Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Good Golly Miss Molly

This must be the day for ‘don’t likes’. I don’t like Little Richard. (I know, shame on me.) I don’t like Creedence (CCR). I don’t like cloudy days after several days of glorious sunshine. I don’t like cleaning closets. The music can be turned off, but I just have to deal with the weather and the closets because I am a grownup and that’s what grownups do.
My husband, however, seems to have a unique way of handling things that he doesn’t want to do. He says he didn’t understand that when I asked him to sweep the deck, I meant all of the deck. Or he says that he ‘forgot’ to do it all, which certainly could have happened as he often becomes sidetracked by another thought process to which I'm not privy to. Or he says that it really doesn’t matter because no one was going to use that part of the deck. Or he just ignores me when I ask why he didn’t complete that one chore.
I’ve tried chore charts, job jars, reminder boards. Doesn’t matter what method I try, if Steve doesn’t want to do something, he simply doesn’t do it. If he doesn’t want to go somewhere with us he ‘forgets’ to come home. Instead he runs errands to the store, library, or gas station. He will put his cell phone on vibrate, leave it in his truck, and ‘forget’ to answer it. He lives in his own world.
So I try to measure the extent and effect of his absenteeism. If I lived on my own I would have to do all of the housework, chores and parenting myself. He sometimes does help with some things. If Steve were wheelchair bound he could still work at the same job he’s been at for twenty-five years. I just wouldn’t expect him to do the few chores that I ask of him now.
Expectations versus reality. I am the one to choose my own attitude. Generally I am pretty upbeat and optimistic. So if I feel upset, I try to calmly explain my feelings to my spouse. He may or may not understand. I usually feel better if I at least make my feelings known.
Then I have to remind myself about Steve’s Aspergers.
“Due to misunderstanding their behavior, adults with Aspergers can be seen as selfish by their peer group members. Other unfair labels can be: egoistic, cold, ridged or uncaring. Their behavior might appear to be unkind or callous. This kind of labeling is unfair and has nothing to do with behaving inappropriately on purpose. Adults with Asperger syndrome are neurologically unable to see things from the other person’s point of view. They are frequently told by their peers or partners that their actions or remarks are considered painful or rude which comes as a shock to them since they were never aware of this in the first place. http://www.asperger-advice.com/asperger-symptoms-in-adults.html
Yesterday Steve’s response to the partial deck sweeping was a determined “Well, it really doesn’t matter, does it? Easter is over!"
No dear, (long sigh) I guess it doesn’t. I’ll sweep the rest of it myself. I’m glad you are home. Supper is ready! Please don't play 'Good Golly Miss Molly.'

Post script: Apparently sharing my feelings last evening worked! I just went out to sweep off the other part of the deck and it was already done. My hubby must have swept it after supper when kidlet #3 and I were at baseball practice - thank you, Sweetie!


  1. I was surprised and dismayed when my significant other told me that the first thing she googled after I told her about Asperger Syndrome, was "asperger selfishness".

    Thank you for a great blog! I provided this URL to my partner and I think she is reading it.


    1. i am so happy that you 'found' me! i was discouraged by the lack of positive and successful asperger relationship material - thanks for sharing!