Co-parenting, or in my case – Step co-parenting – is no easy task. Throw in a biological parent with a personality disorder and a step parent with Aspergers and boy does life get interesting!
I have been struggling with both – an ongoing struggle with the Narcissist and sometimes a problem with the Asperger Step father.
I came across this article in Psych Central today – Co-parenting with a partner with Aspergers.
It made lots of sense.
Stop taking it all personally…. Stop expecting more from your AS spouse than he or she can deliver.
When you can’t fathom what is going on with your Aspie, and they are accusing you of things you didn’t do, stress increases exponentially. It is bad enough to be misunderstood. It is quite another to have no frame of reference for the misunderstanding. Even though it is work to read a book and to attend psychotherapy, knowledge is power. Clear up the mystery around your Aspie’s thinking and behavior by educating yourself about autism and Asperger Syndrome.
When you understand that those with Asperger Syndrome are more tuned in to the facts and the “truth” than they are to your feelings, it is much easier to manage a conversation.
My Narcissistic ex husband understands nothing, blames me for everything and deliberately makes my life difficult on purpose. My Aspergers second husband doesn’t understand either. But there is a neurological reason he can’t understand feelings – and that is completely different.
So when he blamed me for my youngest son’s bad behaviour and said it was all down to my parenting – I got understandably upset and tried to reason with him….
‘But he is like his father, it is genetic, son number one is fine and I brought him up the same way…’
…. and the argument just escalated.
I am realising that he doesn’t understand the effect of his ‘pronouncements’ on me. He isn’t deliberately upsetting me – he just doesn’t know he has really hurt my feelings.
I have learned to walk away when things escalate and leave the him the space and calm he needs to be able to process and digest the problem and the possible solutions. When I do that, he often ‘gets it’ later on and we can discuss it calmly and rationally.
Life is one big classroom and the lessons keep coming.