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Show ALL Forums  > Single Parents  > Who is here & single in part b/c of the stressors a child with autism      Home login  
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 three_star_spellbound
Joined: 2/16/2008
Msg: 15
Who is here & single in part b/c of the stressors a child with autism puts on a marriage?Page 2 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
My child does not have autism but she has ODD (opitional defiance disorder) and she has made it really hard to have a relationship. I warn men befor hand she is hard to be around but they think they can handle it and they end up getting mad and saying that I didn't tell them it be this hard but it is. She is getting older and they have her on meds now that seem to be helping maybe now I can soon have relationship that will work out.
 Ahoytheredave
Joined: 8/29/2006
Msg: 16
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Who is here & single in part b/c of the stressors a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 2/21/2008 7:54:28 AM
I suppose I am the only male here and feel a little of the male bashing needs a response. Discussing this issue and pointing fingers at the men without a response is hardly fair.

A kid with special needs puts more strain on the relationship and tends to find the weaknesses in that realtionship. With all the possible "treatments", debates are bound to occure as to what path to take.

The traditional male role is to be the provider and although that reality has changed some, the traditional point of veiw has not. With all the therapies, the father is pushed to be even more of a provider to pay for the therapies. That makes them appear workaholics when the reality may be more a result of efforts to step up his role as provider. The job may officially be 8 to 5 but the politics of raises etc. require at least the appearance of dedication and long hours. That is in direct conflict with "quality" time at home.

For another facet, I would argue that women tend to be more emotionally needy and if dad does spend the quality time with a special needs child, the woman "feels" less loved. Add to that a little bit of mom portraying herslf as a "marter for the cause" and men are driven away by the spouse, not the child.

To answer the question about my own situation, its the economy. An economic crash in the telecom industry, starting with 9/11, trashed my income temporarily and when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. That is what the women say and that is what she did. Now, not only do I pay for the therapies, but I am the primary person involved in the logistics. Not only that, but I volunteer and help other people raising their kids both normal and challenged. Not much of a social life but I have never been tall, abusive, or a good liar so most women don't give someone like me a second thought. They tend to prefer gushing platitudes about how wonderful they are. Until I find someone with more self honesty and less brain atrophy, the kids come first. At the same time, I stay here to keep the door open but I sometimes wonder if I'm just buying a lottery ticket with little chance of winning.
 am70sguy
Joined: 6/11/2005
Msg: 17
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Who is here & single in part b/c of the stressors a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 2/21/2008 9:57:11 AM
I have a not 15yo Cerebral Palsy (severe) and 11yo Autistic, diagnosed at 3.

It put a tremendous amount of strain on the relationship, all the work, appointments, school issues, medical issues, how much who does, it really does add a ton of extra stresses to a relationship. Particularly nowadays where it is almost a demand that you have a two people income.
 suzyttarius
Joined: 12/13/2007
Msg: 18
Who is here & single in part b/c of the stressors a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 2/23/2008 9:51:18 PM
My 5 year old just got diagnosed with high functioning autism last week. I do not view it as a negative at all, my dating life sucked anyway, as in non exsitant. My fault because I am a big chicken having a difficult time re-entering the singles life, but in all honesty, when I do start dating again and meet some body of interest they would accept things as they are, or I won't want them. I am content being on my own so no biggy. My little girl is first and don't need anyone who would view this as a negative.
 JuJuBee
Joined: 1/24/2004
Msg: 19
Who is here & single in part b/c of the stressors a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 2/25/2008 9:32:44 PM
My youngest is adhd/odd & has so many siliarities of aspies &/pdd kids. it doesn't limit my dating. I strongly agree w/ an above poster. I don't not date b/c of it. We deserve the best.

God & the higher powers will lead us to the one & if not, I'm where I should have been all along-there for my son. He is my richter scale for reality when/if an aquaintance is allowed further in my life. That person's reaction to my son's fit throwing, screaming on the floor @ some of the worst tell the tale of the person in front of us.
 GREEN-EYED-ANGEL
Joined: 4/6/2008
Msg: 20
Who is here & single in part b/c of the stressors a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 4/13/2008 5:08:53 PM
Many years ago we knew my older son was not the "normal" kid- eventually it came out that he was high functioning autistic. I waited 6 yrs to have my 2nd child, who I hoped would be the one to take care of (even if it was as a legal guardian) of my older son when my ex & I were gone. I shouldn't have complained that my 1st son was autistic, cuz the 2nd one also turned out to have high functioning autism. Well, I complained about that...then 3 days after his 7th birthday ( I made him an ice cream cake that looked like a giant peanut butter cup per his request) he was diagnosed w/ juvenile diabetes. That was almost 11 years ago. You what I learned? Don't complain about it, as bad as the situation is. Try to accept things & don't waste your life worrying or questioning things.

Over the years, I have made some changes is my thinking...when i see things saying a "cure" for autism...I cringe...what about autism acceptance? How would I feel if someone said they wanted me to be cured from being the person who I am?

I will be d*mned if I will let anyone stop me from living or let the fact that the kids have autism run my life. Nor will I allow my son's diabetes be an excuse for us not to live.
they are 23 & 18 & are starting to get adult services...there is increasing public awareness & i haven't crawled off in a corner like a whipped dog.

When i was w/ the ex, I did it all, why wouldn't I do it all now??
 Ms. Beavenhouse
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 21
Who is here & single in part b/c of the stressors a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 4/14/2008 1:49:25 PM
My marriage couldn't take the stress of raising a child with special needs. He needed someone to blame, he wanted to remain in denial that anything was wrong with our son.

I was angry for years that I was left alone to raise our children but realized his negativity would have ultimately hurt our children's self image. We might be weird little family but we are a happy weird little family.
 DelFavero
Joined: 11/18/2007
Msg: 22
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Who is here & single in part b/c of the stressors a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 4/15/2008 12:54:36 AM
Ahoytheredave... you are not alone brother. Ladies, quit bashing us guys. See there are some good men still out there... you just won't give us the time of day
 DelFavero
Joined: 11/18/2007
Msg: 23
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Who is here & single in part b/c of the stressors a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 4/15/2008 1:03:10 AM
Sorry I forgot to raise my hands ... read my profile and you'll notice I walk in the same shoes as most of you on this forum and do my best to balance my life for my kids. I swear I must have been the chick in the relationship, but I kick butt playing mom and dad to my kids... the sacrifices one has to make to be SUPERDAD! but it's damn worth it!!!
 tableguy
Joined: 11/12/2007
Msg: 24
Who is here & single in part b/c of the stressors a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 4/15/2008 5:30:31 PM
Once you find out that your child is disabled, your life ,marriage is put under tremendous stress. Almost insurmoutable.Essentially (depends on the severity)your life as a married couple is over unless both parents are willing to give up theirs for their disabled children.At first the school helps(in ontario canada) but summers and when they are over 21 its you you you Especially if they are low functioning and incontinent some point in life you dont and cant devote alot of time to your spouse.And then comes the separation, divorce.There is a tremendous money issue witch adds to more stress. It gets to a point where you cannot afford a disabled child as a single parent. Then there is a worry of who will look after them (to your standards) when you pass away.There is no greater love, but there is no greater worry of having disabled children































9
 pricanlady
Joined: 1/27/2008
Msg: 25
Who is here & single in part b/c of the stressors a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 4/17/2008 4:43:03 AM
Hello Everyone! I've been single since before my child was diagnosed with Autism. Maybe because I don't know any other way to me dealing with his Autism and being single has made me focus in his recovery. At this point he's made enough progress that I can take some time to date. Babysitting doesn't come often because I do not leave him with just anyone. But I don't think that my son having autism has been a deal breaker when dating. Maybe because I tend to date people that already have kids and they have a better understanding of raising children. I am a little picky though as to who I pick because I want to make sure that there's not going to be any drama. And I'm a very happy person, so is my child, we need someone to cumpliment that not sabotage it with baggage.
Anyways, happy dating!
Who is here & single in part b/c of the stresses a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 4/17/2008 10:04:51 AM
I can't believe I am going to type this but I actually nearly agree with John on this one... I say nearly because he said
but if you want to make things work you can find a way to do it
which makes it sound like if one person tries hard enough, and we all know that isn't the case. We know that both partners need to want to make it work. I admit that I may just be projecting my own feelings and emotions on his statement but it is based on some similar IMO misinformed ideas of how relationships worked that he has shared in the past.

Special needs don't make for cracks in a relationship but rather magnify the ones that were already there. I would never ever place the blame of my relationships failing on anything that is my children...they are never to blame for how adults act. Would it have been easier to hold things together longer if my son was not all the things that Aspie kids are? Sure, but no one ever said parenting would be easy, and the same issues would have come up eventually.
You say your ex was to immature to deal with the diagnosis? There were a million other things that he/she was immature about as well, weren't there?
You say your ex couldn't deal with the financial strain? Don't you think financial strain would have come at some point anyway?
You say your ex didn't have the patience? ALL kids take LOTS of patience!
Any reason that can be said to place the blame on autism can be seen in relationships with "normal" children (whatever they are) as well....
 missinghimalready
Joined: 2/7/2006
Msg: 27
Who is here & single in part b/c of the stresses a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 4/17/2008 11:56:01 AM
Lookin4Possibilities,

I never said that my child caused the divorce, and I don't think anyone else here has blamed their child, but rather how the marriage cracked under an extremely difficult situation. Asperger's is totally different than severe autism, and yes, having a child with severe autism can cause the marriage to dissolve for the reasons I put in my prior posts below:

If you don't have a strong marriage to begin with, having a child with autism is the kiss of death for a mariage. There is always one parent who deals with the day to day reality of coping with autism, and one who gets to go to work, go to lunch, be with adults and get social interaction while the other parent is going back and forth to therapy, doing therapy at home, isolated from social interaction because of sensory issues a child may have with different enviroments, and the total and complete mental, physical and emotional exhaustion of getting through each day. Then, comes the weekend, the only opportunity for the caretaker to go out and run errands or get a break for an hour or two, which means that the other parent is now watching the child, meaning that quality time as a couple is very difficult to come by. ..Personally, since my divorce I have never had so much free time, the first weekend of visitation I was at a loss as to what people did with real actual free time, and was a bit nervous about my son being away from me for two days, almost packed up the entire house when my ex picked him up, toys, snacks, etc....

It is sad to say, but my divorce gave me a chance to slow down and enjoy life again, discover who I was as a person, not just a mother and a wife. During the hardest years after my son was first diagnosed, I became so burned-out and exhausted and had no free time for any kind of social life, even going to neighborhood get togethers meant my ex socializing and chatting, while I watched our son like a hawk, and took him home when the melt downs and tantrums became unbearable. If company was in town, I was the one who stayed home while he took them to dinner, as our son would flip out if I was out of his sight.

My ex became a workaholic as a reason to avoid coming home and dealing with the whole situation, and felt that it was the mother's job to research therapy, diets, etc...and implement them, and would escape to a car show or bs'ing down the block with a neighbor to unwind from "work" . His job to me was a vacation compared to what was going on at home, and yes, the brunt of it usually falls on the mother, and resentment does begin to build. Especially when your husband is free as a bird all day and with adults, conversing and going out to lunch, and you haven't been out of the house in two days except for therapies, and maybe food shopping. Food shopping...you would have thought I was shopping in Paris, I would lose track of time with the exception of the phone calls every five minutes " are you coming home yet, he is freaking out"...."what's taking you so long, I can't take this any more". So, either I ended up taking our son, and shopped in between tantrums on the floor, in the parking lot, etc... or the ex decided that he should do the shopping since he shopped quicker and after all, it was on his way home from work. The finishing touch, when your husband says "you're the one who wanted a child, now deal with it"

So, husband out all day, wife home stressed, lonely and depressed, doesn't make for a happy household. Since the divorce my son spends much more time with his father than he ever did when we were married, he is with him every other weekend and one night during the week. I am happier, my ex is happier, and our son is doing great. Not a fairy tale ending, but it has worked out in the end.

Honestly, the marriage wasn't that great to begin with, the situation with our son just hastened it's demise. We started datomg when we were only 20, and grew apart. There are those rare couples who can survive something like this, but we weren't one of them. .
 wanderbaby
Joined: 9/4/2006
Msg: 28
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Who is here & single in part b/c of the stresses a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 4/17/2008 12:43:18 PM
Johne, for the most part, I think most marriage couples try to resolve the issues they are having before calling it quits. But I don't think this thread was intended to blame the child or put the child at fault due to their handicap. It would be a different aspect, I'm sure, if their child was normal and the marriage would probably work out. The issue with marriages that don't work due to having a special needs child is simliar to those in marriages with normal kids: communication, trust, reliability. However, some have a hard time accepting that their child isn't normal so they are in denial or put fault in the other parent. The couple should be a support system for each other, but what happens when the other isn't there to offer support, or won't step up to get involved with what goes on with a special needs child, the marriage will crumble because a marriage can't work with just one person dealing with the family and daily life.
 missinghimalready
Joined: 2/7/2006
Msg: 29
Who is here & single in part b/c of the stresses a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 4/17/2008 3:30:35 PM
oops, double post, sticky keys
 missinghimalready
Joined: 2/7/2006
Msg: 30
Who is here & single in part b/c of the stresses a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 4/17/2008 3:33:55 PM

While it takes more than one person to make a marriage work both parents should be working to help their children. If one does not they are not much of a person for family are they? Do not blame the child..these types of situations show a person's true character.


no one is blaming the child....haven't you read anyone's posts? I agree, when both parents aren't willing to go the extra mile and work as a team, that is why the marriage crumbles, statistically 80% of marriages where a child has autism end in divorce(not talking mild autism or PDD). Sad but true.
 bluvshunny2
Joined: 4/3/2008
Msg: 31
Who is here & single in part b/c of the stressors a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 4/17/2008 7:16:31 PM
Me too. My son has AS. I think the reason it becomes so hard for the man is because on average the child looks like any other kid. My ex never could grasp the fact that my son didnt do things on purpose. Somethings just are. It was very hard and he never adjusted.
 tableguy
Joined: 11/12/2007
Msg: 32
Who is here & single in part b/c of the stresses a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 4/17/2008 8:42:56 PM
Again it all depends on the severity of the child.If the child is severely mentally challenged,there are few, if any, that are able to handle the stress of a marriage.Comparison to healthy children,not knowing the faith of your child, and having no social life. By that, i mean, being totally focused on the child and neglecting your spouse forever.You are wrestling mentally with"its my child" and "why me".Unless you have help from your parents, or much older siblings, who can handle the child, your life is totally consumed, forever..Remember. no dating, no college no marriage etc.The stress for two is unbelievable There is no greater love because of why him/her and the child functioned at a much younger age then his/hers chronological age
 luvablekitten
Joined: 4/23/2008
Msg: 33
Who is here & single in part b/c of the stressors a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 4/29/2008 11:42:17 AM
It's sad, but the divorce rate among couples with autistic children is now 80-85 %. I can absolutely say Autism was the cause of my divorce. (and the fact that some men care more about their wife's job, and competing with the Jones' than they do their children). My husband had never cheated on me, we rarely fought, and I thought we had a great marriage, until the last few months. It wasn't THAT Joey was autistic. Both of us accepted that fine. We discussed all of his treatment options, my husband was always interested, supportive, and involved, but the fact is autism changes your life in ways that he just couldn't handle. It started when my son began to have problems in daycare. The fact is, most daycares can't handle an autistic child. The services that we need are just not available in this country. They love to throw pages of information and diet suggestions at already overwhelmed mothers, but they do absolutely nothing to HELP. (as in special needs daycare centers, babysitters, financial help) As my husband was military and we went where the Navy sent us, we had no family to help. By the age of 4 Joey was one of only 2 children in his classroom of all autistic children who could speak and was potty trained, but now he was starting to regress, and we could see the damage that was being done. His teachers were calling it separation anxiety. They said before and after school was just too long a day for him. I changed the hours I worked, we changed his daycare situation several times, and nothing was working out. Every time I mentioned just staying at home, my husband would panic because we had just bought a house, and we really couldn't afford for me to be at home. I would have rathered give up the house than have my entire family destroyed. It became our biggest argument. We tried to get my sons Social Security, but they said we made too much money, and without it, there was no way I could quit my job. Eventually, we did the only thing we could do, I started working nights. Opposite schedules are not very good for a marriage, but we managed to be okay for a couple of more years, and it did seem to solve the problem for the time being, until the World trade center attack. After 9-11 my husbands ship was put into 3 duty sections, meaning he works all night and doesn't come home every 3 days. Of course I had to be off all of the nights he worked, so my paycheck dropped signifigantly, not to mention the fact that we only had one day off together a month. What marriage would survive that? It took 4 months of those hours for our entire marriage to crash. He literally abandoned us and has had no contact with me or our children for 7 years . I saw him once when he actually showed up in court. (4 years later).
 missmello
Joined: 1/27/2008
Msg: 34
Who is here & single in part b/c of the stressors a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 4/29/2008 3:02:17 PM
Hi...I am a single parent of 2 kids. I have a daughter 12 & a 3 yr old son with Autism..he is still non-verbal. I have been apart from his father since he was 6 months.
I have raised both my kids by myself as best as I could.
I believe the hardest hurdle for me is getting the other parent to acknowledge and come on board with a diagnosis of Autism and what that entails eg: reading, attending courses, using specific learning strategies etc. If you are both not working in unison it is extremely hard for the child.
For me this has been a life changing event and feel that I am the lucky one to have been given the opportunity to parent such a special wonderful child.
YES hard work........but the simple accomplishments he makes give me the greatest rewards......

 Beaugrand®™©
Joined: 3/24/2008
Msg: 35
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Who is here & single in part b/c of the stressors a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 4/30/2008 6:40:51 PM
My son's autism didn't break up the marriage, her cheating did; she tossed it away to marry a narcissistic, self-destructive alcoholic abuser who drank himself to a painful death. That was 21 years ago.

I'm not bitter about that, I'm angry.

My 24 yo son lives with me now. We're getting along fine.
 luvablekitten
Joined: 4/23/2008
Msg: 36
Who is here & single in part b/c of the stressors a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 5/1/2008 10:59:15 AM

Btw, it worries me that you have CP and can't even spell 'palsy' correctly.

Okay, this was stupid and unnecessary.

Do not blame the child..these types of situations show a person's true character

Johne
Not one person here has said that their child destroyed their marriage. My son didn't ask to be born. He didn't ask to have autism. He's not responsible for anything. There is a difference between saying autism destroyed my marriage, and my son destroyed my marriage. I don't even blame my husband. We were put in a ridiculous situation that very few marriages would have survived. The fact is that 80-85% of marriages with an autistic child will end in divorce. That says something. No one is blaming the children. I blame our government, feminism,and our society as a whole.
You have CP. so what? Daycares, schools, and businesses are required by law to accomodate persons with physical disabilities. They are not required to accomodate persons with neurological disorders. My son has been thrown out of daycare centers because quote "He's upsetting the other children" or "the other children just don't understand". I met a woman with a doctorate degree who works part time at an autism awareness center because she has to pick up her son from school at noon, and there is nowhere for him to go after that. Wow, she's making a living. So much for all that money spent on college. Now, it's not that I'm not that I'm complaining that I can't work a full time job. I absolutely consider my children more important than a job, and I am happy to be at home if I need to be. In fact, there is nothing more fulfilling. But, if the government is not going to provide me with the same affordible daycare that other women have, and the same right to work that other women have, they can't really expect me to work, can they? Thanks to feminism, men no longer have the right to support their families. We'd rather give the jobs to women. Almost all women must work now days. It's not a choice. Because our society is sick of supporting women who "choose" not to work. It's getting harder and harder for those who really need it to get financial help. It took me 4 years after my children's father abandoned us just to get my son's Social Security. You know what? It's going to cost them alot more now. Had they helped us the first time we asked, before they destroyed our marriage, it would have cost a lot less. I wonder how long it will take the government to figure that out? The point is that the sevices we need don't exist in this country. Families with an autistic child do not have the right to live and have their basic needs met. That is not my son's fault.
 luvablekitten
Joined: 4/23/2008
Msg: 37
Who is here & single in part b/c of the stresses a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 5/1/2008 11:10:34 AM

For you parents who have custody of a special needs child how do you approach dating?

My profile says that I have an autistic child. People who can't handle that probrably won't contact me in the first place, which is fine. They weren't right for me anyway. I don't see the point of becoming interested in someone, only to tell them later and have them run. Why do that to myself? Beyond that, there's nothing else to approach. My dating is just like any other mother's
 luvablekitten
Joined: 4/23/2008
Msg: 38
Who is here & single in part b/c of the stresses a child with autism puts on a marriage?
Posted: 5/1/2008 2:33:18 PM
Johne
I'm sorry. It's not personal. You seem like a great person actually, it's just all of us are looking for different things. If I could unblock you personally, I would, but if I just change my criteria, I unblock a bunch of people. Having to sort through mail that isn't what I'm looking for tends to leave me more discouraged. I'd rather have less mail. I do appreciate your support in the forum though.


As I got older my parents told me that a few relatives told them that they would have but me up for adoption if I was their child.

I can honestly say that this has never occured to me. My children are my life. With my marriage destroyed, our home and everything else gone, My kids are all that I have. I can't imagine giving them up.

Do I agree that both parents of an autistic child likely can not work outside of the home? Yes someone has to be a caregiver...unless you are lucky and one person works days and one works nights.

This is not lucky. If you read my first post, it's msg. #45 on page 2, this is actually what ended my marriage. Once he left, even that option wasn't there.

I guess what I mind is that everyone seems to want to bury their heads in the sand and pretend the problem doesn't exist. We're supposed to all keep our mouths shut and pretend there is nothing wrong. How will we ever get any help if we do that? Anytime we try to explain to people what this is like, people scream "How dare you say that about your child?". It's not just you. I hear this all the time, especially after one mother killed her daughter, and another woman took her son and jumped off a bridge, (I'm not saying this is okay, and I can't imagine a mother doing that to her her own child), but the overwhelming response was "How dare these women talk about their children that way?" (aimed at all of us), and I don't hear many people saying "hey there's a problem here, these women (or men) are overwhelmed, and we need to do something to help." To make us feel like we should just shut up and pretend it doesn't exist is really unfair. An 80-85% divorce rate says that this is a real problem, and not just a bunch of women badmouthing our children. We aren't complaining about our children. We're complaining about the government and the lack of services or help.
 fuzzy65
Joined: 7/11/2009
Msg: 39
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