I had an epiphany this morning. I know how to banish all disagreements and discord in our home forever.
I just need to keep my mouth shut, and spend all my waking hours supervising Kidlet, cleaning the house, cooking, baking, doing laundry, walking the dogs, paying the bills, refrain from spending money on anything other than Steve’s car projects, mow the lawns and weed the gardens, repair and paint the house/shop inside and out, procure only necessary groceries/clothing/household items that Steve deems correct, keep track of all social/work/school activities, remind said household members of those activities enough in advance so they aren’t late, and (most importantly) don’t nag.
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I shared this revelation with my esteemed spouse who was immediately enthusiastic.
Yes, Dear. Right away, Dear. (Bowing towards Dear as I back away, pulling on my forelock in a humble and reverent manner.)
Then I think about 'normal' expectations of marriage, as well as the roles of marital partners.
We (NeuroTypicals, or NTs) usually expect some sort of equality in marriage. Shared responsibilities and roles, even in households where one spouse is a wage earner and the other stays at home with the kids. For an Aspie, that apparently doesn’t seem logical - or at least for my Aspie.
Carol Grigg wrote an article in October 2008 in which she says:
People who do not have Asperger’s Syndrome enter a marriage with the normal expectation that the marriage relationship will be the priority and will be about togetherness, mutual terms and meeting of needs. From the stories I have heard it seems that people with Asperger’s Syndrome also have this expectation, at least in theory, but countless testimonies indicate that in reality by some process of attrition the relationship ends up being more one of practicality and convenience for the person with Asperger’s Syndrome than for the loving and meeting of emotional needs of the marital partner.
People with Asperger’s Syndrome can tend to be militant and hold rigidly to what defines them as individuals. They can be very interesting and often likably eccentric. They may have a tendency to claim victimisation (sic) from those who do not have Asperger’s Syndrome, while they determinedly continue to navigate life and relationships on terms of their own rather than mutuality and compromise. People
who do not have Asperger’s Syndrome [may] long for the mutual meeting of emotional needs within the marriage and resent the reality of living on terms dictated by the needs and priorities of the partner with Asperger’s Syndrome. In effect, [the NT’s] flexibility is exploited by the inflexibility of the person with Asperger’s Syndrome.
I can take a deep breath and remind myself that Steve’s viewpoint and beliefs are fueled by his Aspie thinking. He is already upset this morning because another Aspie had suffered arrest when hanging out in a public place, “as was his right to do”, according to Steve.
No, Dear. Many cities and municipalities have laws against loitering, defined as “remaining in any one place with no apparent purpose”. We certainly couldn't imagine an Aspie standing in public with a blank look on their face and no detectable body motion whatsoever for an extended period of time as they contemplate their many options of what to do next, could we?
“Well, that’s not right,” declares Hubby. “This is America. You should be able to stand wherever you want or do whatever you want.”
Uh huh. Rigid thinking. Until someone does ‘whatever they want’ and it interferes with Steve’s life. Then ‘they’ should be arrested.
Maybe I should just go out and pull some weeds.