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Issues Between My Biological Son with Aspergers and My Partner

Pita's picture

Hi - I'm new here and am looking for some support and feedback on my situation. I met my current partner/fiance in 2004 and we moved in together in 2005 when my two biological kids were 3 and 10 (both boys). My partner has two daughters but they didn't live with us full time. My younger son was then diagnosed with Aspergers in 2008 after struggling during his first years of school. From the beginning, my partner thought that my son didn't really have a disability, that he "would grow out of it." He feelings toward my kids ranged from tolerating them to being fairly harsh on them. He never hit them but would call them names when angry about something like saying they were lazy if they didn't help around the house.

Anyway, my older son is moved out now at age 23 and is independent. My younger son is in high school and has really struggled. His emotions are out of control and he suffers from depression, ocd, low self esteem, etc. His grades reflect that and he was failing all classes. My partner thinks it's all related to discipline...that my son just needs to buckle down and do the work and it's all his fault. I conceded that yes, part of it is discipline but that his emotional issues are getting in the way. fyi that my son sees a therapist and is on medication for depression and ocd.
Due to all of these issues, the school saw fit to move him to an alternative school for students on the autism spectrum and we agreed. He's at that school now. My son also confided in me that he's worried he's a "freak" and "retarded." He has really low self esteem. I told that to my partner to talk to him about it.

A few months ago my partner was angry with my son and what did he do but he yelled at him and called him a "freak" and a "retard." I was extremely upset that my partner would use my son's insecurities against him like that. I told my partner it's over between us. My partner then apologized and said he'd do better and it would never happen again so I gave him a chance. I didn't give him an ultimatum but told myself that if it happens again it would be over between us.

Last week it happened again but worse. My partner was extremely drunk, which he blames on work stress. While we were all preparing for dinner and milling about the kitchen, my partner must have accidently brushed up against my son. At the dinner table my son flatly stated to my partner..."you know, you brushed up against me and touched my privates." Now I agree that's a little strange to say...my son does act strangely at times but he wasn't accusing my partner of anything and there's no way my partner did that on purpose. Anyway, my partner got really angry and my son apologized and said he didn't mean anything about it. I thought that was the end of it but a little later after dinner my partner started banging on my son's bedroom door and telling him to get out of there and he was going to strangle him with his dick. He kept yelling over and over..."did they teach you that in the retard school?" With emphasis on "retard." Then he started punching the door with his fist until he literally broke holes in the door. My son and I were terrified. When he had the opportunity, my son ran out of his room, and out of the house. I ran after him and got him to get in my car. We went for a ride and then to a restaurant for awhile. We were both terrified to go back home. I told my partner that it's over for good and I started looking at the options for new living arrangements.

The next day my partner was crying and begging me to reconsider. He's a very proud man and this is unusual behavior from him to be sure. He said he'd quit drinking and would go to family counseling. That he'd try harder to understand my son, etc. It's been a few days since this has happened and again today he cried and said he doesn't want to break up, that he wants to try counseling, etc.

I feel like my first obligation is to my son and to give him an environment that's safe and happy. I also am tired of feeling like I'm a referee in the middle of them trying to keep the peace. So I'm 99% sure that we should end our relationship. However, we have a long history and have had many good times together and have built a life together. So 1% of me wonders if I should give him a chance to do what he says he wants to do??? I do think I love him but the situation has become unbearable. If I give him a chance, what does that say to my son??? My father thinks I should do a 90 day separation before breaking up. Any advice out there? Just so you know, there are no financial considerations. Each of us has a good job and can afford to be on our own.

Thanks

Pita's picture

While I appreciate your comment I'm offended that you think I'm not meant to be a parent. I've been a strong advocate for my son both at school and at home. I'm always sticking up for him. Living with his father is not an option.

Disneyfan's picture

Since living with his father isn't an option, give him to another family member. Your son should not have to live with the jackass you call a partner. If you want to believe the jerk's lies, fine. But your son should not have to suffer because you won't walk away from a man who is abusing him.

Everything you posted is emotional abuse.

Pita's picture

I never said I won't walk away from my partner. I already told him it's over. I agree with you but again, my own parent's gave me different advice...it made me second guess myself. Instead of feeling 99% sure in my decision, I now feel 100% sure so thank you for that. I'll ignore the advice of my parents.

Pita's picture

Thanks for your comment...I get the picture. Look, this is tough and I know what's right and wrong. I'm getting advice from my own parents that it might be worth trying to salvage so I wanted to see what others think. You made your point clear and it's helpful. My own parent's aren't the best role models.

ChiefGrownup's picture

Love him enough to let him face the consequences of his actions so he can move forward. As long as you "put up" with this he will never change. You must let him go.

It's wonderful that he's going to tackle his alcohol abuse and make big changes. Perhaps one day he can drop you a postcard letting you know it's all a big success. A postcard from far, far away. You can look at the card and go, "oh, that's nice" and then drop it in the trash and never think of him again.

BTW, my ss is autistic. I have no doubt my dh would drop me like a hot potato if I had ever treated this boy like that. And I would drop him, too, if he let anyone else do it.

Bottom line: if you stay this will guaranteed get worse and worse. If you leave him he has a chance of getting better.

Pita's picture

Thank you - I agree with you. I was just getting so confused by the advice my parent's gave me. This is where we are with the situation....we're breaking up. That's what I told him and I haven't moved from that decision. I know it's easy to pass judgement and I appreciate that you responded without doing that.

ChiefGrownup's picture

It can be difficult to see the light when you have many people cranking fog machines at you, especially people you believe have your best interests at heart. I understand.

BTW, I adore my autistic ss. You can find a partner who will love yours, too.

Pita's picture

Thanks - I appreciate the support and kindness...I think I need to take a break from any relationships for quite some time and just focus on my son and I. I have no desire to form a new relationship right now.

z3girl's picture

I'm so sorry for what you and your son have gone through. Wow. You write you are 99% sure you need to break up, and honestly, it does sound like you need to for your son's sake. Your partner is abusive, and your son is the target. I understand not wanting to throw away the good parts of your life together. You can call it a separation or whatever you want, but I don't think your partner should live in the same house as your son. If you can see each other, but live separately, that would be the only way to spare your son. Your partner should get help with dealing with stress regardless.

Pita's picture

Yes, thanks for the comment. My partner told me this morning that he knows he needs counseling and help dealing with his insecurities and anger. I can't stay with him while he does that though.

Pita's picture

I don't think he'd agree to that even though he needs it. So as you say, he's got to go. Thanks for your comment.

not2sureimsaneanymore's picture

Break up. You know it's the right thing to do. He may become a guy that is fit for a relationship one day, but it's not going to be with you and your family. These dynamics are really hard to break mainly because people fall back into the same patterns of interactions and it will only escalate. But this is not something that happens overnight--you've been with him 13 years and all of a sudden it's coming out? Either way, some situations are unfixable and this is one of them. Learn when to walk away--protect your child. That is YOUR responsibility first and foremost. Your "love" (which you apparently only "think" you have) for him pales in comparison.

Thumper's picture

There is NO way I would put up with a man calling my child a retard/idot or what ever. OP the first time and his rear would have been on the curb.

I am not offended by a word such as retard since is just a word but it is the actions surrounding the word. Him being a drunk just seals a kick to the curb deal for me.

Why cant the boy life with dad.
Please do not tell me he is not in the picture OR he is a jerk too.

Solidshadow7's picture

How much your son's low self esteem issues might be caused by his stepfather calling him names since he was little?
This man may have severely damaged your son and you still aren't sure if you want to leave him.

I understand that Asperger's can be difficult to deal with. My brother has Asperger's. My stepfather handled it by locking him into the garage in the winter with no jacket. He then insisted he be institutionalized for the protection of my half brother, his son. My mother, who is seriously no joke the world's biggest doormat knew well enough to file for divorce immediately-- but somehow you don't?

KH4573's picture

I don't know how you took him back the FIRST time. I hope for your sons sake you are long gone from that disrespectful immature man you considered a partner. Best of luck.

lekan's picture

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MoominMama's picture

I live with an SS on the AS spectrum. High func. He drives me mad a lot of the time but its not actually the auti stuff its his other behaviour. Anyway, i never shout or verbally abuse him, call him retard and such. Thats just abuse and your DH needs to GO.