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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  
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?Page 3 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
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).
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......

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.
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

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.
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
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
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.
Joined: 7/11/2009
Msg: 39
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