My Wife's View of the 'Autistic Me'

A reader asks, "If you don't think about the autistic traits, what about your wife? They tend to notice what husbands fail to see in the mirror."

Is my wife be more aware of my "autistic" traits than I am? Probably. I suppose the above is true of all friends and family in our lives. The people observing us probably do see us for whatever we are, more clearly than we can see ourselves.

She knows how annoyed I get with myself, which might help her tolerate me a little more. I dislike how locked in I get to thoughts, how much I worry constantly about failing at things, how tense I get in various situations. She knows I don't like my sensitivities, my fears, and my general anxiety.

My wife reminds me to accept my limits, though I hate those limits. She tries to maintain order and calm, knowing how much I hate disorder in my life. I don't like to be told the obvious though: my mind doesn't let go of things, even when I wish it could. She'll tell me to ignore something or try to forget it, but I cannot. And the reminder doesn't help — it makes me more stressed, more upset with my feedback loops.

Every week I worry that I'm not doing enough, not successful enough, not social enough, and on and on and on.

If she can add her thoughts and observations, that might help others.

From Susan:

  • Your sensory sensitivity is definitely autistic -- you can hear things most people cannot, and they can cause headaches. Unfortunately, I don't always know when you can or cannot handle some noises. You need to speak up more to prevent problems.
  • Stop stressing about not doing enough. You are doing plenty. 
  • You need to accept, and consider, your physical and neurological limits more often. It may prevent some downward spirals that take you days to recover from. However, now that I know yard work and planting hostas is one way to reset you, you might be doing more yard work in the future. That's why we live in "the country."
  • I maintain order and calm not only for you, but also for me. I like structure, order, and routines, and breaking my routines can stress me out a little, just not to the downward spiral and meltdown point that it stresses you to. Also, the more calm your life is, the less stressful my life is.
  • Every time you think you are abnormal or hard to live with, consider some of the "normal" people you live and work around. They are much more demanding, unreasonable, self-centered, and psycho.

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  1. I like her. I hope my own son meets someone as nice as she seems to be.

  2. well said............we can all take away info for our own lives!

  3. It's rather fun to be married to a neurotypical isn't it? They can have very interesting perspectives ;) My husband and I really balance each other out, and we love each other even when we TOTALLY don't get one another...


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