Marriage And The Stress Of Autistic Children



Unfortunately, today, many marriages end in divorce or separation. Statistics show an even higher rate of divorce when an autistic child is part of the family. Regardless of how much love and understanding you both may have towards your child, it is true that autism is a matter that is very difficult to deal with, and it is not uncommon for there to be a great deal of strain on the marriage. It is very important to try to remain positive about your situation, and to work to keep your marriage healthy.  By doing so, you and your spouse can avoid marital problems.  It will be difficult, but you can survive the trials of caring for an autistic child.

Focus on the good things in your marriage. Ask yourself this question often, “Why did I marry my husband or wife?”  Having a child with autism creates a lot of stress, and when we are stressed, we have a tendency to snap at one another for even the smallest missteps. Try not to focus on the bad qualities.  Take time to enjoy one another as you did at the beginning of the relationship. You may need to spend some time away from your children.  It will be helpful, when you find out that your child is autistic, to make sure that there are people with whom your child will respond other than just you and your spouse. Grandparents, aunts or uncles, mature siblings, or nannys are good people to have intimately involved in your child’s life if possible. This will make it possible to have some time alone with your spouse.

Instead of fighting with one another, you and your spouse should work together to help you child.  You will probably have very different ideas about what to do at some times.  Be prepared to compromise and always seek professional advice before making any medical decisions for your child. Remember that you are working together to try to give your child the best opportunities. If possible, set apart some time every week to spend together as a family.  This is especially important if one parent or the other is the primary caregiver.

Be sure to seek help when you need it. It is true that spending some time apart to focus on individual needs is part of any successful marriage, and it is no different when you have an autistic child. If you find that you and your spouse are not happy except when you are spending time apart, however, it is time to reevaluate the situation.  You may need the help of a family or marriage counselor to get you and your spouse back on the right track to having a happy life together. You might also benefit from meeting other couples who are raising autistic children. It is never easy, but You are not alone.  If you will make the effort to keep your marriage strong, even when the stress of raising an autistic child makes it especially difficult, you can avoid the pain and sorrow of divorce and have a happy marriage.