Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Eeny Meeny Miny Moe

It drives me crazy to see my spouse sitting in his recliner in the middle of a gorgeous day with a book in his hand, magazines spread out around him and the TV going full blast. It also bothers me immensely on an overcast, non-raining day.
Living in the Pacific Northwest, we are not apt to have many beautiful days in which to get outdoor work done, which being homeowners we seem to have an unlimited amount to do.
The real problem for Steve is his inability to make a decision. Which must drive him crazy! I can’t help him in deciding at all as his Aspie obstinance prevents him from listening to my (or anyone's) suggestions.
“Don’t tell me what to do” roars The Hubster.
So I don’t. Forget having lists, job jars, Honey-Do lists. He ignores them.
If the chore is beyond my capabilities, I will hire someone to do it for me. Of course, The Hubster roars about the expense, but hey – I’ve always given him the chance to do it himself.
Lately I’ve been trying to get the remainder of our house painted. Steve insists he can do it, but it is still various colors on different sides so no one side is completely done. I had the audacity to suggest my dad’s method of painting one entire side, trim and all, every other year. The only disadvantage to that method is having to keep the same house color scheme forever and a day.
We changed house colors last year. The trouble with my hubby’s method is that now parts of every side are the new colors of buttercream, tan and army green, while the remaining parts are the old colors of grey and white.
For me, not compatible. For my hubby, “My G**! Who cares? What does it matter?”
My birthday is coming up this next weekend so I went out and bought myself a boat and trailer for fishing. I took Steve with me and explained that this way he did not need to shop for me. He was pleased. He doesn’t fish, so I can be away from the house on nice days and be ‘unaware’ of his indoor inactivity on days our Kidlet doesn’t have baseball.
I will only come home after dark so I won't see the house.
And I will cook my fish. I am a good cook. Kidlet will be happy.
We all like fish.  Fish is healthy. I am happy.
Best of all, the fish are  'free'. Steve is happy.
Which should make us all a lot happier, lol.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Black Widow

Networking with my compatriots in the NT/Aspie lifestyle gives me a much needed release when I am frustrated, a place to cheer ourselves when things are going well, and the chance to empathize with another’s anguish.
I certainly have been there and done that. A message came through this morning.
“Remind me again that my husband has Aspergers and is facing an unknown medical crisis which is making him completely unbearable and I need to stand by him during this....... because right now I'm ready to kill him.”
My immediate response was:
“it's been awful here also - must be the spring weather - my suggestion for you is to stand with your back to him - that way he won't be in your line of sight!!”
To which she replied:
“lol. Thanks. I should probably stay away from fire arms, sharp objects, and frying pans.”
It’s been one of those weeks. For whatever reason, Steve is back to playing god again. He thinks he knows all of my reactions and responses to everything, so he has stopped communicating with me. He “thinks”, there for it all must be true! How often do I have to remind him that so much of our family life is situational? And why, oh why does he need to save his words? What, or whom, is he saving them for?
My hubby, as do many other Aspies, thinks in puzzle piece pictures. He takes a single experience, ‘cements’ it into his memory as a specific piece, then tries to fit all similar situations up against it. For the most part, his anticipations are semi-correct.
The problem lies in the fact that often the puzzle piece experience is fairly close to the reality that we are actually living at the moment, but not exactly the same. So, just like putting together a large, complicated jigsaw puzzle, if it isn’t the exactly correct puzzle piece, it doesn’t fit. And no amount of pounding on that piece will make it fit.
As I said, been there, done that.
Because my hubby is so very intelligent, he believes that he absolutely knows everything. When he runs across information that ‘does not compute’, he rejects it, or demands to know exactly how I would know and where I got the info. And yes, I do become irritated when he challenges me. It so often seems as if he doesn’t believe a word I say. He is also very rude about it. To me. Not to other people.
Fume, fume.
Fortunately Steve has to be out of town for the four days, which will give me a much needed break. Him also, I presume.
Perhaps I should check my Black Widow outfit to see if it might need cleaning before he gets back, lol.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sometimes It Sucks

What do these things have in common? Some days in our household, not much!
Today is turning out to be one of those days.
According to Merriam Webster (whom I admire infinitely):
com·mu·ni·ca·tion noun a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior
ex·pec·ta·tion noun  the act or state of expecting : ANTICIPATION <in expectationof what would happen>
mar·riage noun an intimate or close union 
We, of course, all have our own specific views or understandings of these terms according to our experiences in life. But factor into the equation one person with Aspergers Syndrome with their own set of view points, and these definitions are blown out of the water.

“O hark, O hear! How thin and clear, And thinner, clearer, farther going!

Lord Tennyson was obviously not here in our home with us when he wrote that. My hubby, however, is. Along the banging, crashing, stomping, smashing that is accompaning him throughout the house.
A hurricane or tornado, you ask? Nope, just some common, ordinary vacuuming.  Courtesy of my husband. Perhaps that should read ‘discourteously’.  
Whoops! That last crash was an angel figurine. Of course it wasn’t Hubby’s, so it’s brokenness is of no matter. Again, the Gospel according to Steven.
For the last twenty minutes since I asked The Hubster to vacuum the livingroom, kitchen, diningroom and main hall, I have also been asking him to calm down, deep breath and focus on acting like a grownup because his body language was telling me he was upset. He keep insisting he wasn’t angry or upset.
Baloney. I beg to differ.
Hubby, whether he wants to admit it or not, feels he is above and beyond ‘common chores’. He is of the opinion that as a retired, stay at home mom I should be capable of completing all the chores myself during the week and should not be asking for his help. He’s a gainfully employed engineer and lowly housecleaning is beneath his intelligence.
This week has been busy. Kidlet has had four baseball games in the last five days. I’ve put over 500 miles on my car as the three away games were faaaaaaaaaar away! Which makes a three hour game into a five or six hour event. On game days I have to drive Kidlet to school as no large equipment bags or musical instruments are allowed on his school bus. Add to that regular shopping, two birthday parties and The Hubster's requested errands, and my week flew by with not one chance to vacuum. Hence, my request for help.
So, Steve has now been ‘shoo-ed’ out the door to leave me in peace. To finish this post, to piece my angel back together and finish vacuuming. Which I should have just done as soon as I started to hear the thunderous actions below my office.
*Deep breathe*
*Think calm thoughts*
I can do this. Especially while laughing out loud. Because it just dawned on me that breaking my things is the quickest way to get out of chores. I will always take over and do it myself.
I think I’ve been had.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Missing Out

I am sad. I have just realized that my husband is missing out on a chunk of life.
Last night as we sat reading in the livingroom together, I asked him if he had read my post from that morning. He said he hadn’t, so I pulled it up on my phone. My android phone has a large screen and (for me) is easy to use. I showed Steve how to scroll through the article.
After he ‘finished’ and started to hand the phone back, I asked him what he thought about the comments. He replied that he didn’t read them.
“But they are interesting!” I exclaimed.
The Hubster heaved a sigh and pulled my phone back. He continued reading.
Kidlet, who was laying on the other part of our L-shaped sectional from me, also sighed. I wasn’t sure if it was from listening to our conversation or a reaction to his book. He is reading George Orwell’s 1984.
“Very good my dear,” states my beloved spouse. “But who is ‘laughing helps’?”
Seriously? He didn’t realize that it is me? Oh dear.
“It’s me, Sweetie. My blog is titled ‘Laughing Helps’.”
“But you didn’t include the ‘Marriage Spiced with Aspergers’ so it really isn’t you!” proclaims Sweetie.
“Oh yes, it really is me. Trust me, I know it’s me,” I said. “What did you think of the sign?”
“What sign?” The Hubster asked quizzically.
I get up to look at my phone in his hand. There is the picture of the sign filling up the entire screen.
I point. “Right there, Steve! That sign.”
“Oh,” says Hubby, puzzled. “You didn’t say anything about reading a picture.”
“Well, read it!” says I.
“Ummm, ahhh, ‘I, uhh…. that you… and you… ummm,” mumbles The Hubster.
“Can’t you read the lettering?” I ask.
“Ummm, no, not really.”
I pick my phone up and read the ‘sign’ to him. He doesn’t say a word.
“What do you think of that?” I inquire.
“Ummm, it doesn’t really make sense,” said Hubby.
“Exactly my point!” I enthuse.
Silence ensues as I reclaim my spot on the coach. As I pick up my book I glance over to Steve.
“You really couldn’t read that sign?” I ask.
“You can’t ‘read’ pictures!” insists He.
Hmmm. I decide to leave the issue alone, but I wonder how much he has missed in life because he isn’t ‘reading’ the pictures.
Not a laughing matter, this one.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Say What?

“I consider conversations with people to be mind exercises, but I don't want to pull a muscle, so I stretch a lot. That's why I'm constantly either rolling my eyes or yawning.” 
This sounds just like my hubby. But it really is a quote from Jarod Kintz’s It Occurred to Me.  

Communication for many of us is a cornerstone of our relationships. When one’s spouse is animatedly against regular communication, insisting that they need to ‘save’ their words (for who or what, I’m not sure), or that they only said such and such because they ‘knew’ that it was what we ‘wanted to hear’, life becomes increasingly difficult.
As does said spouse.
Every person is uniquely different. We all have good traits and bad. We will communicate differently depending on time, place, and circumstances. We are emotional beings who can fluctuate from day to day.
But trying to talk to The Hubster can be so frustrating for me (and I’m sure he would say the same about me).
It’s interesting that I receive comments from people with Aspergers who want to ‘correct’ me on how I view my marital situation, how I interact with my Aspie husband, and who think that I am projecting my own hubby’s Aspie-ness onto everyone with Aspergers Syndrome.
I hope you realize that I am not. My posts are unique unto myself and my spouse. I am simply a wife who has lived with an Aspergers man for twenty years. I continue to read and learn. I am finding through this blog’s comments from other NT partners/spouses that many of the situations that we go through are similar.
I am not alone.
That being said, before you with Aspergers want to correct me or criticize me for what I experience or feel, please remember that you can’t possibly understand me unless you are an NT. Which you aren’t.
Nor is my hubby, which brings us back to the breakdowns in communication that we seem to experience every day.
Did you get what I mean or did you hear what it is that I didn’t say, lol.