Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Marriage and the "special child"

Marriage in this day and age is hard. Money is always tight. Life is stressful and chaotic. Finding time to be a couple can be nearly impossible. You add to that having a child with special needs (who generally can't be left with just any babysitter) and you make for some tricky times. We are lucky that we manage to navigate the trickiness fairly successfully. But we have our moments.

Being a married couple with a special needs child can be incredibly difficult. Not just the typical stuff but also all of the extras. What therapies do we agree are necessary? What equipment do we need to invest in and what can wait? Is this specialist really necessary? When she can't tolerate a noise or a smell or a situation do we leave or push through it? To both parties in the marriage the answer is usually easy but when both sides disagree it gets muddled.

We are different people with different opinions. The majority of the time we agree on how to proceed (eventually) but there are those times when we are on opposite sides of the world. It's hard to find the middle ground. No book or traditional marriage ideology covers these issues. There are no right and wrong answers. Am I right since I spend the bulk of the time with the girls? Is he right because he has a fresh set of eyes? Are we both wrong because it's too close to home? Figuring it out can be tricky.

I guess the point is that for those parents who are dealing with special circumstances with their child the important thing is to spend time on yourselves. Both as a couple and as individuals. It isn't easy but it's necessary.

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