By: Tammy C. Forester
All couples face adversity of some kind at some point in their marriage. With divorce rates on the rise, and some scary statistics for divorce rates for couples with disabled children it seems like it is harder today than ever to create a successful relationship. In a fast-paced modern world finding time to work on a relationship may seem like a difficult task in and of itself. For couples raising a child with a disability, it can be even harder to find time for each other. The child takes priority and it takes a lot of time and resources to care for the child’s needs. This often leads to increased stress within the family as well. It is important to find ways to work together and nurture your relationship even under the hardest of circumstances. Remember that your child needs both of you, and it helps if you are working together as a team instead of being separated.
Research has found that most failed relationships are caused by a lack of communication. Especially in times of difficulties, it is important to keep the lines of communication open. At times it may seem easier to retreat into your own world and just not discuss your emotions, feelings, worries, or fears, but it is also a highly destructive practice. When frustrations build up and emotions run high, it is a recipe for destruction within a family. Keeping things to yourself does not protect anyone but instead may separate you from those around you who love you. As a couple, you are a team in all aspects of life, and it is important to communicate and work together to find solutions to problems that arise. Working together in stressful situations can help bring you closer together as a family and a couple.
Even though things may get rough and at times it may seem impossible to deal with and accomplish everything that needs to be done and deal with the pressures of life, it is still extremely important to try to find some time to spend alone with your partner. Even little things like calling home to check in, saying I love you, being there for each other in times of trouble, or just encouraging each other can make a big difference. If you can find time to get away for a few minutes just to talk to one another or spend time together that would help a lot. Keeping an intimate relationship with your partner and offering encouragement and support will help keep the relationship strong and allow you to deal with problems that arise.
It is also important for couples to realise that they are partners in life and in the care of their children. When a problem arises whether it be finances or a new diagnosis to face, they need to communicate and work out a solution together. Cooperation is the key in all of this. No one person can do everything. Both parties play a role in their relationship and the care of their children. If something goes wrong or a problems arise it may seem easier to place blame than to work together to find a solution. When couples blame each other, they only add to the problem and may be jeopardizing the structure of their relationship and trust. It is important to find ways to share responsibility and work together to overcome adversity.
Couples should also find and take advantage of resources and support services available to them within the community as well as with family and friends. Raising a child with a disability is a difficult task and at times families may need help and support. There is no shame in asking for help when you need it. Whether it be with household tasks, babysitting, financial assistance, counselling services, or whatever the need may be, having a strong support system is important in dealing with stressful situations. Don’t be afraid to seek out help when necessary.
I know that it seems hard to find time to look after your relationship whilst balancing the needs of caring for your child but it is an investment that will keep you working as a team and better able to juggle everything going on in life. Your children need you to be healthy and strong in order to be able to care for them. If things get hard and you feel like you can’t handle everything seek out professional help. If you need to, seek out family counselling or support groups – we can help you! Raising a child with a disability is a huge responsibility and everyone needs help sometimes. Remember that your children are depending on you and working together as a team can provide a sense of stability within the home while allowing you to grow closer and stronger than ever as a couple.
Marriage is difficult even under the best of circumstances, and having a child with a disability can limit the time and resources available to families and couples. It is important to stand by each other and help each other to grow and overcome obstacles that come your way. It takes communication, effort, and determination to help couples survive even the most difficult of circumstances, and sometimes ultimately things do not work out but you still need all of the above and to work as a team to get what is best for your child.
We are here to help you, if you need to talk to someone please get in contact on either 01733 262226 or firstname.lastname@example.org to chat to one of our support team.