3 responses

  1. Rose
    February 20, 2010

    In my old age, I’ve come to the conclusion that love is a verb, not an emotion. It’s what you do everday, not what you say in a moment of lust or what you “feel” when things are going just right. Maybe being married to the same man for 30 years has something to do with that, I don’t know.

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  2. Storkdok
    February 21, 2010

    You’ve figured out already what millions of adults will probably never learn, how to accept and love someone for who they are, not for who you can “mold” them into. Kudos to you for expressing it so well!

    As for the CAD, when I looked into that a few years ago after stumbling upon it, i figured out it was a made up diagnosis to make some women feel better about how they felt when the man of their dreams didn’t change after many years of trying. I would have hated being married to some nagging complainer, constanty wanting me to say “I love you” all the time. My dh doesn’t need constant assurance of my love all the time, we show it in the little things every day. I am not expressive, and I do not like being touched a lot (since I started refusing hugs and kisses at 1 yr old) except by family. I kind of like that story when the man is asked why he doesn’t say ILU to his wife of 30 yrs, and replies “I told her when we married ILU. If I change my mind, I’ll tell her.”. I also am very bad about birthdays and presents, but I think it’s more how you treat someone daily that let’s them know how you feel, rather than once or twice a year on a proclaimed holiday/birthday present defining love.

    One of my favorite songs is “Hold on Loosely”. Until I met my dh, every guy I dated would suffocate me. They seemed to think we should be joined at the hip as a couple. My dh doesn’t need me to to massage his ego all the time. I do not understand why I should have to be responsible for someone elses happiness. We have different likes and interests. Just because my ILs have never spent a night apart in over 50 yrs and do everything together doesn’t mean that we have to. Yet they look at me like I’ve got 3 heads when I tell them I told dh to take a vacation without me, no strings attached. They think we have marital problems. We are individuals who love each other and don’t restrict each other if there is something the other wants to do.

    Well, I’ve blathered on for too long. We are driving home from vacation in DC and your blog was a treat to read!

    BTW, I figured out very quickly that my son, even though he couldn’t speak early on, loved me. He tells me now in words out of the blue. He shows me by doing special things for me. He is a wicked cuddler. All around great kid! I look forward to April as Autism Mythbusting Month!

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  3. wtfmi
    February 25, 2010

    I’d never heard of CAD before. (I’m rather wishing I hadn’t now, although I don’t blame you for that.)

    But this post caught my eye because in some ways our situations are reversed, and in some ways they are not. My husband has inattentive-type ADHD (and has known about it since grade school) while I only recently found out about my autism (although obviously I have always been this way).

    Our early relationship was rough. I knew we weren’t communicating — hell, I’ve never been able to communicate with anyone — but I really liked him. I figured that since he seemed pretty normal, the best I could do to communicate my feelings for him was to demand ‘normal’ expressions of love from him (like excessive expenditures of money and time and attention) … but he wasn’t capable or interested in giving me those things, and I didn’t really want them anyway. It was just the only way I knew to measure the depth of his feelings or to show mine — the only script I had.

    Eventually things came to a head. As a last ditch effort to get through to me, he gave me a book on ADHD. I read it in a few hours and then hit the bookstore to read everything else I could find. It hit me like a lightning strike: he wasn’t any more normal than I was, and he had no idea how to communicate either. So we had a wonderful IM conversation (which is about the only way I can talk when I’m emotional) and decided that we really did want to stick together, even if it meant learning new ways to communicate with each other.

    (Aside: And finding ways to communicate mostly means being very straightforward … which leads to some wonderful conversations. “I got you this chocolate to show you that I was thinking about you.” – “Thanks! I don’t like that chocolate, though. It’s bitter.” – “Well, I was thinking about you anyway.” – “That’s cool.” – “Can *I* eat it then?” – “Sure!”)

    That was twelve years ago. We’ve had a couple of weird power struggles when his ADHD and my autism collide. (For instance: that toilet paper thing? I can’t let that go. It’s just not logical to put it the wrong way round.) But there is plenty of slack in our relationship to accommodate that. (Now we keep separate bathrooms.) And I am very thankful to have found him, because I think my chances of finding another person to accept me how I am are pretty low. Of course, he says the same about me. :>

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