Any of you who know any alternative thinkers, already diagnosed or not, with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, will totally get the message conveyed in this letter, see link.
I am yet to find anyone who doesn’t, in some way, complain about their partner. Too messy, unsociable, untidy, doesn’t care, drinks too much, spends too much time at work etc.. and the list goes on and on. Even my very own hubbie who has escaped my blogging until now, Mr Mac, gets me down with his constant moaning and his “particularness” around normal household tasks, which almost crosses the line into O.C.D territory! So, it is true to say that none of us are immune to that hard to scratch itch, called a spouse.
So why is Mrs ASD who wrote the above letter any different from the majority of us? Well, I am not on the spectrum and I don’t live with anyone on the Spectrum, but I know many people who are. Only someone with ASD can possible know how it truly feels to live amongst people who don’t think the same as them. So here is my best shot as to why it’s different.
Mr Mac knows he moans a lot, he knows it annoys me, he knows I am irritated by his comments such as “why have you spilt wine all over the worktop” before I have even managed to grab a cloth to clear it up, yet he chooses to carry on doing it, even though he knows it drives me crazy! My friend’s hubbie spends far too much time in the pub with his mates; he knows it upsets her but still does it.
The magic word is knows. It almost makes the behaviour excusable and acceptable because you know, that they know, how you are feeling about them. You will get satisfaction out of giving them a disapproving stare or the cold shoulder treatment, because without saying anything, there is a mutual understanding of the problem. In other words regardless how crazy you drive each other with your negative traits, you are still on the same waveband.
Now, imagine living with someone who absolutely doesn’t know how their behaviour makes you feel, even if you tell them, they just don’t get what on earth you are on about. A relationship where disapproving stares and cold shoulders are completely wasted and mean nothing. One of you is on FM and one of you is on AM and you just can’t tune in to each other. It’s difficult, especially if your partner doesn’t have a diagnosis, you could easily believe it is malicious and deliberate. It must be very frustrating and as this ASD wife says, “lonely”.
So to those of you married to someone with ASD, or someone you think might have ASD, I add to the letter above by saying this. What is really worse, a partner who knows they are upsetting you and makes an informed choice to carry on doing it (the majority of neurotypical people)? Or, a partner who truly does not realise they are upsetting you with their attitude and behaviour and genuinely can’t help it? You are most likely as near as he can get to his absolute soul mate, social mentor and the centre of his world. Although he doesn’t say it or even show it, his emotional investment in you is likely to be huge!
Yes I know, I am stereotyping people with ASD and neurotypicals but I don’t think I am that far from the truth.
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