Divorce and Asperger Syndrome

Sadly, divorce is common in Asperger marriages. It has been described that being in a marriage with someone with Asperger Syndrome (AS) is like walking on eggshells. What does that mean? For example, men with undiagnosed AS often feel as if their spouse is being ungrateful when she complains he is uncaring or never listens to her. He knows what he thinks and how he feels, so should she. He has no motive to understand her interior world so her complaints are bothersome to him. He can come to be quite defensive when she asks for clarification or a little sympathy because he knows that he has good intentions so he resents the pressure. The defensiveness can turn into verbal abuse (and sometimes physical abuse) as the husband attempts to control the communication to suit his view of the world.

So, what can you expect if you divorce an Asperger man? Unfortunately he will probably not understand why the woman wants a divorce and he is likely to be quite angry about it. Not knowing how to handle his distress he may turn the energy into revenge. It is believed that many high conflict divorces are the result of the negativity and obsessing of the AS partner regarding the wrongdoing he perceives of his NT spouse. It is likely to be a long, painful and expensive divorce where all suffer, including the children. Some Aspies however, just leave quietly and never remarry because they cannot quite figure out how to rebuild a life separately from their former spouse. Some NT former wives report that their former husband even still refers to her as his “wife” years after the divorce.

If you are struggling in your Asperger marriage, seeking counseling. Click here for my therapy recommendations for this type of situation. With husband and wife working hard, the marriage may be salvageable. I also recommend reading Life with a Partner or Spouse with Asperger Syndrome: Going Over the Edge? This book specifically addresses the touchy issues of sex, rage, divorce and shame and gives a glimpse of the “inner workings” of these relationships. It offers new ways to look at the situations presented, as well as tips on how to handle similar situations in one’s own life. Click here to download a FREE sample chapter.

109 Replies to “Divorce and Asperger Syndrome”

  1. I’m divorcing a man with ASD. He abused me emotionally physically and I couldn’t put up with it anymore. He is also a drug addict who blew 20k in the 3 years of marriage on drugs. He abandoned me during a major surgery. My mom has to come care for me. Once I finally had the courage to leave the psycho terrorism began. He refers to me as his best friend, but he cheated on me 6 months ago. He was never my friend, he never loved me. These men are not capable of love. You are just an obsession to them. I believe he’s going to make the divorce a difficult one, and I’m the only one who has worked in the past year. He’s been living off his parents dime, because We have been separated. When I tried to get a divorce earlier I could not due to COVID. I feel like a broken person. He destroyed my self esteem and made me feel worthless. I beg any woman in a relationship with an ASD man not to marry. Don’t fall under their spell. You are merely an interest they can use and discard. Take care of yourself and be kind during the process. Keep your family and friends close. You will need them.

    1. Please advise. Five years after we were married, he got incurable cancer. Now what? I am caught in a double web. He has Asp I am quite sure. I am normal, at least I used to be until all this. Now I am in shreds.

    2. i wanted to say good luck. i’m not going to go into details online but have been in this position, divorced him, got out the other side and despite the complications of coparenting with him now i look forward to my life and future rather than dread the knowledge of what the future would be.
      it takes a lot of courage to go down this path, but is worth it in the end. we are both happier individuals than we were and it is much much better for our child now. x

      1. is he capable with the children? Or make them act up or is he a pushover?
        Mine won’t remember to having them do their homework, or brush their teeth, or be on time for things. They’ve supposedly lost coats, bags, soccer stuff when at his place. And then he can’t see danger or keep them safe, one is still young.

      2. Catherine, I’m also going through the process of divorce. It’s such an awful experience. I was wondering if you would mind if I messaged you with some questions. My biggest hurdle right now is the lawyer says don’t speak with him… yet I feel I have to. Not because I want too… but to explain things clearer to him and mostly make him not feel attacked. He can make my life hell if he wanted to… not that he already hasn’t. Do you have any pointers? I can’t tell you how appreciative I would be for some of your time. My email is lawnyboy@msn.com. I don’t want you to bring back bad memories…. so I understand if you rather not too. Warmest Regards, Becky

        1. Please don’t make the mistake of explaining anything. Explanation can be used as evidence that you are unstable.

          1. So true what you refer. We better shut up our mouths because they are going to use all our words against us. Im currently divorcing, after 10 years of struggling. I gave up but, for him, the blame is mine. How can I possibly imagine to divorce such a great man, he s wondering…

      3. I’m so glad to find this topic. I’m living a nightmare everyday and I am so frustrated. He blames me for everything which is wrong. If I try and let him know he is too loud, blunt, insulting and hurting my feelings in a kind and gentle way, he says I don’t love him. Then he retreats into another world, sometimes for days, months and years. I’ve wasted so much time with my husband. He doesn’t even listen to me or even tries to understand what I’m feeling. He never agrees with anything and loves to argue about everything. I feel insulted and unloved. I guess I’m his mother and not a real woman to him. His immaturity is shocking at times and he behaves like a 10 year old. He cusses and screams and then balls up his fist and shoves it in my face to scare me. I never had a son but now I feel I’m raising an out of control ten year old. I deserve so much better. Im a very good person, but he can’t appreciate anything about me because his mind is always thinking about himself. He has absolutely no empathy or compassion. He didn’t even hold my hand for 30 years. I feel stuck and duped by him. I made a terrible mistake in marrying him.

    3. Hi, those are 2 different things. Drug addition and ASD are completely unrelated. I’m truly sorry for what you went through, but I never cheated my wife, I don’t drink alcohol or take any drug, and I did all I could to make her happy. But ASD was too much for her and she is divorcing me now. The divorce is quite friendly, as we have a child and both our interests are in her well-being. Please do not criminalize ASD just because you fell in love with a bad person, that happened to be autistic. There are millions of men that are abusive, drug addicts and have not a single drop of autism. Please do not mix up things.

      1. That’s not necessarily true. Actually, most information regarding asd specifically points to the correlation (not causation) between substance abuse and asd, pointing to possible factors of the frustration of the neurodiverse individual struggling to navigate a social world with a highly analytical mind. You’ll find the same correlations between extremes of many neurological characteristics like high intelligence and substance abuse/ addiction. No offense intended- my husband does not even use any addictive substances (beyond sugar 😉), so it’s not in every case- but research shows a correlation, so they are far from mutually exclusive. Just wanted to clarify. Only way to navigate (divorce-marriage-parenthood-etc.) is to have as much info as possible.

        1. Thank you Heather. Statistics are not always easy to understand. I am not sure what you are referring to here, but one thing I can help with is that causation and correlation are often confused. High intelligence does not cause addiction nor vice versa. Followers of 12 Step Programs usually support the idea that one is an addict because they are an addict. I know this sounds circular, but the point is that blaming addiction on anyone or anything else misses the power of taking on full accountability for one’s life.

          1. Alcoholism and drug addiction is a DISEASE. If you need to double check accuracy please check the current DSM or a dictionary that explains what qualifies as a disease.
            ASD is described as a neurological disorder that many including those who may be on the spectrum don’t recognize or don’t want to.
            I DO NOT believe anyone in this support forum are incriminating anyone. I believe they are in pain and want a safe non judgmental place to share feelings so they can cope with a proven diagnosis that creates barriers to connect on a personal level with others. This is THEIR perception. You may have another and that is fine. You can join the perception of someone in your position.
            Unless you have been in these peoples shoes please opt to decline making them feel guilty or invalid with their feelings. It is extremely insensitive, out of place and portrays you as VERY insecure.
            If YOU KNOW YOU ARE A GREAT PERSON you would have empathy for people going through something you believe you can relate to BUT HAVE NOT and cannot go through it.
            These are personal truths to an individual who seek support from fellow persons who can relate.
            Trying to explain a whole different view from a stance THAT is not relevant to the same painful experience regardless of having to do with ASD makes the disorder or proven analysis look especially negative.
            Stop thinking of yourself and have compassion for people in pain.

          2. I am 3.5 years into my ($$$$) and it is going nowhere. My kids are suffering. My health is worsening. My fancy lawyer keeps saying a ND marriage doesn’t fit family court and I could be crucified and I should accept 50/50 custody. I need to get the divorce done. Dragging this on and on is terrible – affecting decisions regarding housing, education, and friendships. Where can I turn for wisdom at this juncture?

        2. I have read that there is a high correlation between ASD and substance abuse. My husband is an alcoholic who just does not drink any more. He is not in AA. And I am quite sure he is an Aspie, forgive the term. I am so broken up over having to leave him permanently. We keep separating and getting back together. People don’t understand that when I reach my saturation point, I ask him to leave my house and go to his family. It’s sooooo hard. I don’t know which is harder… staying or leaving.

      2. I’m in a similar situation, ours is a gay marriage we’ve been together for 7 years. I’m just 31 now I feel like it’s time for me to take care of me. I’ve lost all my 20s with this man. He’s aggressive, every little thing like a deactivated hotel key sets him off starts screaming in the hotel restaurant hotel like it’s my fault. He’s screaming at check in through airports at home you can barely ask what TV show he’s watching or something as simple as where’s the remote before he starts screaming. He was a night ritual of looking for things before he goes to bed and he if can’t find it, you need to join in the search or you’ll end up having a fight even if what he’s looking for is like ear phones you never use. This is my typical day at home or travel. After all these melt downs he plays it down and pretend nothing happened and if you bring it up he’ll just scream back at like you’ve said this for the 4th times.
        I don’t see a way forward and I think it’s time to call it off. His biggest fear is me leaving him but he won’t try to improve himself. He hasn’t gotten a diagnosis or autism but it’s very clear, he’s got zero friends, not good in social situations, anxious( this includes in bed so we just stopped having sex coz it’s too much stress for him apparently)

        1. I am scared, for the whole world is being told that Apies and Autistics should be pitied and admired. There is a sociopathic element to their behavior and they can be some of the smartest people on earth. They can lie at the drop of a bucket and never feel any guilt. They can steal. They can gaslight you. They can put on an act so that others think they are right. Some of them get on websites like this and crowd bang you when you complain. Never ever get involved with one. I have 30 years married to one and don’t even know if my life was worth what I went through.

          1. I am so sorry Marilyn. Tragically all human beings are capable of taking the wrong path and causing incredible harm to others.

          2. I hear you . I know you speak the truth.
            Thank You for telling the truth. They have no conscience . They do not mean anyone good. They are for themself only , at any cost. It is not a wrong path for them , it is how their brain works, they were born the way they are.

      3. Actually some people with Aspergers self medicate so it’s can be common to abuse substances with Aspergers.

        1. Yes, that is true. I just read an article about porn addiction and ASD. They use it as a drug to escape from reality where they feel powerless and lonely. Alcohol and drugs help them relax in order to enjoy the escape porn provides. They don’t have to connect socially with anyone and they feel accepted instead of being rejected by real life people. It then becomes a life long addiction which interferes with relationships and their own self esteem.

    4. Not all men with Aspergers are like your husband. You are prejudiced against men with Aspergers. That is like assuming all black women are promiscuous, or assuming all catholic priests are gay and molest boys or assuming all young black men are gangstas, or assuming all Muslium people are terrorists, or assuming all Americans are obese, or assuming that all Republicans are racist.
      Just because a man has Aspergers does not mean he is not capable of love and would use and discard his wife. Men with Aspergers can be good or bad, just like neurotypical men can be good or bad.

      1. Robert, you are right. My experience is just with one person, not all Aspies. Your comparisons made me smile. Thank you. My years have just been such a long hard thankless trudge. And the tougher things got, the more vacant and remote my husband became. It was so difficult. And even though you are correct, I would never encourage anyone to enter into a neurodiverse marriage.

        1. google estimates an 80% split rate for an as/nt marriage. the ones still married (many are probably miserable and o this site. Get a new lawyer and document secretly about the relationship to show the attorney.

          I agree as many mask their behaviors before marriage and women accidentally marry one and then get a surprise. approx. 80% split rate and how many in the 20% are on here? lol.

      2. I find the “ use and discard “ comment to resonate with me . I also find Asd men have the capacity to focus on what they want until they don’t . I think as a wife I was a special interest until i was replaced by another special interest and then i was discarded – like a nothing . Not his wife of 20 years mother of his children – no all matter of fact “ it’s gone for me” and he was gone ! His feelings priority – nothing else matters . No loyalty no guilt just blinkers and self involvment . So yes used and discarded – no. problem no big deal – but actually it has left me broken and our children without a father . But hey no biggy so long as the aspie addresses. his needs – still a misery of course because the real issue not faced . Easy to blame me / covid / the moon . God forbid he might actually look inwards to himself – which is ironic given he only looks inwardly re everything else other than self reflection . Aspie is not a good basis for a loving relationship . They should have a warning label as they destroy others with total disregard – even if unintentional it’s still destruction of another person

        1. This is exactly my story too. Separated for 3 months after 21 years and hardly a backward glance from him, while I’m left feeling broken, angry and traumatised. He proposed to come back, but imposing a set of conditions of how he needed to have his needs met so he could feel regulated, and not one inch to even know what needs I might have as a slightly menopausal mum to 3 aspies who I have looked after singlehandedly since he left. As a mum, I do have sympathies but it has been absolutely shocking how quickly I can be discarded, it literally takes my breath away.

          1. Hi! I’m in your same situation except that he says he doesn’t want to come back. Are you and your husband back together?

        2. I relate so well to what you are saying.
          I have been married to my Aspergic husband for 13 years. Its been 13 years of conflict. It took me years to realise there was something wrong and he was finally diagnosed. The diagnosis didnt help . It explained why he does what he does but it doesnt make it any easier. Ive asked for a divorce , he just ignores it. Its like he is from another planet and he is getting worse . Nothing is his fault , im to tired to say any more , i wish id never met him

          1. Oh god! I relate so much with you. It’s been 30 years for us. He was diagnosed 6 years ago. The knowing what’s wrong didn’t help either. I completely understand what not working correctly for him. That doesn’t change anything. It really only gives him more ammo to use against me. He can’t get the phrase “I have autism” out of his mouth fast enough now as another reason to not take responsibility or be accountable for anything.
            I feel like I’m locked into an alternative universe being married to someone who’s 52 years old, but mentally 10 years old. The problems are too many to mention. But you can Imagine what it would be like to have a romantic relationship with a person who is an adult but who is socially like a kid. Most of his reasoning and thought processes are no where near reality. Talk about a toxic relationship. At this point I’m damn near insane.

        3. Yes. I support you! RED FLAG! I agree that the comments, concerns, and compassion are all supportive of the person with abusive behaviors, intentional or unintentional, it is STILL abuse. If someone with autism is not able to take responsibility for THEIR BEHAVIOR, I think the warning is simple…. Do not get into a relationship with an abuser who will or can’t ever change.

        4. Oh my goodness, I could’ve written your post album myself. After 23 years of marriage, my Aspergers I husband has decided he’s done. Despite our difficulties with emotional intimacy because he just isn’t able, his lack of empathy, and his complete and ability to ever see anyone else’s side of any discussion, I actually believed we had a good marriage. I have done everything that I can to save it, but his new obsession is hanging out and being single. He threw me away, and doesn’t want to give me anything in the settlement. I feel we are going to end up in A long lengthy battle, but I am thankful that our children are at least grown. Aspergers seems to be a very selfish disorder. I also feel bad for him, because for most of our mayor and she was a good guy, he just can’t connect with people, and I know that has left him with a lot of wins within himself, and a serious sense of rejection. Although I never rejected him.

        5. I TOTALLY agree. This happened me. Despite being his wife of nearly 12 yrs.and having 3 beautiful children, he ran back to his b because he had known her for longer than me!! His childhood friend. I meant nothing. Imagine. Run away from these people as fast as you can.

      3. Wrong . Asperger people have a different brain from NT people. No , you cannot compare normal men and aspie men as you are doing not in any way , shape , or form.

    5. I am divorcing my Aspergers husband. I have wondered many times if Aspies are capable of love. After 45 years of marriage, I doubt they are. I believe they are capable of infatuation. But that does not last. I also don’t believe Aspies are capable of friendship. I am looking forward to getting out if the caretaker role and creating a life for myself. But this time is really hard. Hoping for better days ahead.

      1. i am also divorcing my aspie husband of 20 years . 45 years is a huge amount of time – i wish you well on your freedom. That said I feel under some sort of spell and find the divorce process so so hard re his misrepresentations that he really believes to be true because he sees things thru his autistic lens . He minimalises me my input my contribution ro marriage – he negates me all together . All the while coming across as plausible to the mediator involved in our divorce . He is so believable . Fortunately there is a paper trail bank statements which prove the real facts – not the aspie facts that self promote . Divorce is i am sure hard but with an aspie husband it’s like mental warfare .The mediator is a great buffer though I recommend one in divorce to avoid court action . They take the miscommunication issues and clarify with the aspie what is being actually said – not what they perceive – as they are pron to hear criticism when it is just a question. It is beyond belief that they don’t get that they don’t get it yet believe it’s someone else’s fault .
        Well done for walking away it takes strength but you have that in heaps after 45 years of having your whole being messed with . Take care and self nurture – you need it and rebuild your life and feel joy

      2. Debbie, I thought 40 years of marriage was a long time and thought it was too late to contemplate a divorce but you have given me hope. I could tell mine how I felt, neglected etc and for a while it made a difference then it would creep back. I always swore I loved him far more than he loved me. He never commented just smiled. Should have seen the signs years ago! Hope you managed to find your life again. That’s what I need to do. The trouble is after that long everything is so difficult to untangle. I have put my life and soul into where we are now and to move from something I have worked hard at building up just crushes me. He refuses to move so if I want out of the marriage I have to move. Leaving behind so much.

      3. Hi, Aspie here. I’m so sorry you’re hurting, but I need to point out here that yes, we Aspie absolutely DO feel love. As a woman with Asperger’s Syndrome I think that our behavior, like neurotypical people, is based on our own experiences and how we are treated throughout our lives by other people. While I am sorry for every man and woman’s pain on here, I can’t help but speak up and say that some of these comments are very prejudiced and are based on only your own experiences. I’m in college right now but my mom has Asperger’s and has been together with my dad for over 20 years. She is probably the most empathetic and loving person I’ve ever met, working tirelessly as a teacher at a Title 1 school (for kids below the poverty line), raising myself and my siblings, and supporting our dad throughout his career as an aerospace engineer. Whenever I am sad or feel lonely, I go to her, not only because she’s my mom and I love her, but also because she has a way of making me feel like it’s okay to be different. My uncle who’s also autistic has been in a loving relationship with his wife even longer, having met her at age fifteen. He realized he was in love with her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her when she was in a bad car accident and he was worried sick about her. My grandfather (my mom’s dad) was always called a “gentle giant” with his soft spoken British accent. He loved my grandmother very much, and they stayed together through the fights and strains, until he passed on about 6 years ago. He was an author who wrote books about real WW2 fighter pilots, and had been desperately trying to get their stories heard before they passed away. Everyone at the grocery store (and other places where he ran errands like the bank) loved him dearly and sent us dozens of flowers when he passed on. When his old dog Chloe was put to sleep, he brought the vet flowers to thank her for taking care of her for so long. He didn’t ever become famous or wealthy, but he still touched many people’s lives. At his memorial service, people from around the globe who I’d never met came and spoke tearfully about his determination to get their own books published as an editor. He made people feel important, and listened far more than he spoke. He was extremely empathetic, but sometimes he got overwhelmed in a big crowd and had to go upstairs and sit with the dog. Still, when someone was talking one on one with him, he gave them his full attention and treated them with the utmost respect. I say all this in the hopes that someone here realizes that people on the spectrum as a whole are just as different from one another as they are from those who are not autistic. It isn’t fair that you guys had to find someone and leave them after so many years of marriage because of your spouse’s flaws, but it’s also not fair to paint us all with the same black brush. Everyone is different, and yes, marriage is difficult for Aspies. But guess what? Marriage is never easy for anyone. And none of these people I have talked about were drug addicts, abusers, etc. Being an alcoholic is not at all connected to having autism. It IS however connected with someone who’s experienced great pain in their life and seeks escape, often at the expense of others. Understand that while every person is different, everyone has feelings and people they love and care about. Some people just have a harder time expressing their feelings. This isn’t at all to excuse those who’s spouses have treated them poorly, but understand that a horrible person who’s not suited for marriage is just that. It’s not because they are autistic. There are plenty on NT men who treat their spouses just as poorly, so being a bad husband or wife isn’t synonymous with being autistic. I wish you all the best, and I hope you find someone who loves you and treats you with the respect you deserve, be they on the spectrum or not.

      4. Good for you Debbie !! You are not alone. I know your life will be better. I am afraid as well. But it must be done. I have to do for myself. I must set things right. We are close to same age , its never too late !

    6. Sounds like that’s more aligned with NPD. I’m ASD, high functioning. That behaviour is not prevalent in autistic folk, they lack the social and communication skills to do this type of behaviours. It’s not sustainable and telling lies is not our forte. So no, I doubt your partner is full on ASD, maybe traits, it’s all on the spectrum and it’s a BIG one.

      1. Since there are several comments here, I thought I would add a couple of things. NPD is considered a separate disorder, but of course those on the Autism Spectrum can also be NPD, as can Non-Spectrum people. The problem comes though when those with ASD retreat to their black and white thinking in a divorce. This means it is easy for them to see themselves as fully innocent and the other party as the villain. I agree with some here who recommend a mediator so that the Spectrum person gets help reframing the issues. Even if one person is more responsible for the breakdown than the other, this is really irrelevant. Both parties are responsible for their actions and the dissolution of the marriage, so they both need to act in the best interests of all involved.

        1. I am divorcing my ASD husband , he has totally flipped and is going for sole custody, filed a temporary restraining order and I must go defense myself in court against his lies. He does nothing with the kids even now. He has his sister scheduled to come up and care for for kids for 3 weeks after he kicks me out in court. We are in house together due to me at first trying to figure out my future and lack of money now he says I can leave but I can’t take the kids with me. So I’m trapped. Mine is a veteran with ptsd and anger tendencies to our older kids. Do you have any cited references I could give my lawyer. My ex is delusional that I am unfit. I have been stay at home with them their entire lives. We do everything together. I take them everywhere. The park, pumpkin patches, orchards, learning events, birthday trips. It’s all me and my idea. He started attacking our 11 yr old daughter the last few years and it’s been a nightmare. I couldn’t take the verbal abuse anymore. He called me the verbal abuser. I have no money and had to ask my dad for a lawyer and now dad is upset it’s getting so expensive. I try to talk to my ex but he won’t give up on sole custody and I won’t let him have the kids. I wanted joint. He made himself paranoid by his actions of taking a job he works 6 days a week without regular days off and then told me to move back home to my families and get out of his house and when I asked how he would see the kids he flipped and went for sole. He regularly ignores their needs when he is home alone with them recently. I came home one night at 8 they hadn’t been fed. A few times I come home and my 2 oldest said they are still hungry that dad only gave them 2 tiny slices of pizza. He was up in bed already and I had to scramble to find food for them. I have always been the one who parented them. I calmly gave him suggestions the last year after his professional HFA level 1 diagnosis. This divorce has been a total nightmare. Any references to journals or books or articles would be appreciated. I just want my kids to have a stable parent and visit him for a quick weekend. They can’t live with him. It would destroy them. The courts need to see he is unstable.

          1. Don’t let fear rule you. You undoubtedly have plenty of evidence that you should be the custodial parent, given he description in this post. Bring documents and witnesses to court if you have to. On the other hand, once the dark side of ASD takes hold —- and by this I mean Narcissism —- you will need to keep your guard up against his attempt to alienate your children and your other family.

    7. Now that it’s been almost a year, I so hope you’ve gotten through relatively well! Your situation reminded me much of mine. It’s been 6 years for me, and a tough road for my son and me. But we have been through the worst and are standing! I SOooo wish you my best!

    8. @Anon. My situation parallels your description, and although there is compassion, there is the lack of validation and only caring for the monetary at play. I didn’t see things in these terms, but need to shift thought processes.

    9. Pretty sure he’s not autistic. Sounds more like a narcissist. The only difference between the two is empathy. If he cheated that’s indication he has no empathy.

    10. I am going through a divorce with a relentless abusing Asperger husband and it never stops don’t matter who tries to reason with him. He has no off button and is getting worse and worse. I tried to cope with him for 29 years and walked away totally shattered. Now at 62 I have to pick up the pieces that are left and completely start my life over. It went so far he kicked me out basically stripped of any money however he makes quite a good amount, tries to hog it all for himself and doesn’t see that I may be entitled to something during the common property division process. Worst yet, he went as far as attempting to have me declared incompetent but it backfired on him. That’s when I said enough is enough you took it absolutely too far with me this time. Now I am out. The divorce is not over yet after more than an entire year where it is not necessary for it to take this long. He has no concept of equal division of community property and is mad as hell he will have to surrender anything to me. He is mad as hell you bet because he doesn’t get it his way and frustrates everybody including the judge!!!!!! I am so glad you got out of their hell before you would end up like me, an utterly exhausted person at the brink of death!

    11. I know your struggle…my undiagnosed ASD husband also used drugs (cocaine was his choice) and we often used it together…after a few years I became exhausted by this and when I tried to talk to him about it he was very defensive and he claimed HE did not have a problem and I was blaming MY problem on him. We had bought an automation controls company and were trying to run it while being weekly drug users….I realized I couldn’t keep this up any longer and booked myself into a treatment center…he never forgave me for this and told me when I returned that he ‘lost love for me, for leaving him’. This is when I slowly became aware of his lack of support, consideration and reciprocation in our relationship. Two months later my oldest son died and he showed little understanding or acknowledgement of my loss…whenever I cried or was down he would ask me what was wrong!? I would tell him why…my son died remember? His reply was I know this already, why are you telling me. I do not have what it takes to guide an aspire through a relationship…too much effort and work for nothing in exchange.

  2. I totally sympathise with your story. I was also in an abusive marriage in the end it was his way or the high way. I believe they have to have some kind of vice his was cocaine could spend 1k in a week, hopeless with money. Still trying to divorce him 5 years now and he moved on quick once I didn’t tick all his boxes. I also went thru major surgery and he couldn’t give a damn. They say communication is key but he was more a cardboard cut out no company or personality. It was all about his happiness but kept up the pretence for years manipulating me and moulding me into the person he wanted me to be. Im free from the chains and so are you.

    1. I just found out mine had an online affair and the woman sends him Google play cards. She even made a payment to his credit card for $975. I asked for a divorce and he left quietly. Not even a word…Today…One week after the event he opened up. He never changed with me and was always sweet. I got a bariatric surgery and he even took care of me. I am confused but sure I need to get a divorce

  3. What about divorcing an Asperger woman? Does anyone have any tips on that, what to expect? I love my wife so much. I have tried so hard to accommodate her. We’ve gotten counseling. But her erratic behavior is so hard for me. She gets angry and lashes out at me. I try to be kind and weather it all, but it’s so hard sometimes. It builds up and I just get very, very sad over time because it feels hopeless. Sometimes I feel more like a parent than a spouse. The good times with her are so wonderful, but the bad times are truly so awful. And I never know what will trigger her. It can be something as simple as my word choice. I see a therapist. So does she. And we have a couple’s therapist. But it feels like nothing will ever really change.

      1. Really, Wil?? Wow. I never hear about people like us; I only hear about Aspie husbands. It is hard to be an Aspie wife’s spouse. I wish I had a place I could go for support. I want to stay married; I just don’t know what to do, and I don’t want to feel alone. What do we do? Is there anywhere you have been able to go for help?

        1. Male or female…if you are miserable in any relationship…you already know what do. Just do it. You can’t fix someone or change them. Isn’t it time to find happiness. I was married 35 years…not all of which were bad…I have three wonderful children and have plenty of love in my life . I would rather be alone than live in misery. It is not easy…I basically started over…I suggest you get and stay in counseling. Best of luck!

          1. Yeah I’m an NT husband of an Aspie wife. It’s a bit of a roller coaster ride. I told her she needs to agree to not only talk about things I may do wrong (I’m not perfect, I know) BUT SHE also needs to acknowledge she may not always do things perfectly either, in front of a couple’s therapist, making a great effort to understand I’m trying to work with her, not against, so to try not going into a breakdown if I need to feel the relationship is equal and fair. She’s working on it because I said it won’t work for me any longer if she can’t accept that. I offered to divorce amicably. She said she’d miss me too much. We CAN make it work, as can anyone. We just have to find the right compromise and accept some differences may not always be able to be coped with by the other of there isn’t compromise. Sometimes I think NT women and NT men, each in relationships with Aspies, should have a group to meet each other and the same for Aspies. I don’t like thinking of “cheating” but it might be a wonderful relationship found, by both sides, if the current ND relationship doesn’t work out. I recommend trying hard to make it work first, though. It makes for stronger people.

      2. I have Asperger’s and I am married to an NT man. I do feel bad for my husband. I do think divorce is the way out as sad as that sounds. He told me that he is only with me bc of our children at this point. I have given up bc he needs to be happy and enjoy his life. I can’t do anything right. Kids have made it even messier. So if u are in a neurodiverse marriage, it will always go wrong. I’m sorry that we are so broken.

        1. I am so sorry your life is this hard right now. Please don’t give up on yourself. There are good therapists who can help you find some peace. You sound like you have been traumatized by years of living in the mystery of a Neuro-Diverse life. This mystery was confounded by finding yourself in a Neuro-Divergent relationship. But I have to tell you there are answers. You are not alone.

        2. That is so sad. You are not broken, just different and not well understood. I see a great need here for counselors that understand both types of brains and can mediate the understanding to each. I am married to an Aspi husband that loves me very much but it has been so hard to understand eachother. Our older boys are now assisting us when needed in understanding eachother. But our biggest help has come through the power of Gods Spirit moving in all of us and healing the broken pieces. Try listening to “The trama prayer” on YouTube nightly and pray along with it. This has brought the most profound healing in our relationship.

          Blessings to each of you. Hope deferred dries up the bones. There is hope!!! Don’t give up, keep looking for help till you find it!

          Shalom

    1. Hey I’m married to an aspie wife, but she recently told me she wants a divorce. The last 10 years being together have been incredibly hard, so much chaotic behaviour from her and she’s like different people, I never know who she is (I guess it’s masking but hard to tell who the ‘real’ her is). I’ve often felt like I’m going crazy. My mental health has been very bad on and off since I met her. But sometimes she is so loving and kind, it just pulls me right back into the madness.

      My wife was diagnosed last year, so for most of the relationship, we had no idea why she behaved and reacted the ways she did. It was an incredible relief when we realised she is autistic, it helped me understand our struggles.

      I still love her but she seems to have completely ‘switched off’ her love for me, it’s disturbing how quickly her love has vanished. She made a new friend last year and this new friend is her new special interest – I feel like my wife has used me for everything I have and now is discarding me for a new obsession. She is also very immature sometimes and it’s like being a parent to an adult child, not an adult/adult relationship.

      My wife is adamant that she wants to live alone, but I wonder if she will cope. We have a 6-year-old son and I worry about his future. But to be honest, if I can be somewhat free of her issues day-to-day, I will be much happier. And I can find a new partner who is able to love and support me properly, so maybe this will all work out ok.

  4. Get out of the emotional web. It is a never ending cycle. Trust your own heart and mind. Havibg kindness for a spouse with ASD is ok. Divorcing them to regain your peace and self direction is a necessity. Sometimes it’s more needed for you than them. There’s medicine their condition. Get on track and stay there…. you can marry another person or help your self successful with constant indecisiveness.

    Its okay to be strong and seek guidance, but use it as if not you’ll remained webbed and what would that be good for?

  5. Get out of the emotional web. It is a never ending cycle. Trust your own heart and mind. Having kindness for a spouse with ASD is ok. Divorcing them to regain your peace and self direction is a necessity. Sometimes it’s more needed for you than them. There’s medicine for their condition. Get on track and stay there…. you can not marry another person or help your self successfully with constant indecisiveness and taking on years of emotional or physical abuse

    Its okay to be strong and seek guidance, but use it as if you do not then you’ll remaine webbed and what would that be good for?

  6. Hi I have just broken up with a man I believe to have ashbergers.We were madly in love and after a period of time kept picking at my faults.He was divorced when his child was 18 months and has no idea why she divorced him.If I refer to his not very nice comments he gas lights.My self esteem is in tatters but unfortunately I still love him

  7. My wife has asbergers too. Its so draining. The bad days which are a lot more now that we are retired and there’s no tempory escape it’s just horrible. Truthfulky I’m on the brink of Suicide.

    1. Please join our group Rob. You are not alone in your desperation. In fact, many of our members talk about how to manage their lives at retirement and as their “Aspie”ages. You have handled a tough relationship for many years. Not it is time for you to take back your own life.

      1. How can I join your group. I am divorcing my ASD husband. And having a tough time and wish I could talk to someone about it.

    2. Please do not make a permanent solution for a temporary problem. Suicide is never an acceptable answer. Please seek help — it exists and it CAN help. Here we have 211 — you can dial and talk immediately to a counselor.

    3. Rob, I understand being retired and how spending too much time together can be a challenge. Retirement causes depression in all people. But when a person with ASD develops depression it’s entirely different. It can bring out aggression, rage, shutdowns, meltdowns and behavior which the NT doesn’t exhibit. If you can find a way out, do it because it doesn’t change or get any better no matter what you try. You can’t fix them, so take care of yourself.

    1. Hi Rob. Just go to my website and click the Meetup button. YOu will get directions for how to join the group. Take care.

      1. wife of reflex-lying, eternally definsive, entitled to never grow up and be a partner- aspbergers man says:

        Hi Kathy,.. if you dont mind my asking, I would really like to know more about your group. My heart is just overwhelmed witth all the pain of this gaslighting refusing to work on self and constantly forgetting his commitments and constantly reflex lying husband. I am desperate. Please help or let me know about your group if thats ok Thanks so much! K

  8. I recently filed for divorce after 8 years of marriage, but agreed to put it on hold when my wife finally agreed to counseling. We are currently separated and have three young kids, two of whom are on the spectrum. I currently look after all three kids by myself, which is indescribably difficult, but sadly still preferable to life while we were living together. Our marriage counselor now suspects my wife has Asperger’s and in retrospect, from that perspective, many things now make much more sense. I had believed she may have had some sort of Cluster B personality disorder, but despite our kids Autism diagnosis, it never occurred to me that she could be on the spectrum as well. Before our separation I felt so hopeless and beat down, a shell of my former self. My self esteem and hope for any kind of happy future together were slowly destroyed. Her behavior has caused so much emotional damage, not only to myself but to our children as well. I’ve felt so betrayed by her, but with the new realization that it wasn’t always something she could help, I now feel trapped between feelings of guilt (and a natural desire to help) and a fear of repeating the past. I don’t know if I have the mental strength and energy to be a proper father for our kids, and deal with the inevitable ups and downs necessary to successfully navigate this new understanding of our relationship. I’m really at a loss for what to do.

  9. To everyone who posted in this thread who has been married to a person with AS – I can say I understand. Was married a total of 36 years and raised one child “together”- many years of not knowing he had AS. We divorced and remarried less than one year later, at one point. Many many times of separation. I just thought he was mean, heartless and ruthless. I wondered all the time what was wrong. I sought counseling for many years. After he refused counseling I finally went on my own. I felt as if I had a person permanently attached to my side and literally drawing his life out of my own. I became physically ill. Much of my body was breaking down. I became septic secondary to a bladder infection while on a short vacation. He wouldn’t stop often enough for me to use the restroom, thus the infection – and then sepsis. Nearly died. The doc told me my immune system had been basically depleted long before the bladder issue- thus the sepsis developed. I knew it was from the years of emotional and verbal abuse. One of the most difficult parts of my personal journey was that I never
    Seemed to be able to get others to understand or believe me. After we
    separated the final time was when the thought was presented to me by some friends that he may have AS. Once I researched it out I was reading about the condition online and could hardly breath- it felt as if I was reading about my life. And the questions of “why” did I not know about this before began to surface. I’ve since determined his mom knew somethings were amiss when he was a baby and afterwards through childhood. But never bothered to mention any of it to me.
    Now , over 4 years after the divorce and he has moved on with someone else. I think he is in a “honeymoon” phase with her , as he was always great at covering up things in front of others. But I am still unpacking all the stuffed baggage all these years later. Ugh! I never wanted my family separated but when I left the last time – it was the last time. I had tried and tried. 36 years of repeating cycles. Then I discovered the condition called Cassandra Phenomenon. It made perfect sense related to how I felt. I think one reason I’ve struggled to move on is that I left much unfinished business. Especially in regards to how I left things for our son. I literally walked out. Period. Left so much of my own things behind. And the house. I didn’t secure things for our son. Now I’m trying to legally back-track and secure some things. Please think things through if you consider leaving. Especially after so long a time. I believe my dna had even been affected. It has been one of the hardest battles I think one could face. I wish you all the very best. ❤️

    1. Just the fact that you survived to tell your story Sheri is a comment about your resilience. Please stay in touch with our Meetup group. We all get it.

  10. I’ve been married to a man with ASD for 29 years. He didn’t know that he had autism until he was 46 years old. We met when I was 20 and he was 21. When I met him, he was literally the only one on the planet that I had in terms someone that I could be close like family. I don’t have parents and I don’t have any siblings. We became instant best friends. We both fell madly in love. Sweetest person in the world. But he has no idea what the foundations of any type of relationship are. And no matter how many times we talk about it or I talk about it with him or we go to counseling, those basic foundations of the expectations in any type of healthy relationship are mystery to him. I never learns from his mistakes.
    The first red flag a year later was when he asked me to marry him, knowing that he wasn’t ready, and then a month later backed out. When I gave him the ring back he begged me for 2 weeks not to break up with him. My Cardinal mistake in this relationship was to even take him back. Who does that? It was my biggest mistake to not run. Our marriage has been an epic fail. We have three kids and besides our children he’s still the only one on the planet that I have as a support for everything. I now have PTSD from all the years of gaslighting, lying to me over and over again, making excuses covering or anything and everything he does wrong instead of just taking responsibility for them. And learning from his mistakes. And the list goes on. He’s oblivious to understand how his behavior has affected our relationship on the level that a neurotypical person would be and how it has affected me personally. We have split up numerous times. But something always brings us back together. Whether it’s a lack of being able to financially split, to this last time when our daughter was diagnosed with a mental illness and we needed to come together to take care of her.
    He’s always willing to do better. He’s says he’s 100 percent committed to fixing all of the issues. But I only get maybe 20% follow through.
    I’m losing my mind from dealing with this for so long. I don’ton’t tell anybody what I go through and they wouldn’t understand anyway.

  11. I’ve been married for 15 years to a man who has AS. Up until a few days ago I never had a name for any of what this experience has been like or to understand it. We stumbled upon this condition because my husband read an article about Elon Musk coming out as being Aspergers and he felt it sounded like him so he started reading more about it and took a few online quizzes (which he aced, as having it).

    He is out of town working but shared this with me in one of our text conversations while he has been gone. Everything I’ve now read about this has been my EXACT experience with this.

    I have been given so much understanding that has baffled me for the past decade and a half. Part of me always thought he just didn’t love me but we were stuck bc we have children, but the other part of me had all of this clarified in my mind after years of dealing with it and finally deducing that it wasn’t me with the problem (though the emotional fall out, loneliness, sadness, depression has taken its toll regardless).

    It got to the point where divorce seemed like the only option but he begged me to stay for the kids (to not disrupt their lives), not because he ever said that it was because he loved me.

    My family (sisters whom I’m close with, which has saved me mentally) has always described him as truly an “island”, a man unto himself. His behavior has baffled us all, but he is a very good man aside from the low emotion intelligence. He is an engineer who has worked hard our entire lives together to provide a comfortable living to us. He has always been very active with our children (playing with them, taking them hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, dirt biking, wrestling with them, and on and on) but I have seen that he is often unaware of their emotional needs which I try to make up for. Our oldest is now almost 14 and coming into a difficult time in his life with a lot of angst. He tells me he feels his father doesn’t like him/hates him bc he becomes angry too quickly when what he has told the kids to do doesn’t happen right away and I’m sure in large part is due to his inability to connect with him emotionally which my son wouldn’t understand either.

    There are SO many examples of his behavior that now scream AS, but up until his discovery a few days ago I never would have put this together. I’ve been looking into getting therapy for myself because it’s gotten to the point where whenever I read or hear about others speaking about their spouses as their best friends and looking forward to their futures together, I just break down. At least now I have something more concrete to get specific help with.

    As much as I try to place my focus on everything else in life, I am worried about our future together, especially when our kids leave our home.

    I just feel so lonely and sad in life for the past 15 years, though I have been so lucky to have a close bond and support with my sisters. But while this newfound information and understanding has helped immensely to understand what has been going on, it also reaffirms the conclusion I had come to otherwise- that the situation may never be able to improve and that fundamental loss of knowing I will never have someone to truly share and enjoy life – being truly loved by my spouse – will always be there.

    Sounds like this is the case for many here which is why we sought out this information and came across this site.

    We are very religious, I don’t want to damage my children’s ability to have successful marriages of their own in the future or believe in that, but I also don’t want to warp their understanding of what a healthy marriage would look like. We rarely fight (bc often it just blows up way bigger than it should bc he thinks I paint myself as a victim and am emotionally unstable myself- which has always made me question if I was truly seeing things as they were or making up my own narrative and it was MY problem). We always back one another in how we parent our children.

    I do not want to divorce if there is any way of salvaging this to the point where I believed we could have a decent emotional quality of life together someday.

    Does anyone here feel that is something they’ve been able to achieve withe their AS spouse?

    Love and support to you all ❤️

    1. This exact scenario happened to me. My soon to be ex took a quiz after reading about Elon Musk and announced (in a rare moment of vulnerability when he barely started on his first cup of coffee) that he had Aspergers. He followed that with “that’s why I don’t have much empathy.” After 20 years of marriage and spending the final 20th year trying to analyze his behaviors and understand him, everything made sense in that one moment. Prior to that I just thought he was a narcissist. Unfortunately, our marriage was too far gone at that point. We’re six months separated now and although I’m glad to be away from him, I’m still unpacking events that happened over the past 20 years that should have given me greater pause to possibly leave much earlier than I did. He was never willing to get help from marital problems. It was always an excuse. “I don’t want anybody knowing my business; I am a pillar of the community and I can’t have anybody knowing about my business; if we go to therapy we will end up divorced.” I got him to go one time about 12 years ago and the counselor told him he was running over me like a steamroller and he never went back. I still think of things on occasion that I haven’t thought of in a long time that point clearly to his Aspergers, but at the time I just thought he could be a jerk. I almost left many times. The crazy thing is that I’m the type of person that would have done anything to help him, had he been willing to get help. Guess what else? After literally 20 years of marriage, he was on dating websites and talking to other women for hours on the phone within the first couple of weeks of separation. He didn’t even bother to change the phone bill for a couple of months so I saw it all. What a slap in the face. I’m stronger and wiser I’m glad to be done, but it takes time to process and unpack it all.

      1. In some ways I am grateful that Elon Musk announced his diagnosis. It is so helpful to have a celebrity come out. On the other hand acknowledging the diagnosis is a tiny step. The rest of the work of change needs to happen and that is darned tough. I just got a comment on my You Tube channel from someone with ASD who believes he has empathy and that I am bizarre and abusive to suggest that those with ASD have an empathy dysfunction. I get it why he is angry, but defensiveness doesn’t help. Nor does blaming the “messenger.” Being brave enough to face one’s diagnosis and associated fears — well that opens doors to healing.

  12. I recently left my AS husband of 14 years. We have a child who lives mainly with me. Thankfully, he worked away a lot, however, Covid changed that. For the most part of our marriage, I was in a state of confusion. We always fought over communication, his constant criticisms, the gaslighting, his obsession over money and retirement, constant fights over money. I hated how he would say such hurtful things and not remember saying them the next day, implying I made it up. When I left him, he was devastated but has made no effort to reconcile or to commit to making things better. His main concern is that I don’t take all his money. It’s been 4 months now and I have grieved and grieved. I have to rebuild my life from the ground up and I am lost and feel like I suffer PTSD. My daughter sort of misses him but she is used to him not being around much. I’d love to hear of ways one can recover from living with AS. He was diagnosed but did not want to get help. I was the one who attended groups, workshops, read books and changed the way I communicated. I gave and gave of myself for so little return. I don’t know if I will ever get over the loneliness.

    1. We’re here. I have been with my spouse 14 years and I look back and think “What have we been doing?”
      No, there will not be emotional closeness in the way NTs need. The loneliness has to be mitigated by external friendships—however I am not convinced that can work in place of a functional relationship.
      I discovered Aspergers related exactly to my spouse about 8 months ago when I was beyond disappointed getting stamps for my birthday…wtf? Christmas had also been bad.
      (I do not care for advice in this area—I tell him exactly what I want but he will not get what I want for me. Some kind of pride thing.)

      At first I was so happy to finally figure out what had been going on. The next day though, I nearly had a breakdown because this is neurological and will not change.
      My thought was, “What have I done? I had a child with this person.” Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh!

      I am insisting on therapy and anti-anxiety medication or I will go. This person is very hard to live with.
      For example, beyond what others have already expressed, and with the yelling hyper reactivity, I have not been able to make my house nice and I cannot stand it anymore. The insane tantrums and cognitive rigidity at any change are disturbing and have scarred me to the point where it is difficult for me to make any changes if he is home. And when I do, the dread…
      My ironic comment is “I am not Aspie enough to not care.”

      So we shall see if any medication can help. I am on the fence. And so lonely for an adult companion.

      The only real change in 14 years is that I am on antidepressants and anti anxiety medication.

      I am grateful that this and the meetup group exist. I am going to check it out.

      Thank you.

      PS. This may not be the right place for the Aspie perspective — most of us are here because we have been trying to make a relationship work with an Aspie spouse. And it obviously is not working out because we are here.
      I have had enough of the self-involved Aspie perspective I live with every freaking day.

  13. I am finally getting a sense of belonging. My husband is a stone – hearted monster who would rather divorce than get diagnosed. Together for more than 11 years now, sucked the life out of me. I survived this long because somehow I manage to convince him that I had some undiagnosed mental issue and he gotta support me. He thought that he was doing something great for humanity by letting me be myself🤭. It worked to some extent. So I didn’t change much. Still it was hard. The loneliness and lack of connection dried out everything that was beautiful in me. I became so bitter and negative. Never felt like a woman in this relationship. Always I felt like something was burning inside.
    After years and years of abuse and patching up… it was just this year, I figured this out – ASD. He is always perfect. In his eyes, I am a lesbian, cheater, unlovable, gold-digger, trouble-stirrer, unstable, BPD, narcissistic, liar and what not!! He goes any lengths to argue and argue and prove this. (Even sending a list to buy groceries was considered acts of gold-digging). And there was never nothing wrong with him. After all the emotional and mental abuse, now he has started getting physical. And that is it. Ending it up right here. Separated.

    1. Thanks for this candid post, Bella. The problem with anger is that it festers, even when you are trying to exist in an abusive relationship. It sounds like both of you had no place to go with your anger except to implode or explode. This is a terrible option. Better to get the diagnosis and start therapy to learn tools for life. But if one person resists, the only option is to leave —- because eventually the anger will destroy you.

  14. I’m going through a divorce at the moment. Kind of want to speak to the other side if I may. I’m 41. Been with my soon to be ex 23 years. Met in high school. Will prob be technically married 15 years before paperwork is finalized.

    Up until a few weeks ago I had no idea I had Aspergers. I can’t speak to everyone’s experiences on here. Only my own. Maybe I’m not as stonewalled or heartless as some of these examples. If it matters many of these stories have me crying. I will say from my perspective there has always been constant constant self reflection and analyzing myself. I have never felt right. In fact I stumbled upon my diagnosis because I told my wife, I wish I knew how to make you feel like your feeling are “felt”. I know what they are I repeat them. But it’s like you don’t feel like I feel them. All these years so many arguments were over this issue. Or my need to argue and be defensive over everything. It was never intentional. I honestly felt like why are we arguing this seems so black and white. I can’t even control it. It’s just how I’m wired. Quite frankly it sucks. It has never felt right. I have never felt right. 40 years of asking myself why don’t I feel normal. There’s something off about me.

    And now I’m absolutely crushed. We are capable of love. We have emotions. We struggle to convey them. We can’t verbalize them. It is this entire bottle neck in my mind. If I didn’t feel emotions I wouldn’t be so crushed by this. I would do anything to fix myself. Anything. To read some of these comments and feel like I prob should not bother ever looking for a partner again is defeating. And yet part of me thinks I shouldn’t. I don’t want to put anyone through this. And if this is truly what my wife feels like as these stories describe. It breaks my heart. I love her dearly. And to find out I was causing this much pain and breaking someone down without even realizing it, especially to the one person I held up on a pedestal (but turns out it’s in my way and not the way that NT would). I don’t even know what to say to show enough remorse. I love her so much. I would do anything for her. And yet it appears I’m literally incapable of doing anything. Because if I was I would have been able to give her the connection she deserved.

    I just want you to know. There may be some horrible stories out there and I’m truly sorry. For some of us though we can comprehend the significance this plays in your lives once we know. I didn’t know. It’s a relief to finally find something that checks all the boxes and explains so many things I’ve done or how I’ve acted. It explains why depression and anxiety meds didn’t do anything. I thought I had and was diagnosed agoraphobia. I sought help. But it’s clear it was the wrong help. At least I have something to work with going forward and to try and correct my behavior and get the tools to effectively communicate at least better. I know it’s an uphill lifelong journey ahead.

    I know I’m rambling. I don’t know what to say to just a random blog. As mentioned a lot of these comments have me in tears. I feel awful for my ex. I feel awful for many of you. I’m sorry for what you all had to go through. You do mean something to all of us with ASD. You literally hold our pieces together. Which is prob why it’s so hard for us to let you to. YOU ARE the reason we are even as high functioning as we are. You are our crutch and we don’t even know it. But I now understand that it’s a tall order to have to hold someone else together with very little in return as far as your needs. For what it’s worth at least from my situation I felt like I was dumping everything I had of myself to show my love and appreciation. It’s very evident from what I am quickly learning and reading. It’s not even close to what she actually wanted or needed.

    Please if you’re reading this. If you have any doubt about divorce or not divorce. There are lots of ways to work on this if you’re spouse is like me. If my ex wanted to attack this Asperger marriage and get counseling or therapy I would do it without a second thought. Some of us are not heartless on purpose. And we are willing to do what it takes if you want to take it on with us. I think that’s the part that hurts once you know you have ASD. You want the chance to be the one that gives your NT the love they deserved this whole time and show your appreciation.

    Be safe. Take care Thank you for reading and giving me a small outlet to say something.

    1. Thank you Joe for sharing your heartbreak. Your story is exactly why I started writing my blogs and books. I wanted people to know how complex these relationships are. For example, what you are missing as a person with ASD, is empathy. However, you are not missing the ability to love. But without empathy, Autists miss sending the many little messages that convey love to their ASD spouse. There’s more, but you will discover those things now that you are headed down the right path.

      Take heart in the reality that all of us have life challenges. One of my ASD clients recently reflected on a failed relationship, “Relationships suck! What’s wrong with me.”

      I wholeheartedly agree with his sentiment. Loving Relationships are one of the toughest parts of life here on Earth. Even so, I said, “Your challenge is that you’re autistic, which presents a certain set of challenges to relationships. But everyone has challenges too —- different than yours maybe, but just as confounding and heartbreaking. No one on Earth gets a pass when it comes to suffering.”

      1. You just described my life. Trying to get sympathy or asking for clarification on something sends him into a panic. You are right about them losing their temper and now there is emotional and physical abuse. I feel I’ve lost my mind and am psychologically damaged from this marriage. I rather live alone. My heart goes out to each and everyone who is in pain from this insanity. I stay because I think it will get better, but it never does.

      2. I have autism. That we don’t have empathy is a lie. I suggest you do some research before you decide to trash people with asd. We do in fact have more empathy than NT people. A lifetime of bullying and abuse will generally make you quite empathetic. Just because we can’t show it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

        1. Being sensitive is only half of empathy. Being able to show it to others so that they feel heard is the other. But I get that this is confusing.

    2. Dear Joe:
      Thank you so much for your post. It was so sincere, articulate, and touching. I have been reading posts on aspergers for a year now, trying to find comfort and understanding to my own failed relationship of ten years. I will not go into detail here, but it involved many of the same challenges posted on this, and many other sights.
      I remember after one argument, my husband stated, ‘I think my brain is broken.’ That was the first time I was able to empathize with my partner and view things from his perspective and my heart broke for both of us.
      But even if I could accept and love him, I realize I was losing myself in a sea of confusion.
      We are no longer together as a couple, but we meet for lunch every month and keep in touch. I know in my heart we can love each other better a part then together.
      I don’t want to diminish or minimize the damage and pain others, as well as myself have experienced, but I am at peace and have learned so much about myself and those with aspergers. These lessons are painful, but can be enriching if you get to the other side. I still have to stop myself from ruminating or spinning back into that loop that holds me back from living a better life. ‘It is what it is’ and sometimes, there are no tidying answers to these questions. I sent love to all those those suffering and struggling. All my best to your journey.

    3. You can stop the Divorce process upon your new discovery. Put a pause on it. Separation for a while while you go through counseling and seek help on how to be a better husband. Don’t focus on yourself but on her and how she feels. The self focus is a dead end. You need to understand how to treat her. In my case the grumpy moods and stressed reactions send me into stress mode. Find out what the triggers are for her. Offer to pay for her to go to therapy as well. She may not even know where to begin. But it can all be worked through with time and skilled

  15. I’m nearly convinced that my 61 year old husband is on the spectrum…esp. after reading all these posts. Does anyone have a suggestion for getting him tested that won’t put him on the defensive? I’ve just asked for a trial separation which he says is absurd. For a decade I’ve felt lonely, criticized, unheard, misunderstood. We have two sons who’ve been asking me why their dad is so ” bad” with feelings and emotional understanding. I think a diagnosis could help all of us, but I just don’t know how to approach him about this…and thank you all for your brave recounting of your experiences.

  16. I am going through a legal separation process with my longterm aspie partner. We have a teenage child. What i find tricky is that he has always been financially controlling and now he is delaying this legal process to stay in control, yet convincing lawyers that hes a really reasonable person. I have been doing lots of work to increase my financial independence and fight for a sense od self worth. Im spending all my inheritance on legal bills. If he was an out and out narcissist it might be easier for others to see what happens. Most people he knows dont seem aware how wealthy he is. We lived for years without enough heat and no oven. The worst was no hugs. After all this time i still dont know how to get him to agree on a financial settlement because he has no idea about my cintrubution and thinks of all the money he earned as his own. I am lucky enough to have resources and people and still its been tough. I wonder if legal systems need to understand these complexities better. Despite this journey i feel hopeful that the worst is over. I am starting to reclaim for former confidence with work and feel able to make my own decisions and not feel crazy for wanting connection and affection.

  17. Hi, I am a man with Asperger syndrome. We have been married for about 17 years and now my wife wants to divorce me. We have a 7-year-old son who also has Asperger’s Syndrome. I can not accept her reasons. I have always been kind to her and my son. I know that living with me or people like me may not be easy. But I do not deserve this torment. I can not do some of the things other men do, such as tidying up the office or bed or paying bills on time, talking about buying property, where I can get a loan, closing the cabinet, or loving sports… but I have other abilities that others do not have. I do not deserve this behavior, I swear I would have committed suicide if I had no children, but I want to support him . I like to see my son every day while he laughs, plays, paints, asks, gets angry, and hugs him while waving his arms(movement disorder) in excitement.. My wife does not want my son to be like me. But unfortunately the gene does not change. She is tired of making changes in me, and now she tries to change him. I know it’s hard for my wife. But I am not so disgusting as to deserve such torment. I have been very kind to her during these 17 years. She herself told that to our family counselor.Is there anyone or anything in this world that will stop my wife from divorcing me?I am so lonely that only my cat sees my tears, as an Asperger I don’t have any close friends.
    hope to be alive until I see your answer

    1. Dear Dariush, I am so sorry that you are suffering. I can’t promise to help your wife recognize the love in your heart, nor the pain you are feeling that she wants to divorce. However, your comments are a wake up call for many NeuroTypicals who struggle with resolving problems when your two operating systems don’t work well together. It it like two worlds colliding. It is vital that you understand this too. It’s not so much that you aren’t a kind man and caring father. It is really that the two of you have a radically different way of seeing the world. Until those differences are recognized, understood and supported, you can’t find common ground to resolve problems. In the meantime, never give up on yourself. Stay strong and loving and kind. Know that the authentic YOU is worth knowing and loving.

  18. Would this group be helpful if I’m only thinking of divorce? I’m still weighing my options. But I need someone (who understands) to hear me. I often wonder if many of us think we are married to Aspis, when really we are married to sociopaths. The only real difference I can see between the 2 is that Aspis generally WANT to relate to and understand their partner. They just don’t know how. They DO care, but they dont know how to show it . On the other hand, a sociopath doesn’t want any of that, they do not have the ability to care. That would certainly explain why the Aspis chiming in are hurt by some of our comments. Because they actually care, and are hurt by their inability to show it. But I wonder how many here are married to certified narcissists or sociopaths instead. And it’s a scary thought, isn’t it? Unfortunately, I’m afraid I’m married to the latter. I’m actually terrified of how he’d respond if I filed for divorce. He doesn’t scream or have fits of rage or break things or any of that. On the contrary, he would seek revenge in the most calm, calculated ways imaginable, I’m sure. My husband is undiagnosed, but I’m 100% positive he’s one or the other. But my suggestion that he may be an Aspi results in a backlash of utter denial and defiance, and frequently
    a reply that no, he’s not the problem. He’s not an Aspi. It’s me, and he believes I have borderline personality disorder. I had to look it up, and even asked friends and family if they think it sounds plausible. They’ve all said I have issues like everyone else, but that his belief that I have borderline personality disorder is ridiculous, not even similar. There is ZERO ownership or accountability for his role in the failure of our relationship (or for anything, with anyone, in any situation, ever), so I can’t fathom how it could be saved.

    1. I do think our Meetup group would be helpful, but so will reading my book, “WHEN EMPATHY FAILS: How to stop those hell-bent on destroying you.” Available on Amazon.

  19. As a man with ASD some of the comments here are really hurtful. I love my wife of now 25 years, but have reached complete burnout both in my relationship and life in general, I’m absolutely exhausted trying to keep up, not knowing what I did wrong, what cue I didn’t pick up on, what I said that hurt her, not being able to keep up with conflict resolution because I can’t understand my own feelings let alone hers. I read about my condition, talk to specialists, try to find new techniques and I’ve just reached a place of complete exhaustion, and now exploring whether we can even be together, maybe give her a fighting chance at more happiness. If she wasn’t around I’d just end myself already, it would be so nice to just stop. I’d like for her to be happy more than anything. We aspie men are not monsters, sometimes we simply don’t get it, everything has to be learned and calculated, but at least for me, I’ve done my best for two decades and still feel like an alien here, and I’m just tired.

    1. Dear JC, please don’t despair. It is not easy coming to terms with a NeuroDivergent relationship. The sadness you express is poignant. I suspect your wife feels the same. Empathy is more than words so all of your “calculations” may fall short of what she believes to be love. Even if you don’t always say it right, or recognize what is going on between the lines, the goal is to help her know that she is loved anyway. You need this affirmation too, but it may take awhile for her to let down her guard and believe in you again. Keep reading and learning. There are answers but they are not simple. I would start with realizing that you are a transactional thinker and your wife is interactional. You can read more about this in my blogs. Because of these different styles, all manner of problems emerge for couples. Keep your confidence going. A man who writes a comment here on my blog and shares his feelings, is certainly a bloke worth keeping.

      1. My relationship of 8 years ended earlier this year. He’s never been diagnosed but I suspected he was on the spectrum and so did his exes. All of it makes sense.

        JFC, this relationship was like pulling teeth. Everything took convincing and it was exhausting for both of us. He used to yell at me in public, manhandle me in public, and it got to the point where he got mad at me if I didn’t give him sex when he wanted, nevermind that the lack of emotional connection made me feel used and violated. I’ve never felt so lonely and ofc, when I told him this, his response was, “That sounds bad” before going on to do other things, LOL!

        I felt terrible going through it bc I knew he loved me and we’d both tried so hard. I’m ND as well (ADHD). In any case, I want to let you all know what it looks like from the other side. That feeling of being sucked dry? Had it. Feeling gaslit, lied to, so effing alone? Check, check, checkity check. Feeling like my life had ended early and I was courting death? Yep.

        But two months after being out of it, I feel like a plant seeing the sun for the first time in a long time. My whole self is coming back and I couldn’t be happier.

        So don’t despair. There is life after the storm and getting back to who you are is just like riding a bike. It makes all the difficult parts worth it.

        The breakup was one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given.

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