WyrdHubby and I are always reading anything we can get our hands on when it comes to raising the Wyrd-O kids. One thing that we learned early on is a very sad fact.
80-95% of Marriages involving an Autistic Child end in divorce.
We have 2 autistic kids….
Now let’s be clear. The standard for divorce today has been stable at around 50%. My husband hates it when I recite these facts. I don’t do it to be mean or shove it in his face. I do it to remind myself (ok and maybe him) just how much we have to work on our marriage EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY!
We have done quite a bit to stay together for the past 4 years to raise the "Wyrd-Os 5"…(yes, he inherited the other 4 kids but he always tell people these are MY kids :) )
Every 3 months we try to go away for the weekend. Our favorite so far is the Drury Inn. Free EVERYTHING!..drinks, internet, long distance phone..and a very nice king size bed! On this weekend we have 3 rules: No talking about the kids. No talking about the house or finances. Focus on us as husband and wife, man and woman. The problem is WKG usually gets kicked out of the one and only place that we can find for him to go to respite. We also have to find someone who can handle WKD because he’s Deaf, Autistic, and very, very, very busy…since he’s 2 and all. With that said, we haven’t gone on our weekend in almost 5 months.
We attended a World Wide Marriage Encounter Weekend. That was a wonderful experience. It was also very interesting because the soonest one I could find that was near us was being sponsored by the Catholic Church. 0_0 I didn’t know what to expect and I immediately started to regret it. WyrdHubby just smiled and took it all in. He was wonderful! He attended and was present in a positive way. He dialoged WAY better than me and even wants to bring the concept to our UU church. It has really helped us communicate with each other. We recommend it to anyone who wants to nurture and enhance their relationship. The WWME is sponsored by churches from almost every denomination so don’t be afraid. Give it a try.
This may seem simple and silly but yet so effective. (as these things often are). Dinner is always served at 5:30 pm. no matter what chaos is going on. The TV goes off (Signing Time and Rachel can wait) and everyone, yes EVERYONE sits at the table whether you eat dinner or not. WKG doesn’t like this rule sometimes because he doesn’t want to eat or would rather be in front of his computer geeking out. It’s wonderful what a meal can do even if its Hamburger Helper or Hot Dogs or BBQ ribs…WE TALK! WKG gets engaged and connects. For an Aspie kid that’s a damn near miracle! WKD will even respond with verbal tics and everyone is allowed input. I love that part of my day.
WyrdHubby and I also attend marriage counseling. Because I actually like the guy sometimes and want to keep him around! Sometimes its hard to talk to each other. Even when the kids are in bed and the house is, dare I say it, QUIET! When the days are stressed and the kids are demanding, its so easy to turn your stress into a mini ass chewing because the other person is somewhat emotionally available/vulnerable and they just happened to already be “snarky”.
We also have a rule. We are not allowed to even mention “Divorce” until WKD has graduated from high school. He’s 2 ½ now…so 15 more years….The kids are too important and it really isn’t just about him and me. It’s about US, Mom, Dad, and 5 beautiful smart funny brilliant kids. WyrdHubby likes to say I’m stuck with him for at least a total of 50 years….we’ve been together for 4 now….it’s gonna be a loooong road! :)
Oh yeah, we also attempt to have sex at least once a month! :D
Now THAT takes real effort!
So does it work? Sure!...for a while. Then the stress boils over like a pressure cooker on the 4th of July. Someone snaps and forgets all the coping skills they’ve learned. WKG throws something and it almost hits WyrdFairyPrincess because her singing and dancing annoys the Hell outta him. WKM finally explodes with the anger that he’s been trying to hold in all week. WKD bites the crap out of someone. WyrdHubby leaves in the midst of all this chaos, stating “THIS FAMILY WOULD BE BETTER WITHOUT ME!” because he HATES the aggression of it all…and all because I tried to take a shower for 10 minutes.
But I have to say this. My family REALLY is wonderful. When I am sick WKG does his VERY BEST to be compliant. It’s his way of letting me rest…such a sweet boy. WKM, who is already a saint, rises to the occasion and starts to cook dinner. My husband becomes, one again, my White Knight and takes over everything from pills to WKD’s bath to “cleaning” the living room. Or if I’m not sick maybe the boys actually get along that day and duel in Yu-Gi-Oh where WKG actually loses gracefully. 0_0 (wow!) and they all play with the WFP so she can make a cake in her Easy Bake Oven and WKD gets to play in his therapy rice bath.
Those days I just look at WyrdHubby and smile…
45 more years baby….
45 more years…