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The Spousal Relationship

We talk a lot about the relationships we have with our kids with special needs and the kids have with other kids, and about the relationships with their siblings. It’s easy to push the discussion aside about our relationships and the challenges we face because we’re so focused on helping our kids. Sometimes we’re helping them learn to walk or talk or pick up a Cherrio. Sometimes we’re keeping them alive by taking care of their every need including nutrition. Sometimes we’re trying to get them help at their school. Sometimes we’re working towards paying our insurance.

Those things are time consuming and it’s easy to leave the spousal relationship last. Well, it’s easy for me, anyway. Luckily I have a strong relationship and it can withstand our mutual neglect because we do, on occasion, reconnect. We try to keep each other informed about our day/week or work/life by sharing the good stuff along with the complaining. We also try to respect the space we each need when we’re not at our best. And I’ve begged my husband on more than one occasion to just listen and don’t try to fix. Just listen while I complain.

Tuesday’s post about the 85% rumor that couples with kids with special needs split has me thinking a lot about my relationship and I have to say, part of our success is dependent on the fact that we agree with the fundamentals of care and if we don’t we talk it out until we’re both comfortable. That in itself helps us feel like we’re on the same teams.

I have a lot of friends and people on-line approach me about my marriage. Many say their couple relationship couldn’t have survived a child’s medical crisis. Many of them ask how we stay connected. My usual one answer that speaks to all of it is that we’re united; we walk (run or crawl) on the same side of the street. When we don’t do that, the family doesn’t work as well together and our individual happiness isn’t realized.

Are we happy all the time? Um, no. Do we get caught up in little arguments? Yes, but rarely about the important things. How are you coping with your spouse? Do the disabilities of our kids shape our relationship?

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