Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"What the . . . huh?!"

Just when everything has been fine and dandy for a while, a "What the . . . huh?!" moment comes along and knocks you on your rear.

Cuz you did it again.  Your feelings were hurt and you thought he would care that your feelings were hurt.  Ya Big Dummy.  How could you forget like that?  He doesn't give a rat's be-hind about your feelings.  You know that.  C'mon.  You've been told a gazillion times.  When will you ever learn?

But seriously.  It hurts like the dickens, doesn't it?  "What the . . . huh?!" moments are all too frequent in an NT/AS relationship.  And they recur.  No matter how long it's been since the last time it happened, it comes back.  And it hurts.  It's the nature of the beast.  It's self-centered.  "It's all about him/her (the aspie)."  It's never about your feelings.  Your feelings simply do not matter.  All that matters is your smiling, unemotional acceptance of everything life throws your way.

And you forgot again.  You made an attempt to explain why you felt the way you did.  You attempted to share a piece of your heart with him.  But it's just not about you, ya know.  It's only about him!  He doesn't listen or try to understand the feelings-talk.  He gets defensive and feels attacked.  "So it's all my fault?!" is his response to everything you say.  "Damn, you big jerk!" you want to scream back at him.  "Would you just hear that I am in pain and act, even just act, like you care?" 

But I'm not being fair. The rational, logical part of me knows that.  This pain, at its root, is caused by his autism.  He does care about me.  If I have a broken leg, he comprehends that and will even perform acts of kindness that show he cares.  His brain just doesn't comprehend empathy for my feelings.  He doesn't "get it."  And he can't.  And I shouldn't expect him to.

The best analogy I have ever read was on a forum post by cmasp on leprosy.  Leprosy prevents a person from feeling pain.  And so a leper can put their hand into boiling water and not take it out, thus resulting in serious injury.  You can explain PAIN to a leper, but they cannot know what it feels like.  They can be taught to take a hurting person pain medicine, but they don't truly understand.  And the aspie can be taught ways to respond to you, but he isn't going to understand--deeply understand--what you are expecting from him in the realm of empathy.

And so the cycle continues.  I expect the impossible.  I get hurt.  I try to share my hurt and he gets defensive.  Will it never end?  I despair.

But love always hopes.  And God "opens the eyes of the blind."  I believe that.  Maybe, just maybe, I need to quit seeing him as the only one who is blind in this relationship.  Maybe I should hope that God would open my eyes to the wonder of His creating us male and female, autistic and neurotypical.  Maybe I should start hoping that I will rejoice more in these trials that bear the good fruit of making me less selfish, more patient, more tolerant, and more kind.

Maybe if I change what I hope for I'll have less "What the . . . huh?!" moments in this NT/AS relationship.


Let's hope!


  1. I'm right there with you. Had to make him listen last night to the fact that even though he thinks he's being supportive it falls far short of what I actually NEED. And then there was the slight disappointment after when of course there is no response to my pointing out my hurt feelings because it MY problem. God and HIS unfailing love is the only thing that makes my relationship with my husband possible, except maybe the joy of our beautiful children.

  2. Oh my goodenss!!! I could have written this blog! I'm just starting my blog today- but I'm a wife to a man with Aspergers. i love him very dearly but it is a real struggle to make things "work" sometimes- I'm sure you know what I mean. Like what you wrote about and like so many other things too that i'm sure you can relate to. Im so happy I found your blog! Im going to subscribe and I hope you subscribe to me too, its nice to know we are not alone- cus if you are like me then there are times when your relationship can feel VERY lonely. ((((hugs)))) Im sorry your feelings were hurt and that you didn't feel like he cared. Hang in there. :)

  3. Vent girl, get it out of your system. I am listening and I understand. It is frustrating and disappointing. May the Lord fill us. May I too, have my eyes opened to see my husband as the Lord does.

  4. Hummm, I thought I posted on your site yesterday but i don't see it so I'm not sure if I did or not or if it was somebody else's blog or if I did but it is awaiting blog owners approval. :-)

    Having read your blog further today I am just as pleased as punch to see you and I share much of the same religious conviction as well as the same concern regarding the overtones of some stuff online for NT spouses of folks with AS...Maybe we need to make a NT/AS support site that is based on Christian ideals? :) Its so comforting to read some of your posts and really begin to feel some home and to feel like I am not alone in my struggles. Yes, its hard but its a battle I want to fight!

    I want to recommend a book for you that I think has been really really helpful to me in the last few months in coping with some of the challenges of my marriage. Its called "Sacred Marriage." I was attracted to it because the subtitle is "What if God designed marriage to make you Holy more than to make you happy" or something like that. I bought it one week when I was afraid that my very young marriage would never be happy, hoping to change my focus to allowing it to make me holy. Well the truth is, with a bit of an attitude adjustment (and now some understanding about Aspergers!) I actually really CAN have a happy marriage most of the time but it should NOT be my main focus. Sanctification is wayyy more valuable than that! Its a wonderful book and I think I would recommend it to any couple coping with the challenges of an NT/AS marriage.

    Hope you are feeling better! Hang in there!

  5. I'm right there with you. Being very high intuition while living with an Aspie wife and three Aspie kids makes me struggle for my sanity nearly every day. But we just keep on. Thanks for sharing you insights - it means a lot.