After four years struggling in this rocky relationship I finally understood my husband has AS. He also understood it after scoring 32 on the Baron-Cohen self-evaluation test (his father scored higher) and after reading some articles describing Asperger traits that fit him perfectly.
He has always seemed odd, right from the night I met him.
I had let go of a number of good-looking and smart ex-boyfriends because of different reasons: this one's jealous, that one's too superficial and so on. I was a very self-conscious girl and there were always a bunch of admirers around me. When I met my husband I thought now is the time to invest in a real relationship and start a family, as he really seemed to have it all: a good freelancer's job, good income, a nice family (great relationship with parents - at least that's how it looked at that moment), good looks and he was a perfectionist in bed (he later turned out to be rigid, unable to reach climax and to understand the need for emotional connection while making love: he was like a robot, having the same controlling manner, the same voice, no attempt to do foreplay and no interest whatsoever in fixing the fact that I was losing my capacity to find pleasure in having this kind of emotionless, disconnected sex).
There were multiple things that amazed me: he never thought about sharing anything with me (and it bothered him if I asked him to), he said nasty things - such as that I look older than I am, I have a disturbing voice or manner of speaking, my ”sarcasm” is upsetting for him, and he had a very strange way of behaving in public: he either hugged people who seemed to be bothered by his closeness or he refused to get involved in conversations with our friends, making me feel really awkward in social contexts.
The thing is I was highly attracted to his intelligence and good looks, so I focused on the whole, always finding excuses for him - he's a spoiled single child, he's smart enough to grow out of these immature reactions, he's interested in personal development so that's a good sign etc.
But then things got even more complicated: he started having extreme meltdowns and his fixed ideas became obvious (he kept repeating the words, ”it's the only way it works for me” whenever I attempted to do things in a different manner than the one he was used to). His sudden bursts of anger baffled me. They didn't make any sense and the level was highly inappropriate. I thought he was sick and needed help and I was determined to be there for him. I thought therapy would help. Turns out he was seeing his two therapists to talk about his sexual OCD (he felt he wanted to sleep with all the women he saw everywhere) and about what a lousy partner I was for not understanding his ”search for self” (he failed to mention his permanent indecisiveness, lack of ability to make plans, sleep disturbance, hypersensitivity to sounds, smells, light and touch, inability to understand how relationships function, multiple diseases with no organic cause, anger, daily anxiety and meltdowns).
In the meanwhile I turned from a confident good-looking, full of life woman into a wreck. He destroyed my self-esteem and made me think I (and his parents) was the one to blame for all his shortcomings and inabilities to cope with life.
Then just before Christmas I had a miscarriage. I had just started bleeding and I knew that was a terrible sign for my pregnancy. He left for work and two days passed without him calling to ask how I was or sending a message if only to make sure I didn't need help or to see how I was coping with this tragedy (I was alone in the house). I felt utterly lonely and couldn't tell whether losing my child or being abandoned while experiencing this was the greater wrong.
I saw a doctor and she advised me to wait for a natural miscarriage. The day my contractions started I called him to say it was happening. I felt horrible, not only physically but also emotionally. The thing he said struck me like nothing had struck me before, “you couldn't have chosen a worst moment, now that I am so busy”.
The funny thing is he seems such an angel from the outside. Everyone considers him great and they think he adores me because he has learnt to show affection in the presence of my parents and to mimic my social skills, as I'm really good with people. I think he chose me for that.
But behind closed doors he can turn into a wholly different human being: has no empathy or compassion (except for his cat), has multiple tantrums a day, behaves horribly with me and his parents, his egocentricity and selfishness taken to extremes. He's a control freak and bursts into anger if things (ranging from how dishes should be washed to how to spend the weekend) don't go his way.
We're separate now and I already feel lighter as if a heavy burden has just dropped off my shoulders. I now have to rebuild my self-esteem and go search for a requited love with a man that will accept and be happy for all the good things I'm willing to bring into our relationship.
If anyone has doubts whether a relationship with an AS husband can work... it sure can: if you're willing to give it all and get absolutely nothing in return. ”Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."
And you, Asperger guys, you should really wear a warning sign. Just tell the women you're dating you've got Asperger's and let them choose you for what you really are. Off with the masks!
© Laura 2016