Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Flip Side of Theory of Mind

Last night I was criticized yet again for not doing something to the letter in the way my aspie spouse was thinking it should be done.  He didn't speak his thoughts or ask for things to be done a specific way.  Why would he?  Because his thoughts are the only possible, plausible, or potential way something should have been done.  And how could I not get that?  Huh?  What planet did I come from?  I should just know what he was thinking.  Oh my.

There was no thought of saying or sharing his thoughts out loud with me.  And I can explain until I am blue in the face why it is good and necessary to use verbal communication to convey one's thoughts on any given matter and he will argue incessantly that I should just know.

Moments like this leave me wanting to  . . . . I don't even know.  It's insane and I can't even explain how INSANE it is.  But other aspie's wives know what I'm talking about, don't you?

OK... as I'm writing this I'm realizing how some aspies must feel in the expectations we have of them to, for example, give us a hug rather than walk away when we are crying.  Our aspie spouses can't read our minds either-- even in the most basic of common sense situations.

But then our aspie spouse may expect us to read his mind about a very detailed way something should be done, because of course, his thinking is the only way to think about, well, anything. 


Deep breath.  This is SO hard.  Feels impossible to handle.

What's the solution?  I know, I know.  We can't expect anything 'typical'.  We must be willing and able to explain everything we expect/want by way of response (which needs to be a practical action he can do). 

But how do we handle this expectation he has for us to read his mind when he is unwilling (unable?) to verbally explain things to us?

I don't know. 

Screaming, yelling, and throwing things doesn't make things better, though.

Please don't ask how I know that.  ;)

DEEP BREATH.  This is so very hard.


  1. Screaming right here with you! It IS so hard to deal with!

    I wish I had something better to be able to reassure you with, but right now all I've got is that you're not alone.

    Mine often claims he told me something that I know I've never heard before, and somehow wants me to do things like plan meals when his schedule only exists in his head and/or only covers the next ten minutes or so.

    And lately this sort of theory of mind thing has cropped up into our conversations when he interprets things I've said into something completely different. I haven't yet figured out how this is happening except that maybe he's translating my words into something he's afraid I'll say and then just goes on as if I actually said it that way? Don't know, but it does make me question my sanity, and my will to continue trying to even speak at all.

    Deep breath is right. Is there something you can try that might just change the flow of things? For example, I'm looking forward to this weekend when we'll spend time with family and he'll be around his brothers. Which means he's getting some much-needed interactions/support from them while I can take a break from being his leading source of interaction/support.

    Praying for you!

  2. I just found your blog today. It is a relief and breath of fresh air to find someone who gets it. I can't tell you how many times I have gone through these scenarios with my husband. I also know that screaming and yelling doesn't make things better. I have a 4 year old son that I am wondering about having some symptoms.

  3. OMG NettyM my bf does that too!! I'm like..WHEN DID YOU TELL ME THIS STUFF?!?! Am I crazy?? Like...I tried to do things like communicate through text messages but even then he has a hard time remembering or even registering what I'm saying. On the other hand, he's a brilliant student. Drives me mad. MAD!

  4. Netty, it may be because he is not getting the context of what you say. He is paying more attention to your content then to the context. I know, because I'm an aspie myself and I realized I was doing the same thing and did not realize it.

    aspie wife, I feel the same way sometimes with my NT wife as you do with your aspie husband. I feel like I have to be a mind reader. With your husband the feeling may be mutual.