• Share. Be Supported. Recover.

    We are a friendly, safe community supporting each other's mental health. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Should I exercise more control?

Jaminacaranda

Jaminacaranda

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
2,192
Location
East of England
Hi all - just trawling for advice here. I love and live with someone diagnosed with Asperger's, chronic depression, GAD and OCPD.

My partner's mental state means that (at the moment) I have to accept living in a warehouse (he hoards) and despite us having lived together for 2+ years now and despite his many avowals to the contrary he has never made any effort to improve our living environment. His inability to achieve anything bothers him, I know, but the call of retreating to bed or immersing himself obsessively in his databases is too powerful.

What I find difficult to deal with is this worry that this is it for the rest of my life - I'm 61 and may have only another decade left but I'd still like some life - some purpose - some possibility of personal achievement, even if it is just to create a garden that isn't a wasteland of weeds like ours currently is - but it's his house. I moved in with him.

My problem is - I just don't know whether or not he might actually like me to take more control. I'd like to say - leave the garden to me, I'll sort it, but I don't feel up to doing it on my own and I know he would baulk at the idea of actually paying anyone to help me do it even though I'm quite willing to pay it - he would say 'I can do it' but I know he never would.

I feel like I want to impose some ultimatums (yes, that probably should be ultimata or summat) such as 'I will continue to live with you but only if...for example...I can have a settee or somewhere else to sit other than the computer chair I bought for myself (it is the only place I can sit in the house) and only if I can sort the garden out so that the neighbours aren't constantly complaining to me'. They do - and it's always up to me to deal with their complaints because he refuses to answer the door, answer the phone or even open letters.

I love this guy and I'm trying so hard to make a go of our relationship but there has to be a limit to the extent I'm going to deny my own needs and aspirations - otherwise I just cease to be myself.

I need some ideas for a strategy that would achieve what I need (which really isn't that demanding) without aggravating his mental health issues and thus thwarting my purpose. Any suggestions would be hugely appreciated.
 
R

Rose19602

Former member
Well this is a case for communication really isn't it?
I can see that the MH issues you specify could make it difficult to be considered and that there may be a degree of obstinacy and rituals and ways of running his life that interfere with what you want to achieve, but I think there must be some room for manoeuvre.
With regard to the garden....he clearly avoids dealing with the neighbours and their complaints, and if chronically depressed and obsessed with his computer, I doubt he is all that interested in it. He may be grateful if you take control of it! Ask him.
How big is the garden and what do you want to achieve? A patio? turfing? borders?
A plan which takes into account your finances and which spells out some benefits for him too might be helpful.

People with Aspbergers are often open to logic. Is there a good reason for sorting out the garden and your seating in the lounge? He will probably only see things from his point of view....he only needs a computer chair for example....so you need to explain what your needs are and how and why they differentiate from his. This can be difficult as it may be counter-balanced with cold logic, but not impossible. Deal in facts.

Growing vegetables in the garden, (cheaper than buying them), preventing neighbourhood complaints to the council (less confrontation and hassle for him) and taking the pressure of dealing with the neighbours away from him (leaving him free to work on his databases) might all work.

Similarly rules rather than ultimatums may go down well....but be careful that you don't make a rod for your own back, as they may be implemented and regurgitated to the letter!

You shouldn't deny your own needs. That's not fair. Mental illness and Aspbergers can be selfish conditions - all absorbing and self obsessed - you need your own space and things that matter to you too. This sounds like a loving but potentially difficult relationship and whilst you love this guy, it is also important that he understands that you have needs too.....even if he finds thinking that way difficult. You cannot lose sight of yourself.

Good luck with this. You sound very understanding and kind.
I hope he appreciates you!
take care
x
 
Jaminacaranda

Jaminacaranda

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
2,192
Location
East of England
Thank you for your post MissKitty. I find myself in a difficult situation which I know no-one within my family or current friendships can understand - they would all just say 'Leave him' which is not what I want, because he's a very loving man and I value that above all else, and I'm a fighter and I'm flexible and tolerant and don't give up that easily - and yes, I think he knows that and that's a huge part of why he loves me back.

I appreciate that I'm the most grounded and most rational half of our partnership because I'm more able than he is to interpret human communications and respond in an effective way, but that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate the logic of his thought processes.

I think you're entirely right. I need to be brave and simply say what I feel I need and take it from there. It's scary, though. I don't want to get to the point where he might say 'no' and I might then feel that was an impasse. I've been blissfully happy with him for the last 2 years - he was my last shot at a good relationship for the rest of my life. It's a lot to risk. :low:
 
R

Rose19602

Former member
You love him, respect his conditions and needs and have been very happy together.
It's not your last shot at a good relationship and shouldn't be treated as such.
These issues matter to you, and therefore you should expect to resolve them....no doubt with compromises, because that's life.

I think that your relationship sounds too precious to give up on. You sound like a very special person, and I'm sure he loves you for that. People with Aspbergers have to learn to adapt as best they can. Life with Aspbergers is confusing and difficult. He will understand that his ways are not socially acceptable to everyone and will appreciate that you are different. He won't want to lose you I'm sure.

Ask for what you want and need and find a way to get it.
There's no point in people pleasing and feeling disappointed and frustrated yourself.
...and good luck. I admire you greatly for your understanding, tolerance and flexibility....but only bend so far!

xxx
 
M

may98

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 4, 2013
Messages
95
Location
Scotland
Hi, after reading about you and your partner, I can only echo what misskitty has said. Sending you big hugs xx
 

Similar threads

H
Replies
3
Views
83
tiara
T
Murasakibee
Replies
9
Views
228
Murasakibee
Murasakibee
T
Replies
6
Views
415
natalie
N
My_Second_Chance
Replies
1
Views
283
Banyans
B
Top