Time is the utmost importance to my husband, a routine for everything in his daily life. Through the years, I could tell you what time it was without looking at a clock, and still.
As I think back to our first apartment together as husband and wife, his closet of suits, shirts and ties were organized in a way that made me squinch my eyes, thinking what is up with that, especially for a man. It was interesting but it worked for him and I did not touch his system.
Sometimes, I have heard laughter about socks, pairs of socks that were separated in two drawers, the right drawer and left drawer, for socks of the left and right foot. If we had the room, I would expect just that.
A little quirky but aren’t we all? I would leave it at that but still sometimes shaking my head of, whatever.
Bedtime was and still is a major time issue, even after thirty years. No matter what is happening or who in the house, it is his bedtime at 10 pm, leaving me, boys, company, etc. If we’d be out later than usual, he would shut down at 10 pm. Since we had children, especially our first, after 10 pm, I am on my own with this child and basically needed to keep the baby quiet or could receive a look. A baby will cry, we all know that. When there was no consoling this bundle of sweetness, this child would become velcroed to my breast for nursing. I was exhausted while he had his precious sleep. After awhile, anger starts to build within due to lack of sleep and my own self-care. This continued with the second child, two years later also. Thankfully, I was a stay-at-home mom, feeling like it was my duty, but I also enjoyed my role as a mother. He is the one working and bringing the money home so I just have to deal with it and know my place.
As the boys got older, they would all go out to play, leaving me at home, most times. That was my time. Sounds great. My time consisted of cleaning, catching up on laundry, etc. Still, to this day, the mailbox is all mine, as I am to get the mail, because back then, that was my only outside life, it felt like.
Just odd moments through the years of not understanding the disconnect. I did catch that we talked black and white after many years, as we were both saying the same thing but differently, while shaking my head in confusion. I still have to stop and see through the mumbo, jumbo. Maybe it is me, something is wrong with me, was an often thought, I’m just stupid. Knowing he is intelligent, and he would tell you that, too, top in his class.
Funny how family members picked up on his oddness, especially my one sister, asking why I was marrying him. Years in our marriage, many of my family and friends learned to dislike the man. My older sister, living several hours away, suggested that I do not bring him back. I never did and that has been maybe twenty years ago or more. When I visit her, I make it sound like it is a girl’s weekend to transition this traveling together, never questioned. I’m sure he is relieved also to not fit into their world or routine. Everyone is happy.
The seven-year itch of marriage, was what a friend told me that I was experiencing when I mentioned something did not feel right, at that point in our marriage, a gut intuition, later to be on-point.
In this period though, I had some heart issues and was in the ER a few times. When I notified him at work, this one time, as a friend took me, she actually heard the conversation. It was him questioning me. How long will you be there? I do not know. When will the doctor be in? I do not know. What are they going to do with you? I do not know. Will you have to stay over? I do not know. It continues, never asking how I was. Waiting for him to ask if I was going to die. I do not know would be my response, of course. With that, and other things, I knew there was an issue. What gives? What is wrong with this man? Still to this day, he is never to be in the ER room, or when being prepped for surgery or in the recovery room with me because I have to answer his general questions with I do not know over and over again. One surgeon was upset with him on one occasion for not showing up and was hesitant to go forward with my surgery. With him, I had to say let’s do this, as I do not know where he is. The surgeon did so but was not pleased with my husband.
Life goes on and I just deal with it but by 2014, I am convinced I am the crazy one in this relationship. Wonder why? Family and friends, if I had talked to them of matters, would just say he was odd, leaving me quietly suffering, as they would not understand the extensiveness of this situation.
I finally started with my former counselor and realizing before we met, she knew marriage issues for years was the topic from our telephone call. My first words were, as I sat in her office was that I think I am going crazy.
It may have been about two sessions with her, as it did not take her long at all to pick up on the possibility of Aspergers with him. Suggesting such, I always thought it was a childhood diagnosis, he is a grown adult, so I discounted her theory. The following week, again discussing the chaos and her stating, the Aspergers, repeating for that month, I finally understood and went searching for information, books, etc. I believe she was onto something and the more I poured myself into research, talking to her and that I finally felt heard, I realized I was not crazy after all. It is the Aspergers that I had been dealing with in him, for many years.
All of these years, my married life, I thought it was me, being stupid and all. There was a freedom in knowing I was dealing with Aspergers and it ALL made sense. The lightbulb moment.
Did that make life easier? Not really. It was just knowing what I was dealing with and having facts in front of me to grasp why this or that is done or said. The many years of struggling, I gave up on our marriage and due to other situations.
My counselor back then went to a conference and Aspergers was a topic, how perfect was that. Two couples, one married for years and the wife was was just done, as in my case. The other couple was newly married and aware of Aspergers, knowing right off the bat what they were dealing with, and had hope. Interesting. I believe she heard that at a time needed for me, my life and situation.
Life as a neurotypical (NT) with one having Aspergers (ASP) can be challenging for sure.
Actually, I am one of the lucky ones as he is a great employee, as he diligently works in his computer analyst position of coding, etc. A position that other employees hate because it is so detailed, tedious and routine. Is he a good husband, father, brother, friend, etc.? He is actually, as good as he can be.
A few weeks ago, I was telling him when he got home from work, of course, at the exact time as every work day, that our son was coming home to visit. While I was excited to see our son, the questions began. When will he be here? I do not know. How long will he be here? I do not know. What is he coming up here for? I do not know… perhaps just to visit. These would be non-ending questions so I walk away. I do not know how to deal with him much more, otherwise. It is okay because those are my boundaries. Otherwise, I do not know how much longer I would be there or I could take it.
Life is fun! Right? Don’t tell me, I do not know. 🤣
Please know, this blog is in no way bashing my husband or those with Aspergers but to allow others dealing with the same of a spouse, child, family member, friend or co-worker an insight of the black/white relationship, knowing you are not alone.
Just that can mean the world, you are not alone.
Often I read in Facebook private groups (there are plenty available) tonight of wives that have an Aspergers husband. It is common to read their frustrations over and over again, many wanting to run for the hills out of desperation.
So, if you think you or someone you know might be dealing with this, as something is just off, it is worth looking into. Look up Aspergers (Google search or Pinterest). I was blown away with the research and thank God I did, and I had a counselor to recognize the symptoms I described in my own desperation and hopelessness, after twenty-five years of marriage.
This book was my favorite.
Detrimental effects on Neurotypical Wives