I suspect my husband has Aspergers. What should I do?
Approaching your spouse with the idea that he may have Aspergers (high-functioning autism) can result in two completely different responses. Either he is concerned and interested in pursuing an answer to some obvious issues, or he is in complete denial. He may even decide that the problem stems from you.
In all honesty, most individuals with Aspergers are well aware that they don’t process things like other individuals. Relationships of any variety have been difficult since childhood. Sensory issues have plagued them, like noises others don’t hear and lights that others can ignore. The way they carry themselves seems less than graceful to fairly clumsy. Their obsessions overtake any attempt at normal social conversation. Yes, they know they are quirky, but have no concept of the reasons behind these differences.
Let’s assume that your spouse knows that something is different about the way he interprets life. In this case, he may be searching for the reason and welcome your involvement. You can find resources on the Internet that will help you understand him better and decide what action you both need to take, if any. On the Internet you can find articles that describe Aspergers in terms that he can relate to, and also several mini-evaluations that can help him decide if he wants to pursue a diagnosis.
Now let’s assume that he denies the possibility of Aspergers. As his wife, you have to respect his decision to keep things the way they are. But, this doesn’t mean you have to join him in denial. If you are married to a suspected adult with Aspergers, you can use a little help yourself to cope with his eccentric behavior. In either circumstance, the advice is virtually the same.
Contact your local chapter of any Autism or Aspergers support association. They offer assistance in all areas: therapy, steps to a diagnosis, family support, spouse support. Once you find the resources and support you need for yourself, you will be able to pass your knowledge on to your spouse. How you relay this knowledge, either directly or indirectly, depends on his response to the subject of Aspergers.
Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples