Marriage and Being on the Autism Spectrum
“You’re weird, I like you.” That is what my husband says his opening line should have been when we first met eleven years ago. I’ll be the first person to admit that when we met, I had no interest in having a romantic relationship with my husband. I joke with him all the time that if we had gotten together back then, as seniors in high school, one of us would be dead or in prison right now. We were both vastly different people back then. For one, I hadn’t yet received my diagnosis as being on the spectrum.
My husband and I met while we were on a senior class trip with our technical school. All of the campuses had gotten together to celebrate the end of the school year. A girlfriend from my class introduced me to a girlfriend from his class at another campus. Then I got introduced to him. From that point on, through the entire weekend, it seemed that everywhere I went, there he was. He had shown a near-immediate interest in me. I, however, couldn’t have been less interested.
I had my eye on one of the “bad boys” from his same campus. My husband and this kid hated each other. The “bad boy” then decided I was the perfect target because it would irritate the heck out of my husband. The weekend continued on with my husband being my shadow and trying to get me to notice him while I shot him down several times. The trip ended, we graduated, and I didn’t give him a second thought.
Years later, he found me through the wonders of social media. He apologized for his behavior over that weekend so long ago. I told him it was no big deal, and we kept in touch by wishing each other a happy birthday every year for a little while. Both of us continued in and out of romantic relationships. Finally, in 2011, he found an opportunity to ask me to hang out while we were both single. The rest, as they say, is history.
Currently, we are planning our anniversary vacation for three years of marriage. That means we have been together for almost six years. I can still remember being on our honeymoon and randomly getting that feeling of holy Toledo, we’re MARRIED! Now, we’ve been through the “honeymoon” phase and the “terrible twos.” You know how they say that the first year of marriage is always the hardest? They’re wrong. It’s all hard when one of you is on the spectrum. At times it can feel like there’s more than two of us in this marriage. You’ve got me, him and then my supports team. (I feel like there should be a *dundundun* here.)
Finding times to have a session can be difficult, due in part to my ever-changing work schedule. If you add in my husband’s and ACAP’s ever-changing schedules, the fun intensifies. For example, sometimes I’ll have an early morning session and he’ll still be sleeping so we may have to relocate to a coffee shop or somewhere else. Other times we can sit in the kitchen and work while he plays video games or watches TV. Still other times, I may have to signal my CSP or let them know ahead of time that I want to talk about something that’s bothering me without him around, which requires a little planning.
Our marriage can be a struggle between what I’m working on with my team and how that relates to our marriage. Sometimes there may be things that my husband doesn’t want to discuss with them but I need their help or input. Other times, he’ll sit down with us and contribute to the conversation.
Our marriage can be a bumpy road, but there’s nobody I’d rather do it with. Dr. Seuss once wrote: “We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”
Stay weird, readers. Until next time! 🙂