Wife with a Aspi husband - This is SO hard!!

Hi all,

I'm very new to this group, I literally just and this is my first post.

When I first married my husband I had no idea he had Asperger’s but I knew something was a-miss with him, I just figured we could eventually work it out. Now I’m 11 years into this marriage, we have kids and it seems to be getting worse instead of better.  It was my mother-in-law who is my husband’s step mother that told me that he has Asperger’s. She said he was diagnosed in HS but his father never told him that he was an Aspi. Consequently he doesn’t believe anything is wrong on his part and as far as I know he has never bothered to look into what Asperger’s is.

He has all the classic symptoms: Can’t give eye contact, emotionally immature, any criticism, concern or correction turns into a battle as if he was being attacked by an army of dragons out to take his life and I’m the queen leader of the dragons. We can’t communicate normally about anything…ever! He keeps information from me, big stuff and minor stuff, all of it. It gets in the way of raising our children, finances, everything, right down to the groceries!!  There is no intimate conversation between a husband and wife, no hugs unless instigated by me and even then it feels empty. No conflict resolution or discussion after the air settles from a fight which can take days or weeks just for the air to settle. We can’t go to a traditional marriage therapist who doesn’t understand the dynamic in a AS/NT relationship and I can’t seem to find one that specializes in it.

I’m at my wits end and don’t know where to turn for help. I’m not interested in walking out the door and blowing my family up because I’m angry or sad. I don’t believe in making life altering decisions in the height of an emotional outburst.  I know that I haven’t looked hard enough for help, which is what brought me to this site in the first place. I wish I could find a support group that I can go to physically as well as online but can’t seem to find any in the Phoenix area. But again, maybe I’m not looking hard enough.

I just need some input and help because I don’t know how to navigate these waters. I need other women and men who are in the same position to give me some insight. I need other Aspi’s to teach me how to get out of this place of stuck with my Aspi husband. I don’t need or want negative input, I have enough of that in my head already and certainly don’t need someone else’s negative input to fill more space. It’s heavy and it doesn’t feel good. So please, if you have something constructive to say, teach or a similar situation, I’m all ears and desperately seeking a marriage that has the potential of moving powerfully forward.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I’m grateful to have found this site as I have been asking the universe for help in a big way.

  • In reply to Carol Horton:

    Hopefully you will see this and so will everyone else who doubts us, as wives in these “no-where-marriages!” They are hopeless because the Aspies will never change! Therapy is futile because all they will tell the couple is; the neuro-typical spouse needs to be the one to CHANGE in order to accommodate the Aspie and make the marriage work! Well, I didn’t sign up for a life of this tiresome, selfishness on their part! They plow through life with one agenda...THEIRS! My husband has left me after I fractured vertebrae in my back from a car accident and could not lift and barely walk, with our young son with autism, while he went to play a double header softball game! Who does that?
    Here is a link to read if other wives:
    heartlessaspergers.com/.../
  • In reply to Carol Horton:

    Hopefully you will see this and so will everyone else who doubts us, as wives in these “no-where-marriages!” They are hopeless because the Aspies will never change! Therapy is futile because all they will tell the couple is; the neuro-typical spouse needs to be the one to CHANGE in order to accommodate the Aspie and make the marriage work! Well, I didn’t sign up for a life of this tiresome, selfishness on their part! They plow through life with one agenda...THEIRS! My husband has left me after I fractured vertebrae in my back from a car accident and could not lift and barely walk, with our young son with autism, while he went to play a double header softball game! Who does that?

    Here is a link to read if other wives:

  • In reply to Lauren Gilbert:

    You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, and are rude for judging her! I walk in her shoes, and she is accurate in her description of a life wit a true Aspergers spouse. It will NEVER change! Run if you ever come close to a relationship with one as a possible spouse, as it will get worse as years go by. They will make you feel as though it is YOUR fault until you finally realize you are not the crazy one! They are sly and manipulative in making everyone think they are charming...meanwhile, you will slowly die inside, a lonely life. And NO ONE will believe the bizarre life you are living with them! People will judge and blame the wrong spouse...just like you are, Lauren. We, the trapped lonely wives are a lost minority’s with nowhere to turn for help. There are virtually no therapists that “get it” and will only tell us to adapt to them and their selfishness. They only care about themselves as they really don’t know how to feel empathy for our feelings. Read my link I posted of other wives and their examples of desperation. Stop judging us because you have NO IDEA what our lives are like!

  • In reply to Cabin Fever:

    Some Aspie husbands on here gave very kind replies. As difficult and frustrating as life can be with an Aspie spouse, there's no escaping the fact that they are not doing it deliberately, and therefore it seems harsh to judge, blame and hold them responsible. I understand how hard it is because I have one, and for years did not know why our lives were so difficult. But I also have a high functioning AS son who I hope will find an understanding partner when he grows up. It breaks my heart to think that he will have to suffer relationships failing because of something he can't help. Compassion and patience is what is needed, not condemnation. I know the site you have linked to and I found it revelatory to find out I was not the only one experiencing this, but I was also able to stand back from it and see that a lot of women were venting and while the emotional reaction is understandable, as an overview of the whole situation, at the end of the day, it isn't rational to frame Aspie partners as deliberately abusive. Being oblivious is not the same as being sly and manipulative. And oblivious is closer to the truth. As much as it may make us feel better to blame them, it is pointless and lacks compassion for a real affliction which they can not help.
  • In reply to Cabin Fever:

    Some Aspie husbands on here gave very kind replies. As difficult and frustrating as life can be with an Aspie spouse, there's no escaping the fact that they are not doing it deliberately, and therefore it seems harsh to judge, blame and hold them responsible. I understand how hard it is because I have one, and for years did not know why our lives were so difficult. But I also have a high functioning AS son who I hope will find an understanding partner when he grows up. It breaks my heart to think that he will have to suffer relationships failing because of something he can't help. Compassion and patience is what is needed, not condemnation. I know the site you have linked to and I found it revelatory to find out I was not the only one experiencing this, but I was also able to stand back from it and see that a lot of women were venting and while the emotional reaction is understandable, as an overview of the whole situation, at the end of the day, it isn't rational to frame Aspie partners as deliberately abusive. Being oblivious is not the same as being sly and manipulative. And oblivious is closer to the truth. As much as it may make us feel better to blame them, it is pointless and lacks compassion for a real affliction which they can not help.
  • There is a resource app you can get on iphone, written by an NT wife and AS husband, Asperger Marriage Instant Help, it's excellent
  • There is a resource app you can get on iphone, written by an NT wife and AS husband, Asperger Marriage Instant Help, it's excellent
  • There is a resource app you can get on iphone, written by an NT wife and AS husband, Asperger Marriage Instant Help, it's excellent

  • I was married before I was diagnosed and my marriage ended badly, years later got diagnosed, then a few years after that I somehow got back with her (not remarried) and I told her about my diagnosis, little did I realize she's a textbook narcissist, I'm just glad I didn't remarry her! I know I have my issues, but she doesn't see nor admit to having any, I'm trying to hang in for the sake of our 2 kids, but it's not easy and I know staying together just for the kids isn't enough and could make things worse for all, all involved must be able to admit their own separate issues before progress can be made, maybe this could benefit others
  • Hi, i hear every word you say because im in a similar situation, ive been with my aspie boyfriend two years, we go on many weekend adventures together which involve his one main interest but luckily i enjoy them too, though we dont live together and when we arent 'adventuring' we see each other one night a week, i totally adore him all the same as if we were a 'married couple' though, i truly do, BUT, i spend (or used to) all the other nights alone crying myself to sleep out of sheer frustration, ive read numerous advise manuals for couples when one is NT and the other Aspergers, but have found although they give good insight into the mind and behaviour of the aspie (which is a total necessity for the NT partner) ive yet to come across any advise for the NT on ways with which to cope with this, its all about them, how we need to adapt, accept, forgive, understand...all of which i try my very best to do but what seems like very narcissistic tendancies displayed by my boyfriend and his unwillingness to accept that his words or actions (or lack thereof) could even have the possibility of affecting me in any negative way, make my attempts at being the best me i can be for us both quite futile and pointless it seems to me, simply because some things i feel are impossible to just dismiss at times, i wont go into graphic details as i have no intentions of disrespecting my man or seeking sympathy, but i too just wish there was a way of truly connecting with him on that deeper level where he 'gets' that i feel what i know he feels, but he can only relate how he feels to himself and has no understanding therefore ability to relate/accept/acknowlege or feel anything for how i feel - unless it is nothing to do with him causing me to feel that way, see- because of their perception they truly arent able to imagine a connection between how they are and how we feel as a result of how they are, impossible, and that is the only comfort and tool i have which makes me able to carry on, the fact that as painful/hurtful and lonely as my life sometimes seems to me, that i know in the depths of my soul that his intention is never to make me feel that way (even though he has no concept of 'feel' other than how he feels) and for that reason alone i find my inner strength because my unconditional love for him is able to help me take a deep breath, remember that he is basically emotionally clueless in my pointless attempts to reason with him, and then my heart actually hurts for him because i know he will never truly experience either as the giver or receiver, everything which loving someone really is, the passion, the pain or the happiness, and that makes me very sad for him, i dont pity him, im sad he cant experience or feel what i feel for both of us, because i do realise as cold or thoughtless or heartless as he seems to be to me sometimes, its never with intent and mostly not even with his knowlege, but when he does acknowlege that he is maybe having an off day and possibly not being very nice - he will apologise, though that scenario isnt the norm, mostly - i suffer in silence, literally, because he will suddenly dissappear mid conversation (text or online, when we arent together), then just ignore me til he sees me next, which is frustrating and hurtful, because he has more important things to do like talking to someone else or watching paint dry etc, (yes - those reasons have even been said to me!) However, i now know that the reason he ignores me, or deflects my feelings of hurt back at me when i ask him not to - or when i ask him not to be so nasty or say such cruel things, he cant see that im hurting, doesnt feel bad that i feel bad, because he cant! Therefore any request or response from me regarding anything he says or does - he then sees as a direct critisism of him - and then he goes into a kind of emotional meltdown and feels like HE is the one under attack, and he cant understand why or is unable to cope with that, as too, do I, but the difference is - i am able to understand all of this, whereas, - he simply is not. I know that regardless of intent, emotional hurt is emotional hurt and no one should be made to feel bad, and us NTs know and understand that actually - despite what so many 'so called' possitive quotes that seem to be thrown about these days may imply and are taken 'literally' (you arent responsible for anyone elses happiness only your own yada yada...) yes this may be true, but we dont live in a vaccuum, and we can affect how others feel good and bad, and yes how we choose (for want of a better word) to react is our responsibility, but that doesnt mean others have free reign to trample on you because they are then not responsible for how that makes you feel, because if we hurt someone, regardless of intent, we are then responsible for that, we get all of this - they do not. Equally, when things are said or done to them, i believe they hurt just the same, but they are even less able to cope with that than us (its a total contradiction isnt it, them believing they can be how they are thats their responsibility, but how we feel about it is not connected, yet vice versa to them, its the end of the world almost) its hard, very hard, very sad, but i manage just by realising all of the above, and knowing that my boyfriend is just unable to, and then i can step back from my present feelings of hurt or rejection, and think about all the reasons im still hanging in there, for me - they are the one night a week i get to have him in my life and our adventures (his adventures) together when i can see his happiness that i am sharing what he wants to do - with him, knowing that i do have the ability to make him happy, i know he loves me in his way, and i know he knows i adore and love him too, and trying to always remember that everytime i feel hurt by him and attempt to reason this (to him-i am blaming) all im achieving by doing so is to make him feel equally as upset as he makes me feel, and thats the last thing i want to do, you see - as hard as it is for us NTs, so it is for them too... but we have the one small advantage (although it seems a disadvantage, it really isnt) in that we have an understanding, or at least have the ability to learn it, wheras they never can so never will, as such will always feel under attack, always repeat their behaviours and patterns because they are unable to learn from them as they are unable to question if they affect anyone but themselves...unlike NTs are capable of (although myself admittedly, i take a long time and many attempts to learn from my mistakes, but eventually - i can and do) and that implies that their whole lives they will always feel misunderstood or under attack and believe people generally mean to be that way to them, and do that specifically to them, and that to me is heartbreaking, i dont want my man to suffer regardless of if i often feel like i am, because he doesnt understand emotions or connections like i do, only how he himself alone feels, that must be far more lonely than i could ever really feel even at my lowest. Im sorry for the chapter and verse, one of my many idiosyncrasies lol, and i hope i have made a bit of sense, hopefully how i see it will resonate with you or someone else in our situation and help a little. Xx
  • In reply to Carol Horton:

    I just sent you a DM. I am in your same boat. Its very very hard. Lauren Gilbert is an aspie and you see her lack of understanding and empathy. Some of them just won't get us, and we can therefore not be in a healthy relationship with those ones -for both partners it will be frustrating. But to find out if your husband can meet you part way and become aware of who he is...that is the game. It is a long hard road for us. As they will many times show us no regard for our genuine efforts often and even be verbally defensive and aggressive and say hurtful things, only later to either not remember or feel totally justified as they perceived a criticism that wasn't intended. But they live in their own reality, they have to to cope with the world, and that reality is their main experience and they will believe it over you. If they felt a criticism they will attack even if you were meaning to compliment them. What we need to find out is if our husbands are the kind that we see in here who are honest about what their limitations and skills are, just like any other living being in any other relationship, and are willing to, at the LEAST, be honest with themselves and us about who they are. Or if they just expect us to do all the adjusting and they remain the same with no compromise what so ever. No relationship can exist where one partner does not know who he is and wont compromise. It is known that NTs must do 80% of the compromising. Will he do the 20% and will it be enough to make both people happy enough? No way to know immediately and it will take a long time to find out. That is the reality. How long depends on who the guy is. Its been nine years for me and 2 years of very very very gently asking him to read a paragraph here and there on Aspergers and telling him all the wonderful attributes of the disorder (and never using the word disorder!). And that maybe he can give himself a break for his lack of organizational skills! Maybe he can stop kicking himself for the things that are hard for him...he has swung between feeling upbeat and then attacking me for calling him a freak. When I have never ever even thought he was a freak, much less voiced anything like that. But they have a lifetime of feeling like they don't fit in and are always on the defensive. And everything is extremes for them. Its a long road. I recommend reading every book you an get your hands on. You have to, just to protect your self esteem. By the time I got my first book, after years or not knowing why he didn't want to be around me so much of the time, or have sex or hold me for more than 30 seconds....I was so lonely and my self esteem was gone, not to mention depression. he would most of the time be defensive if I asked what did I do wrong when he got angry and walked out last night? One starts to believe one is ....not even there. You MUST get educated about what they can and can not do. But they will have varying degrees of coping and so you wont know what your husband is refusing to do and what he cant do until you spend endless energy and patience and kindness on him. And even then will he accept the diagnosis? If he wont there is no hope for him to ever understand you. You must both know how you are different from each other. Different but both valid and equal. If he can not see you - you must leave. I am still giving my husband the time and love and acceptance to try and meet me part way. I do not know how much longer I can do this. It has taken a toll on me. I have much to say on this but the books all say it, and they all say the same thing. Tony Atwood wrote the bible. I hope we can help each other through this, even to survive it with our health in tact. They have a cup that needs filling by others, and we have a bucket. They cant change but we try. Very lonely.
  • In reply to Carol Horton:

    I just sent you a DM. I am in your same boat. Its very very hard. Lauren Gilbert is an aspie and you see her lack of understanding and empathy. Some of them just won't get us, and we can therefore not be in a healthy relationship with those ones -for both partners it will be frustrating. But to find out if your husband can meet you part way and become aware of who he is...that is the game. It is a long hard road for us. As they will many times show us no regard for our genuine efforts often and even be verbally defensive and aggressive and say hurtful things, only later to either not remember or feel totally justified as they perceived a criticism that wasn't intended. But they live in their own reality, they have to to cope with the world, and that reality is their main experience and they will believe it over you. If they felt a criticism they will attack even if you were meaning to compliment them. What we need to find out is if our husbands are the kind that we see in here who are honest about what their limitations and skills are, just like any other living being in any other relationship, and are willing to, at the LEAST, be honest with themselves and us about who they are. Or if they just expect us to do all the adjusting and they remain the same with no compromise what so ever. No relationship can exist where one partner does not know who he is and wont compromise. It is known that NTs must do 80% of the compromising. Will he do the 20% and will it be enough to make both people happy enough? No way to know immediately and it will take a long time to find out. That is the reality. How long depends on who the guy is. Its been nine years for me and 2 years of very very very gently asking him to read a paragraph here and there on Aspergers and telling him all the wonderful attributes of the disorder (and never using the word disorder!). And that maybe he can give himself a break for his lack of organizational skills! Maybe he can stop kicking himself for the things that are hard for him...he has swung between feeling upbeat and then attacking me for calling him a freak. When I have never ever even thought he was a freak, much less voiced anything like that. But they have a lifetime of feeling like they don't fit in and are always on the defensive. And everything is extremes for them. Its a long road. I recommend reading every book you an get your hands on. You have to, just to protect your self esteem. By the time I got my first book, after years or not knowing why he didn't want to be around me so much of the time, or have sex or hold me for more than 30 seconds....I was so lonely and my self esteem was gone, not to mention depression. he would most of the time be defensive if I asked what did I do wrong when he got angry and walked out last night? One starts to believe one is ....not even there. You MUST get educated about what they can and can not do. But they will have varying degrees of coping and so you wont know what your husband is refusing to do and what he cant do until you spend endless energy and patience and kindness on him. And even then will he accept the diagnosis? If he wont there is no hope for him to ever understand you. You must both know how you are different from each other. Different but both valid and equal. If he can not see you - you must leave. I am still giving my husband the time and love and acceptance to try and meet me part way. I do not know how much longer I can do this. It has taken a toll on me. I have much to say on this but the books all say it, and they all say the same thing. Tony Atwood wrote the bible. I hope we can help each other through this, even to survive it with our health in tact. They have a cup that needs filling by others, and we have a bucket. They cant change but we try. Very lonely.
  • I just sent you a DM. I am in your same boat. Its very very hard. Lauren Gilbert is an aspie and you see her lack of understanding and empathy. Some of them just won't get us, and we can therefore not be in a healthy relationship with those ones -for both partners it will be frustrating. But to find out if your husband can meet you part way and become aware of who he is...that is the game. It is a long hard road for us. As they will many times show us no regard for our genuine efforts often and even be verbally defensive and aggressive and say hurtful things, only later to either not remember or feel totally justified as they perceived a criticism that wasn't intended. But they live in their own reality, they have to to cope with the world, and that reality is their main experience and they will believe it over you. If they felt a criticism they will attack even if you were meaning to compliment them. What we need to find out is if our husbands are the kind that we see in here who are honest about what their limitations and skills are, just like any other living being in any other relationship, and are willing to, at the LEAST, be honest with themselves and us about who they are. Or if they just expect us to do all the adjusting and they remain the same with no compromise what so ever. No relationship can exist where one partner does not know who he is and wont compromise. It is known that NTs must do 80% of the compromising. Will he do the 20% and will it be enough to make both people happy enough? No way to know immediately and it will take a long time to find out. That is the reality. How long depends on who the guy is. Its been nine years for me and 2 years of very very very gently asking him to read a paragraph here and there on Aspergers and telling him all the wonderful attributes of the disorder (and never using the word disorder!). And that maybe he can give himself a break for his lack of organizational skills! Maybe he can stop kicking himself for the things that are hard for him...he has swung between feeling upbeat and then attacking me for calling him a freak. When I have never ever even thought he was a freak, much less voiced anything like that. But they have a lifetime of feeling like they don't fit in and are always on the defensive. And everything is extremes for them. Its a long road. I recommend reading every book you an get your hands on. You have to, just to protect your self esteem. By the time I got my first book, after years or not knowing why he didn't want to be around me so much of the time, or have sex or hold me for more than 30 seconds....I was so lonely and my self esteem was gone, not to mention depression. he would most of the time be defensive if I asked what did I do wrong when he got angry and walked out last night? One starts to believe one is ....not even there. You MUST get educated about what they can and can not do. But they will have varying degrees of coping and so you wont know what your husband is refusing to do and what he cant do until you spend endless energy and patience and kindness on him. And even then will he accept the diagnosis? If he wont there is no hope for him to ever understand you. You must both know how you are different from each other. Different but both valid and equal. If he can not see you - you must leave. I am still giving my husband the time and love and acceptance to try and meet me part way. I do not know how much longer I can do this. It has taken a toll on me. I have much to say on this but the books all say it, and they all say the same thing. Tony Atwood wrote the bible. I hope we can help each other through this, even to survive it with our health in tact. They have a cup that needs filling by others, and we have a bucket. They cant change but we try. Very lonely.
  • I just sent you a DM. I am in your same boat. Its very very hard. Lauren Gilbert is an aspie and you see her lack of understanding and empathy. Some of them just won't get us, and we can therefore not be in a healthy relationship with those ones -for both partners it will be frustrating. But to find out if your husband can meet you part way and become aware of who he is...that is the game. It is a long hard road for us. As they will many times show us no regard for our genuine efforts often and even be verbally defensive and aggressive and say hurtful things, only later to either not remember or feel totally justified as they perceived a criticism that wasn't intended. But they live in their own reality, they have to to cope with the world, and that reality is their main experience and they will believe it over you. If they felt a criticism they will attack even if you were meaning to compliment them. What we need to find out is if our husbands are the kind that we see in here who are honest about what their limitations and skills are, just like any other living being in any other relationship, and are willing to, at the LEAST, be honest with themselves and us about who they are. Or if they just expect us to do all the adjusting and they remain the same with no compromise what so ever. No relationship can exist where one partner does not know who he is and wont compromise. It is known that NTs must do 80% of the compromising. Will he do the 20% and will it be enough to make both people happy enough? No way to know immediately and it will take a long time to find out. That is the reality. How long depends on who the guy is. Its been nine years for me and 2 years of very very very gently asking him to read a paragraph here and there on Aspergers and telling him all the wonderful attributes of the disorder (and never using the word disorder!). And that maybe he can give himself a break for his lack of organizational skills! Maybe he can stop kicking himself for the things that are hard for him...he has swung between feeling upbeat and then attacking me for calling him a freak. When I have never ever even thought he was a freak, much less voiced anything like that. But they have a lifetime of feeling like they don't fit in and are always on the defensive. And everything is extremes for them. Its a long road. I recommend reading every book you an get your hands on. You have to, just to protect your self esteem. By the time I got my first book, after years or not knowing why he didn't want to be around me so much of the time, or have sex or hold me for more than 30 seconds....I was so lonely and my self esteem was gone, not to mention depression. he would most of the time be defensive if I asked what did I do wrong when he got angry and walked out last night? One starts to believe one is ....not even there. You MUST get educated about what they can and can not do. But they will have varying degrees of coping and so you wont know what your husband is refusing to do and what he cant do until you spend endless energy and patience and kindness on him. And even then will he accept the diagnosis? If he wont there is no hope for him to ever understand you. You must both know how you are different from each other. Different but both valid and equal. If he can not see you - you must leave. I am still giving my husband the time and love and acceptance to try and meet me part way. I do not know how much longer I can do this. It has taken a toll on me. I have much to say on this but the books all say it, and they all say the same thing. Tony Atwood wrote the bible. I hope we can help each other through this, even to survive it with our health in tact. They have a cup that needs filling by others, and we have a bucket. They cant change but we try. Very lonely.
  • I know this thread is old. yet, I want to share a wonderful online support group for spouses of those with aspergers. It is out of the UK, but people from all over the world post to it. It is called Different together forum. Web address is ; different-together.co.uk