Adult Asperger's Trait??

i need help in understanding why my husband could be so mean to me on my birthday. I am getting counseling for depression and my 62 year Aspie husband is aware that I have issues that I believe mostly come from our combination Nerotypical wife married to a man with very high functioning Autism syndrome. Is he mean spirited or can I blame this on Aspergers? Yesterday on my milestone 70th birthday we had a small argument the morning of and I told him I would go out to get coffee. I came back 1 hour later and found out that he locked me out of my daughter's house and took the garage opener. After spending all morning at the local Fed_Ex office trying to e-mail him since I had my phone inside house recharging, I arrived back at noon and was let in by daughter who just drove up. My husband ignored my many knocks at the door and said he was in the shower. He said he went for a 3 hour refreshing walk during the morning while I was trying to get in the house. To make a long story short he purposefully got even because he felt it necessary to teach me a lesson. He admitted this! Is this a sign of a mean spirited spouse or can I blame it on his Aspergers? By the way he didn't get me a birthday present either😤

20 Replies

  • Hi,

    I am so sorry to hear of your difficulties with your husband. It must have also been worrying for you that he may have collapsed in the house and you could not obtain entry.

    You must always learn from experiences like this , always have. an additional key eg at a trusting neighbour as an emergency. If you husband is unwilling to explain his behaviour which does seem even for an AS Person rather extreme, it would either mean going for marriage counselling to work out your differences or looking at why this happened.

    Can I suggest you look into the possibility of Pathological Demand Avoidance, see if it rings any bells. It's extreme Demand Avoidance, the lengths they go to to be in control and avoid anxiety, and the need to control their lives and yours.

    Another issues could be ADHD. An issue in this illness can be lying .

    If this behaviour is a complete sudden change to normal behaviour from your husband may be he should see a Neurologist in case of anything like a tumour.

    Whatever the underlying cause you both need help and support.

    I hope you get your answers soon. You can always have your Birthday again with some happier memories .

    The link for the USA support group is on here.

    Hope you get your answers soon .xx

  • Thank you for your advice. You also replied to my letter a year ago. I think you are right regarding his behavior. He is mad at me because I learned to be independent both in my social life and my financial independence due to his disinterest in having friends or doing anything together. His solo activities are his only. We got married late in life and he signed a prenup but now wants to retire and comingle assets. I am refusing because I feel this marriage is heading south especially since he refuses to get marriage counseling. I have been getting counseling and trying to teach my counselor about the problems and depression that can come from a Nerotypical spouse which I have and what I think Iam (NT). If I mention the possibility that he is a very high functioning aspergers or is ADHD he goes ballistic on me. I am seriously considering divorce at this point. At age 70 and with only a small window of time to find happiness I feel I am left with no choice. Sad because I have love for him but my anger severely clouds it. If he would agreed to work with me on our relationship then there would be some hope for us.

  • Life is too short and you deserve to feel loved and respect,and be happy, maybe your husband doesn't want things to change that's why he won't accept the help that is needed for your marriage and likes the feeling of being in control much like my estranged husband did, it's going to be difficult what ever you choose and I hope everything turns out for the best for the both of you for the future. I'm suffering with depression and I know how hard it is when you love someone but what I do know is that you deserve to be happy, good luck 🍀 x

  • From what you say it seems nothing quite like this has happened before. I agree with Yiman that you both need support and to get to the bottom of this, perhaps with the help of a counsellor. Naturally such behaviour is unacceptable but understanding it is a key to change. One possible way of looking at what happened is that your husband has been feeling frustrated for a long time about something he has not felt able to communicate or talk about, and this has eventually spilled over into "meanness". He may or may not be consciously aware of what the issue is. There are many opportunities for misunderstandings between Aspies and NTs and often the Aspie will simply pretend the issue does not matter because talking about it raises too much anxiety or he thinks you will never see his point of view. But resentment can build up if the matter is not brought into the open.

  • Totally agree with you. Please read my response to Yiman. Yes this meaness or maybe unconscious aspie behavior has happened many times in our 15 year marriage. Once he left me in a restaurant in a foreign country because he was so occupied with his ipad that he didnt hear me telling him I had to use the ladies bathroom. So he paid the bill and left without waiting for a few minutes. No apology this time either. If he would go to counseling with me then perhaps I could understand his behaviors. Thanks you so much for your response.

  • I have read your reply to Yiman and now understand the situation better. Apologies can be a difficult thing for some Aspies at the best of times. The overriding issue now appears to be the crisis the marriage has reached, and how your husband feels threatened by financial uncertainty which will ramp up his anxiety and unpleasant behaviour. I feel that getting him into counselling together with you is essential to save the relationship, but he rejects the idea that he is on the spectrum. Can the idea of counselling be presented, not as pre-diagnostic (which is threatening), but as an opportunity for you both to learn how to communicate better with each other and rekindle your mutual affection? At one level you are each trying to do the same thing which is to preserve a safe and comfortable life. If with the help of a counsellor, you can work out mutually acceptable communication strategies and boundaries, and discover ways for you to send a message to your husband when he is immersed in an obsessive activity and unable to listen, then there is hope for the relationship. This need not involve a path to diagnosis; just the acknowledgement that your minds work very differently and you need to understand and respect each other. I would like to recommend 2 books: "The Journal of Best Practices" by David Finch, and "Asperger Syndrome and Long-Term Relationships" by Ashley Stanford. I sincerely wish you all the best.

  • thank you Distro, your advice means a lot to mean. I will try and get him into counseling with me because that gives us some help.

  • Hi,

    Oh yes I remember now. He definatly shows PDA traits , wanting to control everything in his and your life.

    If you have tried everything in your power to make this work and the situation has become untenable it is you who must make the decision on what happens next. You can't destroy two lives. If you are going to be happier apart, then that is the decision you must make. You can't leave your daughter as the go between , the effect on her must be really affecting her as well.

    I know what decision I would make Your Mental Health is important and if there is no love in the marriage in my opinion there is no point in carrying on but I can't make that decision for you. . xx

  • He has Aspergers, if he had PDA then it would not be Aspergers that is on his formal diagnosis. Stop giving out advice!!! You are a fake!! Dyslexias?? No!!! Show me the signs of your dyslexia!!!! Your is not that of a dyselxic.

    You are not even Autistic, stick to dyslexia!

  • ????????????

  • I was responding to Yiman.

  • I just had my 40th birthday in October. My (probably) ASD husband (whose birthday is the same day but a few year's difference) was terrible. It was the worst few weeks of my life. He also finds Christmas very difficult. If he ever enjoys himself, he always has to be completely miserable to compensate for it. It is as if he can't allow himself to be happy. Our marriage has been strained for the past few years, but we are still together. We have two children, one who definitely has Asperger's. We stay together, partly for the kids and partly because I still care for him. I doesn't make it any easier to live with. I hope you find support through this.

  • Thank you for your reply. Yes it is very difficult when we still have love for our partners but at my age I often think he is simply coping in our marriage as we are more like roomates in past 8 years of our 15 year marriage. Even at my older age I definitly miss the intimacy. I wonder if he does too but he often spends hours on the net blogging mostly women who share his solo passions such as word games and such on-line activities. To be honest for you, I would wait for the kids to mature more, get your career updated, and find interest groups to support your emotional health. You are very young and a different life would be possible. Even for me believe it or not it is not too late as long as I keep good physical and mental health. I appreciate all of the replies on this site😅

  • Thanks. I appreciate the advice. Sometimes I just wish he ould choose to leave but he won't because he needs me too much. I don't want to move the kids from the family home. My son is 11 and my daughter is 8. They still need their father but sometimes I think he is a bad influence on my ASD son. I wish it wasn't so hard or complicated. 😞

  • I divorced my husband because he was mean spirited. I decided I do not have to tolerate it and my happiness is more important You only have one life to live. Be happy. Don't allow someone else to control your happiness. I took control and I feel better now

  • Well, who knows what this row was about, what did you say to him? Why leave your phone in the house? How can you be locked out(no key) You say you have depression,(no autism), he has Aspergers, but I am sure you knew about his tantrums before you married? Please be honest, why marry someone who you knew would make your life difficult.

    I have Aspergers, and never married, I hate the idea of marriage and find a my partner's lifestyle interfering and it doesn't suit me, and yet she wants to be with me, she won't leave me.. surely you must realise that he doesn't want you anymore.

    I advise to leave him and file for a divorce. Start enjoying free!

  • I thought he was just a computer nerd when I met him but we did fun things together and he was not mean. I did notice he left the dog in his backyard 24/7 with a automatic feeder because he was mad at his kids and wife for getting it. Someone mentioned PDA and that might fit. He is mad at me for refusing to break our prenup because the house is in my name. So yes it is clear what his motives might be, perhaps financial security with control. I will find an attorney this week.

  • Hi, you said he has Aspergers, then he does not have PDA, YIman does not have Autism, he has Dyslexia. I have Aspergers and have behaved like him.

  • Just a thought here: I have Aspergers/ high functioning ASD. I'm 59. They say it gets harder with age, as we lose - perhaps through tiredness or perhaps through no longer caring at our grand old age! - the ability, or at least find it harder, to mask our Asperger traits and personality. Certainly, I'm finding this so. I've already had the most part of my life; I'm less inclined to bother what people think about me, etc So, more of my Asperger traits tend to surface - also perhaps because I know the people around me, and feel I have to try less hard (which can be exhausting for Aspies) to 'fit in' and be like NTs, as I hope that they will continue to understand and accept me anyway. Perhaps some of this is relevant to your husband, as things seem to have gone downhill in the latter part of your relationship, which didn't seem a problem when he was younger. Whatever you decide, I wish you strength and all the very best.

  • Dear spoiler, I really appreciate you sharing some insight. Yes, I think maybe you are correct. We are currently going to marriage counseling and it was interesting to learn that he is overwhelmed with stress. He has a hard time on putting boundaries on himself and often is exhausted by 1) his teaching job -which he struggles with 2)his many projects: writing a novel, photography, computer games like Civilization. There is very little time left for our relationship, which I think he must also find exhausting. I am not at all demanding and pay the bills, do the house chores, shopping, etc; and don't nag him unless he starts getting critical or impatient with me.

    When the counselor asked us individually why we were there seeking counseling, I had a list of behaviors I was depressed over. He had none, he said; however he just wanted to make me happy. I know he wants to make me happy to get me to totally leave him alone so he can continue with his solo tasks and projects. Does that make sense in an Asperger's shoes? How can a man be happy with no sex, little communication with his significant other, and being in a situation of not being in control? I keep saying to myself, "he just isn't into you Bonnet," He doesn't want divorce nor neither do I as for some reason I do find some love for him for the flame is getting pretty tiny. I wake every morning at 3:00 a.m. and think about our problems or maybe my problem.

    Are some of these actions typical for an adult AS man (he is 63) and through fairly young... only has a small teaching pension and plans on retiring in a few months due to stress and not getting along with his principal. He is stressed because he wants us to join our pensions and separate assets together; and I am holding off as it would break our prenup. I am 70 and own the house and just received a small inheritance from my deceased mom's estate. Would this be a major additional factor as why he needs me but doesn't like me because I have control over my own finances? So confusing.

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