Marriage on the Rocks
On Friday we celebrated our 16th Wedding Anniversary. There was a time that I did not think we would make it to this point. Many people don’t want to talk about the effects that having a child(ren) with exceptionalities can do to your marriage. Couples can become distant and the added stress of special needs can tax even the strongest marriage. It can be extremely isolating.
Not on the Same Page
Before the boys were diagnosed, my Husband and I had very different views about what was going on. Trey thought that I was a hypochondriac, and that the boys were fine. I became bitter and angry that he wouldn’t take my concerns seriously. When the twins were finally diagnosed November of 2014 at the age of 4, we all had to accept the reality that our boys had autism. It was much harder for Trey to accept than it was for me. I had known since they were babies that they needed more support than I can give them. Being the classy lady that I am, I may have used the phrase, “Told you so!” multiple times. This did not help our situation any but it felt good to say it. By 2015 Trey and I were fighting every day and could barely stand each other. The stress we were under was unbelievable.
He moved out the day after the twins 5th Birthday in the summer of 2015. He stayed with his parents, and I stayed in the house. I went to a lawyer and had paperwork filed. In the State of Louisiana, you are supposed to be separated for a year before you can get a divorce, so we were going to let a year pass. Trey and I both agreed that we could date other people. He went on one terrible blind date and decided that dating was not what he needed. I didn’t have the time or the patience to date, the boys were with me 20 days out of the month.
One Last Effort
The Fall of 2016 one of our sons needed an appendectomy and another son was going to have a tonsillectomy and due to our lack of natural supports, he moved back in. I was not happy about him coming back, but I knew we didn’t have a choice, so I told him it was temporary. I had a lot of anger towards him and I was not ready to let it go. Unbeknownst to me, he had no intention of giving up on us and was ready to fight for our marriage. We began dating, we went to counseling, worked on forgiving each other, and really made one last effort.
Trey had moved back in officially by December of 2016. It has not been all rainbows and sunshine since he moved back, we are humans after all. He still gets on my nerves from time to time, and I get on his. But with counseling and time we are back to where we were before children with exceptionalities. We work at our marriage every day, it is trying. Lots of days I want to hand the boys to him and get in my car and go anywhere but home, but I don’t. We now cook together, discuss our days, watch tv together, and truly enjoy each other’s company.
Looking back at it, our separation has been the best thing to happen to our marriage. It gave him the time to process everything that was happening, and it gave me time to decide we still had something worth fighting for. Each Anniversary now feels even more important. We still only have a date night once every couple of months, and we can irritate the tar out of each other, but we both know that we are what each other needs.