Autism can be stressful for all involved, and for parents of an autistic child, it certainly can be a strain on your marriage. The American Psychological Association reports about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the U.S. divorce, and that’s before factoring in the added challenge of having a child on the autism spectrum. But your marriage doesn’t have to be part of those statistics. Incorporating a few small changes into your life might help you and your spouse in a big way. Here are some steps you can take to focus on your relationship while making sure you’re taking care of everyone under one roof.
10. HAVE DATE NIGHTS
You need to take the time to strengthen your bond as a couple. This means taking time for just the two of you. It’s not selfish to opt for time together over time with your children every once in a while, even as parents of a child on the spectrum. Try to get out of the house and away from the kids at least a couple of times a month. Do something together that both of you love, whether it’s going out to eat, going to a movie, or going dancing.
Photo: Flickr/Valentina Yachichurova
9. BE PARTNERS AND TEAMMATES
Remember to work together. After all, you’re teammates in your marriage. If you both neglect to pull your own weight, things can go downhill pretty fast. Having a person to share the load can help give you strength on your bad days, and it allows you to give your partner strength on your better ones. Together, you can be greater than the sum of your parts.
8. SPEND FAMILY TIME TOGETHER
Just as you need to reconnect regularly as a couple, it’s important to continue strengthening the bonds between your family members. Connect with each other as a larger family unit, but also make a point of spending some alone time with each of your children when you can, whether they’re on the spectrum or not. Everyone in the family could use some one-on-one time.