My mildly Asperger’s husband doesn’t think his relationship with me is qualitatively different from any relationships he has with anyone else.
My husband is a very high functioning Aspergers guy – PhD, Captain of the golf club, generally well-liked. He’s not one of those ones who talks inappropriately and doesn’t know when to shut up. He goes the other way and says virtually nothing that is not essential. We have been together for over 25 years and I can count on my fingers the number of times he has called me by my name.
He doesn’t do any demonstrations of affection at all, ever, and flinches and steps back if I try to kiss him. I have trained him to allow me to kiss him on the cheek, and reminded him just the other day that if I squeeze his hand, he should return the squeeze. He understands the concept of social glue, at least. However, he doesn’t think the relationship he has with me, his wife for goodness sake, is qualitatively any different from any relationship he has with anyone else, i.e. I’m not special to him.
It took about ten years for me to understand what was (not) going on. Ten years of me weeping and raging alternately and him just standing there looking blank. He only does impassive or absolutely raging, there’s nothing in between. When I am ‘in a good place’ the household is tranquil, but if I need support he just gives me a row.
About ten years ago my brother gave me a book, The Asperger Couple’s Workbook, by Maxine Aston. It’s a very good book and a lot of it was quite accurate for us, but I was really pissed off at being given a book about something I had already sussed out for myself.
[It’ll probably be a recurring theme in my blog posts that I regularly get irritated at people telling me things I already know. It’s the implied assumption that I am a moron who needs to be told that really annoys me. Is it because I am not very tall, not very pretty and (now) at least three stones overwieght that I am considered an idiot?]
Of course by the time I had realised I was NEVER going to have soulmate-style intimacy and support from my husband, it was too late to bale out. (Youth + wine + inate biological drives = one son and one ectopic pregnancy.)
In my mind, we are now fairly successfuly co-parenting, but when our son leaves, so will I.