Monday, February 15, 2010

Learning to Thrive in an Asperger Marriage

I just read a book that could be appropriately titled "Learning to Thrive in an Asperger Marriage." It actually never mentions aspergers or autism, but it has a chapter that deals with living with a spouse who has "limited capacities" in the areas of intellect, emotions, social situations, and more. The majority of the book deals with the disappointment in one's heart and how to not merely survive, but thrive in life despite a difficult marriage.

The book is called "Thriving Despite a Difficult Marriage" and is written by two Christian psychologist brothers named Misja. I cannot recommend it strongly enough for anyone struggling in a difficult marriage.

Just a few of the excellent points the authors make are listed here:

* Understand what your spouse is unable to give. He cannot give what he doesn't have.

* He may also be limited in what he is able to receive from you.

* Suffering due to a spouse with limitations is real but of a different nature than pain felt from a rejecting or dangerous mate.

* Many 'limited' spouses have paid the price for their lack of ability by having to hear accusations of being uncaring, irresponsible, or selfish.

*Recognizing and accepting these deficits is crucial to a healthy marriage.

* Allow your heart to have no criticism, no tolerance for anger or bitterness, no negative talk about spouse, no using the kids, no whining.

* Give up all efforts to show your spouse your pain.

* Give up all efforts to change your spouse.

* Do not interpret spouse's actions negatively.

* Practice forgiveness as a way of life.

* Keep your heart alive.

* Don't draw attention to what doesn't happen in your marriage. Instead, figure out areas where you can connect well and enjoy those times as you embrace what is possible.

* Refuse to make him pay for not being able to engage and connect in other areas.

These are just a few points the authors expound on throughout the book. I hope you find it as helpful as I have!