way I dust to the way I clean the bathroom and what I use to clean..

    Thanks for your help.

    • from S.Michaels:

      Yes my husband can swing from calm to angry in a split second…but he can also control it when he wants to or is around other people. So, this is not acceptable behavior.

    • My husband changes attitudes quickly too. That is whats so confusing. He can seem to be nice and all and then he can be so cruel and mean and self-centered..I think that when they feel uncomfortable they turn the table on us to disguise their fear. Like instead of saying that they dont like being with people they might say the “weddings are so boring..why would anyone want to do that?” Insults come a flyin…He often hurts me and then walks away and blames me or says he won’t address my nagging, etc. So he acts like Im the bad guy when I am only addressing his mean behavior toward me. My therapist told me to stop bailing out the sinking boat. Im working and he is watching me and doing nothing. He told me that Jesus is in the boat with me. I cried. Cleaning my house is a big area of pain. I work so hard and he is never satisfied.

  12. Wow, I stumbled upon this site while searching for support. I am married to a man with aspergers, we have been married for 19 years. I am on the verge of asking for a separation. I simply feel as if I cannot go on any longer like this. He has no emotional connection with me or our 4 children. He cant keep a job, lives in his own little world. Whats a Christian woman to do?

    • from S. Michaels:

      What is a Christian woman to do? I so encourage you to read the articles that Danni recommended by giving you a link.

      First, realize sooner than I did that AS people can control anger and meanness which are sin. God enables us to overcome sin in Jesus Christ. The brain wiring problem with AS people causes frustration for them but frustration need not be displayed in sinful actions.(My husband has told me about this frustration even though he does not know he has AS.)

      Second, set boundaries literally for your emotional and physical health and that of your children.

      Third, if your husband is in control by leaning on the Lord, then a wife needs to realize that they need the equipping of the Holy Spirit to be able to walk with unlovely/different/often frustrating people. And I have experienced that all of the Holy Spirit’s provisions for us needs to be searched and accepted as Scripture teaches them to afford God’s perfect peace in any adverse situation in life…especially a challenging marriage.

      • I agree and I say that if they arent mentally handicapped and are men of goodwill, then they should be able to control themselves. Please try communicating with NVC. It is the answer. Really. Check our cnvc.com

  13. I would very much like to converse personally with you. This morning I clicked about my husband (of 40 Years!) and his inability to connect or care about his family. It has been severely damaging to our children. We are believers but still the results of living with someone so unconcerned and self-absorbed have been devastating. My adult children think I have a screw loose by suggesting Dad has Asperger’s. But all my reading and 40 years of life “together-but-alone” convinces me that it’s true. Suggestions? Support groups?

    • Boy, I hear ya! Been married 35 years to a cold, distant, unempathetic, lying, genius. It has been so dreadful and I have been so alone especially with the empty nesting. Diagnosis 6 months ago! Going to counselor. Everything makes sense to me know but it is still sad. Counselor says I must think positiively, but he does not live with asp. husband. I’m still in shock. Wish there was a medication for it. Stay strong.:)

      • After being married for 30 years, I am about worn out and ready to give up. I so wanted to be a partner with a man who would love the Lord with all his heart. It is so painful to “go it alone” all these years and not know why he can’t share my sorrows, joys, passions. To try all of our lives to encourage him to connect with the kids. All I ever wanted to was to have a loving family and I worked so hard to keep our home happy and raised 4 children. Now we are all alone, the kids are all far away and I can hardly stand it. I am so lonely. I have lots of friends but it’s just not the same as family. I wonder why God allowed a very relational woman like me to marry a man like this and how I am supposed to be happy anyway. I have tried to do the right thing, keep trying, been through years of counseling with him, but I just feel like I’m at the end. I didn’t know how to set boundaries and now that I am trying, it doesn’t seem like he is capable of changing. It makes me so sad. I make enough money now that I could make it on my own but do I want to be truly alone …the thing is I really do love him so much…I think that makes it hurt all the more….

  14. (9) lonely says:
    Mary’s comments resonated with me.
    I’ve been married to my husband for 22 years, and have become increasingly depressed about the status of our relationship over time. My husband is a highly functional professional man; very nice and personable with most people, and an excellent athlete. As one friend describes him, “he’s a nerd, but a cute nerd”. When we married, people commented that we seemed like “such good friends”…We had children immediately, and I think we were pretty involved and distracted for the first 10 years.
    I remember becoming very saddened at the approach of our 10th anniversary…he didn’t seem to care. I started to realize that I was initiating all of our intimacy…I became aware of a deep sadness when I’d watch other couples, and notice how a husband would tenderly put his arm around his wife in church, or gently kiss a cheek in a restaurant. Mine never did such things.
    I started counseling, and he refused to go. When he found a counselor (male) with whom he felt comfortable, we started attending together. He always used the sessions to talk about how “good” he was. He never seemed to hear me. He was completely oblivious to my sadness.
    I started to notice more and more how he’d never introduce me to people. He didn’t keep in touch with any friends. He hated to commit to social events. He’d totally immerse himself in something, only to abandon it for something else a few years later. He’d research it, train in it, buy all the equipment, become an expert on it, then move on. Although he’s not mean to animals, he doesn’t become attached to our pets. He’s always uncomfortable in spaces, fussing and fidgeting. His sisters describe him as “totally anal”. He pontificates over the best place to sit in a theater, but will never take the lead in picking the seat, complaining after I take the initiative. After I was attacked by a stranger several years ago, he lacked the visceral response that the other neighbor men exhibited. He’s critical of his successful sons and intolerant of their social lives.
    For years I’ve felt I was too critical of him, but one of our very close friends who works with autistic children recently suggested that she thinks he has Aspergers. He’s so high functioning, I never dreamed it. I thought there was something unlovable about me.
    Are these just normal marital issues that I should still work through? Or, could it be Aspergers?
    I feel like such a failure. What do I do?

    • There is nothing wrong with you. You must start building your own life and caring for yourself more. I can relate to so many issues that you raised. I too have longed to feel loved and wanted. I am a committed Christian and wonder how I got myself attached to someone who in incapable of returning love. He is a highly respected professional with a vital missing piece : a heart. Sometimes I feel I am living with a wooden and empty shell. I feel so much for you because I know what you are going through.

      • Wow ….how I have said those same words and didn’t know why…felt like he has no heart, married to a stone. Didn’t feel much when his father died. He is such a “nice” steady guy. Everyone thinks he is so kind but I am so lonely. I have felt like I was the one with the problem for so long. Now I keep wondering if I’d be happier if I left him and was alone…or even dream of having another chance to fall in love and have a warm relationship with a healthy man.

    • I cant take this. Everyone sounds like they are married to my husband. I have never blogged before, I think thats what this is right? Im just blown away that you are all describing my husband. Sorry to be so freaked out, but wow. I am hoping he doesn’t find this some how and get really mad at me. I dont know whether to tell him everything or should I just seek help secretly from a specialist? He will laugh at me and make me look crazy, but I am so sure because of your comments that I am very accurate.

      • Definitely seek help for yourself. You will need a lot of support in coping with Asp. It is one lonely road and you need all the help you can get. A good counselor could help your husband if he went, but finding an Asp. specialist is rare. Good luck.:)

      • Ditto.. it’s sad but true isn’t it? They all have such similar traits. Ever heard of the Cassandra Syndrome?

        “Cassandra” comes from a Greek myth and refers to a prophet who was cursed with never being believed. You can find more information here about the Cassandra story and the actual characteristics that were attributed to Cassandra and Apollo in classical mythology. I’ve quoted a short excerpt (which is fair use under US copyright law) from the book below:

        “This feeling of not being believed is typical of how many NTs feel when living with a person with undiagnosed Asperger Syndrome.

        Over the years the terminology for the effect of Cassandra has changed. Before Cassandra it was referred to as the mirror syndrome by the Families of Adults Affected by Asperger Syndrome (FAAAS) and then referred to as the Cassandra phenomenon (Rodman 2003). Terminology has since progressed from Cassandra affective disorder and now more appropriately Cassandra affective. The Cassandra phenomenon was first made public at the Families of Adults Affected by Asperger Syndrome (FAAAS) conference in 2003 as Cassandra affective disorder (CAD) (Aston 2003b) and finally Cassandra affective deprivation disorder (CADD) (Aston 2007).

        http://www.wellsphere.com/autism-autism-spectrum-article/a-brief-history-of-cassandra/742925

        http://www.maxineaston.co.uk/cassandra/healing.shtml

  15. Have you all thought that what you are describing as Asperguers could also be a mild case of Bipolar or what is called Bipolar II?

  16. I have been married for less than 2 years. I am 30 years old and recently discovered that my husband has Aspergers. Our marital therapist shared her clinical impression of him. He is self-absorbed, intensely devoted about his work, has social anxiety, becomes angry quickly, adheres to a strict and specific routine and is suspicious. He is unconcerned for my feelings and often dismisses me when I attempt to communicate my needs. I am very sad and lonely. He seems to not really care how I feel. Although he admits that he fits the profile of Aspergers, he will not allow me to tell anyone. I am devastated that my marriage is so dysfunctional. I also wanted to discuss the issue of intimacy since no other person seems to have brought it up. I am a fit and “attractive” young woman and my husband seems minimally interested in being physically intimate with me. Does any one have a similar problem?

    • How did you find out that he had Aspergers? I had to be told by a friend who has known us for years, who cares about our family, and who works with Aspergers kids.
      Did he admit it in therapy? Did he find out on his own?
      Were you in counseling together?
      Our marriage counselor would only admit to me that my husband was “insulated, not very “relational”, and “oblivious”. He never used the “A” Word.
      He assured me that I was not lacking anything as a wife. Why didn’t he come out and say anything? I know they aren’t supposed to diagnose in couples therapy, but still. I’ve felt like such a disaster for so long.

      • Hi Elizabeth. My husband and I go to the same individual therapist and she gave me her own opinion on his diagnosis. He took a self test after I spoke to him about it. He agreed to the diagnosis and admits that he fits the criteria. I don’t know if it helps that he knows or admits to it. It’s hard and I feel for you since I know just how you feel…..I keep wondering if this something that was placed in my life for a reason.

        We have to remember that we deserve to be treated with respect, love and care. I keep sating that everytime he says or does something that is out of line or inconsiderate.

        As for your couple therapist, I don’t see why he can’t give his clinical impression about your husband. How can you treat someone;s symptoms or behaviors if you don;t have a proper diagnosis? Take care Elizabeth and remember some days are better than others.

    • From what I have read, it goes one way or the other. Intimacy is all the time, or not at all. I have gone over this time and time again with my aspie (who falls into the not at all category)and time and time again I have been ignored. He says it’s just not important to him. As with all things, the fact that it is important to me does not matter. Of course reassuring me that there is nothing wrong with me, would also be far too much to hope for. It often leaves me feeling like his maid and/or roommate. More truthful is that it ALWAYS leaves me feeling that way. I have read and read and read books, blogs, etc….. My only question, from me to a man with aspergers, is what is YOUR definition of love?

    • Hi,

      I think my husband has asperger’s although he has not been officially diagnosed. We have been married for 8 years and throughout those 8 years I feel like we never emotionally connected. I lead an independent life and I have learned not to depend on him. We are more like friends than lovers. Sometimes I do wonder whether it would be different with someone who is able to connect on an emotional level. It is a very lonely feeling being married to someone who has asperger’s. But he is incapable of dishonesty and disloyalty. He has a temper and he is verbally and emotionally abusive. I have learned to shake it off whenever he loses it but I have lost any feelings I have for him. In it’s place is compassion and friendship. He rarely needs to be sexually intimate and he sleeps in the living room. It is very much like being with a housemate. I am really not sure how long I can live like this. But I take it one day at a time.

      • I have been married to my husband for 12 years and have been struggling with the lack of emotional connection and from that has come my lack of desire for physical intimacy with him. We are in counseling, but I sometimes feel like I am talking to a brick wall as nothing sinks in and he repeats the same mistakes over and over when it comes to not meeting my “emotional needs” even if I tell him exactly what to do. What I have found helpful with getting him to understand is using concrete examples to explain my feelings like “I can’t keep giving without feeling something in return. You need to give me praise like I do to you. The source that gives must always be replenished…for a pitcher that pours four glasses can not pour for more until it is refilled.” I still struggle every day but we have children that have been our focus and I dread the day they no longer need me.

  17. Hi Marie,

    My husband also seemed to be minimally interested in physical intimacy. He was always very “coy” about sexual intimacy, to the point that it made me feel “bad” for having feelings for him. I always had to initiate our physical contact. We had two children…after 10 years I started feeling lost and neglected, and begged him to see a counselor. He wasn’t interested, and asked me “why I just couldn’t be happy”. I went by myself, only to be told that there wasn’t much that could be done unless he would join me. Eventually, we found a male counselor with whom he felt comfortable. We went through 2 years of therapy, and things got a little better, but then flatlined again. I became resigned to make things work, even though our counselor advised me that “resignation would be a death sentence”.
    We’ve now been married 22 years. He is completely lost in his own world, and doesn’t touch me at all. I’ve wrestled with leaving him, but realize that, even though I’m not sure I love him anymore, I know that I love what we have created together…our family, our home, our friends. I’m praying to have gratitude for the good that has come of our union, and am trying to find a way to move forward with my life feeling as sad and lonely as I do now that our sons have left home.
    I have taken a job in another city where I live during the week and come home on weekends. I’m working on a higher degree. I am busy, but lonely for intimacy. When I come home, I feel like I’m a maid.
    I think that too many people bail on their marriages too soon. That said, if you don’t have children yet, and are truly unhappy after 2 years of marriage, I’d seriously consider your options. You both deserve happiness. I wound up in a painful affair that hurt everyone. I wish I’d faced everything before this happened. I think my husband could have lived a happy life without being married had I allowed it. Instead, I hurt him and our children.
    Pray, pray, pray.

    • You wrote: I became resigned to make things work, even though our counselor advised me that “resignation would be a death sentence”.

      I lived that way for years and I still fall into that ditch too often if I don’t catch myself.

      Years ago a wise pastor gave me advice concerning my abusive mother: She planted a thistle garden in our relationship from the day I was born. She never weeded it or replanted it. In her old age she expected we should have a beautiful rose garden relationship. My pastor told me I was killing myself trying to make it happen and feeling guilty because I couldn’t. I had forgiven her but he well-said that forgiveness and fellowship are NOT the same thing.

      s.michaels

      • So, what have you done with your marriage?
        Have you gone on living in it, without resignation? Or, did you leave so that you wouldn’t be resigned to a life that was poisoning you?

      • Well, I dont know where to begin..Im soo sad and so desperate and so frustrated and now so validated. I dont know whether to feel better or worse. Im not alone and Im not crazy..good. Im sad because I know that my future doesnt look so good living with someone who will never really make me feel the way I want…loved, valid, precious..
        I could write a book. I will share my story too I guess. I also MUST SHARE a VERY helpful way to talk with our aspie husbands.
        God is at work and He alone has saved me. After reading all these comments, like others, I feel like we are all living with the same man. ie. I call my husband a “mountain” that I cannot move, a piece of wood with no feelings, mean, cruel, self centered, arrogant, know it all, poor listerer, invalidating, heartless. I always said that I feel like he shoots me with a gun and then complains that Im hurt and wants me to stop nagging and complaining. Or I say that I feel run over by a car that he is driving and he is complaining about me. I fear that one day I will be on my death bed and he will look at his watch and tell me to hurry up he has to go to work. That breaks my heart in fear. I hate him in so many ways and feel guilty for it. I want the pain to stop and no counseling works. He just says they dont know what they are talking about and we stop going. He denies everything. So many times I would cry and say I want to die to escape the pain I was feeling, I would never do that, just acknowledge that death would be a relief as the pain would stop. I hate myself for acting crazy when he hurts me and I cry or like one person said “Want to choke him to make the words stop.” God forgive me I have had my hands around his neck and made myself stop. The guilt is so awful.
        We have 5 children. They are who I fight about the most. I always have to protect them. My one daughter and him fight physically. I am worried that she has some symptoms too. She is very loving tho, so Im not sure.
        I have been married for 22 years and I ask myself “Why did I do this” He was a jerk when we dated. I thought that he would change and not be selfish once we got married.
        Do your husbands pop all your joy bubbles? Joy sucker. I used to smile all the time. I love to sing and be happy. I am an outgoing, funloving, emotional person who loves to hug friends and give to everybody. I live with a man who never got me anniversary gifts, valentine gifts, never decorated the Christmas tree, etc. Critical of everything I do so I stop doing it. I have lost myself in so many ways. Im angry that he has changed me. I fight for myself but I am getting worn out. I too have been very sick for about 5 years. My adrenal glands got so bad that I was regularly passing out and throwing up and finally I made him separate. 6 months he was gone. I got a lot of relief emotionally.
        Gosh, Im writing the book. Im so sorry. I just need to vent. There has been one miracle that happened for us. I prayed for God to give him wisdom and as I was praying at 6 am, my husband called me crying and surrendering to me. We talked for 4 hours on the phone and he didnt interrupt me once~!!!! Miracle!! Then for two weeks my marriage was new. I loved him and I felt loved by him!! He even looked different physically. It was weird and wonderful. Sad, because I got what other people always got and I had missed 22 years…anyway this is the thing I must share. My husband had a spiritual breakthrough. It was God and only God. All things are possible with God..and I hang on to that for dear life. 2nd..Pray for wisdom…3rd go on this website to learn to communicate. CNVC.com. Learn NONVIOLENT COMMUNICATION..it is the key to a chance to possibly getting our needs met. Its simple and it works when we use it. Our men cant feel empathy and they may never..so this communication puts everything into simple terms that they can chose to respond to without feeling forced..(I also call him a “Control freak) please just check it out. My husband treats me the best when I use this way of communicating. They dont need to feel empathy to address us. They dont have to guess or do what they are incapable of..I think it is lifechanging for us spouses. My husband doesnt understand me unless he feels the feelings firsthand, therefore when I TELL him what I observe him doing and then TELL him how I feel factually, then ask him if he would be willing to do such and such ..all he needs is to be of goodwill to do it. He then meets my needs and feels in control and doesnt feel stressed out. Praise God.
        I saw the coming attration for the movie “Adam” It made me look as AS because it reminded me of Sam and NVC. The girl had to tell me him to give her a hug and he was willing. I hope this has made some sense to someone out there.
        I will stop now. I beg you to forgive me for my longwindedness. I am sending love and prayers to all of you. We are sisters and daughters of a loving Father. My dad was a precious loving man and he is in heaven now too.. I miss him so much. He filled the gap for my husband and after he died I felt the weight of emotional abandonement. Please pray for me.

        Jeanne

  18. Thank you Elizabeth. I really appreciate your advice. i am trying to be patient and give him a chance to try and cooperate. i realize that my marriage will never be what I have always thought it should be. I am trying to think of the positive things he brings into my life. i do have a hard time when I think about children and the possibility of ASD and genes. i am wondering what the percentage of children of fathers with Aspergers have either autism or Aspergers…… Anyone know. thank you ELizabeth, i keep praying!

    • As for me, our children are wonderful, funny, social, and very successful. In fact, their father seems a little resentful of them because they are socially successful. I do not know the genetic probability of inheriting a gene for Aspergers…I do know that “nurture” has a whole lot of influence, and my kids seem to have turned out just fine due to a lot of influence of other wonderful adults in our lives. I think your biggest concern should be the commitment that children require, and that you’d be creating one more bond with a man that you aren’t sure you want to share the rest of your life with.

  19. I learned so much from the following web sites and want to share this information:

    Casandra disorder/emotional deprivation

    http://www.faaas.org/doc.php?40,0

    http://www.maxineaston.co.uk/cassandra/

    s.michaels

  20. Thank you!
    I just finished reading through the sites you provided, and I feel so incredibly relieved. I’m not insane.
    I don’t know if my husband will ever admit that he might be part of the problem, but at least I don’t feel so rudderless. Thanks for helping me find a direction again!

    • From S.Michaels

      Thank you for replying Elizabeth. No, you’re not insane. It is also not anything you can change by doing or not doing. Understanding Asperger’s helped me to understand that my hoping things would change caused disappointment, frustration and often contention between my husband and me. Giving up the hope that change would come (because my husband would not./will not consider counseling), by realizing AS is a brain wiring problem, helped me to settle into reality and learn to take essential care of me and my needs before I got to the point that the author of this text writes about:

      Upon Death Do We Part

      When I am old and feeble, and I no longer recognize my beautiful daughters or remember my own name, I will recall in vivid and precise detail the events of one autumn day in 1994. The memory of that day has barricaded itself in an impenetrable chamber of my brain, where it has thrived, virulent and unmolested by either biological deterioration or the simple passage of time. I know that as my body grows cold, and I lay motionless in wait of my final breath, I will be consumed by this memory of the day my soul died.

      It was a very private death. There were no bedside vigils or ceremonial last rites. There was no obituary in the local newspaper to announce my passing and recount my lifelong achievements. There was no wake, where family, friends and long-forgotten acquaintances would have gathered to share memories of the person I once was. There were no tearful eulogies exalting my virtues, no impassioned expressions of grief. No one attended my funeral, because no one knew I was gone.

      Only the coroner, who devotes his life to the validation of death, was privy to my secret. In the seclusion of a remote autopsy room, he discreetly probed for the underlying pathology, occasionally conferring with his surgical instruments or the stainless steel slab on which I reclined. Once he was confident of his diagnosis, he methodically recorded his findings on the certificate that bore my name. He wrote:

      “Acute emotional trauma, secondary to chronic emotional negligence and abuse. Cause of Death: Asperger’s Syndrome.”
      Lois Brown
      August 2005

      • How have you reconciled the lack of intimacy? Not just sex, but loving intimacy?
        I even told my husband during counseling that I felt like I could be vulnerable to an affair because I so desperately needed someone to notice me and acknowledge me as a woman…I was the last person on earth to have an affair, and yet it happened. I wound up with another person who was going through a painful divorce; he needed support, and I was vulnerable. We were both vulnerable. It happened, and I had been vigilant. I felt like I was falling down a hole.
        I have the most wonderful, nurturing father in the world who is the epitome of unconditional love. I’m so thankful for his love. He has been a wonderful role model for my brothers in the care and tenderness he doles out on my mother. There were no issues in my childhood.
        Why did I wind up with the man I married? What happened?
        I had nothing to compensate for. Yet, look where I’ve landed.

      • I agree with s michaels. There comes a time when you as a person have to consider yourself. I don’t mean being self absorbed but consider your emotional and mental needs. With my particular situation things had so gotten to the point where I literally felt like I was ready to fall off a cliff. I felt like the life had been drained out of me. Finding out thatthere is a diasese AS and it is what she described as a brain wiring problem has helped so much settle the inconsistencies of my ex hubsand’s behavior. I am just now finding out that I haven’t been crazy all these years.

      • You have accurately stated everything and in a beautiful, meaningful way. I was just telling my husband today that I felt Asperger’s was a very mean disorder and it kills people – I meant their spirit. My heart goes out to all of us living with someone who has this cruel disorder. God help us all!:)

      • Your description is vivid and unfortunatley true for a lot of folks, including me to some degree. However, I have learned to fend for myself by setting boundaries and drawing lines and being specific. We on this site live a tough life and we have to be tough to survive and we will. We are women, we are survivors, we are not victims. Set boundaries. Live life!

  21. I never realized just how many women have had this problem in their lives. Thanks for sharing it with me.

  22. I feel the same way about not feeling emotional intimacy. it is so hard. I have promised myself to be loyal and not seek it outside of my marriage although i do not judge anyone who has. I keep praying for the right solution, i try to initiate it myself. i am rejected by him and that is the hardest thing to deal with. I am only 30. Why did he change so much, I feel like I’ve been tricked by him….. i will keep praying. Thank you for your support

    • Marie,

      It may help to get some insight on the basic principles of marriage – which are not really taught in the church these days. I have a bunch of articles which might help at my own blog, Because It Matters.

      One of the things that is very important to remember when dealing with AS is that there is a difference between AS and sin. And just because a spouse has AS does not give him/her a license to sin.

      — Danni

  23. I was married for 15 years to a man whose behavior is exactly how the AS syndrome describes. For years I would wonder and berate myself as to why he was like that or why he was so unemotional or why he lacked affection to me or my children. Even after my divorce which was 4 years ago I still struggled with the fact that he didn’t want me or our marriage. Even though in his way of thinking he did. Men like this have no concept of how to love or give back love. Which makes it very hard for their partners to deal with the situation. Seeking love outside a marriage is definitely not the answer, and sadely enough to say, counselors at our churches are not well experienced with this kind of situation. I think the more knowledge we have on AS the more quipped we will be to deal with the situation. IN the end the only ONe that can truly be of help emotionally, and spiritually is God. He is the only true Healer.

  24. I’ve been married to an aspie for 32 years and have 2 children on the spectrum (almost 23 and 20 yr.old) It has been a very painful and lonely road and there are no easy answers. I am blessed to have a husband whose passion is God and it has made him determined to try and overcome his obstacles, and see the fruit of character in his life. It is this that drew us together in a relationship- we met while working for a missionary organization and our focus was God and hearing is voice…. it was a very unromantic relationship but I had an abusive background and didn’t trust men and the whole falling in love thing -I wanted God to pick him out! – not much time for dating, but we were both convinced after much confirmation and prayer and discussion with others that God had called us together. It is this factor that has glued us together and that has given us a basis on which to stand and shared values. We lost triplets after years of infertility and then we prayed for our 2 miracle children. He never showed any grief! I was so angry about that. It was really rough before I found out about Aspergers and there were times when I thought I was losing my mind. I am like. the rest of you continuing to seek for answers – the good thing about pain it motivates you to think and search. I believe there is a special grace for us as individuals.I admit I still feel sorry for myself sometimes because my husband and I help so many people with their problems but no one has beeen able to help us in spite of many attempts to have marriage counselling, In some ways I can relate to aspies because it feels like I have to pretend! I also can relate to single parents in a way because if the loneliness and lack of validation. My husband is very HF, intelligent, is widely respected by church leaders…as a prophetic teacher and mentor. I have to remain anonymous because people are awed by his gift, talent and humility. I can truly say I respect my husband, but I also live with the various aspects of aspieness that at times can be very lonely.

    Suffering has drawn me closer to God, and has also helped me to appreciate what God has forgiven me of,and to learn about my own boundaries and how to look after myself. When I started releasing my husband of expectations, there was a huge difference in our marriage and he started to relax and try and open up to me. I am thankful that I have a basis for hope in the marriage. I agree that Aspieness does not justify abusive behaviour. Releasing expectations will be a life long journey while learning to access God’s grace, but I have experienced that God is changing me and my husband. This gives me hope because there’s definitely a spiritual dynamic taking place in spite of our frailties and humanness. It was initially very hard to lay down expectations because I felt entitled and angry at my husband initially but I do believe I have enough evidence of God’s faithfulness in our marriage to build on. I have come to see marriage ideally as a team. There was a time of grief when I realised the emotional implications on our marriage and all the problems that comes with that, but it has been quite amazing how things have improved. We have both changed and are still changing. I hope I have been able to encourage someone. I do not look down on those of you who have made mistakes. God’s grace is so much bigger. Brennan Manning(The Ragamuffin Gospel) says God created us in His image, and we return the compliment!

    • Thank you, Scintilla.
      I think I married my husband for many of the same reasons. I’m glad to read that you have come through the darkest times and are stronger because of it. Thank you for not passing judgement on me. I know we have built good things in our marriage…I’m just trying to figure out how the synergy we once had that has brought us wonderful kids has just seemed to transfer itself to another place. We are like strangers that created a beautiful painting together and are now standing apart and separate looking at it on a wall. Sometimes it seems that we are in competition…I’m admiring the creation and feeling happy about it, and he’s standing there, apart and distant, wanting artistic credit. He seems so resentful of our children and their success. He’s mad that we’re paying so much for their college educations. He doesn’t think they’ve had to work as hard as he has. He deserves his expensive toys and sports car.
      What happened?

      • Bravo Scintilla (love the name)! Thank you for mentioning Ragamuffin Gospel and Manning. That means you are suggesting what no one has so far … FORGIVENESS! “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Often we Christians become Pharisees when we are hurt, and we must always realize WE wives are sinning everyday, along with our ASP spouses. I say things to mine that are horrible, usually to try to get some type of recognition from him that I am hurting. Then I’ve sinned, and must ask my spouse for forgiveness. Just because they are mean and insensitive doesn’t mean we aren’t just as guilty in our own way. Having said that, let me be clear: as vessels of the Holy Spirit, we are charged with stewarding ourselves in a healthy way, so we women should NEVER NEVER NEVER allow physical abuse to ourselves or our children. You must leave the home immediately or ask the spouse to leave,and you must be open about it with a small group of people who love and are are kind and trustworthy if this is you (do not let your spouse’s sin live in the dark). I am still learning how to live with this after 19 years of jumping through hopes, and now in a house full of “12 year olds” ages 11, 13, 17 and 48. My in-laws are also in the spectrum, I”m sure and so is my father, I think. And I’m the only one trying to cope, which makes me the “crazy” one! Hang in there. Love, love, love!!!

      • From s.michaels,
        Thank you so much for your post. Yes, we as wives do sin everyday and yes, we cannot forget about forgiveness. It is so easy to fall into a victim mindset when nothing changes that brings hurt of any kind…emotional included. It is very difficult to live with a “12 year old” who is supposed to be the head of the household and make adult decisions.

  25. I’m glad I could be an encouragement to you Elizabeth. It seems to me that your husband is feeling insecure. I used to be angry at my husband because he is so gifted in helping others with their problems, but when it came to himself he didn’t have a clue and he would be so out of touch about himself. I expected him to know better but now I see what God can do in a person’s life in spite of autism. I see his spirit growing enabling him to reach out to me a bit more even though he still doesn’t get emotion. My prayer for your husband would be that he would experience healing and the grace of God – I know its hard when you feel like the one who has been abandoned and rejected. You have clearly been a great mum to your kids. I trust all of the ladies here will find a measure of comfort in sharing openly. As we agree together in spirit, we can know that God is with us. May He bring us all into more revelation and freedom!

  26. I hope all of you ladies are doing well. I wanted to begin a new thread regarding acceptance. i have been prating and doing the best I can to remain patient. ALthough I know that my husband being diagnosed with AS is something that poses problems in our relationship, I also know that no person is perfect and we all yearn to be accepted for who we are. So I am really trying to look pat the ‘problems’ and focus on what I DO get in my relationship….. Anyone have thoughts?

    • From S. Michaels

      Yes, I think we need to talk about acceptance of our AS husbands. I think the following link will be of great benefit:

      http://www.kmarshack.com/publications/as/faq.html

      After over 35 years of marriage I have found that making myself focus on my husband’s positive qualities and appreciating them verbally is of great benefit in our relationship.

    • I just came back from church and the gospel was about loving one another as Christ loves us. OK. This is painful and confusing. Yes we are all sinners, and I feel guilty every time I feel negatively about my husband. I should love as God loves me and I need to forgive and God forgives me..so I feel guilt because of my struggle to forgive someone who hurts me on a daily basis. At what point do we just get relief from the sin that makes us become sinners too. The angry and despair that I feel from being in my husbands wake. It just doesnt seem fair, too much to ask of such a weak person, me just a poor weak sinner. Why is God allowing this? Shat do we do.
      I have a question for you all. Do your husbands struggle with having faith in God? Is that a common thing?

  27. Although all these comments have been very useful to read, it feels to me (and please correct me if I’m wrong) that the partner is constantly expected to make the adjustments when the (mostly) husbands live happily on with their AS. They either are not diagnosed professionally (and they’re not interested to be) or are and not willing to undergo therapy. For me this means that the person is unwilling to contribute to the compromise and should be informed that this is detrimental to the relationship. To then say that it is their AS doing it is similar to “the devil made me do it”. The remark “I’m happy, if you’re not that’s your problem” is symbolic of this. My pastor will only remarry someone that leaves a marriage because of the 3 As: Abuse, Abandonment or Addiction. An AS partner can qualify in at least the abuse and abandonment category. I am still trying to prepare myself for this big step after 23 of 27 years of unhappiness, so I’m not making rash decisions. The thought of another 25 years with this man, unbearable.

    • Anastasia, hang in there! If you husband is not physically abusive, you do have choices. But first, a question: does he accept you unconditionally? I find that while my spouse drives me nuts –and I ask myself the same thing about the next uptime years — I KNOW he loves me unconditionally, in his own way (not mine). He does put up with my personality issues, quirks, girl topics, mom fears, etc. etc. etc. To be loved and accepted that way is a gift. So if he does that, you have hope. Second, make sure you find your emotional support somewhere else, and have your own activities that involve your gifts and passions,but don’t neglect him. Third, look at the many, many women (and men) in Christian history who had to put up with very difficult circumstances. C.S. Lewis comes to mind: he made a promise to a soldier buddy he would take care of the friend’s mother if he died and … he died. The woman was a shrew and was never appreciative at all of Lewis’ care. Look around. Examples of forebearance are everywhere, as are the opposite (Terri Shiavo comes to mind.) And keep “running the race” Anastasia!

    • I take it one day at a time. The thought of staying for me too is unbearable. AS in and of itself has no biblical grounds for divorce. You married in sickness and in health. HOWEVER…The spouse with AS has the responsibility of owning up and putting in the effort to meet halfway in the marriage. Will it be perfect, nope. But at least as long as s/he are trying than a couple should exhaust all possible resources. I am trying to get to the point where my Christian councillor will by the grace of God and the Holy Spirit discern the issues in my marriage….which is most likely AS. I’ve already gotten a AS specialist PhD to say that he indeed has traits, but to get an official diagnosis, my husband would have to see professional who can make that diagnosis and it will cost $$$. My husband refuses to go further and thinks that I am pulling this out of thin air. My husband agrees to see this councillor who I think is fantastic but has no experience with AS and fails to see it…because lets be honest…sometimes you can’t put your finger on it…but dealing with a husband with AS is very hard to describe to others. Particularly the disconnection. You try to tell the councillor that he’s not emphathizing to me emotionally…then the councillor’s reply will be, most men don’t. It is my prayer that the councillor will finally see what it is that I am trying to describe to him. If he eventually does, than my husband will have a choice to make. Own up and work on it which means I win. Or, he can refuse to see himself and his behaviour and refuse to acknowledge how serious the problems in our marriage are. At that point, I may have to make the difficult decision of separating. Not because of AS, but because of the emotionally unhealthy behaviours that I am experiencing on a daily basis and now my kids are being exposed to.

      Regardless…this marriage brings one word to mind. “Stuck”. I’m darned if I do and darned if I don’t. I either get a life long marriage of loniless despite his best efforts or I have to live as a separated woman who would then have to deal with custody issues, child-support, angry in-laws and legal affairs. Stuck. So my prayer is that God will help me everyday…giving me the grace when I need it.

  28. I struggle with chronic loneliness from being married to my AS husband. He has not been officially diagnosed by our counselor for fear of it jeopardizing his career, however, he definitely has it, wink*wink.

    I have struggled with this for over ten years and also wondered what was wrong with me. Since we found out about his mild to moderate AS just a month or so ago, it gave us both relief because we knew there was something wrong with him that he just could not pin point. But now that I know it, it is hard to cope, knowing that I will never be loved…ever. I hate it.

    I hate giving all I have to him and not getting much in return. He checks everything, that has to do with me, off of his “list,” including my daily kiss and hug. Even though the kiss and hug might just be a task for him and does not come from his heart, I eat it up. It makes all the bad stuff go away! This evening, he missed giving me my hug and kiss because he was unloading groceries from my car. Then, he went straight to the computer and looked up fantasy sports. I got really mad at him because he chooses sports (that is his focus) over me. That really hurts and it has made me LOATH sports.

    A lot of times, I force love onto him, like I intentionally sit beside of him while he watches tv. I ask him if I am bothering him, and he always says NO. He will eventually touch my leg or my hand or pull me closer. I eat that up too!

    When I do get those vibes from him that he needs to be alone, I back off, and then later, I approach him softly and I am sickeningly sweet to him. Even though he says he doesn’t feel anything, I know he likes the attention.

    I get tired of giving my all to him. Exhausted is more like it. I don’t even think he appreciates anything I do for him and certainly not my goodness. He is clueless.

    Another thing is that since he found out, he has gotten worse here at home but not at work: lazier, quieter, more focused on sports, ignoring me with everything, etc. My counselor said that this happens a lot to a person when they find out the diagnosis. They use it as a crutch. And believe me! He will not listen to me when I try to explain how he has gotten worse. I don’t think he CAN understand.

    So how will I live with this for the rest of my life? I have no clue. I guess I will have to go one day at a time. My heart aches for all of you out there who are in the same boat as I am. I get mad at God and ask Him why he is punishing me. I was so excited to be a wife and I was ready for all challenges, except for this one. I think it is a curse sometimes. What have I done so bad that God would put me in this position and expect me to live like this until I die? Who knows the answers. All I know now is to keep praying and to keep forcing that love onto my husband. Maybe he will mimic that someday. I hope.

    • My heart goes out to you. For a moment i thought you were talking about my husband!! We have SOOO much in common. Firstly though – i think it is absolutely awesome your huband has a list that he ticks off and on it is to kiss and hug you – i know it isnt spontaneous however when he does it i can only imagine that he WANTS to and does mean it – though soetimes you might not feel that. My husband will only do it if i ask!!
      ONe thing i try to remind myself that our husbands deserve love too and they struggle every day of their lives caught up in the bewilderment of it all, they didnt ask for it and dont deserve it either!! BUT we live in the horor and loniless of what it all means.
      I agree and can identify with everything you have said!!! Them not appreciating what we do for them – yet when i ask my husband he says he DOES appreciate it all. Its just (after 19years together) i’ve come to slowly accept that he has no clue as to how to show it! How sad is that. But if we stop showering them with the love we have for them they regress – believe me it happens.
      As for hanging in there – we’ve been married 19 years – it dosent get easier, there are still those horribly lonely times, times i want to scream and walk out, yet i am still here. Somehow i get through each day, and I pray you will too. Find a focus for your life, something you enjoy doing and keep it up. Make sure you have a circle of awesome girlfriends to chat with (who do understand) and dont give any of that up. It will keep you going. As for your husband, keep talking, keep those lists going (i personally think thats great and give a big thumbs up to your husband who follows it – my hubby would NEVER follow a list i give him).
      Big hugs to you!! xx Nicola
      dont know if i’m allowed to post my email but if you would like to keep in touch hewlettfamily@slingshot.co.nz

    • Im in shock. I am so thankful to find this website. Your husband is exactly like mine. Mine too makes lists to hug me or love me. It really hurts my feelings to think that he has to remind himself to do such things. Does your husband seem to have memory problems? I think it is just that they dont really think our things are important so we all forget what we dont really care about? I too try not to be angry with God. I just keep tell Him that if there is a big lesson in this, would he please give me the wisdom quickly because I need help NOW. Praying for you.

    • Your not being punished sweet friend. I used to cry out to God with the same “Why Me???”. I’ve grown more as a child of God through this than I probably would ever have if I had married a wonderfully healthy man. Maybe instead God has set you a part to face this because He’s got a love for you and a plan for you that you can’t see now. We have all of eternity to look forward to. We don’t know what He has in store for you…plans to redeem you, to restore you. To make everything right. Maybe He trusted you to be with this man. These complicated individuals…so intricate and so difficult…yet God has a plan for them too. If my husband had been with any other woman, they would have kicked him out to the curb long ago. Maybe God trusted me with him, because he knew that I would at least try to get help for my husband…that I would love him unconditionally. Let me be clear that my husband makes me sick sometimes. I’ve lost hair from stress. I was asked…”aren’t you being a hypocrite when you say you love him?”. Nope. Love is doing good for someone despite how you feel. Love is not feeling something towards someone. Its doing what’s best for them. You do the best you can, relying on God’s strength. In the end, its your husband’s choice to take the help or not. Unfortunately many of these men refuse to seek help and deny the reality of the situation. Some don’t have faith in God and/or don’t rely on Him to help. This means that the wives have a very difficult decision to make. I pray that for every woman facing these choices, that this be between you and God. Rely on Him to clarify and to reveal the plan He has for you. Its good to get advice, but please be careful who you speak to. Read His word, pray…pray and then pray some more.

      • God bless you Naomi for your wisdom and encouragement.

    • I explain to him I want him to WANT to do it.

  29. Hi everyone I have just read all of the posts and I am in tears! My life for the past 10 yrs has been , I dont know how to put it, I guess loney and loveless. Im 26 I ve been with my fiance for 10 yrs and we have 2 sons. Our oldest 7 has AS too and my youngest 3 has autism. I feel so lonely in my family, none of them understand me at all and dont try. I feel like ive lost myself. I is much harder to deal with my Fiance then my kids of course, because I shouldnt have to parent him. I dont want to parent 3 people, I want love. He doesnt even feel love I dont think! Im very sad thinking that I am putting my self in this postion, to never put myself 1st or get anything I need or want it life. My family nor his gets it and they say that because he works and takes care of his family with money I should be happy enough. I wish there were groups where iI live but I havent found and yet. Im very happy to find other people out there dealing with this, because living life like this is very lonely. I would love to start talking with some of you!

    Heather heathergraveline@sbcglobal.net

    • I would like to be your support and friend if you would like. We all are broken hearted and need encouragement. We all feel so alone and disappointed. Lets talk.

  30. Heather ..me too. Im so confused and I want to talk to other women like me for support. I have 5 children and I am emotionally whipped so much of the time. I never make time for myself. I feel worthless and I feel guilty to give myself anything. Money is a huge deal for my hubby. He talks about money 24/7. I feel guilty if I spend 10 dollars and he will spend whatever he wants and it is fine. That double standard thing, is that AS too? Its weird to me that all the stuff that felt like cruelty is really just part of AS and that helps take the edge off the hurt…I think. Im not having fun here and Im trying not to despair.

    • I understand they lack the ability to mirror.. yet it drives me insane. I tell him all the time, please don’t [insert bad behavior] to this to me if you don’t want me to do this [said bad behavior] to you. They sooOOooo don’t get it. It’s okay for them to be rude but heaven help YOU do it. This is the ONE thing about AS that I can’t seem to wrap my mind around. The second thing that drives me bonkers is .. why can he behave in front of his boss (not FART, burp, be rude, nasty, make comments) yet he feels totally okay with treating me like that. He tells me its because he can be himself with me. (Runs away)

  31. Lets talk. We are in this together, not alone. God is with us.

  32. I don’t understand, why is this the labels fault, and not the persons (your husband.)Do you really think that the ONLY reason your husband is unresponsive to your emotions is simply because he has Aspergers?

    To be quite honest I know quite a few people with Aspergers, and it seems to me that people like your husband are just giving the label a bad association.

    Quite frankly your husband would not suddenly be a loving, caring man if he suddenly was “cured” of his Aspergers.

  33. Also, just out of curiosity, you keep saying how THEY don’t understand YOU, but have you ever actually tried to sit down and understand what they’re going through? Asperger’s is a hard thing to live with, and most people I have talked to who have it best describe it as being extremely uncomfortable just being in your own skin. They have a hard time relating to people because they’re usually too distracted with their anxiety. Have you ever talked about your feelings to your husband? Not in a complaining sense, but just asked him why he does what he does?

  34. I’ve been reading these posts, and books and other sites and have realised that the oddness of my husband, that I noticed extremely early on in our relationship and that I put to the back of my mind as we had a child very quickly, is almost certainly Aspergers. He left us now three weeks ago (I have a 2.5 yr old and a 9 month old) because he couldn’t stand the stress of getting a whole family down to Dorset for the little ones Christening, didn’t want to help but couldn’t understand why I was stressed out. He is 51 and lived with his mother, father, brother and schizophrenic uncle until two years ago. They are 6 hours drive away so he feels cut off from ‘home’. I wrote a list about a week after he left of the things I had done wrong and could have changed, then wrote a list of the things he had done to upset me. Then suddenly I thought about the oddness as I really couldn’t understand why he had gone. Then I ordered a specialist book on aspergers, and then yesterday, after reading it I went back to the list on him… the similarities are scary. We were married in church, I believe in God and have been praying to him every day in guiding me on how to reconcile with my husband and also how to protect our children from all of this. It is a horrible situation. My daughter has stopped saying his name and I worry that she will forget him.

  35. Can anybody tell me if this sounds like asp.’s ….I work with kiddos on the autism spectrum snf my husband of 14 yrs has many of the traits. He works as a maintenance man and does alot of physical labor during the day, He usually comes home, eats and goes to bed at 7:30p and gets up at 4am. He is into reptiles (turtles. frogs, etc) and two times he lied about the amount of $ he spent on the turtles. (He spent 2,000 dollars and put it on the credit card and lied about it) He finally admitted his lies when I found proof of it. He does not like group functions as he states that the noise of the talking gets to him. The lights also bother him. He has no friends and does not like company to come over. He gets angry alot and does not handle stress easily. He goes into moods where he will not talk because he says he is too stressed out and in so much physical pain from his job. He says all I do is criticize him, but I am trying to get through to him. He has no relationship with his siblings and I have to tell him to call his elderly mother. He has a son who is 31 and schizophrenic who he does not call or visit unless I nag him into it. We have an 11 yr. old daughter who says “Dad is in one of his moods” “Dad will get angry” etc I can tell he loves our daughter, but he has to be verbally prompted to spend time with her.(I feel like I am writing a report at work) He does not initiate lovemaking, although he had a problem with pornography in his first marriage, something I will not tolerate! He sleeps on the couch because he says he needs the backing for his aching back. He does not take fun teasing well at all and he is very negative towards life and others. He is a christian and preaches at a small country church just on sun morning. When any of the church people are sick, I practically have to beg him to call and getting him to visit is like pulling teeth. He said I can divorce him before he goes to counselling with me. I usually go to another church with my daughter because I cannot stand when he talks about “love” and “caring for others.” I have sought counselling, but I just ask God to help me with the lonliness. I usually attend weddings alone and my daughter do things together. At times I know I have been disrespectful and called him “aspy”, I have pointed to my nose and said”Look at me when I talk” just like I do when working with the kids at work. (I am a Special Ed. teacher in a languag/social support group.)I do these things out of frustration after being ignored for days or yelled at. It is so ironic that during our courtship he was so different. He called me every night, sang songs with me and to me.and prayed with me. When I ask him now if he wants to sing, he says that he “doesn”t feel like singing.” He does not call me names or belittle me verbally and he has alot of amnners as his family is very refined. His first wife had affairs and I now see that it was because of his lack of affection and inabilty to do things with her socially. I am committed to Jesus Christ and have been given the gift of perserverance and I do love him, but it is taking its toil on me emotionalyy. I was verbally abused my my mother and made fun of in school so this is another trial…..Thank God I’m just passing through this life!! Oh, did I say that he has a daughter aged 28 who he has not seen for 6 yrs because she felt abandoned. Sorry for going on and on, but can anybody HELP? Any insight? Thank-you and God Blesss, Julie

  36. I have read my own story in so many of your stories today. (yeah I am not alone and crazy) I have been reading and searching for a while now but being a believer I was not looking for empowerment to leave my Husband but more how to hner God and a solution. Not seeing it but still looking. Oh but how I have wanted to leave becuase of the extreme loneliness and rejection issues I feel. I too have been married for 22 years to an undianosed Aspie. He knows it too now, but the hoplessness and despair I feel in our marraige is eating my lunch. We have three children who I love dearly, one just got married and one is off to college and then there will just be my youngest who is starting high school and a husband that is constantly checked out. Four years ago I started counselling and while there has been trmendous work and growth in my own life my marragige contines the steady decline as he slips deeper and deeper into his addictions and compulsions. I used to try so hard to challange his use of time (as lovingly as possible) but in the last year or so I just let that go and the result has been stunning as I have watched him so rapidly default into a life that I clearly am not part of. His life revolves around himself as if the family is not even present It is undenialble that all his special intrests are what enable him to be alone in his world. I think even after 22 years I still am shocked at all his quirky addictions and the number of spredsheets he builds to track anything and everything imaginable, it is like he is an information junkie. I am not coping well right now but I hope by the Grace of God I will emerge from this opressive depression I am currently experiancing. I feel like I have given up, like I can’t bear the thught of managing his life, I let him off the leash and I don’t like who he really is, I have no desire to retrieve him and pull him back into reality and what once again can be a phoney impression of marriage. I know that each day I get through it is only by the Grace of God. Since I become aware of his Aspergers it has felt like the kiss of death to me, as I reasearched and understood that it is the very neglected alone spose that suffers so much and like many others here I too am trapped financally. Part of his problem has been the poor job of managing our finances and he is an accountant grrr. I can do just about everything else in the home and do, but I feel like if have I take this on as well it would be the last straw for me. Living like this is so incredibly hard and I have secretly hoped God would call me home early, I am not suicidal at all but would be happy to have this daily on going pain and lonliness end. I am some what encouraged to see that I am not alone in this walk but saddened that there are so many of us. I have battled for years and years asking myself WHY I am still here, there is so much guilt and shame. I am committed to finding freedom from what has been crushing me for 22 years weather I remain in the marriage or not (I will wait on God for direction in this area). It is so hard to live so alone and uncherished in such a significant relationship, but in spite of the pain of this earth my relationship with my Father in Heavan has grown deeper and deeper but I still long for physical love and tenderness, for spiritual and emotional intamacy that I know I will not experiance in my home, and I just ache in silence.

    • my husband of 30 years has just been recently diagnosed..i can really identify with what you have been through and how you feel…..one way of coping is to give each other more space….i am gladly taking back my own life and haveing some space to do it is very helpful….don’t give up on yourself…one soul lost to AS is enough….you owe it to God to nurture yourself and live your best…..for Him (God) first…….i feel i can rise above this anger, bitterness and depressing situation if i take care of myself for God’s work…..May we all find the grace…

      elena

  37. Hi,

    I am totally creeped out, stunned, and thanking GOD that I found this website. I started a blog several months ago. I was totally at my wit’s end. I only recently decided that Asperger’s may be what I am faced within my husband. I originally thought he had Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I just couldn’t believe I had fallen into this. I am a nurse, and was a happy single parent for 4 1/2 years. I came into this relationship with my eyes wide open, and BAM! It torments me to see what is happening to my daughter. How bad will this mess her up. I honestly think I will eventually have to leave. I just don’t know what to do. I pray for us all.

  38. I had a similar experience, marrying a man that I suspected had Asperger’s, but not realizing how horrible it is to actually try to live with it on a daily basis. He is emotionally abusive and has complete disregard for me in all aspects. It is a terrible experience going on 7 years now. When he goes on porn sites, he even blames me for it. He spends most of the time on the computer following his passion for astronomy and ignores my existence. I pray all of the time and try to believe that God will help me through. My husband is caustic, mean, completely inconsiderate, and selfish. He is constantly saying inflamatory things to me for some agenda that I have never understood. When we married, his teenage daughter was anorexic and now I understand how miserable her life with him must have been. They don’t even speak anymore, she has nothing to do with him, and he blames her for it. She told me that she thought he is abusive when we were first married and how he doesn’t have a heart. It was a complete mistake to marry him. I am trying to be a Christian about this and pray that somehow I can serve God in spite of this ongoing emotional torture called marriage. Please pray for me as you read this and I will pray for all of the sad posts that I have been reading here.

  39. Ive just descovered my husband has ASPE.What a relief.I worry now that Im angry and rejecting him for what I thought was cruel treatment,meaning no communication and not meetimg my needs.Finacialy yes,physicaly and emotionaly no.i dident no what to do.Thanks to all on this site.I feel sad but relived

  40. I feel God has led me to this site…. I fell in Love with the Man next door and It has been an up and down roller coaster ride, but, it is not fun…

    He even tells me I do not know why I treat you the way I do…. I really believe he suffers from this disorder.. Can they ever change??? Or should I just give up and except his behavior?? HELP PLEASE…

  41. I’m 45 and married for 20 years to a successful executive (financially successful, not socially). He has controlled every aspect of how we live and what we do because of his anxiety issues when he is not in control. I’ve gone along with it because I probably have some issues of my own. I feel like I’m just the housekeeper around here. Years ago, I found outside interests to take some of the boredom out of my life with him in that lifeless home. But I’m completely lost and hopeless now. I don’t want to do anything anymore. I’m truly scared that I will never know a happy life. He has a complete inability to accept the fact that I’m entitled to a life that works for me as well. We have zero intimacy but he tells me he loves me often and I love him too. He’s a good man, but I have ALWAYS KNOWN on some level that there was something wrong with our relationship. (Why did we pick each other?? We are so different from each other.) For the past few years, the loneliness and hopelessness I feel for my future is at it’s worst. I’ve become isolated and without any support system. Where do I go at this stage of my life? I don’t want to live like this anymore but I feel like I absolutely have to have him in my life. I feel so damaged and depressed after so many years of not being heard or understood or even looked at when I speak to him! I feel worthless and I don’t think it’s possible for me to ever have a normal relationship with another man if I divorced my husband. One thing that is so interesting is that most of us have all been in long term marriages. I read that people with Alsbergers have a 80% divorce rate.

    • KT, I’ve never posted anything on-line, but your post really struck a chord. After 15 years of marriage to a man I suspect has AS, I saw my own relationship in all of your statements. Our marriage has been one long, hard road to walk alone. I have felt so many of the same things you wrote about. I would love to talk with you more.

  42. I guess we are the minority – 20%. We obviously believe in the foundations of marriage and i do believe we are blessed by ensuring our children have the stability “family” which God intended. Whether it be “like” other normal familes or not our children will grow up with the security of having had a whole family unit. Thats what i cling to anyways. As my children get older i can explain to them why their dad is so different to others but emphasie their dad loves them to bits “in his way”. Its it a lonely life, one i would never ever choose if i had known,so i therefore go out and make my own life within this life if that makes sense. I have my circle of friends, go take my dog for a walk and have a better conversation with the dog than my husband :-). No i will never have the intimacy i crave but also hold to the fact that everyone else has something they crave too and not everyones marriage or life is what they want. It sucks yes and i have tremendous bouts of depression when i think of my situation but while i have my chilren living at home i live for them. I dont want my children growing up in a split famiy even though we are dysfunctional to a point but they adapt and love deeply that they have their father and wouldnt be without him.

  43. Nicola, you are very lucky you have your children. You sound hopeful and that’s something to always hold on to. It also sounds like you have managed to maintain a sense of self which is not easy to do after living with a man with Aspergers. I kind of lost myself a long time ago without even realizing it – always trying to weave myself into his life and feel like a woman. I gave up on that years ago even though I’ve been told I’m attractive – just wish I could feel that way. I guess all we can do is just accept our husbands for who they are – but never forget about taking care of our self esteem and happiness in the process. So I’m going to try some new things and meet new people and friends. Life is too short to feel like this. So I guess I’ve still got some kick in me! By the way, funny thing – I have never posted anything on the web (or gone to church in a while:-) but the day before I first posted here, I was really down and feeling…ummm, well kinda desperate:-) and I remember putting my hands on the kitchen counter and just looking up and in my mind, the words Oh Dear God is there anyone out there who can help me somehow someway. The next day, I was searching a health question and of course so many web links came up, but I clicked on this site. It made me feel like He actually heard me and wanted me to know that I’m not alone with this.

  44. I don’t know which way I will go now that I know he has Asp. after 35 years of marriage. Now that I’m older I’m not sure I want half a person who can’t really feel love for me the way I need. We’ll see as we are trying counseling. I’ve paid my dues big time in this relationship and need an Act of God (which I believe can happen) to fix this. My heart goes out to all of you wonderful women. Stay strong.:)

  45. I feel we all have an obligation to inform the public so that other women will not fall victim to this dreadful condition. I’m not sure how to do this, but through the internet, Facebook, etc. we should be able to get the word out to save other people from years of grief. Let’s keep thinking, praying and staying strong.:)

  46. BE ENCOURAGED

    It’s been less than a week since I realized my husband is one of those affected by Aspergers. Since then I’ve been pouring over everything I can find on the subject. The best thing so far is finding YOU… a group of Christian ladies who write with genuine care and compassion for one another. God bless you, S. Michaels for beginning this website.

    Do I feel a little bit gypped? Yes I do. I waited 15 years to meet the right man. A man of God’s choosing. A man with whom I’d be equally yoked. A man who wanted to serve the Lord. (we serve in a healing prayer ministry together.) I now find it’s an Asperger’s I’ve been married to for the last 3.5 confusing , disappointing years. And I realized that after all those years of waiting and hoping, I would never know a good marriage… unless God stepped in.

    I too, wondered; “Why me?… Had the Lord been trying to tell me; ‘this isn’t the right man for you”, was love blind? Maybe. But MAYBE, just MAYBE, God wanted to use me, a (neurotypical) loving Christian to minister to my husband through prayer and faith so our Father in heaven could get involved and change things. Ladies … it’s not just OUR lives and our children’s that will be made better by God’s healing power, but our husband’s lives will improve drastically. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy all the fullness of life that God promises? Those with Aspergers’ who say they wouldn’t want to change or be any other way, simply don’t know what they don’t know… that they are missing out on a wonderful facet of life: interpersonal relations the way God intended.

    I recalled a testimony that I had heard years ago by someone whose son had been diagnosed with Autism… a severe level. The doctors said his prognosis was not good, etc, etc, etc. His parent’s decided not to accept it, but to believe the Lord for their son’s healing. Today he is a perfectly normal developing child… That’s all I needed to remember to spur me on to stand in faith.

    As a result I’ve taken authority over it in Jesus’ Name. Aspergers must bow to the Name of Jesus. I am thanking the Lord regularly for the creative miracle He is doing in my husband’s brain. I refuse to assign the Asperger’s condition to my husband by the words of my mouth, and with God’s help, I am walking by faith and not by sight.

    Knowing the truth has set me free. I am able to remind myself that there is nothing wrong with me. I’m more easily able to shrug things off and do what I would normally do. No more walking on eggshells! The author of confusion (satan) has been disarmed. With the new understanding came boundaries which have automatically been erected… and are being respected. (much to my surprise).

    The Lord is helping me to find humor even in my husband’s outrageous remarks and actions and enabling me to… laugh! (not sarcastically, of course)

    THINGS THAT HELP ME TO STAND IN FAITH:

    Taking daily doses of sublingual vitamin B12, B6 and Folic acid keep my energy level up.

    Listening to bible teaching on anger management by Andrew Wommack helps tremendously, because I still get angry from time to time: http://www.awmi.net/tv/2004/week16

    Reading and watching healing testimonies (there are so many !)

    Last but not least, resisting the temptation to “help” God by leaving books on the subject around for my husband to discover. I am the one God revealed this to, not my husband… so I believe He has a plan to heal him.

    I believe the best is yet to come!

    • From S. Michaels: God bless you for this post! Amen and amen!

      It is not easy to live with an A.S. spouse. I have many chronic medical problems and some days I feel like locking myself in a closet rather than deal with my husband. But God…it is so true that we can do “all things” through Christ. I get frustrated, sometimes angry…until I remember that many women deal with far more disabilities in their spouses: amputated limbs, brain damage, degenerative diseases, etc.

      And let us not forget that behavior can be changed. After I drew a line in the sand that I would take no more of his anger my husband began changing his behavior. He learned to control, I’m sure with God’s help, his too quick overt anger at everything that did not fit his way of thinking. Asperger’s is no excuse for emotional, physical or verbal abuse. Good behavior can be employed even when we don’t feel like it.

      The dear godly lady who took care of this blog site went to be with Jesus after a long bout with breast cancer. I’m trying to keep it up and I would like to see us have a better format for this ongoing exchange concerning AS spouses…a place just for hope and healing for all of us. Pray with me that this can happen given my limited computer savvy.

      God bless you all.

      • Dear Sister Michaels… You wrote: “I’m trying to keep it up and I would like to see us have a better format for this ongoing exchange concerning AS spouses…a place just for hope and healing for all of us. Pray with me that this can happen…”

        You are succeeding and have a real ministry going on here. :) Thank you for allowing us to participate with you in it. I am agreeing with you in prayer for continued hope and healing through Christ our Lord. He is Faithful.

        Lord Father, thank you for our sister, S. Michaels, we lift up your daughter for healing of those chronic health issues she mentioned. You know what they are and how best to help her receive the healing power that Jesus made available long ago. Holy Spirit, help her to reach out with faith and take hold of the good health God has for her. Reveal to her the Love of the Father in the midst of trials and bless her in this ministry you have called her into. She is a blessing to me and so many more. I Thank you, Father. In Jesus’ Mighty Name I pray… Amen

        Your sister in Christ,
        Terry

  47. I have been married for 32 yrs. and realized about a year ago that my husband has Aspergers. I showed him the evidence that I found online and he agrees that he meets the criteria. But I have not been able to find help for him, and I really don’t think there is any help possible for adults with this.

    I have gone through an unbelievable amount of stress because of him. I have many health problems, including MS, yet he seems to be totally oblivious to anything that concerns me. He walks away when I talk to him, he interrupts me constantly when I speak and he speaks very loudly. Somebody would think that he’s high on a drug like cocaine because of his rudeness, crass manners, and very loud voice.

    When there were moments to celebrate like finding out I was pregnant, my news to him was met with disdain, as if he didn’t hear what I said and had something else bothering him.

    I have truly been alone and neglected throughout all of my marriage. In the early going, he was more light-hearted, but now he is just mean. I feel that I have no possibilities in life except misery. Because of my age and poor health, I cannot support myself, yet I despise him and am becoming seriously depressed living with him.

    I don’t ask for much anymore – I don’t need intimacy, never needed fancy clothes and I don’t even care if he has relationships with other women. All I want is to be treated with respect. Yet, everyday I am reminded how much he DOES NOT CARE ABOUT ME. This is the hardest to accept.

    For those of you who are young and able to earn a living, I would suggest that you leave the relationship so that you don’t end up like me – living in total and utter despair.

    Aside from my children, I have no family to lean on. If anyone would like to email me, I would be happy to hear from you.

    • Dear Leslie,

      I said a prayer for you as I read your post this morning and it sounds like you are without hope. The bible says that “hope deferred makes the heart sick”… it is so true, but do you have a relationship with the Lord Jesus? He is our hope. God can get involved if you invite Him to, and He can change things. I am seeing it happen.

      My post on this website is just above yours. Since I made the commitment to believe for my husband’s healing, things are changing, gradually and subtlely, but I can see God at work.

      Yours in Christ,

      Terry

    • I has been very difficult, you are not alone…all these ladies are going thru the same things… i plan to give myself more space in the relationship…step back a bit physically (i have my own room ) and psychologically….find some friends, join some group, church work, social outreach or get a hobby etc…have a life separate from AS….it will cheer you up ….a space and place where you can be yourself…and learn to love yourself as a child of God….AS is a test to see how we will not repeat AS behavior in our relationship with God.

      hope this helps..

      elena

  48. AD, thanks for your reponse to my post. What do you do to deal with the ongoing challenges that we all seem to face here? I’ve noticed some of the women here have developed health issues. Amazing what a lack of love and acknowledgement can do to someone’s health and soul. To tell you the truth, I don’t believe God would judge any of us for looking for a more fulfilling relationship. My truth is, I don’t know my own abilities or strengths anymore. I stay because I’m afraid to go out there on my own – anyone at my age can understand that fear. It’s justfied. Oh and I’ve become very good at rationalizing my lost hope. (People have far worse problems than me, thank God I have my health and other things to be thankful for, etc. etc.) Over the years, he has convinced me that I’m really not entitled to much and I should be greatful for what I have which on the surface does not look like a bad life. I don’t mean to sound too jaded. I do have my good days! Hope to hear from you and your thoughts about our situations. KT

  49. Wow! I’m not alone! I’ve been married 39 years; husband diagnosed with asperger’s about 2-3 years ago. Nice to find a Christian site dealing with this.

    We’ve been in marriage counseling most of our marriage. Most counselors take me aside & tell me they don’t know how I continue. Stopped counseling when we figured out it was aspergers. I finally understood why nothing ever changed him. Now his psychiatrist has sent us to couples counseling. Before I was always the one who wanted counseling; now I’m dreading it. Been there. Nothing will change, just dragging up all the stuff he’ll promise to do & won’t. Can’t. Second session this afternoon. Will I remember what I need to tell the counselor? Will it matter? Tired of this. I told him last session that I feel like I’m living with a disabled brother. I don’t see that changing. If that’s the best we can do, I think God can accept it. I just want a little something in return!

  50. I am in tears after reading all these replies. This is us. My AS husband and I have been married for 20 years. We have 4 children together.

    I too suffer from many physical illnesses that have worsened over the years. I believe as a result of taking on false responsibility in the home. I have been emotionally available to my children, and pulling the load for my aspie husband as well.

    The ironic thing is I am a counselor myself. Part of me sees myself as co-dependent, but the other part of me says, I married this man for better or for worse.

    Our oldest son was married last Saturday. I was alone through the wedding. First he insisted on running the sound, when I finally convinced him to sit with me in the front row during the service he pulled out his ipod, complete with hot pink case, and decided he needed to video tape the wedding. All of the family shots are him holding his hot pink ipod sigh… He simply cannot be present.

    I am feeling so defeated right now, and now sure I can continue in this sick marriage. I can see the effects on the kids and it is killing us all.

    So glad to know I am not alone in this.

  51. Amy –

    At my own wedding, I had to ask somebody for a lift home. My new groom was busy helping the musicians pack up their instruments and load them into their van. If that wasn’t a serious warning sign, I don’t know what is. My stupid for staying with him.

    Although he fits a near-perfect profile of an AS, these traits are so similar to a sociopath, I’m having trouble differentiating. Maybe it doesn’t make any difference anyway.

  52. I’m so happy to have found this site. I feel I have been slowly tortured for the last 25 years. I’m so tired and depressed now I don’t feel I can love anyone, even my children. This breaks my heart. My husband realised he was aspergers a fews weeks ago and believes that knowledge will fix our marriage. I would like to I think, for our daughters sake but I don’t seem to have the energy.

  53. I do relate with most of the postings….i’ve been living AS for 30 years without knowing why my relatiionship was so difficult…. until last month my husband was diagnosed…….although hurt, angry, frustrated and tired….it is so easy to give up…… we must refuse to allow ourselves to act like a person with aspergers in our relation to God… He is waiting for us to pick ourselves up, nuture our true nature and do good for ourselves, for Him, for our family, friends, society….lets reach out to others…we know what it is like to suffer intolerable neglect….let us use our intelligence, talents, etc..to help others ….We are loved by God….
    May we all find the grace to help ourselves..
    I look forward to coorespondence to recieve practical advice for ways of coping,,,,
    elena

  54. I keep wondering why I’ve stayed with a man who has sucked so much joy out of me for so long (25 years). I really don’t understand myself at all anymore. I am obviously part of the problem-codependant maybe? Why do we stay?

    • Why do we stay?? I constantly ask myself that….We have built a life with them, friends with them and perhaps children. I look at it that perhaps God has given me to him as his ‘help mate’/’advocate’. To help him acheive his potential. We have strong characters, are able to pick ourselves up again. I can imagine a better life for myself, free of the stressors my relationship brings and some days thats what actually keeps me going!!!! I also think perhaps God gave me my husband for the loyalty, ‘stickability’, honesty that he gives to us as a family.
      I sound pretty sickly sweet reading through this but my life is very difficult within this relationship :-(. Some days i just want to slam the door on my way out and never return. I just know i could never take my kids away from their father….One day I will have peace and happiness i hope…. hugsxx

  55. Nicole, don’t beat yourself up. We all have the same thoughts over and over again. Here’s some news you might like. There are places working on transcranial magnetic stimulation or TMS. Magnets placed on head for 45 minutes each day for about 4 weeks. Seems to be working well for ASPIES. I’m looking into it now and will speak to someone on the phone this week about it. Something has got to come along that will help soon. I’m also atarting a support group in Ohio for Aspies and their significant others. We all need to hold onto hope and God. Blessings to you!:)

  56. Folks, stay tuned for my Aspie Support Group. It will be called ABC (Aspie Boot Camp). I’m coming up with plans, exercises for Aspies and their significant others. I’m in Ohio, but there should be a way to get you guys involved too. Let’s work on it somehow. I’ll get a new email for this and let you have it too.:)

    • My email for now is dianaray@theartofliving.us for questions/answers, etc. Christine is my middle name.

  57. Thank you Nicole. It helps to know that there are others out there who understand how I feel. Christine

  58. I love the man I married. He is no longer the same man. We need to talk to each other. Did you know about the ODD that comes wth it? It is ineteresting that all the links to verbal and emotional abuse are attached to this site.

    I want to help. I want to stay. But I couldn’t. With it comes guilt. I promised “in sickness and in health” and I meant it – but my physical and mental health was being sacrificed.

    when do we talk about the children being raised by Adult Asperger’s people? How can I, in good conscience, have a child with this man? He makes me walk on eggshells. He makes me cry. He hurts me on a regular basis.

    But

    He is so smart
    He is so funny
    He is so beautiful…
    he is worthy
    he has depth….

    but the surface is so very damaging…..

  59. My 7 year old son has been recently diagnosed with Asperger’s, and the research we have done in the last several months leads us to believe that there is a very good possibility that my husband has it as well. I relate SOOOOO much to the loneliness that you all feel. My husband is a very successful, respected professional, but he is not attentive to my needs unless I write them down on a list. I feel like a single parent most days, since he is a total workaholic. He can measure if he is doing a good job at work, but not at home. I know he loves me, but there is none of the gazing into each other’s eyes or calling just to say “I love you”–unless it is on his calendar. If I call him at work, he will answer sometimes with, “Is this an emergency?” or “What do you want?” or “Why are you calling me?” or “Did you call for a reason? I have a lot on my mind and you are polluting my brain.” I can laugh at this now, because I should have gotten the picture from our first real date. We went to a nice restaurant, and were having a great time. When his food came, I continued the conversation and asked him a question. He replied (I thought as a joke, but later figured out that it was not so…), “I need to tell you something. When I eat, I don’t talk.” We have been married 12 years and have 3 small children. He is so role-oriented that he thinks that he goes to work, and everything with the kids is my responsibility, even if 2 are crying and not putting their jammies on and I am trying to brush 3 sets of teeth and potty-train 1 while he rests in his chair, hearing but not “knowing” I need help because I didn’t ask for it. If company calls to say they are coming over and the house is a mess, I can not just ask him to help–I need to say something specific like, “I need you to put away all the toys in the living room and then vacuum.” If I give him more than 2 directions or just blanketly ask for help, he WILL help, but it will be something like spending 30 minutes cleaning one window perfectly or straightening out the bills.

    He can get so frustrated that he acts like a child, and he talks in a mean voice to me, even if I am not the subject with which he is frustrated. I am in a good place at the moment, and feel like we have made some connections in the last few days, otherwise my tone would be much different. There have been times when I have wanted to leave, but we are both Christians and took/take our vows seriously. I can relate to the person who said her husband was helping the band pack up instead of being with her on her wedding night, because my husband was ready to help clean up chairs at our reception, and everyone shooed us out. He thinks all “things” are his responsibility, but just doesn’t see that people are needing his attention unless they are broken outwardly–throwing up, bleeding, etc. Then he sees the need and is a champ attending to it. A few weeks ago, the kids hadn’t seen him for a couple weeks due to work. He borrowed a snowblower and cleaned our and 4 neighbors’ sidewalks and driveways for almost 2 hours, instead of eating breakfast with us. He knew one neighbor had had back surgery, one was elderly, etc., but he didn’t even notice that I made a big, nice breakfast that was almost ready when he walked out the door, or that my pleadings for him to spend time with him were coming from as deep a need as the physical need he was meeting for others. It is hard to be resentful of a man who is doing acts of service for others, but he does not see my and the kids’ need for his time and attention, because I have that taken care of, in his compartmenatlized mind. Thanks for letting me vent.
    In His Strength

  60. A good skills group is what is needed for all of us! We’re running one in my hometown and hopefully it will help folks. It’s all about drawing lines in the sand and sticking to it. It’s called boundaries. Nobody has the right to abuse people with their behavior or words even if they have Asperger. It’s all about how much we put up with it. We need to work on strategies and setting boundaries.:)

  61. Hi, I’ve just started researching and have been reading a lot of these posts. I have been married for almost 30 years and went through a lot of the same emotions and frustrations I have seen described. I’ve always wondered why my husband can’t learn social skills, which is difficulty if you want to have a social life as a couple. If we have a party, he always ends up in the family room with the TV on. Of course there is the issue of doing things on his schedule, and the anger when that is disrupted without notice. I have learned over the years to call him, or more recently e-mail or text him to give him bad news or a schedule change, so that he has time to get over the anger by the time I see him. I never knew exactly why I was doing that before, just that it helped. I have learned over time that I have to make a life for myself away from my marriage, work and friends that give me some of the emotional contact I need, which I do not get from my husband. Also, that I need to sometimes do the things for myself that he does not do. For instance, I always end up getting some kind of electronic device for Christmas and/or birthdays (even if I give him a list), because that is what he is into. He does this with our kids, too. My husband is not a bad guy and if you are not married to him, he seems pretty normal. I have a friend I have talked with about some of his behaviors and she always ends up giving me tips on communication. I knew they wouldn’t work, because communication only happens when he chooses to communicate, now when I need to. Thank you for listening, it’s nice to be able to talk about these things.


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