Category: Marriage

..and then I cried a puddle of happy tears.

My beautiful new necklace.

Up until now the whole veto-ing Valentines Day has worked really well for me. Partly because I like to push against mainstream practises cos it’s fun, and partly because I’m married to an incredible autistic man who doesn’t really *get* the concept of romance or the actual point of celebrating Valentine’s Day at all, really.  He is also pretty hopeless with remembering dates unless I write it on the whiteboard or schedule it into our shared digital calendar with reminders.

We’ve been together almost 11 years now and after about the 3rd year running of not receiving any card or gift for this silly day I kind of gave up on the whole thing and dropped expectations totally. But that’s been okay.  Because I am blessed enough to be married to a man who shows me he loves me in small ways, constantly. There hasn’t needed to be a big show or grand gesture because we are still very much in love and endeavour to make this known to each other all the time. Romance to me is in the way he folds laundry every night, does the groceries every week. Romance is the way he makes me my delicious coffee every single morning and the way he gets up at 5am with our little dawn-treader, no complaints. It’s the simple, random “I love you” messages he sends me throughout the day. It’s the way he picks up chocolate truffles for me at Aldi because he knows they’re my favourite and he loves me even though they make my arse bigger.

Anyway, I digress.

Today is just another ordinary day. Even though it’s Valentines Day. Except today it actually isn’t. Because a few days ago, whilst out op-shopping (one of my favourite things to do) I saw a beautiful black pearl choker and I sent him a photo of it and then thought nothing else of it.

Last night after we wrangled our four feisty girls into bed, we came out and sat next to each other on our couch and Cj presented me with a gift he had wrapped, and a card. A gift. And a card. Seriously!

 

Inside the card, it reads: “Dear Wife, Happy Valentines Day. I’m not good at remembering sentimental stuff. I’m sorry because I know it actually means things to you. I love you. I love you more as we grow together. You complete me & make me feel whole. Love Cj.”

So what was in the gift? Well I’ll tell you. Yesterday afternoon Cj text me to tell me he was running late because he had a meeting with his boss. Righteo, I thought. Whatever, he’ll still be home sooner than he normally would as he was on an early shift this week. Turns out he wasn’t at a meeting at all. He was at the op-shop, where he was showing the grannies who volunteer there the photo I had sent him of the necklace. That necklace was inside the wrapping, along with a box of my favourite chocolates (Alter-Eco salted caramel, incase you’re wondering) and there was a card, with butterflies in it. I don’t think it could be more perfect.

Yeah, I cried. I cried happy tears. Because I was so touched and it was all so thoughtful. And so unexpected.

I really fucking love that man.

Happy Bullshit Love Day, everyone. I hope you embrace the unexpected.

 

Normal Married Life (.. for us)

I sat on the deck in the hammock this afternoon while Beans was playing in the paddling pool beside me and my mind drifted to my husband. My amazing, intelligent, funny, sexy husband. I was thinking about what it’s like to be married to him, watching my daughter – because all young autistic people grow up. They grow up into older autistic people, and there’s always lots of talk about young kids with ASD but not much about older autistic people.

Cj and I have been married ten years now, and despite us only realising he was autistic seven years into our marriage – we kinda take a lot of things for granted because we fell into our rhythm in our own way, unassisted. There’s lots of stuff that happens by default in our marriage because we’ve found that’s just what works, so it happens without thinking. What stuff do I mean?

Stuff like..

I never expect Cj to be able to order on the spot at a cafe or restaurant when we go out. The choices, smells, people, environment all overwhelm him. After a few explosive and frustrated arguments when dining out early in our marriage we figured out that giving Cj a menu to read online beforehand and me choosing the restaurant was just easier.

I write anything I need Cj to remember of an evening on the whiteboards in our kitchen. Stuff like: put the laundry on, make muffins or do the dishes.

But then I don’t expect Cj to do the dishes much because he has major sensory aversions to it. Which is fine.

But he makes the best pancakes. I’m talking: picture-perfect, fluffy, amazing pancakes. He’s actually an awesome baker, period. His incredible attention to detail means he makes all our daughters birthday cakes – no contest. But don’t ask him to make hand-formed bickies!

There are definitely tricky things, too. A self-confessed “emotional void”, my husband struggles with “feeling” any emotion. He doesn’t get how I can be excited about stuff, and he kinda doesn’t get sadness in a matter-of-fact way. Or during the times when I’m feeling unwell, hormonal or really needy and clingy. Sometimes I have to use our whiteboard to write expressly what I need during those times: chocolate, ice-cream, cuddles & compliments. I’ll never forget the time I had my wisdom teeth out and wrote what I needed on our whiteboard during our recovery and Cj was the most incredibly compassionate, loving carer to me during that. Right down to the “bring me liquids regularly” and “tell me it’ll be okay”. He was so beautiful.

What other things?

We try really hard not to plan social outings on both weekend days. Because Cj finds social stuff in excess incredibly exhausting and tiring. He’s totally cool for me to go out all day both days if I want (I don’t often) and he’ll hold down the fort and parent our four daughters awesomely and keep our zoo together while I’m gone. But he just doesn’t want to go out all the time himself. He finds work tiring (despite changing roles recently and is now in a position where he gets to use all his amazing strengths to his advantage and he’s totally kicking arse) and then he has to come home and wrangle our four spritely daughters alongside me.. yeah. It’s a lot. I get that.

 

 

I don’t play music that is too grungy or poppy in the evenings because it drives him crazy. But I definitely turn it up when he’s not home.

I don’t expect him to talk a lot in the evenings. We try and cap our evening chit-chat to half an hour to an hour most days and then cuddle on the couch, but we text all day and he’s always there if I need more from him. He likes to zone out on computer games in the evening once he’s finished listening to hearing me vent about usual motherhood challenges.

And you know. Yeah we argue. Our arguments are heated and passionate, but that’s to be expected when two people are so different. My husband and I are total opposites in every way: he’s introverted, I’m not. He’s a science and math geek.. I’m not. I’m flighty, sweary and unpredictable, he is not. I learn through making mistakes (often big ones) and he rarely makes them because he’s planned it out already beforehand.

Thing is, we meet in the middle on the important stuff. We are both always willing to listen to each other and be open to learning. Our lives are far from boring and always interesting. They definitely have their challenges and I’d be lying if I said some days I don’t just want to throw my hands in the air and give up.  But you don’t give up on people you love.

And I don’t really even think I shock him that much anymore.. he’s used to my antics, I guess they’ve become his normal too.
Autistic children do grow up into autistic adults. And I’m lucky enough to be married to one of them (even if some days he does drive me fucking bonkers).

Love Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated.

You know; love doesn’t have to always be Grand Gestures.

beloved

beloved

 
Love is pretty simple.
Love is always making me a coffee and breakfast every morning, without fail.
Love is loving me even harder when I’m being moody & ferocious with dark moods.
Love is letting me fall apart in your arms and not giving me answers; just hearing me.
Love is the way you always sneak in mint-choc bickies just for me when you do the groceries every week.
Love is embracing my strengths and successes even if they’re different to yours.
Love is giggling on the couch together as we {quietly} make fun of our children.
Love is leaving me the last piece of pizza.
Love is going along with my wild plans and trying really hard to not say “I told you so” when they blow up in my face.
Love is telling me when I’ve crossed the line, even if I don’t like hearing it.
Love is parenting our daughters with strength, volition and sensitive compassion.
Love is tolerating my music in the car even though I know it makes you want to rip off your ears.
Love is saying sorry when you know you’ve fucked up.

It doesn’t need to be complicated.

Thank you for loving me, baby.

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