An Autistic Husband Speaks

I’ve been married for 27 years. I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome 13 years ago. I don’t feel autistic. I can recognise autistic people on television and in movies. I’m not like them. My wife says I am. I know Donald Trump has autism and I’m not rude, crazy or stupid like he is.

My wife says she’s lonely, isolated and very, very sad. She says she often thinks of suicide to escape from the marriage. She says she makes herself very quiet and very small to not cause trouble or make my day go wrong for me. I don’t agree. I am normal. I don’t do anything wrong.

My wife says I don’t listen and I don’t care about her. I don’t know what to do. I don’t have any problem with my marriage. I go out and watch soccer, I send emails to my real family: a brother and my nieces. My wife goes out with her family and she has people she knows and talks to on the phone. I do some shopping and I hang out the washing. My wife cooks food and has organised a house cleaner and mower man for the garden. She’s not well since her cancer operation.

My wife says I don’t talk to her except to pass on information. I’ve got all this information in my head and I have to get it out and tell people. My wife says it’s boring and telling the bleeding obvious. I don’t agree. That’s not right. My wife says I don’t share my feelings. I don’t know what she’s talking about. I only feel anger and sadness. I don’t want to share that. It’s not nice.

My wife says I’m polite and courteous to other people when I’m out. I am and that’s the real me. My wife says I’m aggressive and unreasonable at home. She says I’m rude and treat her with disrespect and rudeness. That’s not really me. I want to be like I am when I’m out, at home. I don’t know how to do that. I’m not as bad as she says.

My wife has got very sick from stress. She cries a lot and is always sad. She doesn’t laugh anymore or have all the friends like she did before we married. I don’t know why. I don’t know what to do. I want to have the life we did before we got married. I don’t know what to do about that to make it happen.

My wife says I have to stop telling the same old jokes which just have puns. She said they’re not funny anymore. I like them so I keep making puns. She ignores me.

I wish I could fix this but I don’t know how. I keep making the same mistakes over and over. I don’t know why. I think I’m ok. I try really hard to talk to my wife. She doesn’t make herself clear. She wants to talk about problems and what happens with bills or tradesmen. I don’t know what to say. I say, “I know” a lot. She says she knows that I know and would like to know what I really think. I don’t know what I really think. I don’t know what I feel. I don’t feel much.

My wife is a good, kind person. She doesn’t deserve to be sad all the time. I don’t know what to do about that. I say I’m sorry, but I don’t know what I’m sorry for.

I try really hard. Nothing works.

© DB 2017