Autism and Marriage: The Wife Chronicles (Part 1: The Backstory)
Ahh, The Romance... Well, Sort of. (This Part Makes Good Bathroom Reading Material!)
At one point or another in our lifetime, we face relationship problems (of the romantic type), such as where someone has cheated on us, or we know of someone who had it happen to them. Or maybe it was a problem where one half of the relationship wasn't working out, and the other person was just not seeing how is wasn't. Maybe each person was on a different level. Whatever be the reason, we have faced one of many possible problems that could happen to us in a romantic relationship, at some time in our life.
When we research online about problems in our love life, we often come across the same old stories, and the same old usual problems. But, what if that problem happens to be a adult partner who has Aspergers Syndrome?
Attempting to find more about adults and Aspergers is quite the challenge. You will find so much about children, and how to's, and what to do's, with a children's level of diagnosis. You will find stories of parents, and caretakers, medical advice from the unknown and the known, and infamous/famous researchers and doctors, talking about children. Rarely, will it be about adults. And even more scarce, about people telling their tale of their romantic relationships affected by Aspergers Syndrome.
As this is my "Part One" to this series, I'm just mostly going to be providing background information here at this time. I feel that it can be important to just add a bit of background, to explain how me and my husband got to where we are now. As I write more, I will be adding about how Aspergers Syndrome has effected our relationship. Or, you may be able to spot a something here or there, just something you may be able to pick out, that sounds familiar or that can be related to Aspergers Syndrome. I do apologize ahead of time if this "Part One" does become boring, or seems rushed. I won't want to keep you forever, so feel free to skim through if you need to.
As for the "rushed" feeling to some of my paragraphs, I do plan to go in to details at a later time. Each moment I have is another part to this whole massive web of the life that I live, with my husband. I ask, dear reader, if you could just bare with me and understand the method to my madness.
A Little Disclosure, and Some Background Information...
I am in no way, shape, or form, a medical professional. I'm just a woman who is married to a man, who has been trying to cope with Aspergers Syndrome for most of his life. My husband, at the time I am writing this article, is thirty-six years old. His discovery of him having Aspergers Syndrome is fairly new.
He tells me often about what happened in his childhood years, and his school years. Of course, the whole idea of the Autism spectrum was still in it's "baby years" and was not exactly quite understood, back in the 1980's. This, he said, made life difficult for him because it was always thought to be ADHD. Yet, he was a very intelligent, and creative, child. He had a hard time socially interacting with others. And there was just too many misunderstandings from the lack of knowledge involving Autism.
First Comes Love...
His name is Seth. And I met him for the first time in 2008. I was a woman in a relationship, due to be married to someone, and I was about 6 months pregnant with my first child. Seth worked in a small shop at the mall, and I would frequently come in as a customer, or at times to visit my then fiancè.
As I browsed through the store, I noticed Seth staring at me from time to time. When I would look at him in return, he would smile at me. As I finished my browsing, Seth came up to me and had decided to give me his phone number. I tucked it in my pocket, and I thanked him for it. I honestly didn't know what to do, as I am a usually shy person. And just socially awkward.
Later that night, I talked to my fiancé and told him what had happened. He brushed it off in a sense that might as well have been along the lines of "AWW! How cute!"... Especially because we always had figured that it was the woman who gave out her number first.
That turned out to be the end of my relationship with that man. After I gave birth to my son, and started coping with the fact that something was wrong, that my engagement, my relationship, was over, an unusual fact had surfaced. He told me that he had set that all up. He wanted someone to take his place, because he wasn't a good person anymore. He wanted someone in my life who would not only take care of me, but take care of my son. ...I'd explain in further details, but this isn't what I'm here to write about.
I did lose contact with Seth for a few years though, and we forgot about each other. Somehow, we found each other online, and continued to keep contact through what used to be the good old fashioned way of "instant messaging". Only this time, he had moved to another state, and he was in a relationship. So there was nothing more than friendship at this time. Eventually, this too became a thing of the past, and we lost contact. We forgot about each other once again.
Fate just seemed to be telling us, "Not yet", once again.
The final time we regained contact, we were both single people at the time. He found me online, and had asked me out to breakfast. My son was in school, and he didn't work until that evening.
We went out to a small diner, here in Buffalo NY, called "Daisy's". And he was so proud to announce to the waitress that it was our first date. He was nervous, and yet, he seemed so excited. He almost seemed like a giddy schoolboy, who just had his crush accept a date. I'm surprised he didn't even jump for joy! Although, he did fidget quite a bit. It was cute.
(But... What we didn't realize at the time was that we once again, forgot about each other. We forgot that we kept in contact twice before. Life was so busy for us, and quite eventful. And it wasn't for several months until we realized this.)
Then Comes Marriage... And Babies.
Seth proposed to me in July of 2013, with my son by our side. He took me to a Temple, since he is of Jewish background, and gave me a tour. We went went through one room of the Temple, a smaller room that held services, first, and then to a larger room for services. In between, he showed me the gift shop where his Grandmother used to work, and told me stories about how she ran the gift shop. He also gave me a tour of this little museum inside the Temple. There was many stories about the Jews in World War 2, and accomplishments that have been made. There was mentions of inventions and famous people. It was very historical.
As he led me in to the larger of the Temple, he led me in to this back area where you can head up the stairs, and to this huge stained glass window, which was gorgeous. My son was growing bored, so we started to rush the unofficial tour.
Seth seemed to give my son some sort of cue, as we walked up to the steps of the altar, and my son, only being 4 years old at the time, brushed it off with exhaustion, as if to say, "Ehh, I'm just going to sit down and rest now." and what seemed like a plan B went in to play. He got down on one knee, and proposed to me. Of course, I said yes.
In January of 2015, we were married at the Theodore Roosevelt Inauguration site. It was sweet, and a lot of planned work, but so filled with drama. But life goes on. It wasn't the end of the world. At least I knew the drama was going to happen, and prepared my guests with the song, "Rains of Castamere" as a sort of inside joke for any fan of "Game of Thrones"...
(Some people did understand this. Others, did not. It made the drama of the night a lot more fun.)
In May of 2015, I learned that I was pregnant with Seth's child. It is September that I write this, and ever since the discovery, I admit, Seth and his Aspergers, it hasn't been a picnic.
Everyday seems to have presented a challenge, dealing with Seth. Especially because I was a single Mother, before he came along.
Parenting has been difficult because Seth has ways he is set in, and they often conflict with how I raise my son, and how I will raise my second child. I aim for the "peaceful parent" approach, about the way I run things. Seth has a view, coming from the way his parents have raised him. Of course, it isn't all that bad, but it is outdated.
There have been times where I deal with Seth in a state of being overwhelmed. I find this can become the most challenging, as it can go one of two ways: Good, or bad.
There have been times where during the "good" overwhelmed, his voice stays raised, he cannot sit down... He just acts like a happy, hyper toddler at a birthday party. And it takes him a few hours or so, to calm down. Or even to sit down. He paces, with excitement in his eyes.
When he starts in to the "bad" overwhelmed, he paces, or he sits around lazily. He yells all the time, and becomes a very nasty person. He won't even want anything to do with people. He just isolates himself, And if he doesn't, then me and my son will stay our distance, or people will yell, and argue with him in return.
I honestly am trying to learn for myself about Aspergers Syndrome for adults. I often find, and read, about children, and how to manage Autism; Aspergers Syndrome, in children. I guess the world has not reached the preparation point, the point of knowledge about Autism in adults. But during this slow process, at least I can share my life. With the agreement of my husband. And maybe, we can actually help other adults realize that they aren't alone in dealing with this situation, be it the Aspie theirselves, or the spouse of an adult with Aspergers.
I promise to not hold back. I will share the bad times and the good. We are only human, and we all are unique. No story is the same. But at least it can be comforting. And maybe, it can be helpful.
© 2015 Kryssy Bruckheimer