Multiple Marriages definitely were a result of my Living on the Autism Spectrum:
-Marriage #1 was to escape the home of my parents (my dad required me to marry to leave home);
-Marriage #2 was to expand my horizons marrying someone wealthier and better educated;
-Marriage #3 was for LOVE, full of passion, do-or-die commitment and more drama than I knew was possible.
My Autism Spectrum learning issues complicated and undermined these Multiple Marriages because of my
-Tendency to hyper-focus;
-Poor self-control and awareness;
-Lack of self-confidence.
Sadly, during marriage #3 I started to recall I was abused as a child. This often happens when our own child reaches the same age as when we were first abused. As the horrors of the events slowly come back, we also become anxious that our child will experience that same abuse. That anxiety never goes away. Thankfully, it also gives us a kind of sixth sense into our child’s emotions so we can tell when they are struggling with an issue, hopefully before it turns abusive. That sixth sense forever haunts us when we feel our child is in a danger. That intuition is so strong I became extremely fearful about the middle school my son was attending and made the decision to home school him.
Dr. Daniel Amen, child psychiatrist, has become more well-known for his brain mappings, or scans, which show how our learning differences actually look in the scans of our brains. He is fond of saying that ADD-ADHD-Dyslexia is not just one thing so one treatment is not the answer. He has many things to say about how diet, medication intolerance and other outside factors can make our differences worse than necessary. He has several videos on YouTube, but here is one of my favorites: “Healing ADD — See and Heal the 7 Types.”
My ADD-Dyslexia diagnosis in my thirties was a revelation; I no longer felt stupid. The diagnosis gave me relief and explained my hyper-focused tendencies, common for ADD learners. Being hyper-focused is an extreme blessing but can also be our curse. If you have ever met someone so focused on something that they do not talk, eat, drink or shower, that is hyper-focus. Many hyper-focused moments are borderline manic, and are not a good thing. The closest most “normal” people come to being hyper-focused is during a new relationship.
Multiple Marriages, Trial Marriages
Many researchers have called multiple marriages “trial marriages.” I agree, but that’s a sad comment on our society. I prefer to blame mine on my learning differences. But we should also remember how popular soap operas were during the 50-60’s — another new creation for Baby Boomers. These daytime serial dramas had lots of drama, poor life choices, and people with no moral compass. The popular movies of the day: “Gidget,” “Beach Blanket,” and Elvis romantic comedies added more fantasy about marriages. Common themes centered on how to find that perfectly gorgeous, surfing, indifferent boyfriend who never talked about higher education or career goals, let alone children or a 401k! The ADD-ADHD-Dyslexic person believes what they see on television and in movies. Unrealistic expectations of relationships, marriages and parenting set us up for 100% failure. We do not know or understand the difference.
Multiple Marriages, Complications
Recently, our family found we had several members with a form of Autism, called Asperger’s Syndrome. This learning deficiency has the following characteristics:
-It runs in multiple generations;
-Is mostly in men;
-Asperger’s individuals display an inability to develop social skills;
-Most often cannot recognize the facial emotions of others;
-Many are not comfortable with or able to follow conversations.
The Autism revelation further explained dysfunctions in multiple family members, and definitely put my story in perspective. People with Autism do not like to be touched or drink carbonated beverages, are sensitive to lights, fabrics and sound. There is a clear dis-connect between their thinking and those around them.
Multiple Marriages and More
Living with ADD-ADHD-Dyslexia complicates and promotes Multiple Marriages. They are also aided by easier divorce laws. When we combine the complications of learning and social deficiencies, serial marriages happen, a lot. My saving grace? I met someone with similar traits and equally impaired but who positively glowed with skills and talents I could never have. We are a complicated but successful team: think Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Thankfully, our son is perfect and smart with barely a hint of his parents’ learning and social issues. My only worry is that his father and I may not have given him the life skills he needs to develop a strong relationship with someone he wants to marry and have children. But I am hoping for the best, because he deserves it.
“Those without religious beliefs should have what is called ‘secular ethics’ in their lives.”
Recommended Reading: The Princess Diarist, by Carrie Fisher
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