Relationship Problems: After the Final Straw

I’m just going to say, before I start properly, that this is going to be a one-sided view of events. There are two sides to every story, as they say, and I’m sure this one is no exception. This is my side:

I no longer know if I love my wife. I’ve been thinking about our relationship a lot over the past few weeks and if there remains any love then it has been buried beneath the scars of hurt and fear. Yes, fear: too often over the past months I have been afraid of my wife and her angry outbursts.

We have had a difficult conversation today about this: I had to resort to typing at one stage because I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth. That helped: one of our long-standing problems has been that she doesn’t react well when I become non-verbal.

Some issues were explained. She told me I was secretive, which is true. I responded that I found it difficult to trust her and speak openly after some times when she had teased me about things I revealed. I have written before about how I cannot tell whether teasing is supposed to be malicious or not; I always find it hurtful.

The sad truth is that I have drifted from her as a result of feeling insecure and uncomfortable. Too many incidents where I’ve found the door locked against me, where I have been on the receiving end of angry tirades. I’m not saying that I didn’t cause any of this, intentionally or not. But the fact remains that while I still care about her I can no longer find deeper feelings within myself.

Each time one of these incidents happened it brought me further down, until I reached a crisis point this week. There is a distance now that I need, a space in which I can continue to recover. It might sound selfish of me but that is my priority right now.

We are still on friendly terms at least. We will continue to live together and see if we can build anything from that base. So it’s still “Married, With Aspergers” for the time being.

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21 thoughts on “Relationship Problems: After the Final Straw

  1. “I found it difficult to trust her and speak openly after some times when she had teased me about things I revealed.” THAT IS ME! THAT IS SO ME! Getting punished for being honest. %^@*(^$. Oh man. I don’t know what to say. I think you’re doing the right thing by focusing on yourself. It might suck for her but you can’t do anything if you’re unable to access your own thoughts. So. I’m rooting for you.

    • That teasing is so hard to deal with: it’s so close to the bullying I’ve endured over the years.

      I *think* it’s the right thing. I hope so because it’s the only thing I can do right now that won’t leave me in a worse state than I already am… I’m sure it does suck for my wife, but unfortunately I can’t help that. I can’t pretend I feel something I don’t: that would be lying.

      Thanks for understanding 🙂

      • I once had a very erotic dream about a friend of my partner, and made the monumental mistake of telling him about it after I woke up. I thought it was funny and didn’t attach ANY significance to it, because I loved my partner.

        He teased me about it every time I so much as said hi to the guy. Well, I say teasing, but there was a definitely malicious undertone to it. Like “I noticed you were flirting with R. again. Did it get you wet?” Delivered with a big grin to show it was ‘only teasing’.

        It lasted for a year. Even though I repeatedly said I didn’t like the constant ‘jokes’. In fact, it was a significant contribution to killing all the feelings I still had for my partner.

        • I had something similar. I got accused repeatedly of having an affair with a woman I used to work with… and then much later I got “I was only winding you up”. This had contributed in my case, so I really know where *you* are coming from.

          • “I feel insecure and am afraid that you don’t love me because you never show it in ways that I can recognise. Because of that insecurity, I am suspicious of anyone you connect with and talk about in any kind of enthusiastic way, because maybe you are showing them that love that you’re not showing me. Maybe I’m not worthy of being loved by you. I hate myself for acting jealous but I can’t help it. And when you confront me with my jealousy and insecurity I will claim it’s all in your imagination because I am afraid to admit that I’m afraid of being unworthy. Because that would make it real.”

            This is cognitive interpretation. But I’ve become pretty good at that.

      • (I ended up running away from him when he disconnected the modem in a fit of anger because I “would rather spend time talking to people online than talking to him”. I was homeless for a couple of months after that. Well, actually. More than a year. It wasn’t fun and running away may not have been the most constructive or sane option, but I’m still glad I did).

        • I can’t say I’ve never thought about just running away but I was always more scared of that uncertainty than of enduring the pain. You’re braver than I could be.

          • It’s more impulsive than brave. Not thinking through the long term consequences. Sometimes that’s a benefit. Sometimes it’s an impairment. I wasn’t aware of my own problems back then. You are. So you’ve got an advantage. And you already know how to recognise your needs and reach out to people, even when you’re not explicitly asking for help. So I think you’re doing an awesome job. Go you!

            • I wish it all felt as clear at the time as it appears when I blog about it!

              Can I really be awesome if I’m barely coping? What the heck: why not?!! I’ll take it! 😀 Many thanks!

  2. I HATE to be teased! Seriously hate it. It aggravates me to no end. And it seems the more a person knows I hate it, the more it’s piled on. WTF?!!! I could care less if it comes from a ‘whoever,’ but when it is someone who is suppose to care for me and love me, and they KNOW I hate it, why do they do it? I can’t quite figure out the reasoning behind it. To elicit an emotional response maybe?

    Sorry, there was so much more to your post, but that really jumped out at me and I became irritated when I read it. Anyway, I’m so sorry to see you going through this. Please be well.

    R

  3. Seriously, I was kind of wondering when a post like this was going to come up.
    This is not a nice situation to be in. (and the prize for ‘understatement of the year’ goes to… ) But it’s really great that you are talking, and both of you are trying to explain to the other what is going on, how you feel. But very difficult, fraught with stress, which (at least with me, and I guess with you too) makes it more difficult to say what you mean, especially to say it in such a way that it doesn’t immediately bring up a hurtful or angry reaction in the other, leading to shouting, leading to shut-down… Urgh. So difficult. But at least you are trying to find a way, whether that’s as a couple or as friends. That is really really good!

    • Somebody else commented to me that they had been expecting something like this. Well, it caught me unawares. Maybe just being so close to it, so wrapped up in it I was focused on details and missed the bigger picture. Typical autistic behavior! 😉

      It is difficult. Difficult to shut the other person out when I need space to recover. Difficult to handle the strong emotions I’m experiencing without overloading. And you’re right, it is difficult to communicate in the face of that emotion.

      One thing that is making it easier is the understanding and compassion I have been shown, both on- and off-line. Thank you.

  4. ‘selfish’: people have that accusation ready quite quickly, but it’s so important to take yourself and your feelings seriously. Especially when you’re autistic it’s difficult enough to figure out what you feel and need. You don’t want to make rash decisions, based on extreme emotions, you want to have really figured it out. That’s not selfish, it’s sensible and sane.

    • What you’ve said here, together with autisticook’s comment above, is a great help. “Selfish” is loaded with so much negativity, but it is necessary at times.

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