The biggest mistake my husband ever made was falling in love with me. My husband should never be in a relationship with anyone, he should have stayed free and unattached living in shared accommodation in a big city like he was before I met him.
My husband is 43 and 2 years ago he was diagnosed with ADHD and Aspergers which came as a bit of a shock, we knew he was always a bit different but to be diagnosed with ASD at 41 was unexpected, scary, illuminating and extremely frustrating. Diagnosis and treatment for adult ADHD is practically non-existent, this was the frustrating part, the medication they put him on was 72mg of methylphenidate which could keep an elephant awake for a week and had a side effect of sudden adult death, that’s the scary part. Finding eureka moments for some of his actions and moods in the mountain of books he researched on the condition was the illuminating part. Realising that relationships are really hard if you have this condition came 10 years too late.
I met my husband 14 years ago, but I knew him for many years before, but he was always on the outside of my circle of friends. We got together at my friend’s house 2 weeks after I had left my first screwed up marriage. Some people say this was too soon to start a new relationship, I say it happens when it happens, plus he wasn’t the only guy I was seeing at the time so he wasn’t my ‘transitional man’, (the transitional man had gone off to get married, but that’s another story!) I was staying with a close friend whilst getting through this tough period, as one night at my Mums house had been one night too many, it was Christmas and sitting at the Christmas dinner table alone, bruised and sober had been the tipping point, I moved in with my friend who was also recently divorced and was easy to live with, she was a great friend and put up with me painting her spare room violet while she was in work one afternoon and let me cable satellite TV into my room via a huge cable that I ran through the house. It was Boxing day, we were bored so we went to the pub, it was quiet we came home to a flashing answer machine, this was a time before mobile phones were stuck to your hand 24/7, a male friends was wondering where we were, so we rang him back and told him to come over. He brought my future husband with him who was back from London for a few days. We got the vodka out, took some E (don’t judge me it was the 90’s and it was fun) and 3 hours later him and I are sat on the sofa talking about the cosmos and how many different types of potatoes there are and how very few people actually know this. (this was also in a time before supermarkets told you what they were are what they were best used for, when I was a kid they were white or red large and small.) An hour later I asked him if he wanted to come to bed, and hour after that we were very very good friends. When we woke in the morning he got up, got dressed and I made him a cup of tea we smoked cigarettes hastily and he left in a cloud of we’re just friends right, it was a one off thing, he was going back to London and probably heading on to Amsterdam to get a job in Dutch publishing, I was starting a life of singledom and embracing the last year of my 20’s with gusto, or so I thought.
He left for London that afternoon.
The day after that, the friend of his came to the house to tell me how my future husband had spent the night at the house of a woman he met on the train going back to London, so I mused that to him it was definitely just a one night stand he didn’t want a relationship and I should probably stop thinking about him. The trouble was I couldn’t. My New year was spent in the Millennium stadium in the vicinity of my ex, I got drunk to compensate, I heard through future husbands friend that he was spending New Year in London going to a rave and was having a great time but was coming back the week after that to sort out some things with a property he owned in my area, he was going to be living not half a mile from me and was looking for a job. I didn’t know but he had fallen in love…
Things happened…..the second time we slept together he told me he loved me quickly followed by “Oh Fuck did I say that out loud..”
We had our son in 2003 and got married in 2008, we’ve been together now for 14 yrs, through thick and thin, sickness and health, richer and much poorer…..
I love him and his ASD, its hard to be shouted at all the time, dealing with the daily symptoms but I know what it is and why he does it, I know he would never harm me, not like the last one. I know he could never be disloyal, never lies, never pretends. Theres no romance, there never was, it’s always been that way, he hates bullshit, he loves our son and would do anything for him. He loves me. He has ASD, we deal with it daily. Im with him 24/7, we have only been apart for a total of 7 days in 14 years. Every day he has to fight the delay aversions, the flight or fight responses, the need to run away, the rumination, the lead suits, the anger, a whole myriad of symptoms, if he was single he could have coped much better, he did cope much better, he had all his coping mechanisms in place, they were bad coping mechanisms and wouldn’t have kept him going for much longer but they were coping mechanisms; keep himself to himself, live in a big city so he could get lost, go to parties, his life in a small cardboard box. He could have carried on smoking, not caring if he died young, having no commitments, no relationship to worry about. Just one focus, his work.
But he fell in love….