Living With An Asperger Husband

Living With An Asperger Husband. After finishing my book, “Happy Me Happy We: Six Steps To Know Yourself So You Know What You Want In A Relationship,” I understand the root of happiness starts within yourself. Our external environment can affect our ability to make choices that make us happy or unhappy. When you concentrate on yourself and what you want things fall in place to make your life more functional and content. It’s a game changer when you start with you and what you want. Sometimes codependency makes for getting other people’s needs met over our own. We become codependent as a means of survival in some families as you grow up. Asking for what you need and want for some growing up was deemed as disrespectful and selfish. And often times met with negative reinforcement in the form of judgment, criticism, and abuse.

Living With An Asperger Husband

As a Marriage and Family Therapist I help you reframe the negative experiences you had to bear as a young child (inner child). I help your Functional Adult manage those scary feelings from childhood to assert oneself so you get what you need and want. As a Certified Neurodiverse Couples Counselor I help the Neurotypical (which is typically the wife) manage Cassandra Syndrome aka ongoing traumatic syndrome. Feeling like you are losing your sense of self is frustrating and disheartening. You can tend to feel like leaving your marriage as saving your sense of well being becomes the focus for survival.

Living With An Asperger Husband

Living with an Asperger husband is very challenging. Even during what can be deemed as stable times can instantly turn into another awful situation where feelings are hurt and anger increases. I lived a life that was confusing to say the least. As a clinician, I was flabbergasted when I realized my husband had Asperger’s. For 10 of our 23 years of marriage we had major problems with communication. My husband is a highly intelligent and kind person so I didn’t think he was doing these inconsiderate behaviors on purpose. I had a meltdown every six weeks and threatened divorce over and over again. Threatening the relationship is never appropriate as it undermines any chance of safety and security within the dyad. My acting out behavior included yelling, cursing, belittling, threatening, and name calling. I’m ashamed of my behavior because I should know better. However, I am only human and am not immune to what living with a person on the Spectrum can do to one’s self esteem.

I desperately needed tools to better communicate with one another. Traditional marriage counseling was a total waste of time. I did appreciate it being part of the process in educating myself about Autism Spectrum Disorder. I studied many journal articles written on the subject and became certified as a Neurodiverse Couples Counselor through Asperger/Autism Network AANE.

Through neurodiverse couples counseling, my husband and I recognize and understand that we speak different languages and have very different perspectives. We have effective tools to initiate conversation, share thoughts and feelings, and ask for what we need and want. We have learned to be explicit in saying what we need to say and describing what it looks like so we get a visual of what is being talked about. We’re not perfect and I still have meltdowns every now and then but they aren’t as devastating as they were in the past. Understanding is key and acquiring tools to show each other empathy is a game changer.

 

For more  information on managing your life with your Asperger husband please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or through my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

 

Affairs Can Keep You In Your Marriage

Affairs Can Keep You In Your Marriage. I know, this sounds strange, and even evil to some people. There are so many reasons for starting an affair. People don’t start affairs because they hate their partners. In fact, individuals in affairs still love their husband or wife. Being in a long-term marriage, especially if you married quite young, can be a challenge when it comes to keeping the relationship alive and exciting. As a Marriage Counselor, specializing in Affair Recovery, I believe all needs cannot be met by one person within a relationship. I understand when a commitment to be monogamous has been made it is important to keep that promise. Most wedding vows include the monogamy piece about being faithful to each other above all others. I believe monogamy is a choice and is taken seriously.  Long-term marriages can become challenging in sustaining that feeling we all want. To feel alive, be noticed, validated, seen and heard.

 

Affairs Can Keep You In Your Marriage

I am working with a woman who has been married for 15 years with two children ages 17 and 13. She immigrated to this Country to provide a better life for her children. She claims her husband is a very good man but does not have intimate feelings for him. She has been a good wife and mother, and contributes to the household financially with her job. She turned 41 last year and wants a life that is more fulfilling. She believes she married her husband because her family thought they’d make a good fit. He is a good provider and is fine with decisions she makes within the household. Sounds like a dream, right? Not if you’re not happy with the decisions you’ve made because of family/peer pressure.

She wants to allow herself to feel the emotional intimacy that intimate couples feel. She found just that with a co-worker she’s known for several years. They began as mentor and mentee. She was a naive woman new to America. This man was more experienced and knowledgeable with work and the American culture. She was fond of him and appreciated his attention. She was drawn to him because he made her feel alive and desired. Her husband is a complacent man. She states he has little ambition and is content with where they are in their marriage. The marriage consist of taking care of household responsibilities and care for their children. She does not want a divorce and says she will never ask for one. She feels guilty, but at the same time wants to honor her feelings. She’s in a struggle between what she should do and what she wants.

This woman is developing a sense of self.  Individuating and differentiating from the family that raised her into a person who has wants of their own. Counseling is a space to share her thoughts and feelings and continue to get the insight needed to make the right decision for herself. There is no judgement or criticism in counseling just a venue to ponder thoughts and get some guidance.

She doesn’t know where this road will lead her. But for now she feels grounded with how she feels. She is taking the time to understand herself and what she needs to move forward. Life isn’t easy and when you’ve entered into a relationship that isn’t working it makes life even more difficult.

If you need to talk to someone counseling is a safe place to share those conversations. Please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

 

 

Mother’s Day As A Single Mom

Mother’s Day As A Single Mom. As I was the one who asked my husband for a divorce I became a single mom in 1991 raising a three year old and starting a Master’s program in Counseling Psychology. Divorce is never a happy experience. Even when you’re the one who wanted the divorce. There were mixed emotions for me when deriving at that decision. Included in mine were feelings of love for my “ex” as a person and father of my child, but not “in love” feelings, guilt for breaking up the family, and fear as I was becoming a single parent. In my family there was a degree of shame that came along with my decision.  My parents couldn’t even tell extended family members I was divorced for two years.  When we were at family parties when asked where was my husband they would respond “oh, he’s working.”  Of course I felt terrible and brushed it off as that was their problem and tried to not make it mine.

Mother’s Day As A Single Mom

Mother’s Day As A Single Mom. During this period of my life I had to adjust to doing “life” without anyone taking care of me anymore. My father was the first person to step in that role then my husband. Although I was viewed as quite an independent and strong person I felt scared to be on my own and with a with a 3 year-old daughter to boot. The first time I pumped gas into my car as a single mom I felt so liberated and free. I was pampered for most of my life and small things like getting my car washed, oil changes, and gas filled were primarily the job of the men in my life. I exercised learned helplessness in those days and I don’t recommend it. It debilitating and made me feel bad about myself. I was an angry person in those days as I knew there was something I wanted and needed to do but was so busy getting other people’s needs met I neglected ME. In my book, Happy Me Happy We: Six Steps To Know Yourself So You Know What You Want In a Relationship. I share my story of individuating and differentiating, learning to become the individual I was to become and becoming more different from the family that raised me and all relationships.

So during the next 7 years of my single mom life I got to work. Let me share with you now it wasn’t easy but definitely worth the journey. My daughter who is 32 years old has given me the gift of feedback that validates my efforts in making our lives work for the better. The process was one that I encourage anyone to take who believes they want more from their relationship to validate your own beliefs about how you want to live your life and role model for your children what that looks like.

For more information about needing to make changes in your life or adjust what’s not currently working please contact me at (858) 735-1139.

What Phase In Marriage Is Infidelity At High Risk?

What Phase In Marriage Is Infidelity At High Risk? Seems it doesn’t matter if it’s been two, four, or seven years; more studies are finding that whatever year mile marker you’re in can place their toll on a marriage. Whatever recent statistic you choose to accept couples tend to head for divorce after certain periods of their married life. Whether it’s after the two year mark, the four or five year mark, or that infamous 7-year mark – more than double the number are divorced after they meet their relationship peak for whatever their reasons. This period of time is comically referred to as the “seven-year itch.”  There are Four Phases couples go through in relationships.  There is the Honeymoon Stage, the Conflict Stage, the Stability Stage and the Commitment Stage.

What Phase In Marriage Is Infidelity At High Risk?

Remaining in a committed relationship can be incredibly fulfilling and incredibly difficult, even for the healthiest couples. Our definitions of “love” and what it means to be in a satisfying relationship also weighs heavily on our ability to weather the difficult and disconnected times that can actually be a bridge to even deeper levels of intimacy.

People often confuse the rush of excitement and infatuation that characterizes the start of a relationship with true love. They are then disappointed when this rush fades and they encounter serious challenges in the relationship. These challenges, though, can be a doorway into deeper and more satisfying phases of the relationship. Here are the 3 phases of marriage (which build on each other), that emerged during Dr. John Gottman’s research:

1.  The Honeymoon Stage is where you feel the most in love.  For most couples, the beginning of a relationship is the easiest.  Some say it’s like a drug addiction.  This is where you feel the most chemistry. You seem to be on the same page about most issues. Getting along is almost effortless. Some couples describe this as a merging of two people.  The Honeymoon phase typically last about eighteen months to 2 years.  Part of the thrill of falling in love is due to the fact that you see only the best in your partner.

2.  The Conflict Stage – As time goes on, each partner realizes that everything really isn’t perfect. This is the Conflict Stage where power struggles emerge.  It is typically around the 3rd or 4th year as each look at their differences and respond to them where they either predict a happy relationship or continuing struggles. This is the stage where most couples break up or survive.

This is where Couples Counseling comes in.  Marital discord peaks around the 4th year and then starts to taper off.  This period of time may be a combination of dwindling sexual chemistry and adjusting to each other’s idiosyncrasies.  The early years of marriage are when you replace the illusions with reality.  The “good behavior” put on at the beginning of the relationship is now normalized by being “just you” which could include being messy, displaying short temper, and not being as romantic as before.

3.  The Stability Stage is when conflict resolution and coping skills are learned and both have clear boundaries about each other.  The relationship is more balanced and both partner’s are usually getting their needs met and are fairly happy.

4.  The Commitment Stage is where the couple chooses each other consciously deciding they want a future together and whether have children by co-creating or blending families from previous relationships and making a stronger commitment for longevity in their union.

As couples move through these phases over years and decades, life happens. As wonderful as it is to have children, most couples experience a sharp decline in their marital satisfaction during that time. If we live long enough, we’ll lose jobs, face significant set-backs, and dear friends and family will pass on. Our partners will inevitably disappoint and hurt us.

The marker of a good marriage isn’t whether or not the dark times will come (they most certainly will), it’s whether or not the dark times will permanently damage the relationship or whether they’re used to eventually create an even deeper level of commitment, intimacy, and sense of shared purpose.

For more information on prevention and affair recovery contact me at (858) 735-1139.

 

Spring And Infidelity

Spring And Infidelity. Spring is in the air and new beginnings come with the temptation to feel alive. Having affairs can do just that. Those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) love Spring and the summer months as exposure to sunshine ultimately allows them to feel happier.  The increased levels of Serotonin enables people to feel more confident and more social

Spring And Infidelity

As a Marriage Counselor and Affair Recovery Specialist, Spring typically jump starts someone’s decision to start an affair.  I’m often asked why people have affairs.  And if more men than women have affairs in general.  As every couple is different with their own set of unique circumstances there is no one size fits all answer to the first question.  Regarding the percentages of males and females cheating the numbers are almost equal.  As an Affair Recovery Specialist, I help couples through the devastation of discovery or disclosure of any kind of infidelity.  Again, there are many reasons why people have affairs.  One reason is they want to feel different and being with someone else meets that objective.  When you’ve been in a long term relationship the feelings of familiarity and security are nice.  The excitement level, however, decreases as familiarity can bring about routine.  Routine is often times boring to say the least.

As an Affair Recovery Specialist, I see first hand how betrayal hurts.  Being cheated on effects the core of our existence as it leaves us with the loss of being significant to our partner. Spring And Infidelity

For those of you who are thinking about starting an affair please be mindful that if and when an affair is discovered the repercussions are grave.  If you are found out the best course of action is not to deny but be forthcoming and admit.  In working with couples throughout my 24 years in practice, admission is ultimately the best thing you can do.  Admission enables you to finally be honest.  With admission affair recovery can lead to being more open and honest about what went wrong and why, as well as what is needed to develop the relationship you both want for moving forward.  Coming clean is the first step to trying to save your marriage/relationship.  Continuing to deny worsen your ability to be honest.

It may sound counterintuitive to admit to your affair after it is discovered but for true healing to occur that is the right first step to affair recovery.  If you are having an affair and want help in disclosing or your affair has just been discovered contact me at (858) 735-139 to ensure you get what you want out of this ordeal.