Wednesday, September 19, 2012

the saga continues

Back to Lotta Joy's original comment:  "I wish you would give more details of the differences you and your husband adapted to after getting married"

I haven't really answered, I've instead droned on in laying out the whole foundation to my answer(s) from how we met to me starting to notice stuff to the good side of Asperger wifery.  

It's not always such a pretty picture, oh no no.  My Aspie wife friend Maureen, in her book Loving the Tasmanian Devil, notes:

"Having a partner with Asperger Syndrome can feel like a roller-coaster ride for the neurotypical spouse -- riding high one moment on the spouse s charming quirkiness, only soon to spiral downward, exhausted and discouraged -- sometimes by the very same traits, which have suddenly taken new forms of expression."

Remember those things I found so adorable?  Let's revisit:

Magnum's really smart.  Yay.  Really smart people can sometimes be pompous asses.  Boo.  Magnum is not a pompous ass.  He has pompous ass "moments"?  Hardly ever with me, though.

Magnum is very honest.  This is typical of Aspergers.  Since a major trait is an inability to empathize or relate to other people and their experiences, they don't really see any logic in being dishonest.  HOWEVER, there are sometimes things that are better left unsaid.  'nuff said.

Magnum pays attention to every last thorough detail.  Sometimes it takes him forever to finish a task that others will do in half the time or less.  This drives some wives crazy.  I just choose not to watch and be happy that he's doing it and I'm not.

Magnum and I have lots of interests in common, share many of the same opinions and values.  We don't really argue over the typical marital issues of finances, extended family, or child raising.  Still, our personalities are quite a bit different.  He's an introvert, I'm more extroverted.  Before we knew he had Aspergers, I thought his "anxieties" were a combination of being introverted and coming from a somewhat (conditionally loving) dysfunctional family, and that he'd get over them with time.

I'd ask him about it, and he'd say he didn't know, just that it was "always there".   His way of dealing with it is to go into a sort of robotic mode where he just mirrors what he sees other people doing or saying - typical Asperger coping strategy.  To me, it comes across as phony and a bit hypocritical at times.  Additionally, I didn't see any reason for him to put on the "act".  I like him best when he's just being his quirky self.

That's not to say that it's always a struggle.  We've often joked about his cluelessness.  People with Aspergers don't read nonverbal clues well.  They often don't get sarcasm.  Many things have to be explicitly stated.  I just found out a couple of years ago or so, that something I said jokingly before we got married, made him think that I was dumping him.

Now I know, when I see that he's misunderstood me, I restate things.  I've actually told him, "I'm flirting with you now."

One day, it struck me.  I don't know what made the light go on, but I realized that his occasional  anxiousness when dealing with people, myself included, wasn't just an emotional issue.  I told him that I thought it was something "organic".  This was just a few years ago, after several years together and 3 kids.

Soon afterwards, we got the answer.  It came in a roundabout way through a boy named Alec...


Anita said...

I've been back-tracking; reading the Asperger's posts that I missed. You've made this an interesting series.

Does Magnum read this blog? What does he think about this biography you've got going on?

You'd better be careful; we might begin to like Magnum better than we like you. :)

D.Shawnte said...

Really interesting learning more about Magnum and his Asperger's. You guys have a really tight bond to be able to work around that, so many married couples give up on one another over illnesses so much, it just shows how much of a "me" generation we are living in. I think it's wonderful that you and Magnum are learning as much as you can about Asperger's and have been able to meet half way on things :3.

LL Cool Joe said...

Interesting read. It's always good to learn more about an illness. :) You sound like you cope vey well together.

Abby said...

HA! really?? Yes, Magnum stops by here once in a while. When I first started blogging he was Aspie-paranoid that I created a blog to complain about him (figures).

Abby said...

Thanks, when he got his diagnosis I looked for other blogs from wives. Most of them were ex-wives!

Abby said...

I guess we both like a good challenge :)

terri said...

You just seem so "go-with-the-flow" about the whole thing, which I'm sure is what contributes to your successful marriage.

Jimmy said...

It is hard enough to deal with marriage in itself without throwing a condition like this into the mix, I am so proud to see you both making it work, and I commend you for loving him enough to help him cope with it.

My hats off to you.

ShadowRun300 said...

I have nothing but admiration for you for learning more about the disease and then learning how to cope with it. As you mentioned, many people would just give up.
Looking forward to hearing the story on Alec!