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Wednesday, 4 December 2013

How my husbands Aspergers affects the kids: part 1

Two food obsessions of my aspergers husband collided this morning:
1) his obsession with the kids having enough milk-namely drinking all the milk in their cereal bowls.
2) his obsession with their bowls/plates having to be absolutely scraped clean of food before they can officially be declared 'finished'.
Ava, in particular, struggles against Ethan's regime - partly because of her age and the need to assert her own choices and partly because she isn't keen on milk. This morning, Ethan was in charge of breakfast. It took about three minutes for the whinging, shouting and all-out wailing to start. Ava didn't like the cereal Ethan had given her, then she didn't want to drink the milk (I'm with her-the slightly sweetened, mushy milk left in your bowl when you've finished your cereal is pretty unpleasant). Ethan, of course, was laying down the law and, when Ava stepped out of the kitchen to pop to the loo, he poured more milk into her bowl. Understandably she was incensed at the injustice of it all - hence the shouting and wailing. Which had the effect of Ethan telling her she'd lost her advent calendar for today. She came upstairs a sobbing, snotty mess to seek solace in me.
I've been trying really hard lately not to criticise Ethan in front of the kids - in fact, to lay off the criticism generally, but I couldn't keep quiet on this one. What made me extra infuriated was that Ethan missed out the bit about pouring extra milk in Ava's bowl in his account of what happened. I discovered this later from Ava. Apart from his obsession with the kids having enough milk (& they have plenty) Ethan's incredibly high requirement for bowls/plates to be spotless, meant that he considered Ava to be lying when she said she'd had her milk and there was still a trickle left in her bowl. His response to this and to the fact he didn't consider her to have had enough milk in the first place was to pour more in.
Having to step into tussles such as this one and sort out expectations, arguments and frustrations between the kids is one thing, but when my husband is part of the problem and has to receive the same treatment as the kids (being cross with him, explaining to him why what he's done has caused upset) it chips away at the husband/wife relationship we have. It's hard to feel attraction and respect for a man you've just had to tell off and whose actions dumbfound you at best, massively disappoint or anger you at worst.
There are times when he can be so lovely and so considerate but it does seem like these times are becoming more fleeting while the indulgences in his eccentricities and flares of anger and irritation are increasing in line with the kids growing older and pulling against us. Doesn't bode well for the next ten years...

5 comments:

  1. Hi Laura - I've really enjoyed reading your blog. I'm an NT partner and my husband was diagnosed with AS early this year. It's a struggle but it's great to read your positive approach to life:)

    Please could you contact me? I think your blog is enormously helpful for people in the same situation and want to give it a wider reach.

    Very best wishes, Joanna

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    1. Hi Joanna,
      Thanks for getting in touch. It's so encouraging to read that my blog is helpful as, as well as being therapy for me, the reason I started writing was because there seems to be so little around (particularly in the UK) for partners of adults with Aspergers.
      Knowing that other people are going through similar frustrations and tensions and challenges and triumphs really gives strength, I think.
      I'd love my blog to be more far-reaching. I'd also love to for it to be more techno-savvy and visually interesting but I'm so limited with time it's a struggle even just to write the entries never mind anything else. Any help you could give with getting it out to more people whom it might help would be fab. Open to ideas!
      Thanks again for your encouragement and all the best to you and your partner.
      Laura

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  2. HI Laura, just wanted you to know that your blog has reached far and wide. I am in Singapore!

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  3. Hi Aspie's wife!
    Thanks so much for your comments - and for reading my blog! Somehow it helps to know that people are reading and that, maybe, my muddled musings, may be helping someone else - even if it's just to know that there are lots of us going through similar frustrations and difficulties - and hopefully the odd triumph!
    Great that my blog has reached as far as Singapore - I must say, I was excited when I saw a new country on the stats page of the blog!
    All the best to you and your husband. Deep breath and stay focused!

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