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Relationship update - things seem to be gradually improving...

Jan 07, 2009 - 3 comments
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Well, it's been a month since my last journal entry, and since it looked like my situation was finally taking a turn for the better, so I'm probably overdue for an update.  Things have had their wobbles, but overall they are definitely on the up.

In my last journal, I'd said how we'd briefly discussed some sort of resumption, but I wasn't sure exactly what.  We didn't get a chance to discuss it for several days, with one or other of us being out every evening, but when we did get a chance to discuss it, she said that what she had in mind was more a resumption of having sex occasionally, but not really a resumption of a full, intimate, bed-sharing, loving relationship.  This upset me a bit, having hoped for more; getting upset was counter-productive, as it made her wonder whether it was a mistake having any sort of resumption, or ever having sex, if I was going to end up upset and all emotional every time we either had or discussed sex.

However, since then, and over Christmas and New Year, things have been feeling better.  There's been more of the sort of meaningful little physical contacts - touching hands, hugging, resting on each other on the sofa, kissing goodbye on the lips rather than the cheek.  More relevantly, she's been initiating this sort of thing more; for the longest time it's felt like I'm the only one doing this sort of thing, and it's generally been met with a variation between tolerance and a sense that it is somewhat unwelcome.  But now it feels welcome when I do it, and she's doing it back to me.

I ordered a couple of books from Amazon about being in a relationship where one partner has Asperger's Syndrome.  Somewhat frustratingly, they are both written aimed pretty much at the non-Asperger partner, and are largely about what they need to do and change to make the relationship work.  There is a clear implication, and occasionally directly stated, that the Asperger partner is largely incapable of change and that it's mainly up to the non-AS partner to make the compromises to make the relationship work.  I really don't accept this, at least in my case (but I'm a very mild case, probably on the borderline as to whether I'd even qualify for an AS diagnosis), and I'd have liked to know more about what I can do.  In any case, I gave one of the books to my wife, and she read it.  I suspect most of it was stuff she felt she'd already worked out on her own, but it may have given her some ideas, and (possibly more importantly) a better insight into how I think and why I behave the way I do under some situations.

Over Christmas we visited my parents, which meant we were sharing a bed.  Over New Year, we returned home but her mother came to visit; with the mother in the guest room, again we were sharing a bed.  It felt nice, and comfortable, and relaxed, to do so, not tense and uneasy as it has done at times when we have had to share a bed recently.  I gave her back-scratches before she went to sleep, which she really likes, and we've had sex a couple of times.

Her mother left yesterday, so I assumed last night I'd be back in the guest room, but she acted like she expected me to sleep in "our" room, and with the guest bed still unmade and all my stuff still in "our" room I happily went along with that.  Then this morning, we briefly resumed a discussion about re-arranging which of our kids slept in which room; her suggestion left vacant a small single bedroom, and a double sofa-bed in the study for guests, neither of which I would want to sleep in long-term nor would she expect me to.  So I asked her if that meant I was staying in "our" room with her?  I couldn't quite make out her answer (she was wandering off towards the bathroom, plus she's lost her voice through a horrible cold so it's hard to hear her properly), but it wasn't "no".  This is a BIG deal - one of the things she's made a point of while we've been sleeping separately is that has really liked having a space, one room, that feels entirely hers.  So much so that I rather expected that even if we did end up fully "back together", we'd still have our own rooms, albeit with plenty of visiting back and forth and staying over with each other.  If she's suggesting, off her own bat, that she'd give up having her own private space so we could share a bedroom, she must be serious about resuming something like a proper relationship with me.

So, we're not there yet.  But I feel like things are going in a positive direction.  I think there is hope for us yet.  I rather doubt that it is co-incidence that this progress has only really started since I finally said that I was giving up on actively trying to get us back together; it has given her the space to ease back towards me without feeling the pressure and hope and expectation I was loading onto the situation.  So, I'm going to keep the pressure off, not try and force anything, but take things as they come and see what happens.

Oh, and as for the going away for weekends to spend with other guys?  She hasn't done that since October (which is the only time she's actually done it since it came out into the open back in August; prior to that it was more-or-less once a month), and she doesn't have anything planned or booked in either.  She went away for a weekend in December to visit a friend (entirely platonic), which is fine and I encourage, we both need a break from our normal everyday home life from time to time, similarly I'm off skiing in March for a week.  This behaviour isn't definitively over, and at the moment I think she still wants to retain the option; but if she hasn't for a while, and isn't planning to again soon, maybe she's left behind the urge, the desire, in herself, to do that sort of thing?  And if she'd not doing it because she doesn't want to, that's much better and more meaningful that not doing it because I don't want her to.  Maybe that's the point of leaving the option open - so she is making her own free choice to sleep only with me, rather than feeling like she's trapped and doesn't have the freedom to choose for herself.  She's a strong-minded, independant, free-spirited person - she would fight her way out of a cage even if it trapped her in paradise.

Well, enough waffling.  As before, I'm just using this journal as a form of therapy, to help me formulate my thoughts, work out what the situation is and how I feel about it.  So, I'm not really fishing for any specific advice, but if anyone has any comments to make they are welcome to...

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Avatar_m_tn
by sammy73, Jan 08, 2009
Brief update - chatted with my wife yesterday evening, and yes, she does now want us to go back to sharing a bedroom.  Woo-hoo!  Just shows that with determination (or stubborn-ness) and a lot of patience, what was a bad situation a year ago and a worse one 3 months ago can turn around...

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by mami1323, Jan 08, 2009
Congrats sammy!!!  I'm very happy for you.  To think you thought it was hopeless.  I do hope you both continue counseling.  Maybe now you both can learn to appreciate one another and really put forth much more effort.

Avatar_m_tn
by sammy73, Jan 08, 2009
Thanks mami!  Maybe it took me thinking it was hopeless, giving up the effort, to release the pressure and expectation on my wife and help her feel free to ease gently back towards me.  Whatever the reason, I'm a happy person that things are now going better.  Things may never be as they were before - indeed I hope they won't be, as there were problems with the way things were before that led to this crisis - but I think we will find a way to live together and have a relationship that works for both of us.

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