Blog Archive

This post contains links to products on Amazon. If you purchase items through these links, I receive a small percentage of every sale.

Why Do I Stay Married to an Autistic Person?

Why do I stay married to an autistic person?

This is a question many wonder about, especially those who also know or may think they are married to a partner with autism and are struggling.

After eighteen years of marriage and four children, three of whom are also on the autism spectrum, I think it's time I answered this question.

Why Do I Stay Married to an Autistic Person?

Why Do I Stay Married to an Autistic Person?

1. I fell in love with ALL of my husband, including his autistic traits.

There are so many things about my husband that I love. 

So many of those things are part of his autism. 

This has never changed during our eighteen years of marriage.

His autism passions only benefit our family.

I love how he researches and studies everything, which leads to such great conversations.

He is an introvert like me, who puts his family first.

Conversation is so honest and forward, without need to worry or wonder what things really mean.

2. I separated autism from trauma and other mental health issues.

I want to be the first to admit that separating autism from trauma was extremely difficult.

For the longest time I couldn't tell the difference between the two.

Now that I know the difference, I can say with certainty, my husband's autism isn't what causes struggles in our marriage.

Trauma he's experienced and carried with him without getting the right help causes problems.

In any marriage trauma can cause significant issues if left untreated, whether a person is on the autism spectrum or not.

Autistic people suffer SO MUCH trauma with a tremendous lack of sensory and emotional supports.

Instead of helping autistic people work through that trauma, many try to train the trauma response out of them through ABA.

It's so ironic to me that incentives and rewards are used to silence emotions to achieve desired behaviors.

This approach is so backwards and can be so damaging to an autistic person's mental health, causing anxiety, depression and so much more.

There is a reason that those with autism develop co-occurring mental health issues. 

Don't even get me started on the bullying that those with autism receive.

Autism has not been the reason for my husband's and my marriage struggles.

Mental health struggles and trauma are at play.

After continued individual counseling for both of us and a commitment to both work on ourselves, our marriage has only grown stronger.

I am thankful for my husband's loyalty and commitment to our marriage and family, even when we were both a mess due to past and present trauma in our lives.

3. My husband and I are both willing to work hard and better ourselves for each other and our family.

Neither one of us are of the opinion that we are who we are and will never change.

This opinion is not an autism opinion, it's a belief born from trauma.

I have never met an autistic person who didn't want to better themselves and their relationships.

My husband and I know we are constantly seeking to be our best selves for each other and our family.

When mental health struggles challenged our marriage, both of us were willing to seek help and improve ourselves.

This wasn't easy, especially when we were both really struggling.

Autism didn't cause these struggles.

My husband's acceptance of his autism and autistic traits actually helped him be so diligent in obtaining help.

Autistic people know how to work hard.

With the proper supports they can accomplish anything.

A healthy and thriving relationship between partners is possible.

4. Every marriage has struggles, I choose autism

I look at my friends, their marriages, and the challenges they experience.

Some experience the death of a child.

Others experience significant health issues like cancer, strokes, or heart attacks.

There are car accidents that lead to loss of limbs, life in a wheel chair, and more.

Autism may be considered a struggle to some, but if I had to choose a struggle after 18 years of marriage, I'd choose autism every time.

I don't like surprises.

I have a huge fear of the unknown.

I like knowing what to expect.

My husband's autism helps me in these areas.

5. My husband is the perfect co-parent for our autistic children.

When our first two children were diagnosed as autistic, I'll be the first to admit that there was a sharp learning curve and period of grief.

I had no idea what I was doing and society led me to believe that my kids would miss out on things because of their autism.

This couldn't be farther from the truth.

By the time my third child was diagnosed, I felt comfortable embracing autism.

When my husband was diagnosed, so many more aspects of him made more sense. 

It was as if I could finally see him and understand who he was.

His diagnosis also helped me not worry about our kids.

I was able to prioritize what really mattered and what didn't when it came to helping our kids.

My husband has been able to provide such great perspective when I didn't know or understand so many things.

He understands our children so much more than others because he knows what it feels like to be autistic.

6. Everyone has different sensory preferences, this is not just an autism thing.

Some struggle with the sensory preferences of their marriage partner, relating those sensory struggles to autism.

It is true that those on the autism spectrum struggle with sensory sensitivities and cravings, but so do others not on the autism spectrum.

Everyone has preferences related to each of the senses.

These preferences are influenced by so many aspects of life, including past trauma, moods, and more.

I have sensory preferences that are different than my husband's. 

Through experiences and communication we have learned what each other's sensory preferences are and how to support each other in them. 

Sensory preferences don't have to be the same in order for a marriage to work.

In most cases, opposites attract. Lol.

7. I can support my husband in his executive functioning strengths and weaknesses.

Those who are on the autism spectrum often struggle with executive functioning. 

Please be aware that those with depression, traumatic brain injuries, personality disorders, ADHD, and so many other diagnoses also struggle with executive functioning.

Executive functioning weaknesses can be a source of tension in a marriage, especially when one partner expects the other to be successful in accomplishing tasks in the same way with accuracy.

In our marriage, my husband struggles with executive functioning.

My executive functioning skills are superb. 

When I was able to accept my husband's weakness in executive functioning and support him in receiving help (at times being that help), our marriage became so much healthier.

We may do things differently than other couples around us, but we do what works for us, focusing on each other's strengths.

7. We balance each other out.

I am not autistic. My husband is.

In most situations we do a fantastic job at providing balance when it comes to making decisions.

Our perspectives are very different.

When we choose to listen to each other and take perspective (which autistic people can do), decisions have the best outcomes.

Both of us look at problems in very different ways.

When we put our heads together, we are unstoppable, because we've considered absolutely everything between the two of us.

I love listening to and learning from completely different perspectives.

8. My husband accepts me.

Yes, my husband is on the autism spectrum.

But the truth of the matter is, everyone has something.

He not only accepts my anxiety and congenital ectodermal dysplasia, he embraces these things about me and loves me for them.

My husband may like his rituals and routines and can be a bit rigid about them.

However, he accepts that I love to be spontaneous and don't like doing the same things all the time.

I can't ask for a better cheerleader who loves and supports me, despite all of my flaws.

Love goes two ways. 

Autistic people can be the best marriage partners.

They are so loyal and steadfast. 

I can't imagine my life without my husband and autism.

Autism is a strength he brings to our marriage, not a weakness.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the resources below.

One Sure Way to Improve Couples Communication with ADHD and Autism Overcoming Struggles with Autism I Think My Husband Has Autism What I Wish I'd Known When My Child was Diagnosed with AutismIt's Time to Have a Serious Talk About Autism How to Help Your Autistic Child Play Board Games Successfully How to Help My Child Want to Try New Foods

Why Do I Stay Married to an Autistic Person?

No comments:

Post a Comment