(Still) Married…With Asperger’s

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Mar 8, 2013 in Family Stuff

The blog post that has received the most comments was about having a successful marriage with my husband with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS).

It seems that like me, many women (and men) are married to spouses with AS.  And for most, it can be a challenge.  While that may be true, I would still like to offer my example of a happy AS/NT (neuro-typical) marriage.

My husband and I have been happily married for almost 15 years now, but there are some adjustments that I’ve had to make.  (I would like to add that I am sure there are some adjustments he’s had to make as well – no one is perfect and I’m sure there are many things about my personality that are also difficult for him.)  Making these adjustments helps to reduce the amount of stress that my husband endures, and it also reduces the amount of stress for me since I have stopped trying to make him into something he’s not.

I have learned that there are certain situations that really make him anxious.  Being in a large crowd, for example.  When we are in a crowd, I can tell by the look on his face that he is extremely uncomfortable.  So I try to help by choosing a seat in the front row so that he can’t see all of the people behind us.  Or we sit on the side near the back so that he can feel as though he can escape if he needs too.  A simple solution that works for both of us.

It is true that I have had to make some sacrifices – for example, he is not very “touchy”.  We don’t hold hands, he doesn’t put his arm around me and when we sit to watch TV, he usually sits on a different couch.  But…I know that he does everything he can to make me happy.  He takes my daughter to dance so that I can relax after work; he puts the kids to bed when he knows that I’m tired; he runs errands when I don’t want to go out in the cold; he takes the dogs to the vet, pays the bills, takes out the trash and recyclables, runs the vacuum, runs the dishwasher…and so much more.  And he does these things with the sole intention of making my life easier.  If I ask him to touch me, he will – but it feels awkward and unnatural.  So I’ve learned to accept that he shows love differently, and have come to appreciate all that he DOES do instead of what he DOESN’T do.

I’m going to keep posting examples of things that work for us –  I hope that these can help others to find the positive in an AS/NT marriage.


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