Monday, September 6, 2010

Top Ten Survival Strategies for the Aspie's Wife

As an NT in an aspergers marriage, I struggle daily.  The good news is that as I learn more about AS, the struggles are lessened in severity.  But when I began this journey, I had no quick-reference survival strategy to help me focus. 

A year into the journey, I now have a list of the top ten most important things to remember during the difficult times.  This all presupposes an acceptance that aspergers is a reality in your life (and I believe it to be ordained by God to be a part of my marriage).  Here are some practical strategies and vital points to remember, in no particular order.

1.  Don't EVER talk to him while emotional (at least not until you learn how to speak his language).  Take your emotions elsewhere.  (I pray and journal.)

2.  If you want something done quickly, do it yourself.

3.  If you ever need anything, clearly say exactly what you need.  Remember you cannot ask for empathy/understanding or other emotional responses.

4.  If you ever want anything (including gifts), ask for exactly what you want.

5.  If you want verbal praise or compliments, write a list and ask for him to say something from the list.  Ask him to do this on a regular basis.   

6.  Deal with the anger and bitterness in your heart.  Whether you realize it or not, it is there.  You probably have anger toward him and at God. 

7.  Study forgiveness.  Learn what it truly means to forgive and to be forgiven.  Then forgive daily, 500 times per day, if necessary.

8.  Make a list of his strengths.  Be thankful and express appreciation for them.

9.  Read the list of his strengths and remember why you married him.

10.  Show him respect in your tone of voice, in your words to him, and in the way you talk about him to others.  Pray to be able to respect him in your heart.

In the beginning of understanding Aspergers Syndrome and how it affects your marriage, the emotions are simply overwhelming.  It's nearly impossible to think or to act rationally during this time.  I hope these clear-cut steps give you some helpful direction during those "how do I survive" moments.  Keep in mind that as you learn more about AS, and learn how to communicate in aspie language, things will get better.  It can get better than it is right now.  You have to take one day at a time.


  1. Get him a diary.
    Give him some pieces of paper (post it notes).

    Write things on them.
    "Tell her how much you love her"
    "Buy flowers"
    "Take her out to dinner somewhere"
    "Get the kids minded and go see a movie (her choice)"
    "Give her a happy surprise? Chocolates?"
    "Give her an unexpected cuddle"

    I'm sure that you can think of others.

    Then get him to stick those things randomly throughout the diary.

    (Alternatively, add those things to an electronic diary which has reminders).

    Make sure that he looks at the diary and tell him that if he misses one, he can move the post-it note forward.

  2. Hi,

    I am so grateful for your comments and advice. But most of all for finding this blog/ sites.

    My husband has recently been diagnosed with AS (June 2011). Finally we have an answer to all our 'problems' esp in communication for the last four years of our marriage.

    It is still a shock for me to discover his condition but I am trying to learn what to do in order to get some "stability" in our relationship.

    Now I also realized that a certain 'tones in my voice' do triggered him badly and he takes it as if "I am purposely disrespecting him" which drives me crazy in the past. The worst is him reaction toward this "tone" which really really hurtful toward me.

    I've started using the whiteboard /stick on notes /even electronic reminder in his telephone (so that I do not need to sounds nagging or frustrated when reminding him to do certain things over and over again)

    But none of these work ... he would forget to refer to his notes whether it is in his diary/ or on the whiteboard/ stick on note/ telephone reminder ... he will give me excuses such as oh ya the reminder on the telephone did ring but after that he forgot to follow up because he was busy etc etc ...

    I am going crazy as I am trying my level best to communicate via other methods in order to avoid my 'certain tone in my voice' so that I do not have to trigger him ....

    Please advice what else can I do?


  3. I would say DON'T SPEAK AT ALL if you will have a "tone." it's totally okay to leave the room (or house, if you have to) until you are able to speak without "the tone."

    As far as reminders...forget about doing any of that. Take care of yourSELF and if he forgets important things . . . which he WILL, then he will pay the consequences. Quit being embarrassed by him/his failures and don't baby him/cover for him/nag.

    You have to drop A L L expectations and live as if you are single . . .yet not. That's a hard thing to accept, but once you do, and you act like it . . . you will be able to appreciate any good things that do come your way.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your testimonies and creating this blog. I literally stumbled onto the internet and honestly know that God led me to learn about Aspbergers. It has rocked my world and I have a multitude of feelings, relief, breakthrough, fear, anger towards God, sadness towards my husbands suffering. What I appreciate most is the Christian perspective because it is giving me hope and right now, Seven days into this revelation about my marriage, I need to be reminded that I am not on this journey alone and I need a sense of hope. Thanks again and please d keep the dialogue going if you can.

  5. Thanks for your comment, Shelby. You are most definitely not alone! Many, many, many other Christian wives are in a similar situation.