Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Acceptance of Aspergers

No, my husband is not accepting that he has Aspergers.  But I think maybe I finally am.  By that I mean that I am moving beyond the grief, anger, and disappointment that has lasted over a year and am ready to make serious changes in myself to make our marriage a happier one.

The grief and barrage of negative emotions is very real and I believe must be worked through.  Acknowledging to yourself that you are disappointed but are still committed to the relationship is so important.  You can then get to the point where you know certain things will never be a part of your marriage and you can strive to enjoy the good and learn to best deal with the rest.

So all those logical steps we read about for communicating with an aspie begin to be more than just words on a page.  It finally makes sense when one embraces that:

1.  He speaks a totally different language.  He really does!  So if you want to communicate with him, learn his language!  Maybe he's not attempting to learn yours, but you can still try to learn his.  Blogs and forums that share first-hand experience and insights are invaluable helps.

2.  He needs for you to love him his way.  If you are calm, happy, and not very emotional, you will make him feel safe, secure, and happy.  This means that you need to take care of yourself.  Find ways to relax.  Make sure you have an outlet to chat with other NTs, and learn to be a happy person without relying on him to meet any of your emotional needs.

3.  You must avoid the NT communication patterns of long talks about your emotions.  Don't keep going on and on, don't get louder, and don't show anger expecting that he will understand you mean business about being really hurt.  NTs will "get" that.  Your aspie will just be frustrated and he will NOT "get" it.  Whenever you start to get upset, STOP talking and don't continue the discussion again until you can be calm, rational, and concise with every sentence.

4.  You should be thankful for the way he shows love to you.  It may be often overlooked as it is expressed daily, maybe in seemingly small ways.  It may never be verbalized.  But it is there if you look hard enough.  Be thankful and express appreciation.

5.  You may find that he brings out the worst in you.  The reality is "out of the overflow of our hearts, our mouths speak."  The ugliness you are seeing is there and likely has always been there, though previously it may have been hidden to you and others.  He may be the instrument God is using to show it to you, so that you can grow and become a better person!

It is vitally important to realize that you have had lots of NT expectations of what makes a good relationship.  And now you have to let those expectations go and accept that this is a whole new ballgame.  This NT/AS relationship is very different and always will be different from what you've understood relationships to be like.  But your relationship with your AS spouse can be rewarding and fulfilling if you are willing to work on yourself  (and stop trying to work on him) to make it so.