Monday, February 25, 2013

Expectations and Limitations

ACCEPTANCE is what it all comes down to, isn't it?  That's what they say.  That's what they've always said.  "Just accept me."  But we desire something different.  Desperately longing for emotional connection, we read every book ever written on the differences between men and women.  Trying every trick, applying every formula, nothing ever truly gives us the desired result.

We expect more.  We expect 'typical', 'normal', 'neurotypical'.  No matter how many books on autism we read, we can NOT drop our expectations.

And so we suffer.  Deep, depressing suffering engulfs us.

He has limitations.  Serious, brain-wired, emotional limitations.  He cannot be what we want.  He cannotWhich means it is unkind and unloving of us to expect more of him than he can ever give.  We must accept his limitations.

The Mantra of the Aspie Spouse should be

"Drop the Expectations and Accept his Limitations."

If only it were that easy.


  1. I always like when you pop back with a post. Although I suspect it is when things are hard - so big ((hugs)). I think I've been doing well at the dropping of expectations and accepting of limitations recently but it feels like there is a big black hole that isn't being filled - because who do you get to fill in all those roles that you expected your spouse to?

  2. You SO understand! :) Definitely when things are hard. The hard times always come back around, don't they? Always.

    There's only One who can fill those roles. No spouse or best friend truly can...maybe we're the lucky ones to realize it and lean even more on Him. Maybe others aren't so dependent on Him because they aren't as aware of their deep need.

    If only it were easier to "FIX" my eyes on Jesus! Then the things of this world would grow more dim. I get too fixed on what I want right here, right now. Me, me, me, me, me. :)

    Thank you for the hugs!!!! :)

  3. I want to tell you how thankful I am for your blog. When I needed to find a Christian voice speaking about Aspergers Syndrome, there you were. Thank you.

    Your blog entries are often like the psalms. They start out with your heart-felt cries of burdens too heavy for you. But by the time you get to the end of the entry, you are speaking strengthening truth to yourself and even praising God for His presence in your life and His work in your heart. Very refreshing!

    I just recently discovered that my 21-year-old son has Aspergers. And then in the process of learning about Aspergers for his sake, I began to realize that my husband also fits the bill. It explained much.

    Like you, I am VERY thankful for my husband. After Christ, he is the greatest blessing God has given me. But there were always issues that I didn't understand.

    Anyway, regarding "expectations", there is a psalm that speaks to this so strongly that I thought I would share it with you and hope that I can bless you in return. It is Psalm 42. I tried typing it in here for you but I guess it was too long. So you will have to read it yourself and then read the rest of this response.

    As you said, only God can truly fill the hole in our souls, even though we often try to fill it with so many other things and people. But we do long for someone to journey with us on this path. I think that is what is really being missed.

    What has helped me is to realize that the enemy, the one who says to me "Where is your God?", is actually my own heart, my own wicked heart. So often my greatest enemy in these things is my own heart, which I just naturally listen to and trust. That is why God's Word is so vital to me standing steadfast because it rebukes the lies my heart tells me.

    My heart tells me to doubt God, but God's Word tells me to hope in God. It is when I doubt God that my soul is cast down and in turmoil within me. But when I command my heart to hope in God, then I am renewed.

    The verse that talks about remembering God "from the land of Jordan and Hermon, from Mount Mizar" is precious to me. I read once that the land of the Jordan is referring to a place of overwhelming floods, and Hermon is a place known for fierce lions, but Mount Mizar is literally "the small hill". Sometimes I am overwhelmed emotionally. Sometimes I feel as though I am facing lions. But sometimes it is just a little hill, just a bump in the road that can send me into soul trouble. This psalmist knew these things too. That comforts me. To be sent into a tailspin by a bump in the road seems so ridiculous, but God knows all about it and so He had this psalmist include Mount Mizar.

    Then comes the richest part. "Deep calls to deep at the roar of Your waterfalls; all Your breakers and waves have gone over me." When my God allows me to be pummeled by crashing waves of disappointment, heartache, etc. that is when what is deep in me calls out to what is deep in Him. And I have found it helpful to remember that the waterfalls and the breakers and the waves are HIS waterfalls and breakers and waves. They are not the enemy's. This is His loving work to draw me into the deep with Him where He can meet me in a way no one else can. When that happens, I know my God in a way that gives me the super-human strength you have spoken of elsewhere.

    Well, I could go on, but perhaps I ought to let the Holy Spirit speak His own truths to your heart in this psalm. May you camp out here and find hope and peace in the land of Jordan and Hermon, and even at Mount Mizar. :-}

    May God grant you grace, mercy and peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!

    P.S. I don't know how to do the profile thing or how to sign this, so I just put anonymous, but I don't want to be anonymous. My name is Meg Wheeler.

  4. WOW, Meg, that is so deep and so very encouraging. Thank you, thank you!!!

  5. I'm glad I was able to bless you in return for the blessings God has used you to bless me with. Please ... give Him all the glory! He is a great and glorious God!!! :D
    Your sister in Christ, Meg

  6. "ACCEPTANCE is what it all comes down to, isn't it? That's what they say. That's what they've always said. "Just accept me." But we desire something different."

    Seems to me that you don't want something different, you want to be accepted too! That's a perfectly OK thing to want in such an important and intimate relationship.

    There's nothing Godly about a marriage in which someone demands acceptance and at the same time refuses to accept his or her spouse, in fact demands that his or her spouse accept his or her refusal to accept his or her spuse!

  7. I've been reading your blog quite extensively and I must say that I am impressed. You are such a courageous woman! I wish I could do what you are doing.

    I broke up with my boyfriend. I was with him for 2 years and since we live in different countries, we saw each other face to face for 6 weeks. The very first day we met I noticed he was different, but I was new in the area of relationship, so I didn't say anything. The strange thing is, during our writing he supported me with a situation that was very hard for me. He give me Bible verses and explanations that were really helpful. But in real life there was no such support. He came up with 1 personal question and it seemed he was not interested in me. Only a couple of months ago we broke up, because he demanded certain things of me, with his hand on the Bible. I didn't understand. And I then became honest with myself and admitted that I had felt lonely with him from the beginning. And I am not a person who feels lonely normally at all. Since he wanted me to move to his country, I thought long and hard. Only after we broke up I discovered that he must have Asperger's, no doubt about that. That broke my heart. His so called special interest is God, the Bible, evangelizing. Even when I was with him it was all about that, not about us at all. He told me God and the ministry are first in his life. So I felt there is no place for me. He has no clue how I feel, what I think and would like. Still, I am now convinced that he did love me, although I did not see it in action one bit. I feel so bad for breaking up. He has been the only man in my life and I do not want anyone else. I was never after that, I left it in God's hands. And then my boyfriend showed up. I don't understand God's ways at all. Do you think I did wrong by breaking up?

  8. If he "demanded certain things of you" he sounds very controlling and you should RUN as fast as you can! An NT/AS relationship is hard enough when things are going 'smoothly' --sounds like a nightmare to have the man be a controlling/domineering/demanding bully who absolutely cannot (due to brain wiring) see your point of view. If you are in a relationship where you just have to 'accept them as they are' with no hope for change, then they'd damn well better also accept you as you are! (Run!)

  9. Aspmom, thank you for your response. I indeed think I did the right thing. His demanding was in the area of submission (he reads the Bible in a very literal way). We would not make desicions about anything together, but he told me he would take them for us, prayerfully. I totally missed 'togetherness'. He is so focused on himself and his life and is caring towards people he meets for ministry. But he did not show his care for me. The sour thing is that he was so happy in the relationship, while he did not notice I was not. Thanks again and God's strength, love and wisdom in your life!

  10. The same acceptance applies to other aspie family members AND oneself as well!
    Thank you for making this so clear to me, I needed to have it made clear to me.