Having a marriage while raising children is sort of like climbing a mountain. You realize you’re all tied together and there’s no easy getting off. You stay in the moment because you know you have to. Sometimes, you may even want to.
Eventually, the climb becomes more synchronized. Once upon even ground, however temporary, the realization that everyone is still standing sets in. Taking in scenery is a time to relish. That’s when the breathing becomes easier.
You get better at synchronizing your movements. This is a choreography of sorts, when you’re schooled in a dance the two of you choreograph. You learn to dance together.
Marriage and parenting are for grownups. I have a lot of catching up to do. I wouldn’t want to quibble with any statistics floating around or studies that say exactly the opposite of each other. So I’m not writing about divorce rates among parents of children with autism. And I don’t have any methodologies, books, tapes, or DVDs to present. I will just tell you I am one of the lucky ones.
I’m lucky because I was able to travel, have interesting jobs, and meet many incredible people. There’s no hole gaping in my life of wished-for things left undone, aside from a cup of coffee or a nap. I was able to marry the Love of My Life. We were able to have a family. There’s one thing about marrying the Love of Your Life, though:
Life keeps happening.
I’m finding a sense of humor helps. In our salad days of autism, there were signs and messages with pictures throughout the house. We were sure to include a poster over the mantle that stated, “NO Babies Allowed in the Fireplace”. Sharing a faith in something or someone bigger than the both of you also helps. For a few of you, this may be your mother-in-law.
Being willing to pitch in and do what may not have been originally delegated contributes to a marriage that keeps. Random acts of kindness become thoughtful habits. During trying times, easing up on expectations eases tensions.
My tendency to become a recluse in my marriage balances unevenly with my bombastic, emotional interventions. I’m not sure if this is a “Venus/Mars” issue or it just reflects my confusion in times of change. Never taking a partner for granted is more than just lip serve. But, if I am like other parents of children with autism, I can’t ignore acknowledging the guilt I feel for having children who require extra help.
How did I save my marriage? I haven’t. I’m still saving my marriage every day.Tags: Alison Davis, autism, Marriage, momof3au