• Lalena Cooper

Is this what Happily Ever After Really Looks Like?

Today marks my 29th Wedding Anniversary.

Twenty Nine Years!

A lifetime; and a blink of the eye.

Overwhelming thoughts intermingle in my mind-

Where did the time go?

and WOW! I made it!

The ladies at my bridal shower were right, the time has gone faster than I could have ever imagined. How could I have known at the wise old age of 18 that as the days turned to weeks, the weeks into months, and the months into years, that my life would evolve so completely different than the fairytale life I fully expected to live when I said, "I do."

It didn't take long for my fairytale to begin to unravel.

I knew something changed the morning after the wedding.

My friends had snagged the keys and "decorated" my AspieMans car during wedding. Normal thing, right?

Ummm, not so much.

(A little background) This car was his baby. It was a dark grey Porsche 924 with plush seats, and he had spent hours cleaning and waxing it for our honeymoon drive up the California coast to Monterey.

Not only did my friends cover the outside with ribbons and bar soap streaks, they took the soap and circled every dial and nob inside the car as well. They filled the inside with unrolled toilet paper and paper towels. This created a think layer of soap slime and fine paper fibers in every corner, every seam and every opening throughout the car. It was everywhere.

We could hardly breathe while driving away after the reception.

He held it together for our ride to the hotel, but the next morning as we packed up, he became so angry he rapped the windshield with the back of his hand which sent a quick moving crack across the glass all the way from one side to the other.

I sat in silence, frozen and frightened.

Panic began to fill my heart and all I could think was,

"Who is this guy I've committed to for the rest of my life?"

"Oh NO, what have I done?"

We stopped in at my Grandmothers to clean the car and open some presents. I spent the morning lying to my family about the crack in the windshield, and laughing off the immense fear hanging like a wet blanket over my thoughts of what my future might hold.

I had no idea that day would be the beginning of the excuse ridden life that lay before me. I learned to make excuses for his absence at family functions, excuses for his withdrawn behavior when he did show up, and excuses for his fits of anger.

There were other excuses as well. The ones I kept hidden in my heart. I'd make excuses for his emotional distance in our marriage, excuses for his lack of sexual advances, excuses for his short temper and overbearing rules, and excuses when he blamed me for things gone wrong and the hurtful words he spewed.

Not one of the excuses I gave or began to believe were true.

It was only five years ago the truth was thankfully revealed,

ASPERGERS!

His diagnosis brought both of us an incredible amount of clarity regarding his behavior. I was able to see I was not at fault for the way he had treated me, and he had the answer to many of his life long struggles. Together we began the process of healing our marriage and learning to trust again.

It continues to be quite a journey with all the ups and downs Spectrum Disorder brings. We are learning new patterns of behavior, new ways to communicate, and how to show love in a way we both understand and appreciate.

Love rarely has a fairytale ending, where everything lines up perfectly with everyone living happily ever after in a mansion on the hill.

Love is raw, and life is real.

Love in my marriage is showing patience with Aspie tics and quirks, understanding I am not responsible for his behaviors or feelings, leaning to accept the love my AspieMan shows with his faithfulness and loyalty, being truthful with my feelings and desires, and most of all, love is the commitment he and I show each other everyday.


Love is not romance.

Love is not making excuses.

Love is not staying silent.

Love IS patience.

Love IS understanding.

Love IS acceptance.

Love IS truthful.

Love IS commitment.

I love my AspieMan, hard days included.

I still am unsure what the future holds, but aren't we all, spectrum marriages or not?

I believe we CAN find our Happily Ever After with just three simple choices.

Show love to your spouse and to yourself.

Let go of negativity and false expectations.

Find joy in the everyday.

So here's to the next 29 years! May they be filled with fun, laughter and love!

Bring them on!

I am not sure where you are on your Aspie journey. You may be just starting out or like me almost three decades into married life. Wherever you are in your walk please know you don't have to go it alone. There is a community of us AspieWives who long for connection and friendship.

I'd love to hear your story and get to know you! Pop a comment below or email me directly at choosingjoy@me.com

***The amazing graphic at the top of the post is actually a proof for a super cute button I had made for my AspieMan. Great quality and a quick process time! Check them out at www.WalkerCreatives.net

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