I do know that my hubby's aspie traits are much more apparent now than when I first met him when he was in his mid-twenties. He wasn't diagnosed until his late thirties, and even then he didn't tell me for almost three years! By then he’d had several other reconfirming diagnoses, but still hadn’t accepted or admitted it yet.
I actually stumbled upon a Can This Marriage Be Saved article in a ladies magazine. Leaping up I yelled "THIS IS YOU!", then practically threw the magazine into his blank face.
I had felt for many years after we were first married that there was something wrong, that Steve was holding back some 'deep dark secret’. He didn’t initiate conversation except about cars (his focal interest). He would mumble and ‘hmmmm’ at me during ‘heart to heart’ conversations, probably to acknowledge he still heard noise coming from me. He appeared distracted when I tried to talk to him. He would shrug noncommittally when asked direct preferences.
Which, of course, came back to bite me as I would think that he had no preference for beef or chicken for dinner, just to cook the chicken and have him complain that we never have beef.
Tomorrow marks the two year mark since my first blog posting on this site. Two years of researching, contemplating, writing, and answering emails, comments and tweets.
Tomorrow is another Valentine’s Day.
Is Steve different? Of course. If anything, his traits are becoming more pronounced. He really should quit driving, and I have redone our master bedroom into a fully acquitted retreat where he can watch TV, read and eat in solitude. Does that make him easier to get along with? Nope, but it sure the heck makes my life more peaceful.
Am I different? Of course! I am amazed at how knowledge and understanding can change my perspective of Steve’s reactions and behaviors. Does that mean I don’t experience frustration, anger or self-pity? Heck no! I would like to think that I am better at handling those situations that can frustrate me, that I yell less and smile more.
I do know that sharing these things with our kids has helped them view their dad’s actions in a whole different light. Our youngest son is now in his mid-teens, and seems more comfortable in dealing with his father’s ‘absences’, understanding that Steve deals with emotions in a nontraditional way.
And no, I honestly do not expect Steve to remember the significance of tomorrow’s ‘holiday’. Perhaps that is the most progress of all, LOL!