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To worry our marriage may not survive the stress of autism

(67 Posts)
Takiwatanga Sun 27-May-18 19:23:24

... I feel bad, I truly do. But I cannot see how we will last the next few years with the stress autism brings to our family and our son is still so young....

UnderslungBowlingBall Sun 27-May-18 21:31:17

Autism is incredibly hard, but sometimes around the time they turn 10 it can suddenly seem easier. The autism will always be there, but take heart in the fact that you've made it this far and for that I think you're amazing.

Milkandcornflakes Sun 27-May-18 21:39:08

Hi there..no you are not being unreasonable..my son was diagnosed at 2..marriage broke down shortly after mainly due to me ďoing most of the groundwork ..appointments, meetings,panicking etc whilst he was not believing the doctors..resentment and exhaustion set in and grief for me...my son is 7 now and hes come on in leaps and bounds but has challenging behaviour and my ex has a very different (harsh) parenting style to me and it causes epic rows..

Floottoot Sun 27-May-18 21:47:55

Not autism here, but ADHD and this weekend, it has pushed me and DH to breaking point. I went to bed in tears last night and today has been ANOTHER bloody tough day. I am so tired of having to think about it and deal with it every single minute of every single day.

Sending you lots of support and strength to be able to battle on.xx

x2boys Sun 27-May-18 21:51:54

it's hard my son is severly autistic and has learning disabilities it does test relationship , in the last couple of years I have found a group of friends who all have children with autism its really helped tbh because I have read life support from people who get it flowers for you .

stopstalkingmee Sun 27-May-18 21:55:13

DS has severe ASD.

My relationship with his dad lasted 2 years from diagnosis.

The stress, lack of sleep, lack of couple time as can't get anyone to babysit etc definitely contributed x

MrsPotts18 Sun 27-May-18 21:58:09

I get it OP. At times, autism has pushed our marriage to its absolute limit. Things seem permanently rocky just now as DS (8) is going through a really bad time and we're struggling to cope. thanksgincake for you

AthenaAshton Sun 27-May-18 22:00:41

YANBU to wonder this. Our DC1 has high functioning AS, and it killed our marriage. XH couldn't cope with DC1, and that in turn ended up with me leaving him. If there is anything you can do, do it now. I wouldn't wish divorce on my worst enemy.

AthenaAshton Sun 27-May-18 22:03:54

PS @Underslungbowlingball, our DC1 was no different at 10. He is now 17, and there is a difference now. But that is irrelevant, as XH is the adult and should have been able to deal with the hand that was dealt us. Instead, he shoved it all off on to me. As if I had no needs, no feelings. When I was holding everything together, for everyone. This will still hurt when I'm 80.

PunkyBubba Sun 27-May-18 22:06:41

Like any curveball we receive in married life it really depends on your relationship, external support, and a wide variety of other things.

In my personal experience it was incredibly hard on my relationship with DH at first. Our fears for the future made us become more insular, the difficulty in spending any quality time together (that is still a challenge though DS1 is 6 Years old now and it has improved).. Coming to terms with our lives changing completely from what we had expected. We have both dipped in and out of depression at times..

But we are still together.. and we are a team. Our relationship has changed in many ways, and we are different people in some ways to what we used to be but we adapted.

Why do you feel your marriage won't last?

UnderslungBowlingBall Sun 27-May-18 22:11:16

Athena
I understand what you mean, my autism ruined my own parent's relationship, and I got blamed for the whole thing, in some ways I blame myself for the whole thing, I know more than enough about people who should have been adults shoving everything onto someone else. And like you, it will still hurt when I'm 80.

Iluvthe80s Sun 27-May-18 22:21:39

Yes it's hard. Very hard. We were lucky and got counselling support for us as a couple when things were really rock bottom. Helped us to see things from our son's point of view which helped us be more empathetic. Also helped us be more resiliant and prioritise more effectively. You have to be a team and have each other's backs. It's still overwhelming at times and husband and I rant at each other when things get too much. Self care is so important. I really hope things get easier for you.

Fundays12 Sun 27-May-18 22:28:42

My son has autism and adhd and the pressure it can put in a marriage is incredible. The lack of sleep in itself is exhausting let alone the meltdowns, routines, structure required and steep learning curve. Me and hubby have been driven to the brink but we made a choice to try learn more together. I do most of the appointments etc as I work less hours but sometimes I ask my dh to come as I need support too. We both to training courses together if we can in how to manage autistic behaviour in a positive way. You need to support each other and work together as much as you can and I know it’s hard especially when you don’t get a break as nobody will help. Talk to each other and listen, cry together but be there for each other no judgements.

UnderSlungBowlingBall you should not blame yourself it is not your fault and you should never have been blamed for that. Having a child was a choice and having an autistic child does bring difficulties but it also brings a lot of pleasure too. My sons math skills amaze me as does his memory. He can speak better English than many adults (he is 6 and is so loving towards us and his brother). I thank his autism for us all having such an amazing bond as he knows we are always there for him no matter what and he repays us with so much love.

Atthebottomofthesea Sun 27-May-18 22:36:32

Oh my goodness it is tough going, some days we cling on to our relationship by the whites of our knuckles.

I am currently having counselling and she keeps telling me to remember what is was that drew me to him in the first place and to keep filling each other's buckets.

Unlike a pp for us things have not got easier at 10, not at all.

But we keep going.

flowers for all though, it is tough going at times.

Goldmandra Sun 27-May-18 22:38:39

It isn't autism that's put pressure on our marriage; it's the SEND system and the stress involved in fighting to get their needs met.

The financial drain, the time, the adrenaline surges whenever you open an email, constantly having to look for the loopholes that can be used against you, the criticism of your parenting and the threats to remove your children and being unable to trust anyone to stick to anything they have promised. It crushes your faith in humanity and leaves you in fight mode 24/7.

Managing the autism has been a breeze in comparison sad

Floottoot Sun 27-May-18 23:00:43

Goldmandra, you have hit the nail on the head. It's the constant stress of fighting to get your voice heard and your child's rights acknowledged, and the worry of what the future holds.

AthenaAshton Sun 27-May-18 23:04:37

@UnderslungBowlingBall, flowers for you. As if anything were your fault, any more than it is my DC1's "fault" that he is the way he is. The only fault, if there is one, lies with XH, who thought that shouting at him and hitting him was the answer to ASD.

We did have counselling via CAHMS. The lovely psychologist asked me who was looking after me while I was looking after everyone else. That was a bleak moment, as the answer was: "nobody". I couldn't say that as XH was in the room, though, and I didn't want to hurt his feelings. This still hurts four years after the event just as much as it did at the time.

BlueEyedBengal Sun 27-May-18 23:26:47

I have 6 children of them I have a 25 yr old with autism, a 9 year old with autism and a 10yr old with a d h d. I have been married for 29 years and really have so much stress not from the youngest ones but my 25 yr old she will scream and shout and hit you and my husband spends most of his time out at the pub I own this house and he owns another I am about to throw him out as he is no use to me or the kids ( youngest 5) selfish dick is about to get his things packed in his car tomorrow and I don't care if I see him again he leaves it all to me I don't know how long it's been since I went out beginning last year I think . Anyway my boys are sweethearts and I'm luck they love hugs as my d d hates themsad

UnderslungBowlingBall Sun 27-May-18 23:30:41

Athena
I'm sorry, reading that back it sounds very defensive. I think you're amazing for going through all that and still having the feeling that it's not your DS's fault. I wish my own parent's could see it was never my intention to be autistic, and I hope your DS is successful in the future smile

keepingbees Mon 28-May-18 00:00:42

I have a 12 year old DS with high functioning autism. Much as I love him to bits he's hard work and it's put a massive strain on my marriage at times. We don't get a break, holidays are out of the question, day trips always end badly. It's relentless with no way out. All the appointments, school meetings and problems are dealt with by me and I struggle alone with it. We have no help, family don't want to know and don't help. DH doesn't cope too well with his behaviour and they don't seem to understand each other. I feel resentful. Yep it's tough.

Takiwatanga Mon 28-May-18 07:12:02

Wow. Thankyou everybody. The support means so much. Just hearing others get it.

I am very fortunate to have my son, he is the love of my life, but his struggles literally kill me inside some days, for him not necessarily me. We also have a daughter who is your typical bright and strong willed little girl, again I see her struggle with her brothers behaviors and it kills me. Dh and I deal with ds differently, he sees a lot of it as normal naughty behavior and shouts... Then I shout at him for shouting at ds. We talk about our parenting styles a lot, I'm hoping the early bird course will help him see a lot of ds behaviors are often sensory or a reaction to sensory overload. I guess I resent him as I deal with it all, appointments, ehcps, nurseries, and Dh just seems to bury his head in the sand and pretend ds autism isn't as impacting as it is because it's easier just to tell him off rather than try to open his mind and see ds behavior as autistic... If that even makes sense?

I am ashamed to admit it, but I do feel resentful towards Dh, but I am also hopeful that he can overcome this denial and refusal to change in time. I've heard men take longer?

Takiwatanga Mon 28-May-18 07:13:23

Ultimately though my son will always come first, and if Dh doesn't change his attitude in time I will leave him. I've told him this.

Takiwatanga Mon 28-May-18 07:15:19

Also feel I should add I am not perfect. I am too soft and have been working on implementing boundaries this past week or so. I am also bossy, as Dh doesn't think to do things so I have to ask him over and over again when out and about, and he feels this undermines him. If I didn't though I'd just be left to do it all..

CoffeAndCream Mon 28-May-18 07:24:29

I have a 10 year old with ASD and sever learning difficulties. He started special school just before he was 4. It does put a strain on your relationship but don't assume you can't get through this together. It is very hard when you have different approaches to behaviour, the best thing for your child is for you to work as a team with a consistent parenting style. Dh found it hard at first but the early bird course was an Eye-opener for him. Dh also has a lot of autistic traits himself which can add some complications to the mix!!!!
Don't give up, it is still early days.

Yokatsu Mon 28-May-18 07:40:58

Take a breath and bear in mind that Autism is often genetic. Autistic Child often mean strong Autistic tendency in the dad often undiagnosed. Before kids the woman is often doing alot of support and communication for the man without really thinking about it. Suddenly Autistic child comes along and there's not enough of mum to go round.

Dad suddenly find himself drowning because the level of social communication expected of him as part of a family unit is way in excess of what he can manage. He feels resentment to wife because he misses her support and child because that support is now directed to child. Often the noise levels are way to much too and the unpredictability of a small child is terrifying. Can't communicate any of this (even if they recognise it which chances are they don't), start doing stupid things to subvert any social expectations. When you realise you wonder how the he'll they managed to conduct a relationship to the position of marriage in the first place. Often can't accept the child's autism or need for support because they see themselves and "they came out fine"

Wife is way too busy with child to notice what's gone wrong in marriage. And if if she did she probably won't have the energy to care. She misses the man who she married, because a well supported Person with Autism can provide a lot of care and support back, and drowning one cant.

Sometimes is the mum with the Autistic tendencies. What tends to happen then is that prior to children she has enough masking strategies to cope with life and manage a relationship post children that is most definitely not the case, and it's the relationship that is one social demand too much

I've seen so many families of kids with Autism or ADHD break up for this reason and most don't have a clue what's going wrong so can't even begin to know how to fix it. I don't know if knowing makes a difference because things can't go back to how they were.

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