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.

247 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.

        1. Right there, 100%! That’s the best thing you can do because nothing else works. Otherwise, you will find yourself changing, taking on the mannerisms of the Asperger spouse. After spending too much time around my husband, I’ve caught myself having no emotion, sitting, staring. Done! Had to divorce mentally in my mind first to disconnect from him. To free myself of the daily torment, mind games, silent treatment. Work on self worth, have minimal contact and conversation, visualize a much better life. Next is the paperwork.

          1. I told my now boyfriend it was over in December of last year. I owe the house and he stayed living here part-time until April 1st. He left when he wanted not when I did. I’m in a battle with my ex boyfriend over a building he built on my property that I solely owe. He owns the property across the street from me and plans to build and live there. He doesn’t see this as an issue and wants to be able to keep the building he built in my backyard and be in my backyard and across the street forever. So as you can see I am unable to break free of him. I have to stay in contact because he is on my property using the building and only pays extra utilities it uses. He refuses to pay me land lease or let me use the building. The building is 48 x 32 and has lean to’s on both ends so he is taking up a 80 x 50 area of my land lot basically free. He believes he owns the building and wants me to just give it and the land or give him $75,000 for building asset at around $30,000 by three realtors sitting on my property. I told him to move the building across the street to his property at his cost but he refuses. He expects to be able to use it on my property. I had to hire a lawyer and next week I am sending him an eviction notice to be out in 45 days. This will not prevent him from living across the street or sueing me for possession of building which I say he can have but has to be removed. He thinks he can get his way as he has for 9 1/2 years by wearing me down to give in. I almost let him ruin my spirit and became a shell of my former self. The having it his way is over !

          2. You are so wise! I totally agree with your comments, after 22 years it has not gotten better. The only way I have survived is continuing therapy and giving up on any expectations I had of having a “friendship marriage”.
            He truly can’t change. That is so hard to understand and believe. How can my husband who has a super genius mind and is amazing at strategy, have no understanding of empathy or even a little sympathy.
            The pouting and silent treatment is so cruel.
            I have seen him cry when describing a comic book superhero’s death but when I told him I think I wanted a divorce he never showed any emotion.
            Like so many other wifes out there, I have educated myself on his needs, differences, thought processes and how to adapt and communicate with him.
            But, not once has he tried to understand my numerous health problems. He hasn’t even tried to understand himself. And he truly believes he is never wrong.
            To my shock I found out that he lied to me about our finances for 7 years. To sum it up I thought we were barely scraping by and took the blame because I could no longer work because of my many health problems.
            Even after this I decided to stay and try to make it work.
            I am definitely not an easy person to be married to with health problems and a struggle with depression and anxiety that I had before we got married.
            However being married to a man on the “ high functioning Autism spectrum “ has made it worse.
            You do have to go and try to travel and hang out with friends and family to get joy and love back into your life.
            Don’t let them isolate you, it is easy to let that happen, just become like them sitting in front of your computer and tv because it is easier than having any kind of communication or conflict with them.
            But, don’t do it.
            I hope you are finding peace and joy and sharing your life with people who have empathy and compassion!
            It isn’t you, it’s them and no they can’t change, no it’s not their fault, but as the fox said to the gingerbread ma before he ate him, I am a fox.
            Run from the fox before all that’s left of yourself is a pile of crumbs!

      1. I am in the same situation with an AS who now has cancer and was in treatment last year. Our 9 year marriage was dysfunctional to the point of me feeling invisible and servant like rather than as a wife. My cancer experience years ago was irrelevant to him, and 3 years of the pandemic despite no Covid-19, no intimacy, he wants nothing to do with me anymore. He’s filed for a divorce to save his money and real estate property. He was obsessed to begin with!

    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.

        1. Exactly what you said is why I had to stay. My husband took my two young kids into a rip tide that was posted to stay out. Because the good seashells were there is why he did it. I went out before he got too far and grabbed my children from his hands and let him get his own self out of the riptide. He sent my 3-yr-old down a big water slide at a park that was packed with people, while I was unpacking our bag. I had no idea he left to do that. I was in panic mode looking for him. My son came down, life guards were watching thank God! I jump in and the life guards ran down. We pulled him out quickly. He was ok. My husband sat at the side of the pool watching. My nerves were shot. You never knew or could trust what he would do, being around water was the worst! We live on two acres of land. He took my son next to the busy roadside with electrical wires right above to fly a kite. I ran out and physically took my son from him. I had to constantly watch what he did with them. No sense of safety at all. He thinks things are funny. He laughs at the most inappropriate times. This doesn’t include regular everyday activities and his tantrums. He can’t handle stress or any changes. It’s hard to see the extreme way they get early on in dating. It’s not until you add stresses like get married, buying a house, have children is when it really comes out. I would NEVER allow him to be fully in charge of my kids. Even as teens (they see something isn’t right) , he loses his temper, is harsh, mean and yells. No expression . I stop his tantrums immediately and have kicked him out before. It’s truly the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with. A cactus is more cuddly and lovable than him.

          1. Omg – very similar experiences with my undiagnosed, in denial, against any therapy, husband. I could never leave as I was not going to leave child with him.

          2. I have twin 10 month olds and I am so concerned going through our divorce. He wants them half the time, and he is a first time father who has never take care of children before…much less dealt with children. I left due to neglect and abandonment. He was constantly in “deer in headlights” mode and we had “train wrecks” more than I am comfortable with. I donʻt trust him with the children, but he and his lawyer were able to establish status quo when they kept dictating when and on what terms I could get the children back. He was the perfect man until he got more responsibility at work, we got pregnant, I was recovering from the pregnancy, and the babies arrived. Now he is throwing an unreal “mantrum” and willing to spend unbelievable amounts of money just to get his way in this divorce. I am literally floored.

            • Sadly this is when the combination of autism and Empathy Dysfunction (EmD) kicks in. Unable to understand you and his belief that your behavior in leaving him means ill intent, he feels justified harming you. Tragically he also has no understanding of his own children and how this divorce war will traumatize them (even babies).
        2. RLn, it sounds like your husband also may have ADHD and Nonverbal Learning Disorders, which are the most common comorbidities with autism. Some studies have shown that 40% of people on the autism spectrum have ADHD. Other studies have said that 70-80% of people on the autism spectrum have ADHD. And some studies of people with ADHD have shown that 20-50% of people with ADHD are also on the autism spectrum. Information on Nonverbal Learning Disorder is much more limited to children.

          You might want to look up ADHD Inattentive Presentation. This was known years ago as ADD until it was merged with ADHD in 1987. Many with ADHD inattentive type go undiagnosed until adulthood due to the lack of hyperactivity. Most professionals are only familiar with ADHD Hyperactive Presentation or ADHD Combined Presentation. I was diagnosed with ADD back in the late 1980’s before I got an Asperger’s dx in 2011.

      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…

        2. I am in your position right now. Easter 2024. He has shut down, no disclosure or response to mediation request. We unfortunately will need to be in court.

          He blames me for everything even though he is having an ongoing affair with my closest friend of 35 years.

          We have two teens which he is happy to leave 100% in my care
          His financial offer was unreasonable.

          I feel like I want to explain what he is doing clearly to stop wasting money in court and losing all respect of our children.
          Lawyer says not to
          Don’t think lawyer understands ASD and who we are dealing with

      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.

          1. I suggest you do a little bit more reading on Asperger‘s/autism. We are not broken. Our brains just work differently. We are not mentally ill, and we do not have personality disorders. Not saying you are wrong to get a divorce, but stop looking at this as something they do in a conscious way.

          2. Hi Melody. I am sorry that you are going through a tough time. I agree it is tragic that couples have to part ways because of these NeuroDivergent differences.

            You are absolutely correct that no one is “broken.” Accepting this fact is step one of the change that needs to happen. Working toward the changes that are needed requires more than acceptance, though.

            In order to repair relationships damaged by misunderstanding each other’s style, both people need to use the Interface Protocol, which I outline in my course and latest book, “Empathy is More Than Words.” https://drkathylearningcenter.thinkific.com.

            It’s important to understand that there is so much more to rapport and relationship building — and love — than just the words. With Empathy Sensitive people, there is the need to connect first and talk second. NeuroDiverse folks tend to miss this vital step, and it leaves their NT loved ones feeling ignored, misunderstood, and disrespected.

            It’s not anyone’s fault. It’s just a tragic misunderstanding that can be corrected by taking a deep dive into the world of the Empathy Territory.

          3. 100% broken. I mistook his quiet nature as being kind. Whew, was I wrong. It was passive aggressiveness.

          4. Double mastectomies- and told me “I’m sick of listening to you talk about your boobs…”
            That was the end of it and the end of our relationship. So many things led up to it, but those were his walking papers.

        1. I hear you all too well. I had this niggling feeling that something was awry with his whole family. I chose to ignore all the red flags. I was in a “desperate” Catch-22 situation and he was a way out. I was immature and ignorant. I did try to break it off but he pretty much made it clear that he “needed” me. I told myself it would be ok but I’ve “lived” with my lie for 44+ years.

          1. Oh dear Dina, 42 years of misery here. I can relate, it’s a no win situation, sucks so hard. Take care of yourself.

          2. Yes 42 years – he’s become worse and intolerant of the grandchildren- unless they are behaving as he thinks they should- so can’t stand by and see another generation spoiled by his inflexibility but not sure how to leave

          3. . I just left a 31 yr marriage to an undiagnosed Asphergers man. I have been emotionally abused for 31 years. I took a HUGE leap of faith and moved states away with my grown children. I so wish to find another person in this same situation, not that I wish this torment on another woman. I know I am suffering from Cassandra Syndrome. Cassandra Syndrome is real! About a year ago I looked up being married to a man with Asphergers, I can’t believe other women are suffering as I have been for 31 long years! My mother in law has Asphergers and my husbands grandmother had Asphergers. I see how it’s passed generations. I need to be able to speak with other women. I need to know I’m not alone. I pray one day I can stand on a stage and help other women in my situation. This is real! This is daily torment! This is the worst emotional abuse one can endure. Nobody understands! But praise God my grown kids helped me escape it! It’s such bondage. It’s a feeling of hopelessness. The guilt of leaving them as they are like hopeless special needs children, yet I had to save what’s left of me. I’m 52 yrs old. I need a normal man to converse with. I want and crave normalcy! I can honestly stand in front of a mirror and call myself Cassandra. You have no clue how real this abuse is until you lived it. My husband is Asphergers/Narcissistic/Bi polar/ and his OCD is off the charts!

          4. You are definitely not alone. Hope to see you at one of our events. Just check the events page on this website. I also want to mention that you have eloquently expressed the tragedy of living with undiagnosed and untreated ASD for such a long time. It doesn’t have to be this way, but sadly few mental health experts are available to help.

        2. I am reading this after suffering for 19 years with a husband described in these comments, feeling I was going mad. A new friend mentioned her husband has ASD and with plenty of reading now, perfect profile of my husband and now it all makes sense. No empathy, no compassion, obsessed with his hobbies interests, feel I don’t exist, brought kids up myself, so many situations is acts dangerously with kids. Explains so much but I am drained and now know this is not going to get any better. Shall stay or shall I go I now ask myself. Thank you for sharing your stories and giving this insight!

          1. Jessica, go. I am in a similar situation. Slowly being erased. No eye contact, facial mannerisms, obsessive compulsively clean, completely taken up with his own interests and hobbies. Lying and gaslighting. I knew I had to leave for my own sanity altho I’m leaving a beautiful home and material comforts.

          2. I am a soon to be divorced man who was told I had AS. I hear all these complaints and so called they are relieved ex wives. I would be curious of the man’s view. I personally love her gone. The old saying emotional abuse etc. Is worn out. I enjoy freedom. No desire to date, no conforming to someone else demands, I actually have a life now.

            OBTW, my daughter chose to live with me and loves it and my oldest daughter is ecstatic as well. So can the pity me, put on your big girl pants, enjoy your choice, enjoy the money you received as I have the best deal yet. Both daughters are glad she’s now just an occasional visit.

            Sorry ladies, don’t think all men are devastated from a divorce that you threatened and went through on the threat. Got God and kids, don’t have drama.

          3. Thank you for this perspective. Your description will be very helpful to those who expect a change from another person in order to feel OK with themselves. I have seen many spouses threaten divorce and follow through with it, in hopes that this will get the attention of their partner. The problem with this is just as you described.Often the children and the spouse see the anguished cries of the divorcing spouse as just too much “drama.” No one really recognizes his or her suffering.

            The mistake you are making though, RC, is that your ex wants you to be upset. Not true. What she wanted and may still want is some awareness of her. . . the person who felt invisible in the relationship.

            So while you are spot on with the observation that shame and blame don’t work to improve things, you and your daughters may benefit by understanding the distress your NT wife has felt being married to an ASD man who does not always understand her. It is this understanding that feels like love.

          4. I just got out after 20 years depression, etc thought I was going mad!! Only after reasearch his behaviour all makes sense. 2 months after split he now “love bombing” next one. I know this is going to get better now away from him 100%. I am traumatised but I have a safe space to breath ! Best of luck

      4. I’m in the same position as you and Kristy King Warren. After nearly 22yrs of horrific emotionally barren marriage, with not connection, consideration or care. I’ve separated and want to divorce but sometimes feel sorry for him trapped in his high functioning Asperger’s. I just can’t take it anymore, as my health is suffering with autoimmune disorders and the pain of living “alone, together” is leaving me being just crumbs, instead of the fun loving gingerbread, that I was. None of my friends understand what emotional trauma I’ve been through married to him, nor his low executive functioning, so often I feel like he’s been another child for me to care for and deal with his many meltdowns. I understand him so well but he doesn’t have a clue about me or my needs. Focus is always on him due to lack of empathy and isn’t concerned about anyone else, not even our children. Very harsh words and absent. He can have good intentions (well agrees with me, just to shut me down) but never carries through. Love is a verb/ action, which AS can’t do!

    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?

          3. Reading about Autism is NOTHING like living it. I wish I wish I wish all normies were required to have an autistic disregulated traumatized brain for one year that has its autonomic fight/fight system stuck on full blast that includes uncontrollable behavioral impulses stuck on survive-at-any-cost mode. Many of you think you can control this when your brain is designed to see every small trigger as a life or death situation? Put it this way: the kind of trauma that happens when you have a bone crushing car accident, our bodies get thrown into that state several times a day, and we try to hold it in, and we constantly have to apologize for our bodies flailing about. And when there’s a meltdown, that car accident trauma state can last in the body for a full 30 minutes, my body uncontrollably clenching and screaming as if its dying. I experience that when I forget to defrost hamburgers for dinner, or when my tire pressure warning goes off in my car, and this happens 1-2 times a week, for some of us once a day. My body has many different chronic pain problems that won’t stop because I am so clenched in a constant alarm state. After that we are slammed into a deep depression, hating ourselves for what we continue to do despite our efforts to stop it. And when your body is perpetually in hyper vigilant mode, it is impossible to function like everyone else. And I have not even talked about my cognitive issues like not being able to read peoples emotions, not being able to identify even my own. My autism combined with physical childhood abuse along with trauma from constantly being bullied and mocked by other kids created dissociative personalities, one of them beats me on the head until my skull is bruised to punish me . And so our bodies intuitively knew it would die if it stayed like that, so it used addictions to calm the system down, just to survive itself. Every negative feeling a normal person has, we feel it tenfold, so NO ONE wants to hate us and punish us more than we do. No one wants to end our lives because of this more than we do. I was diagnosed only after my marriage ended and my wife was traumatized, and I had done everything I could: therapy, meds, exercise, energy work, hating myself, support groups, books, gurus, retreats, sweat lodges, trying to get enlightened, loving myself more, prayer, God, Jesus, Buddha, meditation, more self shaming, yoga, journaling, changed careers and became a counselor, taught conflict resolution, and when I told my prescriber that I have to address the meltdowns, she said, once the meltdown spikes past the point of no return, there is no pill for that, and no cure, your brain is simply genetically engineered like that. I am asking you to experience this autism body just for one year, I’ve had this body for 53 years, and I watched it decimate both my biological family and my marriage. Most of us die alone, and 16 years younger than the average. The number one cause of death for us: suicide. We commit suicide at a rate of 3-5 times more than the average. And I loved my wife and are marriage more than myself, and I’m continuing to work on changing myself years after it ended. But after 28 years of trying to stop it or manage it, my body naturally is tired, just so tired of still slamming itself into a car accident trauma state week after week even while being on several psych meds and changing my life around to not get triggered so much.
            Yes, we are the monsters, and we are losing hope just like you.

          4. This was tough to read but thank you for the courage to share your profoundly painful life. Even if some on the Spectrum experience only one tenth of your level of distress, it is still far more than many NTs can imagine. Your description is a reminder that the diagnosis is Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is a disorder and profoundly disabling. I watched my mother, my daughter, and my former husband unravel with this disorder —— and take me along into the tidal wave of their distress. Once I better understood their autism, it still has even extremely difficult and I am forever changed.

            I wish there was more research on the horizon to help you and your loved ones. I try in my small way to enlighten people about the devastating consequences of NeuroDivergent relationships —- not because of Autism —- but because of the ignorance of the disorder and it’s affect on all involved.

        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.

          1. Judy, I can’t agree more with everything you said. I’ve already let him know that if he doesn’t stop hitting me and calling me names, I will leave in the night and he won’t ever see me again. He did listen and for a few weeks he lovebombed me everyday and it felt wonderful. But, he has commorbid anxiety, depression and rage problems or mood disorders as they call them, besides the asd and the lovebombing just stopped suddenly and he threw me away completely for the hundredth time without any explanation. He doesn’t feel the need to fix my hurt by talking to me or apologizing. I guess that’s the mind blindness or empathy issue. He lacks social skills and comes across as arrogant, narcissistic and some high powered attorney and I’m on the witness stand and have to prove my innocence to him. I know I’ve heard Kathy Marshack talk about her ex-husband this way also. I guess its a common brain issue with asd. I’ve never been so sad and scared by his logical, stern sounding voice. I need to leave as soon as possible for my own sanity.

          2. Have you also ever looked into whether or not your husband may have ADHD? I remember reading some time back that around 50%-70% of people on the autism spectrum also have ADHD while 20%-50% of people with ADHD have ASD (I know, it’s weird). There is also correlation (not causation) between ADHD, ASD, and illegal drug use. I know because a some of my former classmates of mine who were diagnosed ADHD back in the 1980’s ended up addicted to drugs.

        3. Correlation and causation are not one and the same. Please remember that. I am likely on the spectrum, and the abuse, bullying and hostility directed at me at the hands of “neurotypicals” WOULD drive many to substance abuse, or worse.

          1. A lot of people here in the comments seem so entitled to describe their alleged hellish experiences with autism. I am recognizing a lot of red flags and many recurrent issue: I can imagine the typical neurotypical creating a hellish life for the neurodivergent (granted, sometimes they are oblivious), then complaining that the latter can’t fit that order of thing, or starts to express discomfort and stress, or replies back to what is perceived as an offence (just like the neurotypicals perceive offences from the others). In the end the situation precipitates, and all the blame is on the neurodivergent, when the issue is specular and reciprocal. In a world full of neurodivergents, the neurotypical attitude would be classified as a disorder, and we would get comments from people divorcing from their stupid neurotypical partners that ruined their lives with their nonsenses, obsessions, manipulations, lies. It’s just a matter of perspective.

          2. Hello Derby. Your comments are very helpful in demonstrating the suffering of someone who is Autistic. It is important to recognize that all people need respect. One disagreement I have with your comments is that Autism is normal, or another type of normal. Autism is a developmental disability, which often includes those comorbidities that you mention. But the most profoundly disabling part of autism is Empathy Dysfunction (EmD). When Autists miss the subtle and reciprocal conversational cues, or blunder in with a comment that is off the flow, it is normal for NTs to be startled and annoyed.

            I think it makes more sense to acknowledge the disability, educate oneself about the subtleties, and do your best to be respectful — respectful enough to take the time to unwind the mixups.

        4. Also, a lot of those who have ASD and are drug addicts are most likely to also have other comorbidities such as ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Personality Disorder, etc., and are using drugs and alcohol to self-medicate and fit in socially. You might want to look up the prison statistics. About 5% of the US prison population is on the autism spectrum, however the experts think that number is higher. About 25%-40% of the US prison population has ADHD. And many are undiagnosed.

          1. I read a book once where the author suspected that most homeless people and alcoholics are autistic. She also suspected that many heroine addicts and marijuana abuseers are autistic too.

          2. I am not sure this is accurate, but there is some evidence that many on the Autism spectrum are underemployed. It is a function of the poor social skills that result from EmD. It is tough to navigate the social world and most of what we do requires these skills. Autists do much better when they get therapy and coaching.

          3. Kathy also not to mention that even though the US has the Americans with Disabilities and many countries have similar laws, they are extremely difficult to enforce. Ableism in the workplace is much more common than people think and it’s difficult to prove. I mean bosses can lie about why your hours got cut or why you were fired (happened to me). Not mention that laws regarding documenting discrimination and bullying/abuse can vary.

          4. Sadly this is quite true. Most people are compared to the standards of the dominant culture.

        5. I have ASD and so does my soon to be ex husband. But we are divorcing because he doesn’t know how to love himself which has turned into escalating abuse. We known each other since high school. But not because of our diagnosis. I got a lot more resources than my souse growing up which equipped me for relationships. He got judged and rejected will mask even to this day. Not an excuse; I do see this an underlying reason as to why he is an alcoholic and why I don’t use drugs or alcohol to cope. Also ABA Therapy can also build resentment because cause it encourages masking so these approaches can be seen as root causes to developing unhealthy coping skills. That being said. I’m moving forward and not looking back. And my kids( one with ADHD and two ASD are happier❤️. DV can be a part of any relationship. When it’s time to fly, it’s time to fly.

          1. Thank you Janvier for your refreshing perspective, even though the divorce can be tough on you and your children. It is tragic isn’t it when some with ASD do not get the guidance they need early on. Your children stand to do so much better because of your insight.

      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. Agreed. All they do is hurt everyone around them. I am separated from my asd husband and he is a psychopath. They really should be locked away so they can’t hurt anyone. What they put people through is terrible. I was suicidal from the amount of abuse I received and when I told him I needed help because I was going to hurt myself he told me to go ahead and do it .

          4. Im still struggeling with my mental and physical health after being divorced from an Aspergers husband. People are generaly fooled by him being so nice not knowing about his true character and alcohol abuse at home.and blaming you for leaving the poor guy that didnt have a kind word for you during the marriage but charmes others?

          5. I am so sorry to hear this Celia. There is so much more science now that explains this struggle. Your brain cannot process all of that stress. We humans are designed for short bursts of stress not unending stress. It is the unending stress that breaks down our health. Please do everything you can to reclaim your health.

          6. You have my sympathy. I was naive, desperate, and afraid. My own stupidity made me get married thinking I would grow to love him. He said all the right things. I see now his family were all affected to differing degrees. They just saw me as taking him off their hands. I should have divorced before kids. I kept telling myself it would get better but it has only gotten bad and very very sad. As a Catholic, I had been brainwashed that divorce was a ticket to hell. AND, unfortunately, I was too far along with raising my “allotted” two children to think seriously about divorce…and I kept hoping. Well, with the kids married and in good situations (so far anyways), it still is. NOT good. I just hope my losing it sometimes with him doesn’t put me in hell. I keep trying to be a good, decent, and deep person that I feel I have always been. I can’t left him destroy me.

          7. My condolences. We need a support group for people who have to divorce or leave to keep their sanity.

          8. I have autism and lying, is some thing I struggle with I think it’s easier just to tell the truth even if the truth hurts the other person the truth is the best option and I know a lot of other people on the spectrum who are very honest. navigating relationships is very hard on the spectrum having multiple affairs would be really difficult for someone on the spectrum to do they can barely navigate a single relationship. I think maybe some of your husbands may have been mistakenly diagnosed with autism and are actually sociopaths, and it happens quite often

          9. Marilyn Lip ,
            You are 100% right on target. Except I don’t think the aspie here gets on websites, he is too smart to do anything public like that he is a covert abuser. He is too busy trying to do all the other things to me. The gaslighting, the character assassination, the constant LIES.
            I also feel , I know my life is/was and always will be worth living. I am ashamed that I betrayed myself by staying with this asperger person. I wasted my life so far , but it took 30 years to find out what he is all about , which is my destruction, and material reasons. When we married , he lied , he never loved me . I honestly loved him. When we married and we made money, he became not the husband to love and protect , he became what I needed protection from.
            I hope you can get away. I am going to. We will battle , a fight I have put my whole life on hold for and now at 70 years old, I am going to do what I needed to do 45 years ago. I am going to have a happy rest of my life. Once I find an understanding and really good lawyer.
            I have nothing private from him, he will see this, but I cannot allow him to hurt me anymore. I wish all of the women here the best. Please do not waste your life. The longer you wait the harder it will be. I am also ashamed because I cannot blame lack of anything I need to divorce. I have believed his threats. I am still afraid but i am going to do it.

        2. Girl I’ve lived this. Everything is a meltdown. We went camping driving they’re trying to tow the RV I thought he was going to have a nervous break down. Then we get to the campsite nervous break down because the power is not working. Everything‘s a nervous break down. Like you said the hotel key doesn’t work holy shit it’s an hour rant. If we are going to a friends house which I have to talk him into doing that and we have to stop off at the store unexpectedly to grab some thing for the house holy cow that’s a whole Nother deterrent that freaks him out and it’s an hour rant. Any change of the schedule there’s hell to pay. If he spells something oh my gosh we better punch a wall. Leave while you can it will never get better only worse

          1. It’s so sad, true and ridiculously funny. Mine rants and then tries to gaslight me by saying I do the same by “getting things of my chest.” Interestingly, I have memorized the rants and their points. I now use the time to think about what I am preparing for supper etc.

          2. A bit cynical but I love how you have detached. Detachment means to step away from your expectations that “it will be any different this time.” Plus it means to be true to yourself and stop blaming yourself. Good for you.

          3. I get it’s frustrating but don’t you all think you sound cruel? How much control does a person with ASD have over all this?

        3. So many similarities with myself and my husband, as you describe with your personal life. Myself and my undiagnosed asp husband have been together nearly 17 years. At one time I considered myself a “decent writer”, but I now find it difficult to even articulate my feelings verbally or in written language. Not being able to have an emotional conversation with anybody in so many years has damaged me in ways that are unexplainable. It feels as if l’ve absorbed his stress, anger and his traits of just staring at screens and/or zoning out, which I despise, but he does not talk so there is not much else to do. He also does not know how to have fun…and when he tries it is super awkward. An hour ago, I came home from a weekend trip with our son and he never even greeted me. When I bring up that a hello and a hug would be nice, he automatically begins making excuses for his behavior rather than apologizing for being completely insensitive to me. So, I sit alone in my room seeking solace here with the only people that understand me and my relationship, online. There has never been a true apology in the 17 years I’ve known him, notwithstanding the ones I’ve basically demanded and that he says verbatim as I’ve asked him to. He flips out angrily and has road rage in traffic, at airports check ins, has ridiculous expectations at restaurants and zero empathy for me or anybody else, ever. The stonewalling – oh the stonewalling for years when would want to talk about anything, he would just stare at the TV and not respond at all. No matter how I phrased the questions or how kind I was. Every conversation ended with me crying and feeling like he never cared about me. It was punishment from him – cruelty. It was misery then and now, even though I don’t go there anymore. I’m too old for that. My energy is gone. Multitudes of ruined vacations and experiences and I could not even list them all. – most involving and impacting our child and all involving his temper tantrums. We had a successful business and he put all the strain on me to run everything. It finally became too much, as his partnership in business was as bad as his partnership in this marriage. He hates social settings and blames everybody in every context for not wanting to be his friend. His anti social behavior is progressively worsening with age – all these symptoms and also my ability to cope is declining. My physical health, mental health and emotional well-being as well as our financial ability has decreased since we’ve been together. Any change of schedule, too much of anything (work or stress) and he will absolutely lose it. He has all sorts of anxiety, skin issues, high BP, gout, does not take care of himself, doesn’t exercise and refuses therapy or medications to help. I feel like I’m gently disappearing – and he would not notice if I did. Forget parenting – that is far too much to ask of him. At the same time, I loathe him I worry what will come of him if I leave. It is absolutely my idea of the worst nightmare of a marriage. We are less than roommates and have not been intimate in a year or so. It doesn’t change! These folks who have been in my situation for 44 years. I will not survive that long – and not sure I have the strength to leave at this point. God help me as I pray for strength.

      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.

          1. OMG this was him, obsessed with it (porn) in the beginning. Then a “list of rules” for our sexlife! Good to read similar experiences. I’m not crazy! Yay.

          2. Also a lot of people who have ASD use drugs to self medicate because they have other issues like PTSD and anxiety. About 60% of people who are on the the autism spectrum have PTSD due to things like bullying and abuse from their parents, who were most likely undiagnosed autistics themselves, Decades ago, behaviors now associated with autism and ADHD were seen as behaviors that needed to corrected by means that are now considered abusive.

          3. Wow, I cannot tell you how much I relate to this comment. I am married for 19 years with 2 teenage daughters and only now am thinking that my husband may have Aspergers. Before I thought that he was shy, had anxiety in social situations and with his health. The biggest thing that bothers me is the lack of conversation at home. No conversation at the dinner table (or minimal questions/comments which he thinks then absolves him). Silent in the car. Holidays are always difficult. There is always something that happens that ruins it for him or he is quiet and that ruins it for me. Never asks me questions. Conversation is rarely 2 way.
            Even if we take the dog for a walk I have to limit what we do so that we don’t get muddy or the car or house doesn’t get muddy footprints. He hates the wind. He hates loud noises.
            I have a lot of social gatherings with my family and they must think he’s rude as after an hour of conversing he just sits on his own. No engagement. Or he can talk about how he is repairing the shower and I can see the other person thinking, why is he telling me this.
            He can be intimate and when he is it’s great actually which is a saving grace, but it’s infrequent.
            I could go on. Can’t read fiction but is an avid reader of other non-fiction. Can’t watch many films as he gets bored or hasn’t got the imagination to enjoy them. Cinemas are uncomfortable. Doesn’t enjoy fancy food. So why don’t I just leave? I have tried a couple of times and it devastated the children so much I went back. They adore him as despite all this he is deeply loving, loyal and keeps us warm and safe. So I put up with it and get depressed regularly. I feel I dont have a partner. I live with my child’s father. I can’t get him a diagnosis as he thinks I judge him and he says there is nothing wrong. I relate to what others say about feeling as if I’m a shell of my previous self.

          4. Sienna, have you ever tried to put yourself in the perspective of other people? Here is how a neurodivergent person would think of you.

            I have been married for 19 years with 2 teenage daughters and only now am thinking that my wife may have Neurotipicity. Before I thought that she was logorrheic, frivolous, and without passions. The biggest thing that bothers me is how she complains when I don’t engage in small talks. No conversations about special interests. I do not judge her, because every person has his or her own special interest, but she judges me for focusing on them. I also suffered for many years that whenever I tried to talk about my interests, like bricolage or homeworking, I was frowned upon and scolded, so I’m not used to talk with people I know might complain or judge me. This happens even now, I meet a stranger, I try to chat about a topic I find interesting (why should I talk about things I don’t like? it would be rude and deceitful to talk about things I couldn’t care), and that person becomes bored, while my wife judges me. So I try to stay on my own and do not disturb, but she complains that I do not talk while in car. I do not want to talk in car, and I am tired of feeling guilty for this. There is always something that happens that makes things difficult, like the car getting completely dirty after I took so much care to keep it clean, or my wife complains that I do not ask her things. I ask things when I need info and I try not to bother people, as I am also used that during youth I was scorned whenever I tried to be curious, so I keep silent.
            Unfortunately I also have sensorial issues, for example loud noises give me a lot of discomfort and headaches. This is a typical comorbidity of autism. I cannot do much for that. I do not complain if my wife suffers from nails scratching a blackboard, but she complains if I suffer from loud noises. Similarly, I have some issues with food textures, and the environment of cinemas. I would like to not have these issues, but they are physiological, I have to accept them as a biological part of me. You wouldn’t complain that allergic people are allergic, right? Yet my sensorial issues are “wrong”, even for my wife, which I once trusted would understand me. A bit of empathy would be appreciated here, thanks.
            I try to be empathic in my family, I share a lot of love in intimate relationships, and I deeply care for my children. At least my wife seems to recognize that. I still feel awkward, because it’s like walking on egg shells, so I can’t be fully intimate all the times. I would really like to feel free to love without worries, but you see, I feel constantly judged, I have felt constantly judged since I was born. This society was built and tailored so that only neurotypicals can fit, and the others are derogatorily labeled as strange, ill, mad.
            Oh, I don’t like films, but apparently this is a problem too, for I don’t know which reason. You HAVE to like films, otherwise it is all part of what makes other people’s lives miserable. Those same people who never thought if they too are making different people living miserable lives. Like forcing a square-shaped piece to fit in a round-shaped hole. Like those people who, in the past, complained for people who were left-handed or homosexual.

        2. Linzee also lot of people with Asperger’s/ASD also have ADHD (40-70%) and Sensory Processing Disorder (about 90-95%). A lot people with ADHD, both diagnosed and undiagnosed, have drug and alcohol issues. This is due to impulsivity and self-control issues, having ADHD that is resistant to stimulant medications, etc. There are a lot of people out there who find out as adults that they have ADHD, mostly those ADHD Inattentive Presentation (formerly ADD). Most medical professionals are only familiar with ADHD Hyperactive Presentation and Combined Presentation when it comes to kids with ADHD.

          I was lucky that I got diagnosed with ADD in the late 1980’s as I was one of the few girls that got diagnosed back then. But my case of ADD developed resistance to stimulant medications and my neurologist had me switched to Wellbutrin (an antidepressant) in 2001 when I was 18 because:

          1) I had undiagnosed Aspergers, developed an addiction to over-the-counter pain killers like Tylenol, and was experiencing depression.

          2) Antidepressants have been shown to work in ADHD cases where there is resistance to stimulants.

          People who also have Asperger’s/ASD and/or ADHD along with Sensory Processing Disorder can develop addiction issues to self-medicate due to anxiety and calm sensory issues.

      4. Excellent response. I am an ASD woman in my 60s. My husband and I will be getting a divorce after 33 years of marriage because he doesn’t “understand me”. He is ADHD, and I don’t understand him, but I accepted all of his quirks. Apparently mine are too much.

        1. Interesting, that’s what is going on with me. I’m sure my husband has ASD. I know I’m nuerodivergent.
          He asked me to move out about two weeks ago. We have separated 4 times in our 8 years together.
          This time it’s different. I found a place rather quickly which is unheard in the community I live in. (Resort- were not wealthy)
          I wasn’t even really angry. I was exhausted and really sad. Of course I still am. It’s only been a little while.
          I’m always the one trying to figure things out. Apologizing, High anxiety so that he doesn’t start criticizing, etc. The sad thing Is that I have emotional problems. But….I have worked hard) dialectical behavior therapy) to make significant changes.
          He’s tired and confused and so am I. He also admitted he’s going through a midlife crisis. (I’ve noticed lately how he behaves around single women ; inappropriately. And I’m embarrassed for him.)
          It’s confusing when you try so hard to understand and your heart breaks cause you know He can’t help it.
          He tells me that my “time blindness” and executive DISfunction are more than he can handle.
          And round and round it goes.
          I feel that people should be allowed their preferences, quirks or whatever.
          I just don’t want to be angry or blame or hurt him. Or disappoint him….or….
          Ive lost myself.
          I’m trying to get me back.
          It’s obvious by this disjointed comment that I’m confused, except for one thing. We can’t be together.

      5. Also what may be causing their exes to be abusive/neglectful could also be comorbid issues like:

        -Personality disorders like NPD, ASPD, OCPD.
        -Trauma- People on the autism spectrum are more likely to have been abused/neglected as kids. And a lot of people who have been bullied become the bully as that’s the only way they know how to interact with people. Also people who are on the spectrum are more likely to be victims of a crime.

        Also I often wonder was this role modeled for them as kids? How is their relationship with their parents? People on the autism spectrum are more likely to relationships with their parents that are considered estranged.

        1. Most children with disabilities are more bullied and abused than other children. It is a sad fact of the human race, to be unkind to those who are different. While it may not be autism per se that causes the abuse that some NTs expereience at the hands of their ASD loved ones, there is a tangled web of nature and nurture isn’t there?

          1. Kathy, I have my own story of getting bullied as a kid. I was loved by my own parents. However, a LOT of the other kids in school, especially some of the other kids in the special ed/Resource class I was in, bullied me because I was really into nerdy things like Star Trek, sci-fi. I was diagnosed ADHD (ADD back then) and a bunch of other things and an undiagnosed case of Asperger’s back then. Back in 1997, I was attending Archon, the St. Louis area sci-fi convention, on the weekend during middle school. Who did I see there in attendance? Some of the special ed classmates who bullied me. Turns out they have some of the same interests I have but are not open about it as I am (I have REALLY BAD social cue issues). That felt like a slap to my face. Nobody really told me that I really wasn’t supposed to talk about my nerdy interests or about bullying.

          2. Also, it has been found that a lot of those kids with disabilities such as ADHD and/or Autism often have parents with ADHD and/or Autism that is most likely undiagnosed. Also, they more than likely have some form of generational trauma.

      6. JGVA, However Substance Use Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder can be comorbid to ASD and ADHD as people with ASD and/or ADHD are more likely to develop these.

        You seriously have to look at how the person grew up. People who are on the autism spectrum and/or ADHD and grew up undiagnosed are more likely to have been abused as kids. They’re also more likely to have parents who are/were ASD and/or ADHD themselves. NPD can also be comorbid.

        Also, there are cases of this: Growing up in the 1980’s/1990’s, I was diagnosed with ADD. But my doctors/specialists kept on having to adjust or change medications to the point where the medications no longer worked due to developing resistance, and they switched me to an antidepressant (Wellbutrin). I found out recently that this is actually more common in people who are Autism/ADHD comorbid. It has been found that people who have ASD/ADHD comorbid are more likely to be resistant to stimulants. Antidepressants have been shown to effective in managing ADHD symptoms in people who have developed resistance to stimulants.

    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.

          1. dianaray, or many don’t get diagnosed with Asperger’s/Autism until they’re adults and after their kids are diagnosed. Many mask their Asperger’s/Autism traits to “fit in” or they were abused by their parents because their parents saw their autistic traits as behavioral issues to be corrected by abusive means. In a lot of cases, you have to look at their relationship with their parents.

      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.

          1. This is our situation too. After 30 years of marriage and five kids together- he has just walked out with barely a backward glance – because I had a breakdown as a result of some really awful behaviour from him. He acknowledges it was because of what he did- but can’t get over my reaction. Lies, secrets and gas lighting all come easily to him- but I didn’t realise the extent of this until all this blew up. Devastating. Incidentally – both the psychologist and counsellor I’ve seen say my breakdown was very normal and expected within the situation- and that actually I recovered very quickly. He left a year after my recovery because he says he’s terrified it will happen again. Apart from all this and until this happened – I also thought we had a good marriage in spite of his extreme self focus and lack of empathy. He also can be very charming to others when he decides to turn it on. No attempt at all from him to fix what has been broken… In spite of us both bring catholic and in spite of there being no conflict over the two years since he left- he now is talking divorce. Feeling very vulnerable and very sad.

        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.

        1. This quote is so valuable in service of the political movement of Neurodiversity (or what we also call disability rights advocacy). It is similar to “Black Lives Matter.” What it means is that we should be respectful of the differences among us. However, this quote does not help anyone with the specifics of how to actually understand autism, or the person with autism. Still it is a start to be kind, compassionate and non-judgemental.

          1. Karen, when people ask “why does my autistic partner do this/act this way towards me and the kids” in the FB autism groups I’m in, I often say “You need to look at how they grew up. How is their relationship with their parents? People who have gotten an autism diagnosis as adults are more likely to have undiagnosed autistic parents and have trauma issues due to abuse/neglect.”

      4. Robert , I disagree to some extent. You were born with Asperger , or on the spectrum, and the Asperger brain is not wired the same as , the black woman’s, or the catholic priest’s, or the young black man. The examples you give unless they have asperger’s they all share a brain that is like all other NT’s. A brain that is not the same as people on the spectrum.
        Every Asperger will share some or all of their ways of thinking and feeling , and still remain unlike others on the spectrum because as Dr. Marshack has said we are made up of nature and nurture. By nature yes you will share the way you are with other Asperger’s. Not necessarily everything but enough that were there no masks worn , anyone would be able to see the similarities.
        Nobody has said being on the spectrum makes you bad. It doesn’t.
        However it does make most of the men a poor candidate for marriage. A good husband needs to be reciprocal, and more. That is why the Aspie and the NT have all the normal problems of marrige plus not having many ways of the NT add even more problems to an already tough job even when an NT marrys an NT. NT to NT divorce rate is terrible up to and maybe more than 50%. Put an male Asperger in place of the NT male in the marrige and WOW , it brings that divorce rate up sky high approx 80 %. That is why you feel we are lumping you as all the same. Because of how we are all born. You are in a grouping for a reason. Just as any group is a group , they share things in common. Thats all Robert. We have nothing against you or anyone but our abusive and non reciprocal husbands. Yes you can be good or bad , but not like NT’s can be good or bad.

    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.

        1. Women with asd are more empathetic than men with add (generally speaking)and are more willing to work on a relationship. Empathy is key to relationships and is a must in order for any relationship to be healthy.

          1. That’s because ASD presents itself differently in women. Women with ASD tend to have more awareness and desire for social interaction. Not to mention that women with ASD are under a LOT more pressure socially.

      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 !

      5. Debbie,
        42 years for me…and I’ve spent the last ten trying to figure out what the hell this is all about. I’ve been separated for 2 years, live on my own. He doesn’t even seem to care. He doesn’t say he misses me. His comment was “well I miss a presence in the house”. He doesn’t want another relationship with anyone, but I’ve noticed he’s made time to pick up a lot more hobbies; time that I begged for him to spend with me. I’ve observed that essentially he is “growing, maturing, finding new pleasures because he has the freedom of not being burdened with a marriage and relationship responsibilities”. He is very relaxed and happy. I am feeling low, and like I wasted those 42 years. But somehow I will find my way back.
        Aspies are wired different and it’s not their fault. It’s simply that we NT’s, who have very different gifts and needs will not find them fulfilled here. There’s zero affection and no sexual desire on his part. Even when I explain I still am a very sexual person and ask for what I need – forget it. This is no way to live life.

        1. It is good to hear from other people experiencing similar things to me. My ASD husband appears to the outside world as being wonderful but he is not. My life is spent treading on eggshells and over compensating for his lack of social skills when we are with others. He puts me down and this is reflected in my relationship with my adult children. It has been 36 years for me and now I’m done, but he does not seem to believe me. I want to live without the underlying tenseness I feel whenever he is near me. So many things over the years both good and not so good but it is now impacting on my sense of self and mental well being.
          I worry that my children may be like him. I made a mistake in marrying him. I am unhappy! I have to leave him. I know that as the divorce process progresses the vindictive side of his personality will surface, but I will have to weather the storm. Thank your to all that have shared their stories. It is not me!

      6. I can only speak of my experience, having been married , and I have researched men on the spectrum and interviewed when I have had the opportunity and a willing Aspie.
        I don’t believe they can feel what we call love. They have attachments according to what another person can provide for them. Unfortunately an NT can be the same but not because they were born that way. You are the caretaker , he will care about you only in the role of what you do for him. The men I have spoken with admit their attachments are based on what they can get from a relationship and when one ends they miss getting whatever was provided for them. Autism may have real caring, but not so much the Aspie.

    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.

      2. I’m in behavioral science and unfortunately people on the spectrum are quite capable of lies. They are able to gaslight and manipulate as well as present a different persona with various people.

    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.

      1. I think it’s so hard to tell the difference between NPD and ASD. I thought my husband of 14 years was ASD but since he discarded me he seems more like a narcissist. I never felt he had empathy.

        1. Or he could have both. Studies are starting to find that NPD is actually more common in people with ASD than what was first thought. One the causes of people developing personality disorders is abuse and neglect. Another cause is the child who got spoiled/was viewed as “the golden child who could do no wrong.”

    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.

    12. Sounds more like you were married to a narcissist than someone on the spectrum. Maybe he was both but most of what you are describing sounds like antisocial, narcissistic behavior.

    13. while I am sympathetic to all the terrible things you went through not every person with ASD is like this. You also mentioned he was a drug addict, that’s a huge factor in behavior. Autistic folks are more affected by substances which can make things worse. Just because someone has autism doesn’t make them a bad person. Anyone can be a bad person. You didn’t deserve that treatment and I hope you get to safety and find some happiness. Good Luck.

      1. This. He may be self-medicating due to a variety of factors such as:

        1) Trauma and bullying/abuse as a child

        2) Trying to fit in.

        3) Trying to numb sensory issues

        4) Undiagnosed ADHD or diagnosed ADHD as a comorbid and stimulants no longer work.

    14. Agreed … but still going at 45 years of it. Between the guilt I know I would feel, the fact that he’s not “intentionally” abusive, and my fear of living alone, I can’t seem to make the break. And now, I can’t seem to justify it at our ages. He won’t admit to it nor his sister (who has it in that she isn’t an empathetic person), and he absolutely refuses any marriage counseling. I would never advise someone to marry someone on the spectrum, specifically Asperger’s.

    15. Hi, from what you have described your ex, it sounds like something else may be going on or is comorbid to his case of Asperger’s. Have you looked into whether or not he may have a personality disorder like Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, or Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (which is different from OCD)?

      Also studies have found that about 80% of autism cases is genetic. Do you recognize any traits in his parents, siblings (if he has any), or other relatives? Look up how autism, particularly Asperger’s, presents itself in females. It’s WAY different from how it presents itself in males.

      Finally was this role modelled for him by his parents?

      Sincerly someone with AS who is nothing like what you described.

      1. While there are differences in presentation between males and females on the Autism Spectrum, there are strong similarities too. It’s the autistic “operating system” that is similar. To learn more read my latest book, “Empathy is More Than Words.”

        1. Kathy, I also think about why so many people are getting diagnosed later. And there are many reasons. Some of the most common reasons:

          1) As you know, Asperger’s was included in the DSM-IV in 1994 when I was 11 years old (I know we are up to the DSM-V now and lots have changed, including the removal of Asperger’s). You’d think that when this happened, all school and doctors (namely psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists; I apologize if I am badmouthing) would have kept up to date, right? Nope. I found out after I was diagnosed in 2011 that by 1999 and the early 2000’s (and after talking to my stepmother [I have an Aspie stepbrother], my former school counselors, former psychologists/psychiatrists/neurologists, and some other late diagnosed classmates), a lot of schools and doctors were still only up to the DSM-III-R (1987) b/c copies of the DSM are expensive. Plus, the internet back in the 1990’s was 👀 roll. I mean could you imagine how many of us could/would have been diagnosed (and possibly helped) sooner if those schools and doctors had kept up to date?

          2) Masking. People with AS tend to mask their traits very well.

          3) I was lucky that I have parents and a grandmother (who was a special ed teacher; dad’s side) who did notice something was going on with me as a toddler in the 1980’s. I wasn’t making eye contact, had selective mutism (had an advanced vocabulary for my age but I only talked to my mom, dad, aunt [mom’s side], uncle [mom’s side]) until I was 4 years old, was obsessed with routines and would have meltdowns if there was any deviation, sensitive to anyone except my mother touching me, extremely obsessed with Star Trek (mostly The Next Generation), was hearing words differently from what the person said, ringing in my ears, etc. But at the time, they could only diagnose me with ADD, APD, Dyspraxia, Tinnitus. This made me eligible for some elementary school services like special ed classes 1/2 day, OT, Speech Therapy, weekly counseling sessions with school counselor. A lot of other people my age (40) or older with these issues were not so lucky. Also, I have an uncle on my dad’s side who was diagnosed with ADD back in the 1950’s/1960’s when it was under a different name (“Hyperkinesis of the Mind” I think it was).

          4) Female traits of AS and how most people are not familiar with this. Hell, I’ve met males in my local groups who have gotten diagnosed late b/c they exhibited traits that are commonly found in females.

          5) Traits overlapping with other conditions.

          1. Thank you Talya for taking the time to explain so much of your experience. It is long overdue to understand a woman’s perspective. My mother was on the Spectrum, although she died before the diagnosis was available. Her trauma was intense and I felt so helpless. My oldest daughter is also on the Spectrum but it was tough getting services for her, even though she is about your age. You are very brave to put yourself out there, but it is much appreciated.

          2. Kathy, I got my Asperger’s diagnosis in 2011 at the age of 27 and I was shocked at the lack of services for adults. It doesn’t help that I live in a state (Missouri) that took a huge step backwards in helping people with disabilities years ago after the death of Governor Mel Carnahan.

            Also when I was in OT, the therapists at the elementary schools I was in had me make eye contact, in addition to working on sensory issues and hand eye coordination. Well, that failed spectacularly when I developed strabismus/Exotrophia (lazy eyes) in 5th grade. The only thing eye specialists could do was have me wear glasses that had a prism in them (which stopped working in high school). Surgery is not on the table now, because I am looking for a new eye doctor.

    16. Nonsense, I have Aspbergers and while I’m not perfect, something I’ve come to realize after being diagnosed recently at 56, with ASD and ADHD. I still care for my wife and kids and love them with all my heart. My wife who has empathy for everyone seemingly but me even though she has suspected I’m on the spectrum after 33 years of marriage. I love her, I love our children. I’m not a monster just someone who reacts to the world around me differently. Just like you’re not broken men with Aspbergers are not horrible people for the most part anymore than you not having compassion for his plight makes you a horrible person.

      1. Thanks Jeff. you are absolutely correct that shame and blame don’t help. But it is confusing to communicate across the NeuroDivergent divide. It’s one thing to say, “I love her, I love our children. . .” And I am sure you feel that love in your heart. But it is quite another thing to convey that love to the other person, through the affirming, non-verbal, interactional communication used by NTs. It’s not your fault that you aren’t “wired” to get and give this form of communication, but NTs notice. It’s also not fair that you are blamed for being unkind or thoughtless or even a “monster.” On the other hand try to see these responses from NTs as an opportunity to untangle a terrible misunderstanding. In addition to standing up for yourself, you could offer a reframe: “My love is deep in my heart but I know I don’t always show it.”

        1. I am sure that NTs feel that love too in their heart. But it is quite another thing to convey that love to the other person, through the explicit, verbal communication used by NDs. It’s not their fault that they aren’t “wired” to get and give this form of communication, but NDs notice.

    17. I am an Asperger man who profoundly altered my ex’s life with a 25 year experience that eventually became so traumatic for her that she said if she could go back in time and never meet me, she would and sacrifice having our wonderful daughter to do so. I do have evil in me, because I COULD SEE what I was twisting her into, an angry cheating miserable person like me. I could see this was happening but yet I did nothing to make real change in my personality, just so I could stay in a marriage that more served my needs with her sacrifices.

      People like me simply do know what it’s truly like to make the proper sacrifices so a marriage can be stable. Meaning: knowingly consciously (not co-dependently) taking on something that will cause us suffering so the other doesn’t have to. Sometimes in marriages this needs to be done. My wife did that, but I never did.

      I feel like I am an ASD man who is not the majority. I really saw the extent of the trauma and how I was twisting the soul of the woman I said I loved. And I am doing my best to change and do my best to contribute something actually helpful to others by working with family members who live with people like me.

      THE WAY I CHANGED AND SAW WHAT I WAS DOING WAS THROUGH SUFFERING THE CONSEQUENCES OF MY BEHAVIORS. It doesn’t matter my ASD diagnosis or past, my actions have terrible consequences on others (and finally on myself when she left me). She needed to save herself from her soul and heart being malformed any further, she became a person she didn’t want to be. She had to leave to save herself and keep our daughter from experiencing a marriage like this any further. I cannot muster up any anger towards her for doing that, especially when compared to what I did to her over 25 years. If I could go back in time to keep myself from ever meeting her so the woman I said I loved didn’t have to suffer I would readily.

      Again, people like me must suffer the consequences for doing what we do in life. We must have the guardrails because we utterly refuse to journey in life in a way that doesn’t hurt others. Only when we smack into a guardrail (that we created in others) will we suffer the consequences and maybe change.

      Sad thing is, I don’t know if I ever really loved my wife. I loved the life and family she gave me and sacrificed for, but I don’t think I ever knowingly made the sacrifice and share her burdens in life. I am finally suffering now, and I NEED to know this pain. It motivates me to do my part to help others in either avoiding people like me or showing them how people like me may change, but it isn’t easy.

      1. Thank you for your honest self evaluation Michael. If you let me, I would like to put a slightly different spin on your comments. Yes, your behaviors (thoughts and deeds) may have harmed your wife and daughter. However, these things can be changed by someone like yourself who recognizes the consequences of his actions. ASD is no excuse for engaging in harmful actions but if a NeuroDiverse person seeks to improve and to become a more loving and moral person, they can do it.

        I hope people read your comment and realize how easy it is to slip into narcissistic conduct. As you state, you knew what you were doing but did it anyway. Perhaps you were angry, or hurt yourself. Perhaps you didn’t want to take the time to think things through and just reacted. Perhaps you thought that since you didn’t mean harm, it didn’t matter if you caused harm. But our actions do matter.

        As ArchBishop Desmond Tutu said, “God made us for each other . . . and we forget that at our peril.”

    18. In these Quora chatboards about autism, what is mostly discussed are the noticeable features (what it feels like inside, social communication, etc.). Even though self-diagnosis is accepted in the ASD community, I tell my 17 yr. old daughter (whom she suspects is autistic like me) to complete the assessment and don’t go on what you see, because it tests unseen cognitive processing differences instead of the cliched noticeable traits usually discussed here. The assessment can take up to 6 hours & have year-long waitlists, but without it, I too argued that Level I Autism wasn’t really a thing because “everyone these traits, so why are autistic people always claiming to be different?” It’s not just having these traits, it’s the uncontrollable regularity, intensity and longevity of them compared to NTs. It’s 5–10 times more intense (many times with traumatic meltdowns) with no ramp-up that last much longer and happen much more regularly to the point where it affects our ability to function in normal society.

      If I could choose not to be this way I would as I was diagnosed too late to save my 25-year marriage which I loved. For 53 years I was an autistic criticizing myself as an NT to the point where I was suicidal. It was only after the assessment & my own research that I realized I was NEVER going to change out of sheer will. Even though I did therapy for decades, used prescribed psych meds, did meditation, yoga, hypnosis, support groups, vitamins & supplements, exercised, ate healthier, got more sleep, read self-help books, journaling, wellness retreats, ran wellness retreats, couples counseling, prayer, changed religions, tried to spiritually “awaken”, shamed myself, changed careers became a counselor, tried EVERYONE’S advice especially from my family, tried much harder, tried more psych. meds, had more intense specialized therapy, relaxed & took more breaks, spent time in hiking in nature, got a dog, did daily breathing exercises, did more yoga, exercised more, did longer meditations (up to 16 hours a day), prayed more, changed careers again and became a life coach, taught addiction recovery, joined more support groups, read more self-help books and shamed myself more – for 30 years, my marriage still couldn’t withstand the onslaught of our divergent differences & eventually imploded. My autism therapist continues to help me see my brain was just not genetically designed to be an NT.

      Even though we’re so high-functioning, this is one of the worst mental health diagnoses because we’re so high functioning and it causes you to treat those you love the most (and who love you) like the enemy and ultimately to intensely hate yourself. Up to 80% of us lose jobs or under perform, get divorced & become depressed recluses. Therefore we commit suicide at least 3X more than the average. Before I knew, I kept berating myself for decades, “Well they say EVERYONE has these things, so you must be CHOOSING laziness & are still not working hard enough to save your family & marriage, which you keep saying is the most important thing that gives your life meaning!!!!”

      And if you’re reading this and thinking, “Well, I’m normal and I’ve done all that!” I lovingly invite you to consider getting an assessment, because who in their right mind would consciously CHOOSE to all of this?!

  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!


    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.

      1. Wow reading all these comments really helps me to understand my past relationship. I can completely relate with so many things. Although I was never married and can only imagine how hard it is to go through such divorce I was also discarded by my Aspie ex boyfriend. It is shocking how many of you reported that your Asperger husband/wife can just “blink” and forget about their “special interest” person overnight.

        I met my ex when I was 23 and just moved to NYC (concrete jungle where dreams are made of:). The first 3 month were completely magical, he was completely obsessed with us. It felt like a movie until he announced that he can’t be so in love with me because he can’t properly focus on his work and from now on he will “block” himself and be less crazy about me. And so it happened. From now on his work was his special interest and I was a bit left behind. Same thing happened with our sex life. As I didn’t want to rush with it for the first 2 months, once we finally started sleeping together (which as he said was once his biggest dream) he then told me that due to the fact that he had to wait for “so long” now he blocked himself for that. So the rest of the 1,5 year of our relationship we always struggled with sex for no reason. Then after 9 months of a long distance relationship struggle when I was just about to come back from the EU, move back with him he promised me to look for an apartment together, we were waiting for this moment for so long.
        And suddenly one day when I was talking with him to plan the exact date of my flight, he just changed his mind and just like that it was over.. When I only tried to communicate, negotiate with him, telling him that we had plans, we agreed on something, his comments suddenly were “yep what happened yesterday doesn’t matter now”. He disappeared overnight and there was no way to get back.

        I know that many of you are going through so much worse but this break up really devastated me. I was extremely confused for another 3 years trying to understand what I did wrong, what made him change. Although I am aware that NT people can also abandon you with no explanation, for me there was something scary and unpredictable about my ex discarding his “interests” so easily.

        I have a 12 y old autistic cousin and I could see the same pattern in his behaviour. There was a time that he got crazy about me, and I was his favourite person, he wanted to do everything with me, he wanted to become an architect just like me.Then a couple of months passed and his uncle became his other most favourite. He suddenly forgot about me and the dream of becoming an architect.

        I remember that whenever I thought about marrying my ex Asperger boyfriend my concern was that he seemed so unpredictable for me. He was way too independent, too individual. I always wanted to marry a person who I would be able to rely on forever, who I will trust that will never walk away, be with me for worse or better. I know that everyone can change and it’s never guaranteed but I wanted to at least be able to trust him. The fact that his father (also diagnosed with Asperger syndrome) divorced 3 times in his life, was not helping. He was always the one abandoning the family. One of the divorces even ended in his sole custody over kids. Being a mom whose kids are taken away from her due to divorce was making me sick and went beyond my imagination.

        I loved my ex a lot, he was really special to me but at some point I felt like being his mom. I always had to go easy on him, have unlimited levels of patience no matter how much he hurt me. Whenever he hurt me I’ve always explained it to myself – “it’s because he has Asperger syndrome” as you explain to yourself that your kid didn’t really mean to be rude towards you, it was just not aware of his actions… It was tough.
        He was brutally honest. From some silly situations, for example when I asked him why he didn’t want to dance with me at the wedding he would say ” because you can’t dance” or he would criticize how ungraceful I walk in high heels.
        3 years after this break up I slowly realize that maybe it was better for me that it ended there. I’m only upset for all these 3 years of grief and confusion that I punished myself with.

        I’m worried that there is still not much knowledge and help for Asperger’s – Neurotypical relationships problems. At least in my country (Poland) this is very uncommon. Most psychologists have 0 knowledge on this. I had no idea about Asperger syndrome when entering my ex relationship. I believe that such groups and forums are very needed and can provide help to everyone who struggles with such relationships. Your comments helped me to understand my case better.

        Thank you. I wish you to be strong and never give up!

        1. The problem is, as I had to find out the hard way, that there is much less in terms of supports or services for adults on the autism spectrum in general compared to how much is available to kids on the autism spectrum. At least here in the US that is. But that is very slowly changing.

          Thing is that there is much more funding for research and services in kids with autism than there is for adults. A large chunk that funding for kids comes from the Department of Education as well as charity organizations. If there is to be any funding for research in adults, it has to come from the National Science Foundation and other organizations.

          Plus society’s views:

          Kids with autism= Cute
          Adults with autism= Not so cute.

          Also, a lot of people still think of the “Rain Man” stereotype when they hear autism. Well, I hate to tell people this, but Kim Peek, the man who inspired the character of Raymond Babbitt in “Rain Man,” did not have autism. Peek is believed to have had FG Syndrome

    2. The problem is Asperger’s and most other health issues in general are massively underdiagnosed in females and are misdiagnosed as something else or missed entirely b/c all the studies on males.

      1. This is a sad fact that much of medical research is conducted with males and extrapolated to females. This is very discriminatory for girls and women on the Spectrum.

        1. Kathy, I don’t know if you have read this list. But there is a list that was published online years ago by Rudi Simone, the author of Aspergirls, that describes how AS presents itself in females. I found and read this list a couple of years after I was diagnosed in 2011, and this list was so dead on in describing me. I also actually have most of the male traits.

    3. The problem is most resources for domestic abuse and for spouses of people with Asperger’s are for wives/girlfriends of abusers and wives/girlfriends of men with Asperger’s.

      Also, you said she has Asperger’s, but you did not reveal if anything has been going on with her that could be triggering this. Asperger’s, now Autism Spectrum Disorder, has a whole load of comorbidities like personality disorders and PTSD (about 60% of those on the autism spectrum have PTSD). I was personally never abused by my parents, but I know a LOT of people in Facebook and Meetup Autism groups I’m in who got a late autism dx and were physically, emotionally, and verbally abused by their parents (who were most likely autistic and abused themselves).

  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. It has been found that there are actually 3 types of empathy:

          1) Cognitive Empathy: This is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s place and understand their perspective and viewpoint. Many people on the autism spectrum (myself included) lack cognitive empathy.

          2) Emotional Empathy: This involves the ability to share of feelings. When you see another person suffering, you envision yourself going through the same thing and feel what they are going through.

          3) Compassionate Empathy: Where you not only understand person’s emotional state, but you give an appropriate response such as helping them.

          1. The problem with breaking empathy down into component parts is that the parts need to work together smoothly to be felt as empathy by others. This is why I prefer a different system. It’s like an orchestra is more than the sum of the musicians, the score, the conductor, the concert hall, the audience, etc. An orchestra performance has to come together in such a way that if feels marvelous.

    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.

  20. My husband has undiagnosed ASD. I would su a month after we got married everything went downhill. I had no idea that people with autism have special interest. When we were dating, my husband special interest was “pursuing a spouse” (me). After that box got checked off. He turned his interest elsewhere. He’s so great at making himself seem like a phenomenal person/husband to others; but in our home I know the true him. He won’t take the initiative to make a doctors appointment to get the referral for ASD testing. So now I have to do it or else we’ll never find out exactly where on the spectrum he is at. I also have to find us a therapist that specializes in ASD. I’m also taking cage of the kids, the house, the finances, and whatever else you can think of. I feel as if everything is on me. I am grieving the marriage I thought I would have. It hurts that I don’t have a husband that can lead this household. It hurts that I’ll never have the marriage I thought I would have with him. I have so much regret. That tears me apart because I need that! It hurts that I’ll never have the emotional connection I desire in this marriage. I crave that! It hurts so bad that I cannot even cry about it. I will eventually leave him. As soon as I can get on my own two feet. I wish I never had kids with him.

    1. Your sorrow reminds me once again why the transactional style of those with ASD is so devastating to NeuroTypicals. Train yourself to look at how the Autist does things, not what they do. A special interest appears to be a special interest only because they approach it transactionally —- single mindedly. Some special interests last a lifetime, but others are completed and they move on. Like finishing a jig saw puzzle, once completed you don’t take it apart and do it all over again.

      While it may be true that he pursued courtship in a transactional manner, and when married he was finished with that special interest —- this doesn’t mean he stopped loving you. It means he has no plan for how to pursue being married to you. Or perhaps the plan is to allow you to plan everything.

      Of course for NTs love and marriage is not a plan of action. It is more like an orchestra of interacting conversations.

      1. We do not want to put forth anymore effort than we already have. You need to understand this. These relationships are exhausting with no payoff or hardly any. It just does not work well. Stop believing that the NT just has to understand more about the Aspie. We are wives and mothers many times. We have no use for an adult child that we thought was going to be a husband or wife.

  21. I met my ex-husband through a singles personal ad. I was smitten at first sight, after a successful few weeks of phone calls and letters back and forth. I thought we hit it off. He was quirky in his behavior, I took it as him being an intellectual and I liked that. I am no saint and I tended to be too nice and let people step all over me (at that time). When I met his mother she didn’t like me one bit but I ignored her believing she will like me over time after she got to know me. I put aside that he was clearly a mama’s boy That wasn’t the issue. He suffered debilitating anxiety attacks, was super organized, spoke in a monotone voice, and was good at getting his way. He assured me I was “reading into things”. We got along well otherwise and looked forward to getting married. We bought a house which was one of the happiest days of my life. I felt complete and that we had a solid future together. I trusted him. He did odd things like getting “sick” and being unable to attend events while we were engaged. He had to be in control of everything because he had the purse strings and I didn’t make much money. Getting to the point, he had an excuse and explanation for everything because he had to have things done in a systematic manner. We had good moments, however, on the wedding day, he was preoccupied and didn’t interact with me too much. It was like a photo shoot and my uncle even felt the wedding was staged. He was cold towards me on the honeymoon wanting me to follow his every lead. He would make big decisions without consulting me. I’d come home at separate times, to a newly remodeled bathroom, kitchen, and driveway. He was condescending and demeaning to me with his gaslighting techniques. He was never happy with my appearance or how I spoke. He stopped being affectionate towards me. I asked him many times to go to a doctor about his anxiety attacks but he insisted I was the reason for them. He never understood what I wanted when I initiated romance. His mother would belt out orders as though it was her household. His response was, I needed to learn to compromise. He often complained about how unhappy he was and mentioned “when we get a divorce” many times. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and consulted a lawyer. After I gave him an ultimatum he jumped at the divorce opportunity and ran home to his parent’s house every night for dinner until I moved out. At our divorce, he just sat there in the courtroom as if I were a stranger while I cried. It was the most bazaar relationship in that I didn’t anticipate his strange behavior and tremendous lack of empathy. That was 25 years ago and he still insists I was the problem. I found out years later that he has autism. Good grief I told him it was a big misunderstanding going into the relationship and to let it go. Our first date and our home together will always have a special place in my heart. We are both in better places because of it. I would do it all again.

    1. Your story is all too familiar Ellen. A collection of these stories would make others cringe. I am sorry you had to go through it.

      1. The problem is I went to see a counselor about my issues with eating (which turned out to be comfort eating while coping with anxiety) I should have walked out when she mentioned she knew my ex-husband. She took his side and said I set it all up to fail because I have a history. My point about my ex is he’s relentless even going through other people to get the last word. It is what it is. It was no fault and I didn’t understand him. Thank you for listening.

  22. My partner has autism and it’s honestly been a horrible experience being with him. The neglect and indifference have been incredibly harmful to me. At the end of the day whether it’s intentional or not doesn’t stop it hurting. The loneliness too is dreadful. There are times I feel like he has totally forgotten I exist. I don’t feel seen or heard and Iv got no one to turn to as no one I know has a partner with autism. He’s just started a new job with a bunch of Neanderthal Workerman and his personality has changed overnight. The way he talks, what he says. It’s like he’s mimicking the men he’s working with and it’s really strange. Suddenly I’m with a different person. He’s lost in general but obviously can’t see it and suffered bullying at school which he’s still really bitter about, so I think now he’s in a group of men he feels affirmed or something but it’s changed him instantly.
    One thing I did feel before this job was that our relationship, however difficult at times, was very important to him. Since the new job, which he said he got so we could have a future together, buy a house etc, it’s like I do not matter at all. I had major surgery this week. The week leading up to the surgery he practically ignored me to work excessively for 5 days in a row. I was so upset as he knew how nervous I was but I took the time to talk things through with him and tell him what I needed from him. I had my surgery on Tuesday and it’s now Sunday and he hasn’t gotten in contact once to see if I’m ok. He sent a short message the morning of my surgery which I responded to but he asked no questions, gave me no reassurance, didn’t even say he loved me and he didn’t bother opening my reply, although he was talking to other people on what’s app for hours after I sent it. Since then, nothing. I finally called him yesterday after waiting to see if he’d ever actually call, and he has spent the entire day ignoring me whilst again talking to others on what’s app. Incredibly distressing as I’m still very much recovering and in a very vulnerable state.
    This is what a relationship is like with a man with ASD. They can so easily throw you away, block you out, ignore you whilst they know you’re suffering and it hurts all the more for us because we know they aren’t even thinking about us whilst we suffer the trauma they’ve caused us, alone.
    My partner has been referred to all his life as a robot or android and he absolutely hates it but honestly, that’s exactly what he’s like. There’s something missing in him other than the lack of empathy, which makes him come across as not human. I would never have a child with a man with ASD and although he talked about marriage with me, reading your stories I’m glad I ended it yesterday. Iv wasted two years on this person. No more. Thank you all for sharing your stories. It helps to hear from others

    1. Oh 😔
      4 1/2 years in with this “spectrum man “
      We are both widowed and 70 years old .
      Dating was a dream , then two months into the marriage, he said he needed a break from me !😔 it’s been a devastating disaster.
      He trades all day , doesn’t Evan eat lunch , barely speaks at dinner then takes his one hour shower … arrives about 9 pm … “what are you watching… have you ever watched …!
      My advice …..run !

      1. I’m so sorry, it sounds very lonely. We are both 67 and I have been seeing a therapist. It’s worked wonders for me and my self esteem is getting back to normal. I’ve put my house up for sale because I cant live with him any longer. We are both unhappy everyday. He’s lost in another world behind a glass window.

    2. I’m so happy that you left Cheryl. This is going to turn out to be one of the best decisions of your life. These mannerisms will not change over time. You would have just become increasingly sad and angry for wasting the years of your life. These are just my opinions after being married to an Aspie for 30 years. I hope you find someone who you enjoy being around and makes you feel cared for and important.

  23. I’ve been married for 30 years, I’m retired military, a disabled veteran, and am currently working a full time job. I pay all the bills, manage the finances, when the boys were in school, helped with their homework, went to practices and sporting events and do ‘handyman’ jobs around the house. I never forget a birthday or anniversary, I absolutely love and adore my wife. I took care of her the best I could, made dr appointments for her, went to every appointment with her and when she wants to vent, I’m who she calls because she knows I’ll listen, offer an opinion and support her. She’s NT, I was diagnosed with autism at 50. I struggle a great deal with expressing emotions, reading other’s emotions and being emotionally supportive in a verbally expressive way. When she’s hurting, inside I’m crushed but do not know how to provide comfort. She has moved out of our house and to a new state. We’re still married even though divorce is brought up by her, I’m still who she calls when she wants to vent, I’m far far from perfect but I’m also very confused.

    1. If love were all we needed, the world would be such a better place. Sadly, we humans get hung up on the tiniest of communication faux pas. I explain this in my books, blogs and now my new online course. I suspect your wife continues to reach out to you because she wants the connection she hasn’t been able to achieve over the years. She knows you care, but she doesn’t feel seen or heard because of her NT interactional style mixing it up with your transactional ASD style. I am so sorry for your broken heart. If you want to dig more deeply into this dilemma and learn to take back your life, I would recommend starting with my online course, https://drkathylearningcenter.thinkific.com.

  24. Causation, correlation, Asperbergers, ASD, it makes no difference. Call it whatever you like, analyze it however you’d like. It does not change the experience that NT’s have with Aspies. It does not change how an Aspie can make you feel over the years. The emotional deprivation that an NT experiences in having a relationship with an Aspie is undeniable. It seems to me what is not understood is that over time the NT has given and given and given and hardly received anything in return. I’m talking about emotional support, physical affection, caring, etc. I can assure you that if the relationship has been long term, the NT probably checked out long ago and doesn’t have the energy or the will to even want to try any longer. I really feel that the best thing would be for Aspies to marry other Aspies. In this way they could live together, interact on a very low level, they would probably not need very much in the way of physical touch and they might stay happily married. As I read other NT’s posts I always feel badly for them. I know what it feels like to be ignored and feel like you and your feelings are never given a second thought. Even though I am in the same situation I always end up feeling worse for the people writing the posts than myself. I know that I should have left, and could have but I have remained. It has become more of a marriage of convenience (actually inconvenience) than anything.

    1. except that aspies marrying aspies doesn’t really work either because they’re still living parallel, unconnected lives and to boot, women with aspergers usually try harder to have a real connection than men with aspergers-this is also due to the fact that women in general try harder I believe. In addition just because two people have the same condition, doesn’t make them suited for one another. This is a condition, not an identity regardless of what our society says-that is why ASD-ASD marriages don’t work and especially why ASD-NT relationships don’t work!

      1. And also women with ASD are under a LOT more pressure to be social, work on relationships, and be socially accepted.

  25. Many people in these stories sound like they’re having NPD.

    Also not every Aspie is similar to one another.

    Some have too much empathy / feelings. And some hate lying, cheating and won’t manipulate or hurt others.

  26. What is a marriage or any relationship without empathy? Nothing!!! It doesn’t matter whether you “feel empathy” (though that knowledge hurts) or not. You are responsible, no matter your struggle to demonstrate it, no excuses! If you care, you demonstrate it in what you say and do. That is being human! Heck, if dog can show empathy, there is no excuse for any human being not to show empathy toward others, and your spouse, come on-that is absolutely unacceptable as you have a responsibility from the moment you said your marriage vows. If you cannot love as you love yourself (bible shows this verse because we’re naturally selfish) and oh, yeah God commands husbands to love their wives because they must not be loving at a level that is acceptable to God. This is true. Yes, there are men who love their wives deeply and they do so by going out of their comfort zones and doing what is necessary to keep things healthy. Not taking the line if least resistance-there is no romance in that. We were not certainly meant to be emotionally neglected because someone gives themselves a pass to be incapable.

    1. It is important to hear these words, but if a person lacks empathy, they can demonstrate their love in other ways. It just feels different.

  27. I am so confused – my wife has asbergers and we separated due to a domestic dispute – I went to jail for two days for hitting a glass of wine out of her hand. I am now live with my parents and cannot contact her. What is very hard on me is that I love her so much. I have never loved anyone or anything this much. please explain to me how she can nonchalantly and ambivalently move on after just one and a half weeks – she is all over the dating sites and we aren’t divorced yet. My sleep number bed shows someone spent the night in our bed with her during this separation – how can she do this? Just 2 weeks ago we were talking
    About how madly in love we were with each other – and she wasn’t faking it – I saw it in her eyes while we made passionate love – she always said she would never date again if we broke up – she always said she would never cheat – she always said she had never loved anyone remotely as much as she does me. And now, 3 weeks later, she is seeing someone and going away for weekend trips with them. My heart aches –
    I can’t eat or sleep and have no idea how to comprehend my aspie wife moving on with other men so fast – I’m crying as I type this – any insight from the Aspies? Signed, Broken Hearted NT Husband

  28. In 2018, at age 51, I was diagnosed with ADHD. Recently, after growing apart from my wife of 33 years she wants a divorce. Through recent counseling I was diagnosed with Aspebergers. In addition, as a child and teenager suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a same sex relative.

    I’ve always struggled with anxiety but am in a good career. Make great money because I’m able to do my job extremely well.

    My problem is simple. My wife and I went through marriage counseling in 2022 and it wasn’t successful. This was prior to my ASD diagnosis. We both sought counseling separately and in June 2023 she asked for the divorce. I love and adore her but realize now my failings and am begging for another chance.

    She has recently decided to attend counseling with a specialist dealing with Neuro-divergent couples but continues to tell me she hasn’t changed her mind about divorce and is doing this so I can become a “better person.” Keep in mind while I have flaws, I’ve never hit or been abusive to her or our kids.

    I can’t do this, I won’t live alone in a 1 bedroom apartment by myself with no close friends but also void of a sexual relationship. I’d rather just end it. Everything I’ve read is 80% of Neuro-divergent relationships end in divorce and at my age there is almost zero chance I’m finding romance at this point.

    The thought of living a pathetic lonely life is too much and I won’t do it. It feels like I’ve learned a lot since being diagnosed since I’m a voracious reader who has consumed tons of information. My question; if she can’t muster empathy for me and try again why should I bother? I have very few close friends, none I can talk to about any of this and no circle of friends and have no clue how to find romance.

    I’m lonely, yearning to have an intimate relationship; I’ve always had a high sex drive and am likely to have that part of my life end forever.

    I’m lost…..

    1. Reaching out for help is the first step. Divorce creates a huge life transformation and I wouldn’t go it alone. Find a therapist who can help with the depression, but who also teaches the skills of recovery. Attend a Divorce Recovery group, which are often sponsored by local churches.

      Try to understand that you are lost in a wilderness that no one can find their way through without help. It’s not you. You may have made mistakes that contributed to the divorce, but you are not the cause. Life is so convoluted that I am not surprised at the messes we humans make — unwittingly.

      As to your wife’s empathy, or rather your concept of empathy, you are mistaking sympathy for empathy. As hard a pill as this is to swallow, it may be because of your wife’s empathy that she has chosen to divorce. Therapy may have helped her understand you better. While this is a good thing, it also gave her insight into the NeuroDivergent dynamic. She may have taken a long hard look at a future with you and realized that love wouldn’t work for her.

      For NTs love is an empathic conversation. I call it the Empathy Triad (Empathy, Context, and Conversation). Without the reciprocal and empathic conversations every day, NTs feel alone, isolated, bereft. It can often feel unbearable even though they know that their ASD partner loves them.

      Don’t give up though. Empathy is not the only way to give and receive love. However, in NeuroDivergent relationships a good therapist has to help you unlearn lots of bad habits — and to relearn a new way of communicating. I call it the 7-Step Interface Protocol.

      I wish you all the best on this journey of rediscovering love, which starts with yourself.

  29. Dear Kathy –

    I am so confused – my wife has Asperger’s and we separated due to a domestic dispute – I now live with my parents and cannot contact her. What is very hard on me is that I love her so much. I have never loved anyone or anything this much. Please explain to me how she can nonchalantly and ambivalently move on after just one and a half weeks – she is all over the dating sites and we aren’t divorced yet. My sleep number bed shows someone spent the night in our bed with her during this separation – how can she do this? Just a month ago we were talking about how madly in love we were with each other – and she wasn’t faking it – I saw it in her eyes while we made passionate love – she always said she would never date again if we broke up – she always said she would never cheat – she always said she had never loved anyone remotely as much as she does me. And now, a month later, she is seeing someone and going away for weekend trips with them. My heart aches – I can’t eat or sleep and have no idea how to comprehend my aspie wife moving on with other men so fast – I’m crying as I type this – any insight would be much appreciated. Thank you.


    Broken Hearted NT Husband

    1. Hi Greg,
      I am so sorry for your heartbreak, and I wish I had an easy answer for you. The best place to start with your recovery is to meet with a kind and competent therapist. You have a lot to process.

  30. Kathy Marshack,

    If you ask me, one of the reasons why people are getting an Asperger’s/Autism dx as an adult, or their spouses are figuring this out, is b/c of this:

    Articles on Asperger’s started appearing in English starting in the late 1970’s/early 1980’s (thank you Dr. Lorna Wing) and was included in the ICD-10 (1992) and the DSM-V (1994). You’d think that our medical and education professionals would have been up to date, right? Nope. After I was dx’ed, I started talking to my former neurologist, psychologist, SPED teachers, school counselors, and other people who got a late diagnosis. Even though my area (St. Louis, Missouri, USA) was one of the first areas in the US to integrate regular and SPED classes in schools, they did not keep up to date with current info back when I was growing up in the 1980’s/1990’s. So, I did get some help but not near enough due to diagnosed ADD, APD, Dyspraxia.

    Plus, like I have repeatedly commented, many were abused by their parents who were likely autistic themselves. I remember reading something awhile back that autistic kids are more likely to have sensory issues that are the complete opposite of their autistic parents. Like for example, an autistic parent who is sensory sensitive to noise and touch, often have an autistic kid who loves/craves noise, does lots of vocal stimming, and is very touchy feely. This can lead to abuse/neglect due to the parent feeling overwhelmed. Also, whole “uncaring refrigerator mother causes autism” thing from decades ago, well many scientists think those mothers were most likely autistic themselves.

    Hell in one FB autism group I’m in, one mom got her son diagnosed in 2008 and his teachers were like “He can’t be autistic. He can speak and he’s very smart.”

    This is one of the problems I have with the removal/merging of Asperger’s with autism to create a spectrum disorder. Most people when they hear the word autism, they automatically think of someone who is “severe, nonverbal, and very low IQ.”

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