It's been a better week this week.
Last week the arguments were relentless and Ethan, by his own admission, was dark and angry and irritated. He doesn't know why. But then I have days/weeks like that with only my hormones to blame. I guess the ideal in a relationship is that, when one is down, the other person helps lift them up. In our relationship, if one is down, it tends to send the other ranting, nagging and voicing annoyance (my response) or retreating into a happier world of gadgets, computer and telly as far away (physically and emotionally) from the grumpy person as possible (Ethan's response!)
This week, Ethan has seemed far happier and more patient with us all, I have let things go more and our home has been a happier place.
This weekend Ethan is going camping with some guys from church. I am proud of him. I think part of him would rather stay at home and lose himself in films each night and the other half of him desperately wants to be accepted and a part of something and to feel like he's got friends and is doing 'what blokes do'. We talked about Ethan having a bit of a heart to heart with one of the guys, explaining, in as relaxed a way as he can, that he's got Aspergers and that there are a few areas where he really struggles and which are affecting our relationship and his relationship with the kids and asking if this guy would mind being Ethan's sounding board and meeting up for a couple of beers every couple of months for him to be able to talk through with someone how things are going - and also have someone to be accountable to.
Ethan is really trying to be the best person he can be and to address the issues that are making our life difficult. And I'm really committed to helping him: and to changing myself where I need to. But whereas I wear my heart on my sleeve and have got any number of people I could speak to about things (as well as writing to get things off my chest) Ethan internalises everything. We both recognise that it would be really helpful for him to talk things through with another guy - and it would help Ethan socially too.
I just hope he goes through with taking the first step and, I guess, making himself vulnerable. I'll let you know...