Testimonials
Add yours here


Ceal
3:24 PM
Mon 15th Oct, 2018

I'm so glad to find this site and see that others are also struggling to live with a spouse on the autism spectrum. I'm 61 and 5 years into the relationship. I left my community to be with him in a distant place where I knew no-one but him. He is retired and I am disabled although I work part time. The first two years were relatively good although I often felt very isolated and lonely. Thank goodness I had my grown-up son and more recently more friends, especially women friends. He's highly intelligent in some areas and that's a lot of what attracted me to him. But having an ordinary conversation is very difficult. He proclaims his opinions and cannot seem to deal with the normal back and forth of debating an issue. I'm an academic, very used to rigorous debate so this was hard for me. I’m ok with sometimes being alone which is why our relationship hasn't totally collapsed. Normally he is kind, friendly and affectionate but he can go into a rage if I challenge him on anything. His reaction is to attack and blame me for whatever is wrong. He helps very little with household chores and absolutely none with food. He mostly lives in his own world with very little need for interaction, except for sex which he pressures me quite a bit for. This is very hard for me when I feel so little emotional connection. It's probably the most difficult aspect of the relationship for me. It's hard but I'm not quite ready to give up. I wish I could find a way to make it work, but I realize he will never change, so all I can do is change my expectations and how I interact with him. Once again, all the work in this relationship is on my shoulders. Spouses/partners of people with autism really need genuine support groups, where they can share their experience.


Paula
7:42 PM
Wed 3rd Oct, 2018

To all those neurotypical partners out there I would like to share my story in the hopes that it might offer some consolation to you. Three years ago I moved out of the custom built home my husband and I built into an apartment. I was in such a state of shame I am surprised that I could function.My family didn't understand why I could leave such a nice guy and good provider . It was a period in my life of intense loneliness and forever changed my relationship with my siblings and parents. Fast forward three years I am now in a condo I love, I have a legal post nuptial agreement with my husband that is satisfactory and although the romantic relationship is not viable the friendship and mutual respect has returned.I could not have gotten this far without the support of this site, a counselor well versed in the AS/Neurotypical dynamic and the deep women friends that supported me through this crisis. Sometimes I am wistful for the relationship that was only in my dreams and not supported by reality, some times I am saddened by how I have changed no longer a girl with girlish dreams but rather a tired middle age woman who would prefer peace and not the ups and down of a romantic relationship. But more and more I am quietly proud of how I am evolving into my truest self without the distraction of confusion regarding my feelings.Peace on your journey.


spouse
6:39 PM
Mon 1st Oct, 2018

I am carer, coach, guardian, parent, teacher, protector, friend and social guide. I am NOT loved, appreciated, adored, cared for, considered, noticed, loved or wanted at times. Don't dare tell me this is fixable, my fault, imagined. It is a lonely, sad hell on earth being a spouse of someone with autism.


Gavin
2:23 PM
Tue 25th Sep, 2018

I am the husband (of 28 years) of a wife with (undiagnosed) AS. Our daughter (20) was diagnosed autistic at 5 years old. My father-in-law was definitely AS (although undiagnosed). My wife's nephew has been diagnosed autistic. Very recently a friend of ours pointed out similarities between my wife and daughter. I had not recognised AS in my wife. I have been researching the web for information (there are masses). Your site has confirmed to me that my wife is certainly AS and I am suffering from Cassandra's syndrome. I have suffered from depression for around 20 years (diagnosed by my GP). I have been confused and lonely for a long time despite my tireless efforts to make our marriage work. Thank you so much for lifting the veil. I sent an email (to give her time to process) to my wife suggesting she is on the spectrum in the most loving and positive way I could. She had a meltdown and told me to f*** off. I think our marriage is over. To be honest I'm not so sad. I'm so grateful for your site.


David
5:38 PM
Sun 23rd Sep, 2018

This is a very validating website, and I appreciate reading through others' experiences. Most of the posts are from women, but neurotypical men are victims of women with Asperger syndrome more than people realize, since the condition is under-diagnosed in women. In my own situation, I was completely fooled by a woman who was very charming, a great actor, who viewed me as her "special interest" for a while, until things got closer and she suddenly did a disappearing act, leaving me to wonder what happened. No response, no explanation, no empathy (even though they claim to have more empathy than normal). I was just suddenly discarded like an object. Although she told me that she had been diagnosed with Aspergers at one point in the "relationship" (I use relationship loosely, because it was always difficult to connect with her emotionally), it was not soon enough. I would have appreciated knowing earlier so that I could have been prepared for this kind of behavior and get out before being hurt and confused. The irony here is that the Asperger online community (or "high function autism" community) has become a group of militant activists who claim that they are superior to the rest of us, claim that they deserve special treatment because they have a disability, and claim they don't intend to hurt anyone. Although I have some compassion for their situation, I also don't think they are being completely honest. In my experience, "aspies" are smart enough to know what they're doing, and they're smart enough to realize that they are often willfully hiding something from us, something that will cause us hurt. And they do it anyway, because of their own selfish needs to not be alone. Well, I'm sorry if they are alone because they lack empathy and social skills, but it's not my job to fix that problem for them. Don't give them a pass, just recognize the disorder if you can and run in the other direction as fast as possible, before it consumes you and causes you to question your sanity. I'm still recovering.


Joan
4:48 PM
Tue 18th Sep, 2018

I read the final step of SALVE for neurotypicals on the FAAAS website and these 2 quotes stood out: "No therapy, couple counselling, pill, diet or to-do-list can unwire an autistic brain and thereby delete the autistic impacts in an NT-AS relationship." "Lorna Wing, a pioneer in the field of understanding autism spectrum disorder, made it clear: There are basically only two options for the NT spouse of a person with Asperger /high functioning autism. Either accept the AS/Hfa partner as he/she is; or terminate the relationship."


a-nony-mous
3:35 PM
Mon 17th Sep, 2018

I am lost. I am so lost in my life that I actually feels like it's not worth living as I don't know how to find my way again. I read this quote this morning … “Do not minimize the extent of my having been changed from a vivacious, sensual, happy, loving, athletic, healthy, wealthy, bright, articulate, fairly socially adept human to being melded and molded (sic) to accommodate an autistic adult into exactly the opposite of who I am for the sake of a one-sided relationship.” … and I just burst into tears. I feel so different to how I know I used to be. I am suffocated, I have for some ungodly reason been suppressed and moulded to my husband’s ‘funny’ ways. I can’t believe how much I have changed but why has this happened? When I met my husband of 11 years, I had been in several relationships before and thought I knew what I wanted. In fact, I had a list of pre-requisites. Why then did I get hooked up with a man who ticked very few of those boxes? Some of my previous relationships had been unsuitable in some way or another and a big factor in finding a new partner for me was to find someone who was intelligent, financially independent and preferably with no acrimonious ex-wives or children to have to deal with. My husband was just about to turn 40, had never been married, had a well-paid job and seemed pretty independent. If I am honest with myself, deep, deep down I had reservations right from the start but well, I just find it very hard to explain. He smoked and drank a fair bit, had lots of tattoos and was not a fashionable dresser. We had a common interest in music – which I subsequently see that is also a marker. He seemed very cool (as in distant, as opposed to hip/trendy), seemed like a gentleman and was willing to make the effort (he lived 60 miles away from me and seemed happy to keep driving over to mine). I also have a pre-programmed wire inside me that insists that I make everyone I meet feel comfortable. Little did I realise that by doing that, I was actually feeding what I now realise to be Asperger’s. I see now on reading these articles that a man with Asperger’s will mistake that interest as love/or a relationship and of course in those first few months, he did do the normal things any normal person would do. He seemed to show interest, he shared stories about his family, we went to dinner, I was wined and dined. And classically, he is an engineer. His job took him away from home for weeks at a time but when he wasn’t working he was home 100% of the time. This arrangement suited me at the time as I was a professional with a good job, a single mum to boot and very independent. I was in a peculiar situation in my own life at that very point in time, a crossroads if you like. I had intentions of giving up my well-paid job of 28 years to help out with a terminally ill family member but at this time of dating my would-be husband, the family member died. I had left work, so had no income and my direction had totally changed, I let myself drift into a deeper relationship and moved in with my husband in his home town – even though I had left a beautiful, modern town house and moved in to his ex-council house which was very poorly furnished and seemed like a bachelor pad. Did I take this on as a job, to change the house, to change my partner, to keep trying my hardest to please him? I think so. My daughter was 12 years old when this was happening and I had high hopes of my new man becoming more of a father figure. Someone to help me out a bit, help with homework and have a normal relationship with my daughter, take her swimming or to the cinema (none of those things ever happened.) It pains me hugely to think of this now as I feel I ruined my daughter’s teen years. They never bonded nor even got on. My husband (I will call him MH for my husband) had nothing to do with her. I don’t mean in a very obvious way, it was more subtle; never coming to school parents night’s, never showing any interest with anything to do with her, not communicating with her, I mean literally barely talking – my daughter and I were both desperate for attention. He would be most obsessed on how untidy her bedroom was, or how she was untidy around the house. He NEVER EVER gave her ANY praise for anything, only to whinge about her untidiness. When her school friends would come round for dinner, we’d sit around the dinner table chattering about the day/school, I mean myself, my daughter and her friends. MH would be silent and not join in at all. The atmosphere would always be uncomfortable so we learned to just have her friends around and do fun stuff when my husband was away at work. Not realising about Asperger’s back then, I’d just keep trying to do bigger, more outrageous things to get a reaction out of MH. Any reaction. He seemed without emotion. Buying bigger and bigger presents: I bought him a brand-new motorbike to see if I could make him jump for joy one year and was sorely disappointed. Our sex life, which had started out ‘okay’, I mean just ok not brilliant just went downhill. I had always been very open about sex and everything to do with it but had slowly found over time that MH not only did not want to talk about it, he seemed to have no sex drive. No warmth, nor physical affection. It was almost as if he did not know how to flirt, how to be sexy, how to give compliments, how to be around a woman. He would be EXTREMELY uncomfortable if I tried to explain or show him what I liked, what worked for me, he simply did not want to know and was very rude to me if I tried to talk to him; he said it was too clinical to talk about. Or he’d just walk away when we were in the middle of it as he said he felt I had put him on the spot to perform. So, I couldn’t show him, I couldn’t talk to him – how exactly was I to communicate what I liked? One time, in the early days, he went down on me but was too forceful, it was painful and when I said so, he really took exception, was super offended and said when he’d done the same thing for a previous girlfriend she had liked it. Needless to say, that was the end of that type of foreplay. He only ever preferred sex in the morning, in bed. No other options. No spontaneity. So, again rather than be rejected time and again, I gave up instigating sex, so now we just do it when MH wants. Usually same time, same place, same position, same movements, like line dancing; same moves every time. If he climaxes before me, he’ll roll off and that’s the end of that. If I say I need to be satisfied, he does nothing. There’s no touching, no talking so I end up feeling so uncomfortable I end up not bothering. I felt depressed. I thought it was the house we lived in. We had a neighbour-from-hell next door which I couldn’t do much about and our house was a dowdy colour of brown, at least this was something we could change. I asked again and again if we could move house or at the very least, paint it but MH was happy in that house. He had picked it and it was as much part of his routine as breathing. To surprise him while he was away at work I decided to do paint it myself. I bought the brushes and exterior paint and hired a scaffold – when the lorry arrived with the scaffold the guy asked who was going to help him unload the scaffold poles and erect the scaffold and was floored when I replied ‘just me’. He took pity on me and although he was not allowed to, he helped me put the scaffold up and I then spent the next 6 weeks clambering up and down the damned thing painting the whole exterior of the house with a 4” paintbrush (in between doing my new job and being a mum). It was really difficult, hard work. I had to clamber up and down the scaffold and had to keep moving the scaffold into position around the house and then back again to do a second coat. I was covered in bruises and ached from head to foot but was enormously proud and happy that I had managed single-handedly to complete the task and now the house gleamed in a new brighter shade of magnolia. I couldn’t wait for MH to arrive back from work to admire my handy work. (He had been away for 10 weeks and the house was gleaming, it was immediately obvious as soon as you turned the corner into our street – it looked like a new house). His car rolled onto the drive, he jumped out, gave me a tiny unfeeling hug and said ‘hi, allright’… no more. He made no comment on the house. I was crushed. As went indoors, I said “well? Is that it, just Hi.” He turned very moody instantly and snapped “give me a chance to get in the door, for goodness sake”. He has yet to acknowledge my superhuman feat. I can’t remember if it was that occasion or another when he came home (away at sea again for 10 weeks – I’m thinking we will be falling onto the welcome mat at the door for a passionate session but I had been told off previously for jumping on him when he got back – he’d say he had been travelling for hours and needed time to rest!!) - I had parked my car diagonally across the drive and not left enough space for his car (he had been travelling for a couple of days and I had no idea when he was arriving). He harboured that grudge for 5 years before he brought it up in an argument!!!!!! That’s because our biggest problem is communication. There simply is none. I have read self-help books and tried everything I can think of to try to communicate with him but none of the tricks in the psychology books or self-help books have worked. And routine. Oh, the routine. The same food on the same nights of the week. AAArrgh. It drives me nuts. He drinks too much, watches tv and like to play solitaire on the computer. ‘Hey hon,’ I say ‘Want to play scrabble?’ ‘No’ he says…then 5 minutes later he is playing solitaire. He would rather do that than interact with me, how hurtful is that? And the funny part, he doesn’t think that. Even when I have pointed it out. He just doesn’t get it. Why do I stay? I have invested 12 years of my life in MH. I am now almost of retiring age, if I leave now, my financial future is in ruins. I’m also a very loyal person and marriage felt like it ought to be for life, they were promises. MH never gets angry. He never shouts. We don’t argue (because he just COMPLETELY CLAMS UP, so I end up arguing with the wall). He puts food on the table and pays all the bills. He is polite and courteous. I’d like to say articulate but the only subject he will wax lyrical over is his job, when he will bore anyone to death with minutiae details to the Nth degree. I feel like a paid housekeeper. If I leave I will have to start all over and I just feel tired to the bone, tired of living and so, so alone. I think because of MH we don’t have many friends, he usually doesn’t like or gel when any of my friends, or is either boring or bores them talking about his work, or comes out with something inappropriate so I have become hermit-like myself and unsure of how to make new friends anymore. I feel like MH’s weirdness is rubbing off on me and I am becoming more like him. It scares me silly. I want to be free but I want him to be more like the person I thought I was hooking up with when we met. If I leave now, it’s 12 years down the drain and my daughters’ formative teenage years ruined. As soon as she finished uni, she left to live on the far side of the world from me in Japan. Probably subconsciously to get away from our uncommunicative life. She now has a huge social circle and lots of really close friends in total contrast to our deathly quiet home life. I miss her so badly. My family are all in another country. I feel so alone. I tried to tell my sister how things were not good at home but she snapped at me that at least I have a husband and he is a great provider. Because I have retreated from everyone, I have no direction. At least MH is a pillar of rigid boring stability…if I cast off then I would be totally adrift. I am frozen with indecision. Facilitator’s note: The indecision and confusion are part of Ongoing Traumatic Relationship Syndrome (OTRS). Add to that Cassandra Phenomenon where no-one who could validate your feelings believes you and then it’s a terrible mess for the rest of our lives. We lose our sense of who we are and what we want. It is brainwashing. They subtly manipulate and mould their neurotypical “carers” to suit their own needs. There is hope, if you learn all you can about AS and how it affects us. Gradually you will learn to emotionally disconnect from them and their confusing, controlling ways. It takes a long time to be able to do that. Please remember this is not your fault. You did nothing to encourage any of this pain. You were selected and groomed by an expert who camouflaged his real difficulties until he had caught you, then he manipulated and bullied you to change everything to the way he wanted his life to be. This is the autistic psychopathy Hans Asperger described, which is hardly ever talked about.


anonymous gal
7:20 AM
Sat 8th Sep, 2018

Reading these is so validating, thank you all. I wish I could connect with some of you! I'm so exhausted, I wish I could just go to sleep and not wake up. I've pretty much screwed myself over completely by getting married to this guy, who by the way occasionally can be one of the sweetest, funniest, most hardworking people I know, ironically. He's from another culture and language background than I am, and combine that with his being undiagnosed and keeping up his 'mask' while we were dating, well, he got me. Realizing that I've wasted years of my life with someone who is emotionally, physically, and intellectually unfulfilling for me...and not having any of my friends who understand... Really starved for deep conversation, sick of his unsanitary ways, tired of tip-toeing so he won't feel attacked, and tired of letting him always have his own way, tired of him putting his job and special interests ahead of me at every turn and then being confused at my lack of enthusiasm and energy. Months after his diagnosis I am happy to finally know I'm not insane, and to know the source of my depression, BUT I'm still married to the source of my depression. The night of the honeymoon was the only time we had sex without me initiating it. Before his diagnosis I'd have to work hard to interest him, and since (as I now know) he wasn't feeling the same desire I was, it took so much coaxing and stimulation for him to get into the moment, and that moment was really brief and unfulfilling. I thought he didn't find me attractive, and even once thought he must have been secretly having an affair. He was -- with porn. Post-diagnosis, I almost wish we never found out, because now it's clear that I'm with someone who has not developed mentally past age 5. So, I'd rather be celibate, because giving these how-to instructions in bed, to someone who is not really amorous but just humoring me, feels almost sick. I can't rightly tell him this, though, and now I suspect he is getting confused because his counselors have told him to show his wife more affection! He's kicked the porn at least. We're both from a religious community where divorce is only entertained if certain serious circumstances exist. Same for suicide; it's just not an option, though God help me, I think about it very seriously at least once per month. Right now, I'm pretty broke but I'm trying to teach myself web design/programming so I can be independent, get my own car and travel again like I used to. But sometimes I spend the whole day sleeping or web-surfing, instead of studying. I saw a lovely therapist for a bit but I could tell she was on Team Divorce. I try to take some natural anti-stress supplements. I try to talk with my mom but she has no idea. If you are dating someone with AS or suspect they are AS, please, please get out. Do not marry them; I mean, regular marriage is hard enough without the extra layers of stress and confusion.


Henry
10:32 PM
Tue 4th Sep, 2018

I have been in hell for nearly four years. I am controlled, bullied, humiliated; my very sanity is in question sometimes and I'm scared to be me. I have had everything about me that I loved and enjoyed systematically stripped away through passive aggressive manipulation and a stifling, overbearing regime of manipulation and unbearable histrionics if I don't comply. I am kept awake when I'm exhausted because she wants to talk (endlessly complain) but if I want to discuss anything, it's shut down like I'm dealing with a child. I've been told to sit down while I'm berated and have been physically attacked for trying to leaver the room. The little free time I have is regimented and usually has to fit in with her wishes. I love being at work because I'm shown some respect and kindness. I dread the weekends. The endless boring monologues complaining and rambling self obsessed, dry lectures. I'm given chores to do that she can't be bothered (pretty much everything that isn't one of her obsessions) with and then criticised from the sofa at every step. The slightest request is met with anger and irrational venom and then I'm told that it's my fault. She'll stare at her 'phone for hours and then explode if I look at mine for a few seconds, demanding to know what I'm looking at or berating me for not paying her attention. Day in. Day out. I've been isolated from my family who she doesn't like and have no friends any more. I have no personal time or space. I'm constantly trying to prevent the next explosion over nothing and I'm so tired. She sits at home all day and does nothing and then mocks me for being tired when I come home from work and sigh about having to clean up. If it wasn't for the baby we have I'd run so far and so quickly. If anyone out there is able to escape do it now. It only gets worse. Imagine a hand around your throat that tightens a tiny bit every single day. Imagine no joy or sense of self. That's how it will be.


Steven
12:56 PM
Sun 2nd Sep, 2018

Wow, I just started to discover "Aspies" tonight and it is saving my sanity. I was googling Abusive Relationships and after many helpful and interesting links I ended up here. Thank goodness, I feel a lot of relief and a ton of self-invalidation has been lifted off my shoulders. It's hard to be a man with an abusive wife. I see lots of women here talking about their husbands, and very few men. It might be that we men are a bit ashamed about tolerating this kind of humiliation from a woman. My wife and I seemed so happy for the first few years, and even though she was always a bit "different" I found her quirkyness fascinating and cute. She told me early on that she didn't understand other people very well, and that she had no ability to be diplomatic, but at that time she treated me wonderfully so I just listened and was curious about her stories. The one thing that bothered me in the beginning was that she seemed a bit shallow, even though she was quite intelligent. She didn't like to go into much detail about things and didn't like me to ask too many questions. She would say a sentence or two about something and that was enough for her, maybe a little more if it was really important to her, but it was always brief and to the point. But I love to talk and really go into the details about things, so I think she was just being polite to me in the beginning by listening to me when I wanted to talk, but eventually she stopped tolerating more than a few sentences from me. And if she said something I didn't understand, I was allowed one, maybe two, questions and if I didn't get it by then her anger would appear. It's now gotten so bad that I'm afraid to say anything, I can never predict what it is she'll react to, and she refuses to tell me what is going on; I don't know if she doesn't want to tell me or if she doesn't even know, but I suspect it's the latter. It was especially nice for me to read another person talk about how his Aspie wife would explode with anger when he said something emotional - that's exactly what happens all the time with me too, but I didn't get the connection - for me it was just a bizarre reaction. She says I am too emotional, which is super weird because no one in my life has ever said that about me! If anything, as a man, I probably could afford to learn to show more feelings not less! But with a wife like this it was making my head spin and thinking I was crazy. I've been taking her criticisms too much to heart and it has been almost making me ill. She constantly complains now about everything and it's like walking on eggs around her. I realize from what I read in the last few hours, that it's true that she thinks that everything she thinks is right, and if I accidentally do or say anything that she doesn't agree with she has to immediately attack. Everything is always my fault and there is no discussion allowed. Thanks for all of you who have shared your stories, it helps us keep our sanity to know we are not alone. I feel a bit bad because I know that she does not know any better. I think that's why many of us try to make it work, and so I can't judge either those who try to hang in there or those who finally give up and try to reassemble their lives and find some peace and happiness.


Piper
1:22 AM
Fri 31st Aug, 2018

After 2 and a half years my Asperger boyfriend just shut down & has frozen me out. On our last date he snapped at me once again for daring to question it wasn’t so cold outside as he thought(?) I finally ventured to say I think you have Asperger traits but it seemed to go over his head. Later in the eve I decided to go home and not stay with him as I sensed he was on overload & irritable & needed his rest. Well after that all our dates fell through & he slowly started ignoring my texts. As it was we had a holiday booked a few weeks away & still nothing from his camp. After 3 weeks I drove over to his house & it was as though he had flipped a switch and I was now dead to him. Told me the relationship wasn’t working for him, when I asked why he said I was was very self centred , that I overrode his opinion on the weather, when I said is that all? He said he’d been thinking about things & it’s not working for him. When I mentioned the holiday he insinuated I had invited myself (huh?) what can I say, I was in shock but truly believe he did not want to fess up to his issues. Frankly I’m relieved as I was not getting my needs met, never a compliment, no words of love & all his other relationships fell apart which of course he blamed on the ladies. He was so kind & attentive in the beginning but then the mask slipped. Just shocking how cold he became when he wrote me off.


JJ
10:28 AM
Thu 9th Aug, 2018

I spent 6 months in a relationship with someone undiagnosed with Aspergers. It took me at least another 6 months to work it all out and finally put the pieces together. On the outside, my ex was a person who seemed quite 'altogether' - good looking, sporty, ambitious and charming. However, in the end I realised he was incredibly good at masking the fragile self who was plagued with low self esteem, OCD, anxiety and depression. In our relationship, there was poor communication, poor conflict resolution and intimacy issues. I am so grateful and thankful to have walked away but I feel sorry for any future partners who are yet to experience the confusion and unhappiness of dating someone like him and will be left not understanding what went wrong...


KM
8:55 AM
Tue 7th Aug, 2018

The neurotypical can come to believe they deserve to be ignored. They develop coping mechanisms similar to psychic numbing, where their own feelings become invisible to them. They develop a “tough cookie, no fear” exterior to get past their feelings of loss and grief for their circumstances. Few researchers have honestly looked at the trauma suffered by neurotypicals who are subjected to constant disregard by their Asperger family members. The result of this disregard is what could be called invisibility. The daily trauma of being invisible to an Asperger parent or partner who holds the neurotypical emotional hostage in his or her own home can best be described as ongoing traumatic relationship syndrome (OTRS).


Judith Newton
7:16 AM
Sun 5th Aug, 2018

To all the people who so generously sent testimonials to date we want to let you know we had problems with the website and sadly have lost some of them. The timeline of posting from 2011 has also been lost. This won't prevent us posting your testimonials in the future. Thank you most sincerely for your support.


Hope
10:37 AM
Sat 4th Aug, 2018

I appreciate everything I have read here! I am in the 6th year after a divorce from a husband, who I am sure has undiagnosed Aspergers. Our 17 year old twins daughters, have one who is extremely gifted, and the other who has mild or high functioning Autism. I am still trying to recover a sense of self, or some hope or interest in dating again. Very scared am I, but I have at least met two men who are kind and well related. My former husband is an electrical engineer, who is probably a genius, but was often very unkind to me, usually with little to no empathy for me or my life. The relationship had become abusive, with me running after him trying to get crumbs of kindness or attention or empathy.


E
10:33 AM
Sat 4th Aug, 2018

I just wanted to pass on a sincere thank you for the article: Emotional Detachment: Surviving Ongoing Abusive Relationships.This is so very helpful to me at the moment and I am grateful to have stumbled across it.


Sabrina
10:26 AM
Sat 4th Aug, 2018

"Mommy" is tired of answering questions. But I don't have any actual kids in my home. I have a husband with autism. No, I don't know what that thing on the carpet is. No, I don't know what that paper in the front yard is. I wish you could get out of your recliner and go look since I'm making dinner with a headache and three weeks of heart palpitations. I'm tired of being grilled for the most basic information that other people just intuit from normal interactions. You're locked out of your online bank account because I screwed up on the password a bunch of times because I didn't know you'd changed it. Oh, but 1,600 questions later, you're sort of understanding the situation. 'Did you actually mean 1,600 questions, because I only asked three questions and how is that "grilling?"' Mommy needs a break.


Dawn
10:12 AM
Sat 4th Aug, 2018

I unknowingly married an Aspie after a period of being his special interest. Like everyone else has said, once the mask falls all you are left with is a special needs caretaking role. Like all of you I lived with the disgusting unsanitary habits, lack of hygiene, explosive anger, mistrust, constant accusations, rules, control, social gaffes, meltdowns, dishonesty...he admitted to his ASD and to having oppositional defiant disorder; but always denied that his disorders had any affect on me whatsoever. EVERYTHING was my fault or my children's fault- his kids were absolutely perfect and above reproach in any way. Blame was assigned for the smallest things- someone always had to be wrong. Everything out of his mouth was critical and angry. I too had a cancer scare and did I receive one bit of loving support? NO. Instead he had a three day meltdown and refused to speak to me or stay in a room with me- called me an aldulterer because a male doctor had seen the lump in my breast. He truly thought he owned me. If I was five minutes "late" home from the store I would get an angry phone call accusing me of using the trip as an excuse to meet another man. I was expected to report ANY words I exchanged with any other male to him immediately. If I ever failed say that so and so had spoken to me and he found out later, there was hell to pay. It was "proof" I was untrustworthy and I would have to "earn" his trust and my freedom again. All in all four separate marriage counselors strongly advised me to leave him. Finally I did, but not soon enough. My advice is if you can leave- just do it It will not get better. Ever. Stop wasting your time on delusions that they will change. They will change- but not for the better. Save yourself. No matter what the cost, it is worth it. I sleep on the floor, I eat from the food pantry. But I am free. It's taken me a long time to process the damage this has done, and will take me a life time to undo. Meanwhile despite his tears, begging, proclamations that he will never love anyone else, that I have broken him, that he would take a bullet for me, he moved on immediately. Was sleeping around before I even moved out. I was completely interchangeable with the next woman he could hitch himself to. Two weeks after I left he had introduced his whole family to the new "love of his life." You have value, you matter. You deserve so much more than a life taking the abuse an Aspie will throw at you. Especially when in the end they simply do NOT care about you as an individual at all!!


Red
10:11 AM
Sat 4th Aug, 2018

Glad I've found this site or more terrified than ever. I have sobbed as I've read. I have an HFA husband who is deeply depressed and who has declined over the years, and a young HFA son. Feeling death by 1000 cuts. Devastated that this will be my only son's future. I haven't given up, but I think about it and pray for strength. What on earth to do. Haven't found any local support for neurotypical spouses.


Sharon
10:10 AM
Sat 4th Aug, 2018

I'm finally starting to believe that it's not me regardless of what my spouse or others say. This is a strange relationship that requires me to see two counselors and take antidepressants just to remain in the relationship. It's a strange world where a counselor can make a living from dealing with my situation for one hour per week while I deal 24/7 and receive no compensation whatsoever. No financial, emotional, physical, or satisfying relational reimbursement. Conversely, I've lost so much emotionally, physically, and relationally that I don't know if full recovery is possible.


San
10:09 AM
Sat 4th Aug, 2018

I met him when I was 20. He was my first Caucasian friend so I attributed a lot of misunderstandings to cultural differences. Fast-forward to 8 years later, we decided to date. He was somewhat normal initially, despite some arguments in the first few weeks of us dating. I learnt later on that he was told he might suffer from Asperger's and he promised to seek professional help. He never did. I brought it up a few times but financial limitations was always his excuse. We dated long distance before living together. It was years and years of nightmares living with an Aspie. Almost everything I said would be misunderstood and I would truly struggle to understand his point of view. He would assertively accused me of not listening. He was so certain I was the wrong one, the one to be blamed. He would get into drinking rampage and throwing tantrum in public. He would break things in the apartment. He often complained of oversensitive area of his skin and overly loud noise so I often couldn't hear his speech because it would be too soft and he would criticise me for shouting. I am aware that I am a little bit hearing impaired so I often attributed that to my problem. After another 8 years of struggles, I now have come to the acceptance that this Aspie is not my burden to shoulder. I cannot speak for all Aspies, but the one I lived with truly came off as being extremely selfish, cold-blooded and heartless. He would behave the same way to his own family such as his mother but his mother allows it because he is her Saint. Every now and then when he bothered, he would put in the effort to be sweet, kind and considerate, but that never lasts because it was too effortful. The lashing out and mercurial temperaments were the hardest to deal with. The constant accusations that it was my problem made me doubt my own sufferings that I succumbed to a relapse of clinical depression. Communication road blocks is the single biggest challenge in this relationship. I still have a lot of self doubt due to the traumas of being in an intimate relationship with this man. When I finally met his family, I found out from their oral accounts of his childhood and realised he had always been 'odd' but intelligent. His childhood friend confirmed that and had advised me to move on. His best friend consoled me by saying, "At the very least, he won't cheat." What I wanted to add here is that your suffering and pain are valid. Aspies have a way albeit unintentionally to make you lose all self worth, self esteem, self respect, and your sanity. Living with an Aspie is truly a nightmare. On my part, I am most grateful to a few of our mutual friends who courageously spoke out truthfully to me. One mentioned that his treatment of me was akin to domestic abuse. Another mentioned that our group of friends had been whispering about him having a normal girlfriend. One honestly confessed that it was extremely frustrating to communicate with him. For these people, I am forever indebted to. Thus, I am speaking out. Hopefully any of you reading who are considering being intimate with an Aspie will make an informed decision.


Heidi
10:07 AM
Sat 4th Aug, 2018

I'm a psychologist and cannot believe I missed the signs that he has Asperger's. All of the signs were there: stimming, repetitive behaviors, rigid adherence to routines, overly intense eye contact, odd beliefs about social interactions, lack of empathy, etc. He was amazing while we were dating, but the second we became engaged, it all came flooding out. We would fight constantly. His rage was unbelievable, and it would take him days to weeks to calm down. During one of his rages, I would get 100s of text and emails telling how horrible I am and how it is all my fault. It was always over something he thought I was saying as a slight to him or something that violated his precious rules. He became verbally abusive, would accuse me of all manner of things, tell me I was being irrational if I got upset, and made everything about him. He would ask me about my feelings, and then immediately invalidate them and take them on as his own. If I said that I felt betrayed, he would tell me why I couldn't possibly feel that way and that it was he who felt betrayed. Then that's all I would hear about for the next week...how I betrayed him by saying I felt betrayed. We went to therapy, and I specifically chose a psychologist with strong relationship therapy skills. The psychologist told him that I was the one being verbally abusive!! Apparently me saying "what if I said this to you...how would that make you feel?" was me being abusive. After a year of this I asked myself what was happening. I'm a psychologist! I can communicate effectively with anyone and problem solve with the best of them. Why couldn't I just get through to him or meet his standards? It was while I was doing a training on testing for Autism for my coworkers that it hit me that he has Asperger's. I ran it by him, and after doing some research, he amazingly said that he agreed that the diagnosis fit. After another major fight, he went back to the see our old therapist. The therapist told him that the "emotional outbursts" and difficulty with communication between he and I was not due to his high functioning Autism but because I clearly have Borderline Personality Disorder!!! My hope that he would finally get some help in recognizing that he verbally abuses me and that I'm having emotional breakdowns as a result was thrown out the window. This quack of a psychologist dismissed all of his Autism symptoms, excused them away and slapped a diagnosis on me instead. Never mind that I've never had any difficulties like this in past relationships and have friendships with people Ive known since I was 3 years old. Never mind that I've always been described as the "unemotional one" or the "rational one" or the "guys girl" because I think more like a male. I tried to stick in there and at one point even considered that maybe he was right. Maybe it is me who has the problem. Thankfully, I work with a large team of psychologists who pointed out all of the flaws in that guy's diagnostic abilities. I finally left the relationship, but that didn't stop my now former fiancé from threatening to kill me. He threatened to shoot me but then said that wouldn't be as satisfying as strangling me. Of course, he couldn't understand why that made me soon upset and "irrational." But he then told his therapist that I was the one who threatened to kill him and that I'm suicidal!! The lies and manipulation are unbelievable. And there are many people who believe him. He has managed to make me look like the unstable one! I wish I had never met him. I'm still in love with the man he pretended to be in the beginning, and I have to remind myself every day of who he really is. I hate to say it, but my own profession failed me. We are ridiculously inept at understanding what it is really like to be in a relationship with someone with high functioning Autism. Part of me wants to change this, but the other part of me wants to run as far away from all things Autism as possible.


Katie
10:03 AM
Sat 4th Aug, 2018

Do I have a right to call myself a NT spouse because the $1000.00 psychological work-up said he has many "behaviors consistent with someone who has AS." However because he didn't demonstrate any tics and could make eye contact during the evaluation, there was no diagnosis of AS. I am so frustrated, angry, lonely and at the end of my rope. He tics like a clock at home and makes overly intense eye contact with me or none at all. But at 46 years old he plays this game with the best of them. Various people don't believe me. "He sounds depressed." "Just play some music and get in touch with spiritual things." No! This is a four-alarm fire! I need the whole fire brigade. And to the person who posted about just being diagnosed with cancer September 6th. I'm so sorry about this scary event. And so sorry about your husband's outrageous response.


Skyrae
10:02 AM
Sat 4th Aug, 2018

Here is a slice of my life with my ASD husband. I am told I have breast cancer by the doctor over the phone. During the conversation I text my H with the news. I hang up just as my ASH walks into the house. I am utterly devastated as you can imagine. He's furious. I forgot to unlock the garage for him and he had to walk to the front door. I tell him through my sobbing that it's been an awful day and I forgot. He yells, "Well then, keep the garage unlocked until you feel better!" I cry out that I just found out I have cancer! "Agh!" he barks back, "It's not such a big deal!" He remains angry for two hours about the garage. What was that really all about? His conclusion that my forgetting was an insult to HIM. It has been hard to recognize the disorder because Aspies can imitate NT's so well and appear very normal. There needs to be more societal education about this profound but often hidden disability so that people don't unknowingly have to go through this hell. I read about how Aspies have too much feeling, too much empathy. That is such nonsense. They may think empathy, but do not feel it. They may think feelings but do not truly feel them. The experts need to get real. The emotions of those with ASD are more like SPONTANEOUS REACTIONS, Like screaming when startled, laughing at a joke, or their outbursts of reactive anger, but no reflective emotion is there. The emotions of ASD are NOT REFLECTIVE, NOT INTEGRATED into or connected to an internal emotional landscape. For there is no internality to be grasped, or that even develops into an adult ego. ASD is a profound emotional deficit so that feelings are fleeting, fragmented and superficial and where any introspective capacity is extremely impoverished. There is no internal, felt sense of an emotion. What a disaster for a marriage. They should marry each other.


Paula
10:01 AM
Sat 4th Aug, 2018

I am sure I am preaching to the choir when I say this but I would like to share a personal revelation that I had recently which has been very helpful. All along the way the problems with my husband who has Aspergers has had me seeking solutions, a cure, a corrective action that would fix this impasse which has caused me so much pain and profound despair. All of a sudden I truly understood what it must feel like to have a handicapped child ,one you would do anything for to make them better.Only a handicap is just that,something that is ONGOING not cureable. I forgot about the ONGOING part of this condition.Somewhere in my subconscious I must have thought, stubbornly I might add that the solution was out there .I only had to try harder. Remembering that it is beyond my ability every single day going forward to change this neurological difference has put the emphasis back on me and self care.Wishing you all the best as we move forward.


Stella
9:59 AM
Sat 4th Aug, 2018

I just found this site. So many others seem to have tried everything, and after 20 years are at the end of their ropes or getting out. I just reached 20. I looked at the chart and saw the clear picture as my picture of an ordinary person expecting ordinary behavior from someone who is quite unordinary. It's a relief to think of myself as some kind of weird object to him. Or buffer. I can stop expecting any kind of human behavior from him, while still giving him a decent amount of respect -- and distance. I suppose my AS-behavior spouse can't change too much, but I can do everything I can to make my situation better, and to teach my daughter to insulate herself from his odd behaviors. I tried to get out of the situation once, and he refused. I understand now I'm a necessary object to him. Probably if I try to get out again, it'll be messy. I'm thinking about how to handle this the next time.


Anne
9:58 AM
Sat 4th Aug, 2018

I've just read the book, and for the first time realised that if I am borderline emotionally it is a response to 30 years with my husband. I hate weekends and holidays, hate waiting for the next crisis, hate the thought of being alone with him when the kids leave. He acts like he hates me, then tells me I'm the only one. I want to find hope for the future, but it may not be together, because I don't feel that we ever have been together. I pray I have not damaged my kids. I feel like I have lost myself. Thank you all for sharing your stories, and please keep doing the research


Michelle
1:40 PM
Fri 3rd Aug, 2018

I have been living with my undiagnosed aspie husband for a quarter of a century! For many years I worked with young children with ASD and in a cruel twist of fate my first born was diagnosed with severe autism. Yet I never saw clearly the truth about my own marriage because the daily trauma I suffered at the hands of my husband didn't allow me to think straight for even a moment. I have been blamed, lied to, screamed at, had objects thrown at me, pushed, kicked, slapped, threatened, intimidated, manipulated, bullied, abandoned, neglected, refused any personal space, denied every possible basic human need and then called selfish and demanding. I have been wished dead, isolated, humiliated, laughed at when crying and evicted from my home when unbeknownst to me, my husband found compulsive gambling to be the answer to all his issues. And not another living sole has seen any of it to give support to my claims. I have climbed out of pits of despair and loneliness, black holes of depression and found a steely resolve and iron will that I never dreamed I had in me. I have used every NT trait to my advantage and refused to be destroyed. I will cry no more over what I have dubbed 'the emotional cripple'. If he was paralysed, I would not keep pushing the wheelchair while he reached around every hour to slap my face (no matter what vows I made on my wedding day). I was deceived by a skilled actor who pretended to be someone he wasn't when we met and I have paid an astronomical emotional and psychological price. I have been a slave to my own empathy for decades because of this disorder. It may be hard to believe but I am not bitter, resentful or angry (anymore). I have justified, concealed, advocated for, protected, mothered, begged, assisted and enabled this man at my own expense for far too long. I cant save the drowning man who can't swim when he keeps pulling me under too.


Lara
1:39 PM
Fri 3rd Aug, 2018

What an incredible relief to read all of your testimonials! Thank you for sharing your stories, you give validation to my feelings. have been desperately lonely throughout my 23 year marriage. Everyone thinks he's the perfect husband because when he's with others, he "interviews" them. He asks dozens of questions about them and never talks about himself. People take it for caring but it's not. It's just the way that he's learned to get along with people. When I tried to develop a support system so that I could get the strength to leave him, he called everyone to get them on his side. He called my friends and family and convinced everyone that I was crazy to want to leave. He even called my therapist and tried to get her on his side. In the end I gave up. Now, I'm almost 50 and I have a pretty short amount of time left on this planet. I don't want to spend the rest of my life controlled, manipulated, lonely and neglected, but I know that breaking up the family will be hard on everyone and that he will be ruthless if I divorce him.


Lynn
1:36 PM
Fri 3rd Aug, 2018

I have been married to an undiagnosed Aspie for 28 years. Before we were married I was a happy, outgoing motivated goal setter. I started off our marriage optimistic for a wonderful future together but at each turn my husband would put me down for my enthusiasm and happy disposition. I worked hard at my career, in the home and rearing two children and he let me!! Doing the very least he could. To every question I ever asked his reply was always a NO! Eventually I entered into an angry stage for a few years then onto a bargaining phase where I blamed myself and went to relationship counselling 3 times by myself and a further 2 times with husband, not that it made any difference nor did the expensive relationship seminars I attended. I then went onto a phase of depression that has lasted 10 years. I have recently another 18 months of counselling. Why have I not left? I believed it would break up the family. Having known me as a fun loving positive Mum my grown up children believe I have become an irrational, over reactive drama queen. Their father in comparison seems a calm logical rational person and that is how he likes it. Now he sits back whilst my children do the criticizing and laps it up. In front of them he pretends he is completely competent but in reality it is only because every decision that has ever needed to be made I have been forced to make. He has effectively made me his substitute mother. He has seen me seriously ill, crying and distressed, asking for a divorce and not a flicker of emotion has passed his face. The loneliness envelopes me on a daily basis and it is hard to keep going. I have contemplated suicide a number of times as I cannot see a future where I am not stressed out and deeply sad. The worst thing is that my children cannot support me as they do not see what is really occurring but then I cant blame them as I only just realised what was happening myself.


Joesy
1:33 PM
Fri 3rd Aug, 2018

The Effects of Differing Developmental Milestones chart is brilliant. It describes exactly why there's no connect in my marriage. His developmental immaturity precisely describes why I feel like his mother. I know he believes I am his mother. The title makes it really clear what the chart is about: Effects of Differing Developmental Levels on NT/ASD Adult Relationships. Loved the book "No Team Player" To see the truth of what a struggle it is was enlightening.


Star
1:30 PM
Fri 3rd Aug, 2018

With my husband 20 years, married 15. I always thought it strange that he showed no emotion towards me, or empathy for others. I blamed tbe fact that he had been dragged up, by a alcoholic father after his mum died when he was 11. I felt his father never showed any interest in him, and subsequently my husband seems oblivious of social etiquette and boundaries. For years I made these excuses, but still begged him to get help. He would not talk to me, I felt he might talk to somebody else, his reply.....what good will talking do. My husband does not communicate how he feels, and our marriage has been in decline for at least 10 out of 15 years. I would be out for an evening and come home and my husband is masturbating in front of a porn channel, I walk in and he just grinned at me, like a bold child. I would vent my frustration, tell him I feel he has no interest in intimacy with me, and he would just switch out. No response, no reaction - just a blank expression. I would then leave his bed, thinking that he will have to make an effort and come to me................never happened. He never sought me out, he never apologised. This behaviour just made me feel totally ugly and unwanted. Domestically he is a disaster, cannot close presses, cannot put anything back where it belongs, if I put something back where it belongs, I am accused of hiding it. One day he drove his truck through our gates, there were 4 of us in the garden, he caught the side of the truck in the pier of the gate, damaged the passenger door, parked up, and when we told him what he had done he denied hitting the pier...........regardless of the massive dent in the door, the scraped paint, and the fact that 4 of us saw the incident. He is never wrong, and absolutely never apologises. Years ago, before we were even married he sent me a birthday card - from the man who cannot say sorry! He is self employed and has 8 staff, one guy once said to me that, he was a great person to have a row with, because he does not carry it forward, I now realise this is because he just files it away, forgotten, never to be mentioned again. He is obsessed with his work, to the detriment of all else, and does not seem to get any thrill from anything but work, I once asked him what excites him, and he told me that getting new jobs excites him. We have no children, my husband has no understanding of how procreation works, and told me a few years ago he had no idea how 'children were made', anything he knows about sex has been learned from porn magazines. Weekdays, he comes in from work, eats dinner and falls asleep, he falls asleep in company, in other peoples houses, watching exciting matches on TV, nothing holds his attention bar work. All of this I found extremely frustrating but again, I loved him, and used his miserable childhool as an excuse. Last year I was involved in a local festival and was very busy for a week or 2, this upset him, and he was acting very strange. I discovered texts on his phone from a woman, and it was obvious there was something going on. Then suddenly, no texts, so I knew something had changed, when confronted he looked at me as if I was mad. I then discovered he had bought another phone, I found it, and there were loads of messages. It was a full blown affair. Again I confronted him, cried, pleaded, but got no admission or explanation. He eventually saw sense and the affair finised after 6 weeks, he apologised, wanted to make our marriage work, filed the affair away, and continued to be switched off and uncommunicative. He agreed to go to counselling, but was unaware he had to participate, and would not go to the third session, his argument, what good was a shrink going to do. I am at my wits end, I have asked him to leave repeatedly, he keeps coming home, nothing ever gets better. I am worn out pleading and crying. It is so frustrating trying to have a conversation, he just sits and says nothing, and I get louder and louder, and more stressed. Nothing works. I have written pages of lettere to him, I don't even think he reads them, bought books, he won't read them. He shows no interest in either helping himself or us, and I am struggling to cope with him. I feel I am a breaking point, and it's far easier for me to have nothing to do with him than try to engage with him. I feel I have wasted 20 years with a man who cannot grow up, who didn't seem to know what he wanted to do with his life. He has never been able to talk about the future or make plans that do not involve his work. I told him this evening to leave, he was back in 2 hours as if nothing happened. Nothing sinks in. I don't know what to do, I can't shout it out to the world, I want to tell everybody, but still out of guilt and loyalty I keep it all to myself, and it is destroying me. I was coping reasonably up to the affair, as I honestly felt I was important, even though I wasn't told so, but being cheated on is something I cannot come to terms with, and consider it the final nail in the coffin, the proof that he never loved me. I feel like running away all the time.......


Stu
1:28 PM
Fri 3rd Aug, 2018

We recently found out my wife of 10 years has AS. Three months ago I had only heard of it, and little did I know I've been living with it for so long. She accepts her diagnosis, I think, but what I don't see is much in the way of change, and I don't know how long I'll be able to hold on. I feel so lonely, I feel like I'm violating her trust by discussing it with anybody, so I feel isolated. It explains so much, but the initial joy of understanding that this is what we're facing is fading, and I'm realizing that I have the rest of my life with a spouse who doesn't realize that I'm so terribly lonely, or that so few of my needs are being met.


Denise
1:26 PM
Fri 3rd Aug, 2018

I want you to know I read the last two chapters of your book again.The reading is a precise concentrate of everything important for nt spouses to know. And it helps me with remembering the pain.


DA
1:23 PM
Fri 3rd Aug, 2018

I very much appreciate the work put into this site. This information provides answers that I have earnestly sought. Initially I did everything I could to make this person love me. Then I tried anything just to make my spouse stop complaining. I had to hide all my deepest hopes and dreams to keep him from tearing them down and criticizing them. I have been destroyed emotionally over and over, never understanding what was going on. He showed an unbelievable lack of empathy while making sure all of his needs were met. I had a mental breakdown last year and he made us see a marriage counselor because I was out of control. I thought "thank you God". He now realizes that he has been abusive emotionally, financially and psychologically. His control, criticism and neediness pushed me over the edge after 25 years. He is trying to change is behavior but finds it difficult. I have learned to place boundaries on his behavior and follow through with consequences which works pretty well. I do not plan to stay once the kids leave.


TS
1:21 PM
Fri 3rd Aug, 2018

Your website is what I have been looking for, for decades-i am sure


Camille
1:20 PM
Fri 3rd Aug, 2018

After an explosive "final incident", I escaped a 20+ year marriage to an undiagnosed HFa. I feel wounded, empty of feelings, but so comforted by reading all of the comments. I am not alone. I ordered No Team Player, and will also order Karen Rodman's collection of NT partners' writing. It would be wonderful to have a way to meet others in local support groups. Does anyone know of efforts to do this? It is true, this is a "lonely road." Hugs and loving thoughts to all of you.


DT
1:18 PM
Fri 3rd Aug, 2018

I commend you on your bravery to say it how it really is. I agree with your article about counselling us and how the so-called experts try to get us to give more and more of our already depleted selves to support the AS person that they sympathize with because they themselves have the same traits. There are so few specialist counsellors in this area for partners that I am beginning to think that those who have a special interest in it are themselves somehow affected. I found "The Bottom Line" article particularly challenging but it confirmed for me what I already felt anyway at my core. Your site is so helpful. Keep up the great work.


Momma Bear
1:17 PM
Fri 3rd Aug, 2018

Thank you so much for your article about Aspie parents with NT children and the negative emotional harm it can do to the child. I have been trying for years to protect my daughter and make excuses for him. She has felt for years that he does not love her and this is heartbreaking. At times, he seems very deliberately hurtful and vindictive. He raked me over the coals during a recent custody battle, accusing me of everything from child abuse to borderline personality disorder. I was mystified at how everyone in the community (who didn't personally know me), believed every word he said and the teachers and school personnel went out of their way to "protect her from the evil and dangerous, crazy mother." They were so impressed with his "prestige" and titles, position at work and career. Because he is higher up in the school system, this was used as a battering ram against my child and I. Her teachers were grilling her about if "mommy had any boyfriends" and other inappropriate questions that had her feeling humiliated and afraid to go to school. This clearly came at his direction. No teacher would spontaneously ask a child these types of questions -- especially during a reading circle in front of their peers! Had my daughter not developed very obvious OCD, and had I not finally found a competent, highly trained and world renowned doctor who works for an entire team specializing in it, nobody would have ever known her dad has Asperger's. Although he is not "formally" diagnosed, it has become very clear this is precisely what we have been dealing with for nearly two decades. All the docs there who have met with dad several times over the years clearly see this in him. Thank God for this doctor, who has put the kabash on dad's campaign of denigration and hatred against me (for the time being at least) and has been acting as a buffer and guardian angel against the emotional trauma that has been, and continues to be inflicted on my daughter. HE BELIEVES HER! SHE IS VINDICATED! And it is fantastic! I cried when finally someone could tell her why she felt unloved, unworthy and why dad was "flapping his hands and mumbling angrily every night at home" (this is called "stimming" - which I had never heard of). While dozens of others failed to recognize glaring problems with his behavior and would occasionally comment in their written notes that he "appeared odd" they still pointed the finger at me as being a vindictive ex who wanted to turn his only daughter against a wonderful and loving daddy. If she felt he didn't love her, it must be because I brainwashed her into feeling that way. She is just one more person he is unable to develop a bond with. He has zero friends. We've been divorced for 12 years and he has yet to have another relationship. He actively works to destroy people who oppose him (even by accident or from an offhand remark he takes as literal). He is such a wonderful actor. I can see it is an act and so can the very few people who have ever seen him in private, but he is so good at wearing the mask. It is very frustrating for my poor daughter, who sees two very different people in him -- the one in public versus the one at home. The trauma for children suffering from the tantrums, lies and play acting of the asperger parent is REAL -- even though almost nobody will ever believe them. What's worse -- it appears to be permanent. I have watched two daughters suffer because of his aspergers (one was not his and he appeared to truly hate her - and still does). I can't even begin to thank you for recognizing that not all aspies are "sweet, honest, wonderful people deep down who are just so misunderstood." I am not saying they are all evil. I am just saying that the hell they inflict is REAL and very painful for those in their sphere -- and THAT, also, needs to be validated and talked about!! THANK YOU and PLEASE keep up the research on this! SO MANY CHILDREN ARE SUFFERING WITHOUT ANY VALIDATION!!


Nathalie
1:14 PM
Fri 3rd Aug, 2018

I am a 45y old woman. A year ago i decided to end my relationship with my partner after 19y, we have 3 children. All things considered all went well but i am struggling with finding my way forward, letting the past be the past, am feeling gulty allthough my mind tells me that i shouldn't. Reading the testimonials on this website is very helpfull, however i feel that i could benefit from having contact with other women that have gone through the same thing. In Belgium, as in many other countries asperger is not commonly known. Your website has allowed me a lot in accepting that it was not just me.


Asta
1:10 PM
Fri 3rd Aug, 2018

When my sister, after being very supportive during the divorce from my ex AS husband for 43 years, stated that I was lacking self-perception because I still 3 years after the divorce am feeling depressed, i.e. that clearly I am the one with problems, I understood that I had to detach from the only person close to me nowadays. Simultaneously indicating that she understands why our children now have abandoned me, but not their AS father. How do we reach out, when will our problems be recognized and accepted? When will we be believed? When...


DK
1:07 PM
Fri 3rd Aug, 2018

People will never understand functioning autism without your developmental chart of the deficits in developmental milestone explanations. I love them. They make it very clear what fa is.


susan
1:11 PM
Thu 2nd Aug, 2018

The last two "new" articles are awesome! Still struggle with others not recognizing ex husband having Aspergers syndrome or perhaps admitting to it in an ex-husband. The article helps with validation and with moving on.Thank you!


Robert
1:10 PM
Thu 2nd Aug, 2018

The author of No Team Player's life must be emotionally exhausting. The book was emotionally exhausting to read.


Cassandra
1:09 PM
Thu 2nd Aug, 2018

I was married to a man with undiagnosed Asperger's syndrome. Went through counseling where the counselor knew nothing about it. Went through divorce and child custody case... courts know nothing about it. I have survived and reading websites like this is helpful. I want to educate people about it but I look like a typical ex wife. This is different especially where children are involved. I am not sure what my future holds but I plan to do something so the courts understand it more. I did not endure what I did for no reason. Good luck and God bless all of you!


Jenny UK
12:59 PM
Thu 2nd Aug, 2018

I found it hard to put "No Team Player" down. I really liked the way the marriage issues were chunked down.


anon USA
12:52 PM
Thu 2nd Aug, 2018

I am finding "No Team Player" quite rivetting. It is remarkable


Lea
12:50 PM
Thu 2nd Aug, 2018

I finally and for the first time in 17 years feel validated. thank you.As I have been told by family members my expectations were too high, I have been asked not to talk about my husbands shortcomings as it is uncomfortable for them, I have been labeled by them, not professionals to be borderline personality disorder, therefore responsible for the problems at home. I have been accused by my sister of being an out of control addict, leaving wake of hurt behind me, as she percived my reactive behaviors which were really fear, lom\\nliness, unheard, unloved, depressed, isolated, emotional torture that no one else could see.


Jan
9:03 AM
Thu 2nd Aug, 2018

Wow! At last a site that tells it like it is :) Thank you ;)


Gillian
9:03 AM
Thu 2nd Aug, 2018

Just found this site. I guess in a while I will say this has been liberating and a relief but at the moment, I feel sick. way too much recognition of long-buried pain and no hope for future change. the articles are terrific.


Naomi
8:59 AM
Thu 2nd Aug, 2018

Thank you for this wonderful site which makes me feel sane again!! Its a gift.


Jennifer
8:57 AM
Thu 2nd Aug, 2018

The book, 'No Team Player' accurately describes the confusion and emotional anguish of a neurotypical spouse trying to make sense of her marriage to a man on the autism spectrum. All the communication difficulties, the lack of resolution to interactions between the two people and the mind numbing repetition of their life together is recounted in an honest, respectful way. The traumatic events occurring in the relationship are compounded by the disbelief of significant others in the author's life. She is further wounded by the actions of the professionals she consults, seeking answers to what is wrong and why can't this be fixed? The conclusions she arrives at are unexpected and confronting. This book also answers the question of, "What will my son look like when he grows up?" Neurotypical men with spouses on the autism spectrum are confronted with similar catastrophies in their relationship.


pamela
8:53 AM
Thu 2nd Aug, 2018

This site has saved my life! The Effects of Developmental Failures in autism chart and the Cassandra Metaphor has saved my sanity. Thank you will never be enough but it is a start.


Robert
8:51 AM
Thu 2nd Aug, 2018

The author of No Team Player's life must be emotionally exhausting. The book was emotionally exhausting to read.


Bridget
8:45 AM
Thu 2nd Aug, 2018

Thank You for this website and for the awareness and insight that you have for people living with partners with AS. It is a very miserable, lonely life with a partner who never asks how you are and what kind of a day you had, nothing, ever.There is NO emotional connection on any level.It is a sterile life without joy, conversation, connection, no sharing, no looking forward to the future , no looking forward to next week! Everything is in the now.My husband has never been diagnosed and hides his disability well, at least for the majority of people.His dirty clothes, muddy shoes often with large holes and general poor hygiene and 'scruffiness' belie the fact that he is a Senior Architect in a World Class Practice!Family have 'covered up' for him for years and still treat him as a little boy even though he is 56! Professionals are dazzled by his Career and believe every word that he says, I am the 'problem'.I recognise that he is role playing.I was diagnosed with Latent TB Infection last week.The years of stress have probably reduced my immunity.When I told him , not a single word of sympathy or concern.On Sunday night he left to go abroad where he is currently working.His parting words were "I'll be back at Christmas" nothing else, no "hope you are better", "let me know how you're getting on", absolutely nothing! So at least your website validates our experiences and there is some comfort and support in that.It's like living in a mad world.It gradually erodes the spirit and crushes you.Outwardly, everything appears "normal".people don't believe you or choose not to.


Tricia
8:41 AM
Thu 2nd Aug, 2018

I was astonished to finally read an article that has described my experience of emotional trauma in my marriage. Although I managed to escape successfully from this relationship, I am vulnerable to emotionally based stress - particularly any coercion, at which time the devastation of being in an emotionally sterile relationship comes to the fore. Professionals have been reluctant to explain "what happened" - despite many counselling and even marriage counselling attempts. I am finally getting answers . Your description post traumatic relationship syndrome is spot on ...it also has to be remembered that we can never really escape people who are intertwined in our lives through children and grandchildren. Lack of awareness of these types of men means that we don't understand the significance of the "red flags" that we perceive. They defy logical explanation, and as our culture tends to respect evidence only, thereby giving the disordered personality the benefit of the doubt, whilst leaving us exposed to serious harm


Jenny UK
8:39 AM
Thu 2nd Aug, 2018

I found it hard to put "No Team Player" down. I really liked the way the marriage issues were chunked down.


s
6:54 AM
Thu 2nd Aug, 2018

I am reading your book, "No Team Player." It is the best book I have ever read on ASD, hands down! I'm an Asperger’s spouse as you know. I also work as a psychotherapist. I want to learn more about the ins and outs of this disorder, including what mechanisms of the brain are disabled and how this connects to particular consequences. There is so much imitation involved, that I need to know what is real! For instance, when you talk about Denver's lack of understanding the consequences of his inaction, I could so relate. However, I thought this characteristic was just my husband being a non-worrier, just cool and collected. I need to understand ASD better so that I can get out of the crazy confusion. I've read Attwood, but he's too politically correct for me and misses the subtleties that you write about, especially for spouses.


JB
6:38 AM
Wed 1st Aug, 2018

If a tree falls and hits me on the head in the wind, I will tell people. They believe me. I am not blaming all trees or the wind, simply telling my story. It should be the same with telling my story about life with a spouse with ASD. I should be believed about my experience.


Cassandra
6:33 AM
Wed 1st Aug, 2018

I was married to a man with undiagnosed Asperger's syndrome. Went through counseling where the counselor knew nothing about it. Went through divorce and child custody case... courts know nothing about it. I have survived and reading websites like this is helpful. I want to educate people about it but I look like a typical ex wife. This is different especially where children are involved. I am not sure what my future holds but I plan to do something so the courts understand it more. I did not endure what I did for no reason. Good luck and God bless all of you!


Hustru til Asperger
6:33 AM
Wed 1st Aug, 2018

Today I found this website. Thank you for being here. I live in Denmark married to an Asperger husbond for many years. There is no network for Asperger partners in my country. Asperger is focuses only when it comes to children and young people. It was a relief for me to find the concept Cassandra phenomenom. The Impacts and Deficits in NT ASD Relationships Table is an exellent instrument to keep focus on my situation - instead of getting sucked into my husbonds abnormal perception of reality. If Alice in Wonderland stayed there for 16 years - would she not have to surrender to the bizarre perception of everything, just to survive?


DT
6:26 AM
Wed 1st Aug, 2018

I commend you on your bravery to say it how it really is. I agree with your article about counselling us and how the so-called experts try to get us to give more and more of our already depleted selves to support the AS person that they sympathize with because they themselves have the same traits. There are so few specialist counsellors in this area for partners that I am beginning to think that those who have a special interest in it are themselves somehow affected. I found "The Bottom Line" article particularly challenging but it confirmed for me what I already felt anyway at my core. Your site is so helpful. Keep up the great work.


Meliss
6:21 AM
Wed 1st Aug, 2018

My husband I believe has undiagnosed Aspergers, He is not well. He is violent. He is mean. He is obsessed with objects, things. He lacks emphathy. I wish I could say positive things about being married to him, but I can't. It is hell. I am in hell. My kids are in hell. There is no relief for those of us suffering.


Mary
6:19 AM
Wed 1st Aug, 2018

I am so grateful for this site. I have returned to it often over the course of this year. I only wish I had this resource as a child and then as an adult when I found myself married and in a similar relationship to that of my parents. Both my father and my husband are on the Aspie-continuum. Now divorced, with three kids I border on regret and think I went crazy...until I read the chart on this webisite- When I read "Death by a thousand paper cuts" I cry. I wince at the terms of my divorce and struggle but then I realize "of course" then divorce and issues we continue to have will suffer from the same issues our marriage had. Initially I think- will suffer from the same issues that I have but am still coming to see that MY issues might not be just MY issues, at all. I have a lot to heal. Thank you for the resources. Thank you all for the testimonies- at some point I will be able to read them all- it is just hard right now and I trust I will be able to find the ability to have the conversations with my children without it seeming like I am being hurtful toward their father or influencing their relationship negatively.


Jack
6:16 AM
Wed 1st Aug, 2018

Wow...It's hard to describe what it's like to be hit with the realization that the impossible situation you have been dealing with is all due to something you've never heard of before. Asperger's. For the last 7 months I've been meeting with this nice girl, we're in our 50's, and I've never been so utterly confused, hurt, lonely, unhappy - while being so drawn to her it's impossible to stop thinking about her. I can only describe it as the simultaneous feeling of being so close to someone, and yet still feeling as though they're a million miles away. She would behave when we were together as if we were getting closer and closer and closer in our "relationship' then as soon as we were apart, it was almost like we'd never even met. She would invite mer to her house to visit, and eventually even came to my house to visit, but would never come out with me in public, would never sit with me if we were at the same public event, and still to this day, will not come out and do anything with me. Despite how much fun and enjoyment we both seem to experience when we're together. The pain and confusion is almost unbearable. It makes you ask - what could I possibly be doing wrong. Well - nothing. There's nothing this nice young lady can do about it. Nothing. She doesn't miss me when we're apart. She doesn't wish we could get closer. She doesn't hope that our relationship gets stronger. She says she really wants to be friends and doesn't want to "lose" me, which was a surprising thing to hear. However she just doesn't seem capable of really participating in a friendship. She has no real friends of her own, no past boyfriends that are still in her life, she's divorced. She reports that one of her son's has AS, but has never said anything about herself potentially having it. But it's obvious. The pain that comes from trying to enjoy life by being close to someone with AS, and not knowing it, is only slightly relieved by finding out about AS in the first place. I think I might have gone completely insane had I not discovered this "difference" in people. I would have thought I was not worthy of her affection, a worthless person and I would have gone mad wondering what was wrong with me. I think all I can do is quietly and compassionately move on. I will respond to her when she contacts me, but I can't invite her out anymore, only to have her change her mind many times, eventually to cancel at the last minute and leave me in despair. She can't help it. Why do we fall in love with them? they are so beautiful on the inside, in many ways. And yet it is a trainwreck waiting to happen - if we don't find a way to separate our lives from them. I will miss her so much.


Jody
6:16 AM
Wed 1st Aug, 2018

After reading your site and the valuable information here I'm convinced Donald J Trump, President of the USA has autism, with the co-morbid psychopathy and narcissism. My husband has autism and he's excluded from jury duty and the military because of the deficits. The Presidency should also be an exclusion.


Nita
6:15 AM
Wed 1st Aug, 2018

I recently came to the realization that my husband is somewhere on the autism spectrum. I'm not entirely sure that it's ASD, but I know from his behavior and characteristics that he's on the spectrum. I first read through the testimonials listed here and it was refreshing to know that I am not the only one suffering in an isolated, parent-child marriage. Like many of you, I have been chalked up as a "mean wife" to my "sweet natured" husband who appears "nice, yet quiet" while at the same time completely lacks skills associated with finances, social/personal responsibility. When we dated, it was the typical qualities that made me fall for him. Being in the same house however, watching him struggle time and again and never quite understanding what those quirks such as stimming, repetitive responses, lack of eye contact were all about, I thought momentarily that I was the crazy one. I suspect that our pastor and other friends who've tried counseling us believe we are just a couple in a young marriage trying to figure things out. Wrong. I wasn't born last night, and I've always known Brian to be "different," but could never adequately explain this different-ness. I once was asked by a friend who tried offering her support, "what's your problem" when I tried explaining the baffling nature of our marriage and all she could see was a kind man. Make no mistake, he is kind. Unlike some of the testimonials, my husband is not mean-natured, but does lack empathy for others and takes a "it's them not me" approach to nearly every situation, causing him to justify his lack of responsibility. I don't blame him at all for his condition, but I lack patience for one who does not take steps to help themselves. Further, I've found myself resentful toward his parents for not getting him the help he needed as a child. Perhaps his situation would be different (though I don't know the fully story behind his upbringing; perhaps they did try to help him and he refused it). I am the bill payer, time manager, calendar keeper, cook, mother, housekeeper. I've put my life aspirations on hold because I simply don't have time with the demanding responsibilities going on. Twice I've taken vacations without him (which is a way for me to take a break from the overwhelming burden of taking care of a grown adult) and have been made to feel guilty for doing so. Before him, I was an independent woman, taking care of myself and child and living life with ambition and gusto. Those days are a mere memory and my resentment toward him grows everyday as a result. I should also note that he has been diagnosed with ADHD. Coupled with AS, it is a whirlwind in our household. I don't want to sound like the uncompassionate wife, but it is so hard. I long to have intellectual conversation with other adults. My 10yo is intellectually and emotionally more mature than he. It saddens me because I don't want to quit my marriage, but I'm alone now more than when I was single. He has agreed to counseling, but doesn't follow therapeutic advise. The problem is, he's seeing someone who is not clinically trained in treating adults on the AS. In the age of the internet, I am so shocked at the few or lack of resources for spouses of someone on the AS. Further, is there not formal education for clinicians on this very niche and hard to explain disorder? This site is about as close as I've come to finding anything and I'm grateful for that. It adds a little hope to our future. God bless all of you out there who may be in similar predicaments.


Peter
6:15 AM
Wed 1st Aug, 2018

What a great site and it is a relief to find others in the same boat. I liked JA Morgan's neat table. Effects of Differing Neuro Developmental Levels On Neurotypical/autism Adult Relationships. It was a great summary of the various aspects of Asperger's and how it affects the behaviors of people with it and the impact of those behaviors on those who for one reason or another have to be in close physical and/or psychological proximity with them


Anna Green
6:15 AM
Wed 1st Aug, 2018

Hello dear fellow partners of Aspies, This is what I understand. There is no reflective moment, no sadness, pain, physical or emotional, no grief, no small human feeling in me to which my husband will respond with empathy for me. Instead, those particular moments are entirely about his anger, his needs, his headache, his pain, his disappointment in my failure to be a better wife. It took me a few years to understand that this was no coincidence. I understand that if I don't bow to his greater needs, our marriage will not make it through the day. Because, for my husband, he is always and ever the most in pain, working the hardest, earning the most money, cleaning the kitchen the most and the best, controlling the food, the washing, doing all of the driving on the holidays, the dominant partner and the dominant parent. My husband actually believes he is our marriage and our life. With young children and run off my feet most days, I am treading water. I have become very good at emotionally insulating myself, almost to the point of numbness. Also, there are amazingly lots of great things in our lives together and he is a good Dad while the children are very young, I believe this will change. Its such a hard, complex and very lonely problem. Best wishes to you all


Perry
6:14 AM
Wed 1st Aug, 2018

Every single one of the testimonies that I just read through are spot on. It is a very tough, lonely life to live in this manner. I am constantly criticized, chastised, insulted, and even humiliated because I let my wife know how much I am deprived of sensual, friendly, compassionate, and even normal human contact. It is always about her and her pain. While I get the pain issues, what I don't get is why or how anybody can treat another human the way I get treated. One moment it's "I Love You", then the next words uttered is something unbelievably hateful. She blames me for all of her issues, her pain, her hate, her resentment. She also blames me for things that she does to me, such as not being respectful of her time, cooking (she has never cooked a meal for me at home). She treats others as vessels that have things to help her but only very rarely reciprocates. She has no true friends and her eldest son does his best to put up with her theatrics. We spend many nights in separate bedrooms because she gets angry and leaves when I bring relationship, finance, family or any topic for that matter, up at bedtime. Then the hateful text messages start. I have finally been able to ignore them When I have had enough of being isolated (usually three or more weeks), I bring them up during waking moments, those issues get brushed off as unimportant or everything gets tossed into the sex realm. I would love to just have a normal marriage where I can bring things up to my wife. I do listen to her of course, whenever and wherever topics are brought up but rarely am I listened to in those conversations so I end up just listening without getting to say anything. I understand that listening is absolutely essential in a marriage, however that should happen both ways when needed. I don’t have that luxury. I don’t know what is right and wrong, real or imaginary anymore. Without a doubt, I am going through some traumatic disorder as the days drag on without any potential for my wife to embrace our marriage.


Vince
6:13 AM
Wed 1st Aug, 2018

"Mommy" is tired of answering questions. But I don't have any actual kids in my home. I have a husband with autism. No, I don't know what that thing on the carpet is. No, I don't know what that paper in the front yard is. I wish you could get out of your recliner and go look since I'm making dinner with a headache and three weeks of heart palpitations. I'm tired of being grilled for the most basic information that other people just intuit from normal interactions. You're locked out of your online bank account because I screwed up on the password a bunch of times because I didn't know you'd changed it. Oh, but 1,600 questions later, you're sort of understanding the situation. 'Did you actually mean 1,600 questions, because I only asked three questions and how is that "grilling?"' Mommy needs a break.


Carrie
6:12 AM
Wed 1st Aug, 2018

To Lynn who posted on Feb 28th 2016: My situation is very close to yours. I am at my wits end and my children are aligning behind my ASD husband so that if I leave I will be left with nothing. It is so close to this article I can't believe it. https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/married-with-undiagnosed-autism-why-women-who-leave-lose-twice-0420164 I am running out of life options. Everyone please post your life's challenges in this ASD-NT world. It helps to know we are not alone. And it is an outlet for you. I have lost my life to someone who treats me with no respect. I will lose my children


Desert Flower
6:12 AM
Wed 1st Aug, 2018

Wow...so grateful I found this site. Just WOW. I left a career and married a man who is definitely an undiagnosed Aspie. I have felt like Im losing my mind I was his 3rd wife by the time he was 40...He is smart, educated, a great provider....I gave up all security to marry and blend a family. I first came to a realization something was wrong when his mom was having a serious surgery, he said to her on the phone, "good luck" then carried on with his bike ride. Nothing matters to him except his interests...always angry, insults, never praises, finds fault, is never wrong....blurred boundaries. I used to be a strong, confident woman. I have been emotionally deprived and destroyed.


jm
7:13 AM
Thu 26th Jul, 2018

this site is extremely helpful explaining the confusion in my life.