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Sunday, 2 September 2012

The strain of relationships

In  my life I have had very few serious relationships, and wife is the first woman I have ever lived with as part of a couple. I am aware that I have always had trouble interacting with girls I find attractive, and have found myself drawn to the  but unable to talk to them, first manifesting in high school with a girl I had a crush on whom I followed round during breaks. If I didn't know where she was it made me feel uncomfortable, and I know that it bothered her.  While she was a nice girl and we were occasionally friendly, she did have to ask me to stop following her around more than once.

It took me until I was 19 to have my first girlfriend (let's just skip over a couple of periods of investigation with other kids my age in late primary school years) and to become sexually active, and while we had a relationship which lasted 3 years it was not often healthy as I was obsessive and jealous and she was sexually liberal (and inducted a number of my friends in the ways of men and women)

Other relationships I have had have been of mutual convenience, self-destructive, short-term flings or simply disastrous   Fact is, wife is the only woman I have ever been with who I have felt comfortable with, who has made me see the world from another point of view.  I find her fascinating as well as lovely, although like all other people there is a lot she talks about that I have no interest in, but I am not so self involved as to completely ignore her. I just do the guy thing of smiling and nodding.


but I wonder what harm I am doing her by staying with her. We have 2 children, one of whom has been diagnosed with autism, one on the path to a diagnosis of AS and then there's me, realising that I have AS, or am at that end of the spectrum.  Its all so very unfair on her. Wife is beautifully free-spirited, spontaneous, life-loving, a hippie and proud of it, but the hand that life has dealt her means that everything has to be organised all the time. There can be no spontaneity, no surprises, no sudden, unplanned decisions.  Routine, planning and organisation are her life now, and day by day I see the joy draining out of her.

And I wonder whether things would be better or worse if I was no longer part of the equation.  Since I have been with her I have been through 3 periods of depression, and there's no guarantee that this wont increase.  I have had 4 significant episodes of poor mental health in 8 years, and none before that(at least none where I knew that was what my problem was).

I am concerned that my mental state will only get worse, and that she will end up having to be nursemaid to 2 disabled children and a disabled husband who is mentally shattered, and I don't want to do that to her.

I am sure that defining the AS will help significantly, but I managed for 30 years without succumbing to depression, 30 years where i must have had AS, so it must be more than that.

What to do troubles me.  I love wife very much and don't want to do the wrong thing, but is it harder for her to deal with 2 disabled kids with the help of someone like me, and have to deal with my issues too, or to deal with them on her own?

Is this my lot in life? To never fit on to a relationship, to take the joy out of living?

I don't know, but its a thought that will certainly remain with me for some time.

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