Parenting With An Asperger Husband. It’s important to receive parenting effectiveness training (PET) or some form of parenting where you understand childhood developmental stages and what to expect from each stage so your parenting benefits your child’s needs, not yours. Whether your husband is on the spectrum or not, being an effective parent means you love your children enough to teach them how to become independent, self-sufficient, and kind, along with other quality traits you role model for them.
Parenting With An Asperger Husband
If your husband is on the spectrum, it’s important to put a system in place where there is structure, tools and a process in which to implement those tools for good communication and teamwork. Every couple is different with their own set of circumstances so develop a system that works for your household. A sample system could present like this:
- Develop a concrete and structured household schedule – what weekdays look like and what weekends look like
- Determine the strengths and weaknesses of each parent. – The parent with good organizational skills can make sure the household is operational. Both are following the schedule and knows what is happening at any time of the day.
- Who is responsible for what chore? – cooking; laundry, feeding, dishes, etc.
- What times are feeding? – with a newborn – every 2 – 3 hours;
- What days and times are bath?
- What time is bedtime?
- What is bedtime ritual?
- When does a babysitter/nanny need to be put in place?
- Recognize that children have different needs at different developmental stages.
- If children are in school what time is drop off/pick up and who gets what day?
- What time is dinner?
- What time is for homework
- What time is for computer, screen time, video games, etc.
- What is the expectation for older children (for the household; grades)
- Personal time for each parent (self-care)
- How do extended family fit into the schedule
When my Asperger husband became a father he was happy and filled with a lot of anxiety. As we didn’t know he had Asperger’s at the time, his mixed emotions hurt my feelings. Our daughter is his only child. I have a daughter from a previous marriage who is twelve years older. I was experienced as a parent. He was not. I expected his expressions to be filled with excitement. He was helpful enough bringing food home after a workday but did not have a momentum that felt like a team. My parents live a few miles from our home and without their daily help I would have been more of a train wreck.
I asked my husband why he wasn’t helping out more. I asked him if it was because he didn’t know what to do or I was overfunctioning and didn’t give him a chance to help out. He said the latter. He was eager to help me and wanted the experience of parenting so he could feel the bond with his child. I got to work and developed a system where he covered hours of feeding throughout the night so I could sleep. He learned how to bathe and put our daughter to sleep.
My husband has a lot of strengths despite his Asperger’s. He helped me become more grounded and less reactive when my expectations weren’t met. Parenting this time around, despite communication challenges due to ASD, was so much smoother.
When working with my neurodiverse couples, I find structure is key to success. Just like with children knowing what the expectations are keeps the system functional.
My husband has Asperger’s so I can relate to what neurodiverse couples go through. Surviving an Asperger Marriage is possible. Learning each others’ love language is a start to establishing that intimacy. For information about my services and fee please text me your email address at (858) 735-1139.