Reflecting on some of the bumps I’ve encountered as a married person with autism, it’s been useful to remember that the longest of my past relationships (none of them having made it to marriage) have all ended at around the three-year mark, and that all of those have been ended by me. It reminds me in mind of a friend, herself recently diagnosed with autism, who told me once she would “get bored” with people she went out with at around three to six months. I notice myself getting annoyed with the wife more frequently, and I wonder if I have a similar issue to my friend’s.
We’ve like to say that she’s the McCoy to my Spock: and like those two characters, we’re made better by being in each other’s lives, but can also get under one another’s skin. We’re actually both introverts—I more severely than she—and she has something of a child-like aspect that both gives me cover and encouragement to be more silly than I otherwise would, and gets right on my damn nerves at times when I kind of want to be with another adult. Factor in the introversion differential, and it feels like I almost never get enough time to myself to “recharge”. Add the autism on top of that, and it seems like my brain zeroes in on every little behavior in her that irritates me.
This is clearly a “me” problem and not a “her” problem, and I think I’ve let good relationships go in the past because I haven’t done enough to own it. I hope therapy will help me find a way to work through this, otherwise I’m in for a long 40-50 years!
[EDIT: I don’t mean to be too doom-and-gloom about it: when you can do the Goodbye Horses dance for her and she doesn’t threaten to do the job for you permanently, you’ve clearly got a good thing going for you. 🙂 ]