Read The Broken Ring This Marriage Will Fail Anyway – “It Takes an Extreme Marriage to Raise an Extreme Child” Eight Ways to Overcome the Battle Points of Your Marriage When a Difficult Child Almost Shatters It.
In a country where over 50 percent of couples are destined for failed marriages, 36 percent of marriages face infidelity, and we all go through hard times, we’re up against it! Because marriage is a big challenge, throwing kids into the mix is a recipe for disaster in most cases. When you’re raising children with special needs, you might as well walk down the aisle in a helmet and Hazmat suit, because baby, you’re going to need them!
Read The Broken Ring This Marriage Will Fail Anyway
My husband and I dated for 3 1/2 years before we got engaged and two months later we were married. We are now in our eighth year of marriage and it has been a mostly happy one. We’ve been through the stressors of changing jobs, buying and selling homes, and losing family members. We survived the birth of two children who nearly killed me both times. But when I say nothing has brought us to our knees like raising our son, I mean it.
The Broken Ring: This Marriage Will Fail Anyway
We have a six-year-old son and a one-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Our son started showing signs of behavioral problems around 18 months. He was officially diagnosed at age four and has received multiple diagnoses over the past two years. So far he has: severe/combined ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (OCD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder and is a double exception. He operates on a mental level about three to four years above his actual age, but he acts like a two or three year old.
We’ve attended parenting classes, psychologist sessions, parent-family small groups, parenting Bible studies, and I’ve read almost every article out there on self-help, homeopathic remedies for behavioral disorders, and how to strengthen relationships when a child is challenging. There is no tutorial book for this. This is real life, marital warfare in the trenches, and we have to be ready for it.
So here are my top eight tips for running a marital battle station when you have an extreme baby.
There is no greater key to any type of happy relationship. If you don’t know how someone feels, you can’t handle a potentially painful situation. If you don’t know if you’ve hurt someone, you can’t prevent it from happening again.
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So, men, talk to your women. We understand. You use fewer words than we do. You really need to turn off the TV
USA But we need to know that you are at our disposal and can act as a confidant. And ladies, don’t make your man second guess your feelings. He “not only” knows. I promise you’ll both be happier if you say what you’re upset about so he has a chance to make amends. And for the love of elementary school romance, don’t text when you’re angry! Your feelings aren’t coming across properly in a text message. I don’t care what emoticons you use or how often you abuse caps lock. Feel free to call or talk to each other face to face.
Communication is very important when raising a child with a behavioral disorder, as they are the primary negotiators and will manipulate parents who do not speak to each other. You carry a target on your back if there are cracks in your marriage. So hold each other tight. Speak openly, especially in front of your children. It is good for them to learn that caring adults can disagree and resolve conflicts peacefully. You cannot model explosive behavior and expect your child to act calmly.
This might be the hardest step for me. I’m type A and I like the things I like, and I’m also a fierce competitor at heart. It sounds funny to the more passive types, but I get excited about my husband during an argument. Ten minutes later I’m blacked out because all I hear are counterarguments and rebuttals I’ve prepared for what he said. This type of argument would be fine if I were a paid lawyer, but I’m a wife. I promised to love my husband, not compete with him. There is no price at the end of a dispute. I haven’t won any trophies for fighting.
Bedtime Story” By Sarah Shun Lien Bynum
If you disagree with your spouse, and you don’t, try to remind yourself of the real issue. Stick to the basics and if it doesn’t address the issue at hand, close it. It is not relevant. Yes, it drives me crazy that his clothes never really end up in the basket, but that has nothing to do with the arguments over our son’s latest meltdown. This is not the right time. Stick to the script.
Rewind to the day you met your soul mate. What caught your attention? Why did you agree to the first date? What were the first few months like when you still got butterflies when he or she called and you were nervous before being picked up? In an exercise at the marriage retreat, the speaker had us write a letter to our spouse telling him or her what attracted us in the first place and why we are still with them. This letter stopped me in my tracks.
As we grow in our marriages, mature, have children, have grandchildren, things change. How we feel changes. It seems hard to believe that the man I love has memories of the young, vivacious woman I was when we met 12 years ago, because now the wrinkled, yoga-pants-wearing mom looking back from the mirror seems aged and worn out mothers. career and marriage. But he does. Tell each other. Whether you have to write it or put it in a text message or put it in a song, tell your spouse that you still see him or her for who he or she was and that you love who he or she has become.
It is very important. When the going gets tough in a marriage, it’s easy to slip into a pattern that mimics being roommates or business partners instead of lovers and friends. Mix it up. Don’t follow the same old routine. Try new things together, go on dates again, and be sure to focus on conversations that aren’t appropriate
He’s Your Destiny. Just Be Patient.
When you are the parent of a child with special needs, he or she tends to absorb most of your thoughts and conversations. Don’t let Relax and have fun together. Even if you have to print out topic starters or conversation questions from Pinterest, do it! Just as you are constantly changing and growing as an adult, so is your spouse. So meet again! It’s exciting what you can learn!
I’m the worst in the world at that. Just ask my husband. I feel so guilty when I do things to myself, alone or with friends. I think it’s ingrained in motherhood, but I struggle. But when I agree to take this kind of time to recharge, I always come back to my family better for it.
The other half is time to update with friends. If I’ve learned anything in the 12 years I’ve been with my husband, it’s that guys need a brother and women need girl time. Even though I’m a down to earth guy, it’s crazy how much better I feel after dinner, wine and a pedicure with one of my close friends. My husband is the same. He is my best friend and confidant, but we sometimes argue about the kids or the bills. It’s good for us to be around “our people” and have fun so we can feel challenged, held accountable, and encouraged by someone other than our spouse. Do it! You will thank me for it.
Our children rule our lives when they have special needs. Even if you’ve mastered dating your spouse and have a constant babysitter you trust (I envy you if you do), you need quality time together. It doesn’t require a fancy date or leaving the house. If you ask people, it might be spending time reading scriptures or praying for each other. Maybe you prefer yoga or breathing exercises. Whatever works for you, do it together.
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Don’t overdo it, especially after an argument or a stressful time in your relationship. Start with five minutes and keep reminding yourself why it was important. You want to feel wanted and needed, and your partner probably does too.
Whether it means taking a new class, cooking a new recipe, or finding a new hobby, it’s crazy how learning together can bond a couple and strengthen a relationship! When you experience something new together, you create lasting, happy memories. Remember that there will be rough spots, so it is very important to come back to them
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