This is turning out to be a very Word "Full" Wednesday . . . thanks for all your comments everyone!
So here's the other Big Thing about all this we've been discussing in the comments lately.
If "autism" is allowed to be this separate entity, if you will . . . this abnormality/damage/handicap of the brain . . . . then when we NTs share our frustrations, it is NOT "all about you, the aspie."
It's our struggle with autism. It's our struggle with the differences and frustrations that come from AUTISM. It's not about YOU.
We may believe you to be kind, loyal, brilliant, handsome, and the man of our dreams. But sometimes we get frustrated and upset by the different way you think and act. We get frustrated by the brain differences that come from autism. And we try to explain to you our frustrations. And then you act irritated with us for doing so.
So do you want us to act like everything is okay? Do you want us to suppress sobs in the closet? Or are your our soul-mate, our spouse for life, the best friend we should confide everything in? Can you please make it safe for us to share? To share what upsets us? To share our feelings in safety (this means you will listen and love us gently without being defensive)?
For the aspies reading this . . . let's say your NT spouse is taking a medication that alters her mental functioning. It makes her forgetful and disoriented like an alzheimer's patient, at times. Sometimes it makes her aggressive and hostile. NOW. She CANNOT HELP these things. She can struggle against them, but her brain is affected by the meds. And it is very, very difficult for you to live with. It is frustrating and painful to you sometimes.
Say that you want to try to explain to her what is frustrating you. Should she get defensive? Like you are attacking who she is? It's the medicine. It's not "her." It's okay for you to discuss with her what is difficult for you. And she can say "I'm sorry."
This is where it helps you to separate who you are from the autism that affects your brain. This is where you should say "I'm sorry" without getting defensive.
IT HURTS us. "It" hurts us.
And we NTs want to talk it out, explain our feelings and emotional grief. And we want a hug, a listening ear, and to hear "I'm sorry."
That's what we're missing. And that's what we need to be happy.