Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christian Wife of an Aspergers Husband

If you are the christian spouse of a man or woman who has autism or aspergers syndrome, this sermon may encourage you, help you, and hit very close to home.  It has nothing to do with asperger's syndrome.  And it has everything to do with asperger's syndrome.  You'll see what I mean:

http://www.crpc.org/media/sermon/god-comes-down---part-3-

Sunday, December 2, 2012

NT/AS Relationships Require Superhuman Strength

Living with and communication with someone who has Asperger's Syndrome requires superhuman strength.

You must give up expectations for
1.  empathy
2.  understanding
3.  your well-being, thoughts, and desires to be be taken into consideration.

You must have the ability to be independent and to
1.  take care of yourself (health, and rest)
2.  seek happiness apart from them

You must find ways to
1.  seek joy and relax
2.  find beauty in life
3.  make yourself look beautiful
4.  cultivate friendships
5.  have emotional support apart from them (counseling may be necessary)

It requires carefully balancing respectfully not caring what they think of you.  Because you will receive little to no appreciation or approval no matter how hard you try.  So STOP trying!

Christians must live for the approval of God alone.  Must learn to forgive as God, through Christ, forgives you.  Replace pride with humility, realizing you are a sinner, too, and no better (in God's eyes) than they are.

You must let go of:
1.  Guilt - when you are unable to think, act, or work as if you are a robot.
2.  Hope - that the person will change.  They are disabled, which is a normal part of a fallen world.
3.  Desire - for things to be different.

The only thing that can change or be different is you and your response to them.  And that requires the Holy Spirit's gifts of self-control and faithfulness.  Super-human strength.  Impossible.  Yet possible through Christ, and through Him alone.

Self-Protective Measures for the NT partner

Self-Protective Measures for the NT Partner
in an NT/AS Relationship:

* Don't require eye contact.  Because you might not like what you see (and don't see).  :(

* Don't make eye contact because you might not like what you see (and don't see).  :(

* Don't share your emotions.  Be stoic in conversations. 

* Don't share too much information. 

* Don't attempt "mutual sharing."

* Don't think they want to understand.  They probably don't.  :(

* Retreat often.

* Retreat quickly.

* Retreat.  To a true place of retreat.

* Don't ask.  Just smile and nod.

* Talk slowly.  In a monotone.

* Don't care when you only ever get disapproval.  Well, try not to care, anyway.

* Remember that your behavior is what matters most to an aspie . . . not your heart.

Love your enemies.  Bless your enemy.  If he is hungry, give him something to eat.  If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. 

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Love your enemies.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Problem Solving and Cross Bearing

Just have to pop in and share this helpful resource for Christian spouses who are married to someone with Aspergers Syndrome.  The book is Family Vocation:  God's Calling in Marriage, Parenting, and Childhood by Gene Edward Veith jr. and Mary J. Moerbe.  Also available with Kindle app.

I've only read some of the chapter on marriage and it's got some powerful points.  Some very strong emphasis on authority and submission (maybe a little too strong even for me, ahem), but some helpful meat for aspie spouses to chew on as well.

Here's a morsel from page 99 of 233: 

"Spouses should also realize that in this fallen world, not all problems can be solved.  A cross cannot be made to disappear by applying some simple formula or technique.  A cross has to be borne.  Distinguishing between problems and crosses can be very helpful, practically speaking.  A problem, such as a disagreement, may indeed have a solution.  But something like grief or a disability or an intransigent characteristic of one's spouse cannot be "fixed" but only borne."

But wait, there's more.  :)  You're not left with 'grin and bear it' or even just 'hang in there' but rather with encouragement about forgiveness, the importance of not suffering alone but rather reaching out to other Christians to help you, the fact that we are all sinners, etc.

So what is Aspergers, huh?  A problem to be solved?  Hmmm... the communication troubles are problems that can (sometimes) be worked through.  But the "intransigent characteristic of one's spouse"?  Well, that . . . aspergers . . . must be borne.

Keep chewing and chewing so you can break it up until able to swallow. 

Try super hard not to spit, okay?

:)

Friday, March 23, 2012

When Your Aspie is Also a Fool

These years of blogging through my Asperger's Journey have been very, very helpful for me.  I understand some of my children, my spouse, and some other family members so much better now.  And I am so thankful to God for giving wisdom.  And thankful for all of you who commented and shared your insights and encouragement!

I do believe you can have a relationship with an aspie.  I do believe you can learn good ways to communicate with an aspie.  I do know it is very hard work.  I also know it can be extremely rewarding.

The Jan Silvious "Foolproofing Your Life" book really threw a wrench in things for me.  Because while I believe one can successfully communicate with an aspie, I do not believe one can communicate well with a fool.   And I believe I am dealing with an aspie . . . who is also a fool.

One who is consistently acting foolishly, at least.  And I believe God can change him.  And as far as the marriage goes, I'm not going anywhere . . . not physically anyway.  But my expectations for "Good Aspergers Relationship" are now erased and replaced with "Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs rather than a fool in his folly."  You see, I've been foolish myself for too long.  But I am emotionally distanced now.  I've moved from trying to hiding.  Communicating with the polite kindness one would show to a stranger.

And the crazy thing is . . . I am so much more content.  Peaceful.  More rested. 

I think my blog is now complete.  (Blog2Print dot com has a 15% off sale code simplysave15 and I plan to print a copy keepsake blog book and cease posting here.  Anyone is welcome to print any parts of this blog.  I have no copyright.)

I encourage you to keep learning about Asperger's Syndrome, and to keep loving your aspies.  They are not all fools.  (And God can make the foolish wise!)  I will always keep praying.


aspmom

Monday, February 13, 2012

Are You a Christian Whose Spouse Has Aspergers Syndrome?

The book I am recommending (aka SCREAMING FROM THE ROOFTOPS THAT YOU NEED TO PURCHASE RIGHT THIS MINUTE, available on the free downloadable amazon kindle app to your phone or computer!) below will certainly not be characteristic of all aspies.  Some acknowledge their diagnosis and sincerely work hard on their relationships.  But many do not.  Which leaves many spouses in despair.

In the back of "The Emotionally Destructive Relationship Book" by Leslie Vernick she lists other helpful resources.  One is called "Foolproofing Your Life:  How to Deal Effectively With the Impossible People in Your Life" by Jan Silvious.  Here's a quote:

"The reason you remain in turmoil is that you are trying to relate to someone who has some wonderful qualities mixed with a perplexing set of destructive characteristics.  In the beginning you may have admired this person, but soon you found yourself mired in the chaos that seems to characterize the relationship.  One minute you hear your own laughter, and you hope against hope that all is well.  The next minute you're on the defensive in response to some inane comment or emotional jab made at you by this one to whom you are trying to relate.  If you protest, invariably the person denies he has said or done anything inappropriate.  In a few twists of the facts, he tries to convince you that you're a bitter person or just 'oversensitive.'  When you've been labeled with all other conceivable insults, there sometimes comes the appellation you hate more than any other:  'crazy.'  It leaves you bleeding.  What can you possibly do or say to counter that one?  By the the time the encounter is over, you are kicking yourself for even mentioning that you have feelings."

And that, my friends, was found on page seven.  The plot thickens and gets so much richer as you continue to read.  Here I've been struggling, thinking the Bible just does not address the particular relational issues that come with Asperger's Syndrome.  Thinking the average Christian counselor won't know how to deal with this unique scenario.  Well, that simply ain't true.  And this book shows you exactly where you need to turn in God's Word to glean the wisdom and answers you need right now.

Simply stunned at the moment,

aspmom

Sunday, February 12, 2012

More Resources

Commenters have suggested "The Emotionally Destructive Relationship Book" by Leslie Vernick.  Thank you all for the great recommendation!  This very biblical resource should prove helpful to both men and women who are struggling with difficult relationships.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Best Asperger's Marriage Book!

Written by a man with Asperger's Syndrome, The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband by David Finch, is the only "autism book" that has ever made me deeply empathize with someone who has aspergers.

The author clearly has strong autistic traits . . . and he writes of his very deep love and appreciation for his wife.  Ummmm . . . wow?  Uncommon, almost unrealistic, and yet, oh, so encouraging!

Full of extremely foul language and definitely rated R for adult content (so much so that I may not keep it around for fear of my children picking it up and reading it), I heartily recommend that all aspie's wives read this book.

Here's a post that introduces the book, written by the book's author:  http://jerobison.blogspot.com/2011/12/love-is-blind-marriage-is-eye-opener.html

 

On Grief and Letting Go

From the book Boundaries:

"Let go.  Face what you will never have from this person, or who this person symbolizes.  This will be like a funeral.  You will go through the stages of grief--denial, bargaining, anger, sadness, acceptance....  You will be amazed at how much can change in your life when you finally begin to let go of what you can never have. 

Letting go is the way to serenity.  Grief is the path."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Who is Responsible for the Want?

From the book Boundaries:

"Your disappointed desire is what hurts you.  The problem lies in who is responsible for the WANT.  It's your want, not his.  You are responsible for getting it fulfilled, not him.  That is a rule of life.  We do not get everything we want and we must all grieve over our disappointments instead of punish others for them. . . . Problems arise when we make someone else responsible for our needs and wants, and when we blame them for our disappointments."

Oweee.

Okay, yep.  And aspie spouses do a whole lot of grieving. 

We also do a whole lot of blaming.

Deep sigh. 

"I can't think about that right now.  If I do, I'll go crazy. 

I'll think about that tomorrow." 

I'm so with you on that one, Scarlett O'Hara!

;)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Boundaries, Ladies. "Boundaries!"

Aspie spouses . . . get your hands on the book "Boundaries" by Cloud and Townsend as quickly as you can.  It will help you learn how to get over the guilt in a good way.  (Maybe you didn't even know you were acting out of guilt . . . or that you were being manipulated and controlled by Mr. Nice Guy, or MIL, or siblings, or your boss, or others....)

You will learn how to set some limits on how you will and will not be treated and for what you will and will not put up with.  You will meet with resistance at first.  But then you will find that your limits are respected.  And you will feel more free and more happy than you have in a long time.

Many thanks to those who shared this wonderful resource with me!  "Over 2 million copies sold" and it's easy to see why.  This book is recommended by countless biblical counselors and is not at all encouraging selfishness.  Now stop reading this blog post and go order the book!  :)