I am an NT woman who falls on the extreme high end of the empathy continuum. My husband is an Aspie man who once existed on the polar opposite end of that continuum.
We have laughed together and loved one another for over half a decade. We have also struggled beyond most people’s comprehension to keep our opposing minds from destroying our marriage and each other.
In the last six years, I had read every recommended book, blog, and article I could find that might help us. I had watched every video, webinar, movie, documentary, and lecture that I could get my mitts on. I sought out “expert” therapists, and I paid for online advice. I wanted to find the secret to a successful marriage between a man diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and a Neurotypical woman. I just wanted us to be able to communicate with one another in a meaningful way that did not end in my tears and his silence.
I had been kind, empathetic, supportive, and patient with my husband but he remained disinterested in joining my hunt for answers; he would not budge. I begged, pleaded, cried, yelled, and threatened him, but he did not budge. I wrote letters and emails, sent texts, made phone calls, spoke eye to forehead, back to back, in the dark, around a corner, and yet…he did not budge. I transitioned from a strong, independent, successful, passionate, and optimistic woman to an exhausted, weak, anxious, desperate disaster…and still…he did not budge. Fun became isolation, joy became sadness, hope became despair, and love became resentment.
I had searched the end of the internet looking for some practical advice and positive outcomes from anyone out there like us but I was instead advised to run… fast! My husband refused to give his time in search of an answer that did not exist. He said, “I know who I am, I don’t need anyone to tell me that. What I need is someone to tell me what to do, and no one has those answers.” He retreated into his own mind and I continued my futile efforts until one day I realized that he was right.
At the end of the road with little left in my mental or physical account, I could no longer argue his logic. There were no answers. So I began to make up my own. Suddenly my defiant, defensive, silent husband began to speak.
Our lives are not the same anymore and I could not be happier to say those words.
So here it goes:
Every time I fell asleep with bloodshot eyes from crying and a headache from staring at a computer that failed to alleviate my sadness, I swore if I ever figured this out I was going to share it with the world. Despite how terrifying it is for me to put my personal life and thoughts on display, and despite how technology-naive I am, I am sharing it with anyone in the world who chooses to read.
I do not write short posts. I often go weeks between posting something because of my work schedule although, I am always working on something to share with you (sometimes five things at once). Every day I record my thoughts, insights, experiences, and observations to ensure that I don’t lose information that may someday be of use to another desperate NT-Aspie couple out there. Sometimes I write them on napkins, sometimes on a latex glove at work, sometimes I just send myself text messages to capture a thought. One way or another, I am always writing.
You will find that my posts are the size of small books when you come upon them. I give you this fair warning before you embark on one of them since I have been advised that the length of my posts are overwhelming and a “turn off” to readers. I am not writing for the masses, I am writing for the messes (you know who you are). Because of this specific target audience, I am not going to break my posts up into more palatable short ones.
I always despised coming upon articles that seemed content condensing the emotions I was going through, the challenges in a marriage like mine, the advice they enticed me with, and the general lack of information I was craving when I went in search of them. There are few blogs out there that did not leave me wanting more when I came upon them and all of the articles claiming to have secrets or insightful recommendations left me feeling cheated. With that in mind, I would rather over-share the information I have compiled through countless hours of desperate searches then leave someone wishing I had not been so brief or vague. Don’t be surprised if I repeat the same thing twenty times in one post either, that is probably a small fraction of the times I had to see, hear, or consider those things before they finally sunk in.
I have the mouth of an old-school sailor, and I am unapologetically raw and unfiltered in some of the things I have to say. While I am not going to apologize for my “mouth” or the length of my rants, I am going to work on organizing them in a better format, so if that part of it strains your eyes… I’m sorry.
Perhaps after I get out the foundation of what went wrong with my marriage, what is going wrong with society and the current mishandling of the Aspergers diagnosis (which adversely affects all of our lives and futures), and all that my husband and I did to begin turning things around… maybe then I will consider making my posts aesthetically pleasing, short, and sweet.
As of today…
Thank you for all of the overwhelming support thus far, it is humbling (to say the least). I am in a constant state of shock when I find encouragement to keep writing in lieu of hateful trollers every single time I log in. I am even more appreciative of those men and women out there who were brave enough to share their stories with all of us… you are my motivation to not withhold anything when I write.
After seeing a few random tales of “happy” or “successful” Aspie-NT relationships on the internet over the last six years (you have likely all seen these yourself) and realizing that they never updated the world on what became of their union, I promise I will not do the same to all of you. I give each and every one of you my word: I will never abandon this blog and leave you wondering what became of a marriage I once claimed was successful as well… you are all part of this journey now.
If you only read through one post on this blog in its entirety, PLEASE, PLEASE make it this one: