I am going to get a little personal and a lot philosophical with this post . It is about the state of marriage and my personal experiences with it.Read more
I know the quote above from Will and the title of the post seem kinda disjointed but hear me out before you pass judgment. 🙂 I have always been a dreamer in life. One of my favorite things in my youth was to lay back on the lawn on a clear night and gaze unendingly at the stars and dream of what my future life would be about. I had high expectations in those years.
I was abruptly introduced to the idea that your dreams and expectations are never as good as you hope or as bad at you dread. Marriage is a compromise between two people of different personalities and desires. It is not a “happy ever after” state as many, including myself, dreamt it to be. I and my future wife were both over forty and unmarried so we had developed our own methods of living and coping with life. After the honeymoon, we would eventually clash on many subjects. Marriage was just not what we expected. But since we have survived over thirty years now in that state I guess we are a success at least on some level and our expectation and reality are now more aligned.
Politics is another matter. It has gotten to the point where a politician can outright lie to our face and not have to suffer any consequences. Some call our current political environment the “Post Truth Era”. I hope there comes a day where I can once again have high expectations about those I vote for.
It used to be that your word was your reputation. If you break your word you suffer the consequences. But for the words in the title above, the majority of us break our word. Oh, we have all the intentions of honoring them when we say them but then things change for whatever reason.
I think my Aspie characteristics play a part in my response to these words. Most of the time I take things literally. When I say I will be there at 1pm that doesn’t mean 1:05pm. When I said “till death do us part” I meant it literally and still do. With this prologue complete, I want to get to the topic at hand and that is marriage, particularly when it involves someone with Aspie characteristics.
I know it is a fact that 90% of those with moderate or severe Aspie traits never marry and those who do divorce more than the norm. I dreamed but never considered it a possible reality that I would get married. I just never did very well with interactions with the opposite sex. My mother, who abandoned me when I was ten years old, was like the current Oval Office occupant, an extreme narcissist. Everything was always about her, she had little room in her life for anyone or anything else. I never learned much of anything useful from her except that I didn’t want to be like her.
My dating history was plainly speaking a catastrophe. I seldom had more than three dates with anyone. When my future wife asked me out on a date I had pretty much given up on the thought of marriage. For some reason, she liked what she saw and as a result, we were married six months later.
I know being married to someone with Aspie traits is not easy. Here are some words about that from Psychology Today: (helpful hint AS=Aspie, NT=neurotypical)
- An individual with AS has challenges understanding or predicting the consequences of his/her behavior on others. Therefore, the Aspergers partner may see the NT partner as irrational or illogical.
- NT women especially tend to want their partners to understand them and their feelings. However, they need to realize that this is something they may not be able to get from their AS partner. Some change may be possible, but..
- The most basic elements of speaking and hearing are the most important issues that AS-NT couples may have. AS adults often may have a very difficult time hearing negative emotions expressed by their partner. They may refuse to communicate, but then end up lashing out in a very hurtful way later on.
To some degree, I can see myself in all three scenarios above. We have been married going on 32 years now so I guess we overcame these obstacles to one degree or another. Our marriage hasn’t always been “happily ever after” but that is as it is. When I discovered that many of my characteristics have a name it helped me to understand some previous stumbling blocks in my married life. It helps me to realize that my wife and I are likely to see the same thing very differently. It helps me to keep my vow of “till death do us part”. It helped me to realize what an amazing person I have been married to…