Spouses with Autism
Just heard from hubby. I sent him copies of the Message Board responses (NO NAMES INCLUDED) and he was furious! Gave me an ultimatum.
Wasn't trying to infuritate him. Only trying to be honest. Told him I would not feel comfortable living with him again until he got Professional Medical help for his outbursts and explosive behavior.
I want to say I agree with the response regarding it not being T2's fault or his mother's about his Autism. In fact, I encouraged him time and time again. That he had nothing to be ashamed of. Actually, the opposite.
I suggested he come out of denial so he could share his many accomplishments and other benefits of his super-intelligence. Don't have time to share these with you guys today, but another day, hopefully. Right now, my computer session is almost up. Library will close soon.
Oh yes. About e-mail. Normally, I would probably agree. But at least on-line, as one person mentioned in a private message, I have time to digest his communication before I respond, even though his verbal blows are often sharp and painful initially. And at least we are not talking face-to-face, so he can not hit me either. We're not on the phone, so he can not yell at me. SAD ISN'T IT? It's such a shame. We have so much in common.
He told me I should STOP using his Autism for a "scapegoat" for our problems. Maybe he's right in that. Perhaps I need to STOP making excuses for his abuse. However, I have read that violent outbursts are a common trait of Autism. So, then, where does one draw the line and say -- "this is because of Autism and this is simply a case of bad temper???"
I just posted a message but I don't know where it went. So, I thought I would rewrite it under a "new topic" since I didn't see any topic about spouses with Autism anyway.
A few minutes ago I was sitting in the library with tears streaming down my face in the libray (my computer crashed some time ago) after reading an e-mail from my husband. I was so humiliated because I couldn't seem to get the tears to stop. His e-mails are so confrontational. I'm striving so hard for peace. I only want us to establish good and positive communication over a period of time before we try and deal with our issues.
During the past months of separation I tried discussing our issues only to discover that it is probably impossible to do this over the internet. My hubby is currently living in another state and internet is the least expensive most available to us at the current time. I'm beginning to realize we really need a mediator who is professionally trained to help in this situation. My husband thought insisted on a pastor since we are both believers in Christ Jesus and ministers ourselves. But most pastors are not qualified to help us in this situation because they are not trained Medical Professionals trained in the area of Autism and other conditions. Not only this, but we tried discussing our situation with others in ministry, etc. Two things happened. One, he ignored what he did not agree with and never followed through with the advice. Seconly, every time we began to discuss an issue he needed to work on, he would dodge it by slinging another twisted accusation at me. The professional (not medical) we were talking to was not trained in any type of counseling, let alone in Autism. As a result, she was not prepared for my husband's expertise (formerly top salesman for a well-known Christian organization) in manipulating a conversation. Before it was over, the PROFESSIONAL was yelling at me! I was astoundingly horrified to say the least.
My husband told me on our honeymoon he used to be Autistic (High-Functioning) and believes he has been healed. But his mother and I know from dealings with him that this healing has not manifested. Neither has any qualified doctor declared him to be free from the condition. His mother also suspects Asperger's Syndrome (I did recently read a little about a "Double Diagnosis -- High Functioning Autism with Asperger's Syndrome). My hubby's dad was recently diagnosed with ADD. So, I'm not sure of the entire picture at hand. A new analysis by a Medical Professional would help greatly. A situation came up recently where my husband may have to be tested concerning his condition. But he has refused to tell me what is going on with that.
We have been separated for about 11 months now. This is the second time. My husband ignores whatever he doesn't like or want to deal with. Even me, for an entire day if I say the least little thing he doesn't want to hear.
There have been bouts of yelling, throwing things at me, and hitting me (even in public) when my husband (I'll call him, "T2") because it seems a lot like the "terrible twos" to me. The outbursts -- even in public -- and the resulting humiliation I have often experienced. I don't think my husband is trying to be mean. Probably the Autism.
Communication has been a huge problem for us. Of course it is in most relationships, but I believe more so with someone with Autism.
My husband is brilliant and according to doctors, topped the scales on intelligence. I love this about him and his many skills and talents.
His mother has been very helpful in giving me what information she has about Autism and about her dealings with my husband.
I am far from perfect myself, but I know we need Professional Medical help in this situation. I hope to find a Christian Psychiatrist. It doesn't what state he is in. Currently, though, the best locations would be either in Tampa, Florida or Minnesota. Maybe even New York City (Manhattan) since I may go back there soon.
HELP! I really need some connections to others dealing with an Autistic spouse, or even children, etc.
I'M open to advice to how to be a better wife to someone who is Autistic, too. Some "Do's and Don't's for those married to an Autistic spouse would be helpful, too.
Woah! (Wife of Autistic Husband)
There is NO SUCH THING as "used to be autistic." Autism is lifelong. Sometimes, the symptoms can be controlled. But the autism is always there. Always. I'm afraid there are no Do's and Don'ts except to the extent that learning as much as you can about autism might be able to help explain to you some of his behaviors. Autism is, at its core, a disorder of interpersonal relationships. And there is not more volatile interpersonal relationship than marriage. I would STRONGLY suggest that your husband go to an autism center and get a full re-evaluation (if he is willing). Perhaps you can network and find out if there are marriage counselors in your area who are familiar with autism. Or if there are family therapists who are (especially if you have children -- family therapy is probably the way to go). There exist support groups for adult autistics. There are some near here (NYC Metro area), but you'd have to research if there are any near you. Rest assured that dealing with autism is no picnic. And there was far less known about it when your husband was young, so he didn't get the benefit of all the new therapies. Clearly, the two of you can't deal with this issue alone. Find a good therapist and also see if your DH would be willing to be seen by a doctor who specializes in autism (psychiatrist or neurologist). Medication can sometimes help. Autism is NOT a mental illness. It's a neurological difference that makes it hard for the person to interact with the world. None of your husband's autism is his fault (or yours or his mother's). It's just the way his brain is hardwired. If he comes to understand that, he may be able to compensate for it. Especially since he's so bright. He'd HAVE to be bright to have come far enough to be married in the first place. I believe he probably really needs you and you obviously love him. Hopefully, you'll both find your way.
PS -- Read Asperger Syndrome by Tony Attwood and The Explosive Child by Ross Greene (this one is about communication and that doesn't just apply to children).
Gee, thanks, to Tzoya and Kaviar! I feel very comforted and reassured. Sorry I could not get back to e-mail until today. My computer crashed some time ago and I have to do my computer work and e-mails from the public library for the time being.
At the moment, my session is almost up and I'll have to log on again. Your responses are more helpful than you know.
Other things are going better today, too.
Got a phone message from hubby. Wants to talk.
We'll see what happens.
Woah! (Wife of Autistic Husband)
There have been bouts of yelling, throwing things at me, and hitting me (even in public) when my husband (I'll call him, "T2") because it seems a lot like the "terrible twos" to me. The outbursts -- even in public -- and the resulting humiliation I have often experienced. I don't think my husband is trying to be mean. Probably the Autism.[/QUOTE]
You poor dear. Mega (((HUGS)))
You must be one incredible person to be strong enough to still want to work through this, despite the emotional and physical abuse. I, too, am Christian ... but I divorced a man for those very same reasons. I don't believe that God expects us to remain in a marriage where we are abused. I would NEVER counsel someone to get divorced, but please be careful. We have but one life on this Earth and I don't think God wants us to live it in fear and sorrow.
That being said, I know I've heard of many Christian family counselors and even though most may not be skilled in autism, the right one should be able to act as a mediator and certainly NOT as a co-conspirator in the game of "Let's Yell at WHOA!" Your husband may have autism, but it also sounds like he's got major self-control issues. Do NOT blame that on the autism. He is a grown man with a wife and a career ... not taking responsibility for his own actions (blaming it on a diagnosis, thus claiming to have no control) is simply not an option. I woudn't allow him to do this, if I were you. He needs counseling by himself, as well as counseling with you. If I were you, I'd make that a condition of being willing to keep the marriage together.
Also, just another suggestion, STOP COMMUNICATING BY EMAIL. That is no conversation, as it simply allows one person to dominate and the other to submissively be subjected to harsh words. I truly believe that the only way to work on things is to see each other in person. JMHO.
Best of luck, dear.