“What’s wrong with how I am acting? I thought you liked humor,” grumbled my esteemed Mate to my now-cowering-form under the side of the linen tablecloth.
I peeked over the edge of the table. Amongst the crystal stemware and china, I could see heads turned towards us, dozens of pairs of eyes focused on the ridiculous folded linen napkin perched upon Steve’s head. A hush had fallen over the room.
I cringed some more.
“NO!” barked He whose head wear was causing the disturbance. The Hubster then whipped the offending cloth off of his noggin and onto his lap. Picking up the menu, he balanced it on his hand while I held my breath, wondering if it would next adorn the upper regions of yon spouse. He did indeed open it to peruse the dinner offerings held within.
I slid back up and let out my breath. Helpmate, indeed!
Keeping that dining experience in mind, I now rarely book an expensive restaurant for celebratory events. A nice trip to Chuck E Cheese's is more my husband’s style. When he is comfortable, I am comfortable.
Browsing the web, I ran across more info on dealing with Aspie/NT relationships on "Dealing With an Aspergers Husband".
· Aspergers men in particular may find conflict almost intolerable. They may hear a difference of opinion or an attempt to explain a different perspective about a situation as conflict or a criticism of who they are.
· Neurotypical women especially tend to want their spouse to understand them and their feelings. However, they need to realize that this is something they may not be able to get from their Aspergers spouse. Some change may be possible, but the neurotypical spouse may need to adjust his/her expectation, and find other places for support without being unrealistic about what they expect from their Aspergers spouse.
· The most basic elements of speaking and hearing are the most important issues that the Aspergers-Neurotypical couples may have. Aspies often have a very difficult time hearing negative emotions expressed by their spouse. They may refuse to communicate, but then end up lashing-out in a very hurtful way later on.
I can so relate to these things. Steve hates conflict. I don’t like being embarrassed. If I state my feelings about the embarrassment, Steve takes it as criticism. He does tend to dwell on the perceived 'criticizing' and tries to ‘get even’ later on, usually by breaking something of mine. Passive aggressive behavior.
Overall, I find it easier to ‘adjust’ my expectations. I have lovely kids and friends to dine with at ‘fancy’ places. I can create my own happiness and allow Steve the freedom to be himself.
And, most of all, I can laugh – although sometimes it is much later on…