Monday, November 14, 2011

FLIP SIDE: In Sickness and For Worse

This is a follow-up post to "In Sickness and For Worse":

Keep in mind that one of your aspie's best traits is his/her loyalty to you.

If you are injured in a car wreck or one day have brain cancer, become brain damaged, and are then just not yourself for the rest of your life . . . your aspie would stick by you.  She/he would keep her vow to stay with you when many NTs wouldn't.  Many NTs would run and leave you all alone.

Your aspie is likely very faithful and loyal. We should learn this great trait from them. 

It is worthy of honor.

In Sickness and For Worse

If you are not a person of faith, this post does not apply to you.  It is meant for Christians and may also apply to those who strongly believe they should keep vows and promises.

I am saddened by the breakup of two NT/AS marriages I've read about recently.  These were aspies who were very self-aware.  These aspies worked very hard to make their marriages work.  And the NT left them.  Now, I admit that if one is not a person of faith, I honestly don't know why the NT stayed as long as they did.  If all one cares about is personal happiness in this life . . . "GET OUT NOW!" would be my advice in a heartbeat.

But I am a person of faith.  I believe vows before God and promises to others should be kept. That doesn't mean it's easy to stay in an NT/AS marriage.  In fact, it's beyond difficult.  It's painful.  It's gut-wrenching agony sometimes.  Sometimes it just sucks.  It really does! 

And aspies are shooting themselves in the foot when they claim that autism is not a disability or a handicap.  Their partners are leaving them left and right because if this is not a handicap/disability or at least recognized as a serious hardship on others, then the aspie is just a jerk or a bitch much of the time, okay?  Aspie friends, if this is acknowledged as a brain abnormality, a disability, a handicap . . .  you will get more compassion from your NT spouse!! 

But of course, the aspie fights these terms.  Because the aspie cannot and does not realize it will help SOMEONE ELSE'S perspective and thus someone else's actions towards them!  They're not gonna get it!  And their partners will leave them, left and right.  Is that what you guys want?  Okay, you got it.  Enjoy life alone.  Is that what you REALLY want?!?

As for the NT spouses who are keeping their vows in sickness and for worse:  Think of this as sickness.  You know it's "for worse" already.  Think about your spouse as a handicapped person.  Think of them as having been in a car accident, or having gone through brain cancer and then brain surgery.  And they came out alive, but not quite themselves.  Their brains are altered and damaged to some degree.  This degree of damage causes much anguish for you, the caregiving spouse.  But they need you, and you promised to be there for them.

It helps to think this way.  What sucks is that you're the only one who knows that they are damaged.  Others think they are fine.  You are the compassionate, giving, stretched-thin, miserable and lonely caregiver and many times no one in the world knows what you suffer.  Which compounds the loneliness a hundredfold.

But you are not alone.  NT spouses all over the world know exactly how you feel.  Support groups would be invaluable for us, but they are incredibly rare at this time.  Ultimately though, you are not alone if you are a Christian.  Your help comes from the Lord.  And that should be, and can be . . . enough.

He gave you this.  He brought you two together.  He is allowing you to suffer.  He wants you to need Him, to go to Him, to depend and rely on Him alone to meet your needs.  He is waiting for you and promises to draw near to those who draw near to Him.

Something we NTs can learn from the aspie in this scenario is to do our work with an intrinsic motivation.  We can learn from their example not to strive for man's approval and adulation and commendation.  We shouldn't need others to pat our backs and tell us what a good job we are doing caregiving our disabled spouse.  We should love and live and give our lives for others as unto the Lord, and not unto man.

We are learning these things because of the suffering we experience in our NT/AS marriages.  We can become better people, better Christians, because of our troubles and toil in these marriages

Change your thinking. Focus on these truths.  Take heart. 

And don't give up.