Special Needs Marriage
Author: Rebecca Knowlden
My husband and I had the opportunity to speak to a wonderful group of people a few weekends ago on the topic of marriage. Specifically, what it looks like when kids enter the picture…and a relationship is changed by the trials of parenting. We also talked about the realities of raising a special needs child and what that dynamic does to a marriage and the life of a family.
We had great dialogue with many married couples at all levels of relationship ‘health’, and their questions/concerns broke down to two primary areas. “How can we help our special needs child?”, and “How can we keep our marriage going when our child needs so much time and attention?”
Here’s our short, but not easy, answer:
You must develop a ‘Special Needs Marriage’.
It's so natural for parents to be dominated by what their child needs, or what the rest of the family needs, yet forget to focus on the foundation of the family - The mom and the dad. When there is a special needs child in the house, husbands and wives must be even more intentional about finding the time and energy to support and nurture one another. Along with that effort comes a positive multiplying effect, as every small, loving gesture produces a bit more strength to handle the challenges of your special life.
I know that when my husband supports me, I have the confidence of two instead of one. Having a partner that understands and cares for you is vital to the survival of your relationship and certainly provides a strong foundation for your family. But remember, the only person you can control is you, so sometimes your acts of giving may precede any benefits of receiving. (We’ll talk more about that in future blogs).
I want to encourage you this week to find ways of considering your spouse first. What needs to change? How can you move toward building a better relationship? How will that help your child with special needs? How will that help your family? We would love to hear your comments.