Monday, June 25, 2012

Weeding Out the Problems

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.
[click on photo to enlarge]

I shared this revelation with my esteemed spouse who was immediately enthusiastic.
Uh huh.
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.


  1. I am an Aspie - an Aspie woman. I think you are both right. I think that Aspie men are really pretty inflexible - I should know, I've lived with a few myself. I've married a couple of them. I myself, like many Aspie women, have pursued understanding what is required in relationships, but that's not so typical of Aspie men.
    Now for the part of where your husband is right. People should be able to stand in parks without being arrested. I have studied the constitution a bit, and I can tell you that this is true. We in fact now live in a world where our constitutional freedoms are being violated left and right, and nobody gets upset, because nobody realises it. There's a story that's used as an analogy for what has happened, and it goes "If you put a frog in cold water, then gradually turn up the heat, the frog will never notice when he starts to get cooked." Gruesome, but it's a good analogy for what's happening in our country right now - it's GRADUALLY being turned into a police state, and no one is noticing, because of how gradually it's happening. You should be very upset too, because it will eventually affect everyone. Take it from me, because I know history and government pretty darn well.

    Maybe you could respect some of the things your husband says, but then try to help him understand that you need some reciprocality in your relationship. Start with a few objectives at first, then add a few more, reward liberally for accomplishments, ad infinitum. Before you know it, you may have a husband who helps out a bit, and is willing to give a LITTLE bit. Don't expect miracles, but you might get a little relief!

    1. thanks so much for sharing - it is always good to consider all sides of issues...

    2. and i do apologize for seeming disrespectful to my husband - i certainly did not intend to convey that - i love my husband dearly, and simply wish to share a 'positive' viewpoint with other spouses/partners/family members of those with aspergers syndrome - so much of what i've read about aspie/nt relationships is disheartening...

      this specific blog was written 'tongue-in-cheek' (another good way of keeping quiet as one can't speak when their tongue is unavailable)

    3. This is a response to "Weeding out the problems" from the husband's side. I'm the husband with Asperger's Syndrome in our marriage. My understanding wife has to live with the fact that my AS often means that I don't seem like I'm emotionally involved with her. At times, she has described us as being more like roommates that a loving married couple. It's something that we're working on. So your article is accurate, besides being entertaining. Good post!

    4. it is very good to hear your perspective and your wife's - fortunately i enjoy my 'roommate' status as well as being a couple - it helps a lot - and thank you for your encouragement! i'm glad you enjoyed it...

    5. if as an aspie wife i knew how to change then i would, maybe we have become room mates but its the putting down of every thing i do in a way that isn't meant to hurt its just his funny way with me, ive had enough and need peace.

    6. change is gradual and comes from choosing a different way of doing things - wherein my apsie has his own set ways that have repeated themselves day in and day out over the last twenty years with no variation, i do sometimes forget my best intentions and repeat a pattern that turns out unpleasant - much of my coping skills do come from time and space to myself - i am thankful that my aspie is an adult so i can go off on my own - with an aspie child i wouldn't have that option...

    7. and yes, there are times i just have to ignore rude or insensitive comments as i would a school yard bully - words hurt, but only if i let them - i try hard to put positive thoughts into my own head when the verbal crap is slung - you know how you try to hold your breath when working with nasty smells? it's possible to 'tune out' the 'icky stuff' too - plugging into my ipod with earbuds works wonders...

  2. Cool post. Made me chuckle here and there. Marriages work when people are willing to work together on everything. That's why we should lead our hearts instead of following it. Leave the weed pulling for another day!

    1. absolutely! thx for reading - some of my favorite flowers are other people's weeds!

  3. After six years in marriage with my husband with 3 kids, he suddenly started going out with other women and coming home late, each time i confronted him it turns out to be a fight and he always threatened to divorce me at all time, my marriage was gradually coming to an end. i tried all i could to stop him from this unruly attitude but all proved abortive, until i saw a post in the forum about a spell caster who helps people cast spell on marriage and relationship problems, at first i doubted it but decided to give it a try, when i contacted this Spell caster Dr. Dangogo via email, he helped me cast a spell and within 4 hours my husband came back apologizing for all he has done and promised never to do such again and today we are happily together again. Contact this Great spell caster for your marriage or relationship issues via this email;

    1. laughing joyously out loud!

      first and foremost, i have to laugh at the thought that my aspie hubby would 'go out' with even ONE other woman - i've often wondered how much someone would charge me to take him off my hands...

      second, i am usually relieved when he comes home late - gives me a much needed breather...

      third, God is my 'spell caster' - He answers every single one of my prayers - not always the way i'd like them to be answered, and sometimes no answer is His answer...

      finally, if this is a spam message, then i'm leaving it just for the laugh - you've made my day!