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how does your relationship survive with SN children??

(29 Posts)
redbull Wed 17-May-06 14:04:52

i know its not about the children this threadbut just woundered how you all do it??

i find me and dp are allways bickering, think its to do with him being at work and me at home i have more of an active role with ds and school and get worked up about things more than dp,

im more considering ds than dp and i think that bothers dp that he isnt 1st all the time and their is no give or take with him.

does anyone else have this problem??

PinkKerPlink Wed 17-May-06 14:11:53

it is hard

how old is your ds redbull? only asking because I feel me and my husband get on better now (not that we ever see each other). My daughter is 6 1/2. i take almost all ofd the childcare/appointments etc though and occassionally, every few months or so i start to get annoyed/frustrated and resentful about it all

redbull Wed 17-May-06 14:16:19

ds is nearly 5, goes to a special school and is autistic,
dps work doesnt help as he has to work long hours out on the road in all weather so is often ratty from being over worked

anniebear Wed 17-May-06 14:34:36

Haven't a clue!! Sadly many dont

My girls will be five the end of August (one SN from the age of 8 months)

we used to be sickly in love!! and now we also bicker all the time. I am exausted and stressed and he is very tired also...Not a good combination to then have to deal with an SN child

2shoes Wed 17-May-06 17:06:09

have to say we seem to be fine. Bit of a wobble when dd was a baby and I just KNEW something was wrong and he said I was writing her off.
I do all appointments and school stuff(same with ds who is nt) but thats my job as a sahm.
He stays at the hospital if she has to be in overnight(did it once so I said he can have that one)He is very hands on and does her bedtime bit. so I really can't complain

peachyClair Wed 17-May-06 17:54:16

My guess is that a relationship won't make it with an SN kid in the mix, unless its fairly strong. lack of sleep in our situation is enough to drive anyone up the proverbial wall, let alone the self doubt, schedules, lack of respite.

DH works nights which probably doesn't help, he has had his own health battles to face and I can pinpoint a few drakatic lows when I thought it wasl over, but we've hung in there. isn't easy though.

r3dh3d Wed 17-May-06 19:12:47

We're queueing for Relate.

In our case, I think there are a bunch of issues that would be there anyway - around me giving up work, the issue of respect, sex (what's that?) etc. etc. But that stuff that you would normally work through is so much worse when you also have the whole SN thing - the guilt trips (is he doing enough? Am I doing enough? If it's a chore, do either of us love her enough?), issues with coming to terms with it (I have, he hasn't. Or is that, I'm writing her off, he's still hoping?) Issues around family life (can we really keep DD2 in a cage for her own protection for the rest of her life? Do we have the right to some part of the house that isn't a padded cell? If we employ carers, is that excluding DD1 from the family? If we go out without her does that mean we're ashamed?) etc. etc.

All of this is really emotive and judgemental stuff and we're bound to disagree on some of it - most of it, even.

I'm still hopeful that we will survive this as a couple, but I have to say my financial planning is currently based on the assumption we will not.

anniebear Wed 17-May-06 19:49:59

some one said to me recently that most parents relationships can become stressful when they have ahd children, but then it picks up again as the baby/child gets a little older

They start sleeping through (should do!!!) can do more as a family etc etc

So the tensions ease

Sadly for a lot of parents with SN child the lack of sleep and the stress continues

onlyjoking9329 Wed 17-May-06 20:38:05

We have three kids with Autism, it is hard work at times, i do all the organizing all the meetings form filling apointments and handle all the school stuff, i am better at those sorts of things, hubby does all the housework washing ironing ect i feel this is a fair deal most of the time!, we do struggle to find time for ourselves as a couple and we are usually too tired at the end of the day to go out. in laws have the kids overnight twice a year if we are lucky! i am often amazed that we are still together.

SleepyJess Wed 17-May-06 20:41:35

It's hard. We're queuing for counselling too It takes more work than in other relationships.. and possibly some counselling of some kind or other along the way... and you have to love each other or it's not really destined to work.

Bickering is not a sign of a doomed relationship tho.. it's a sign that you are taking your stress out on each other which is normal in this situation.. but something you need to talk about and address with some kind of positive action.

SJ x

eidsvold Wed 17-May-06 22:57:10

we find when we don't get some time out alone then we start bickering and getting cross with each other.

We have tried to have someone - aunt/grandma look after the girls at least once a month and go to the movies or just out for coffee and a chat or dinner. When we have that time out it is good..... jsut to feel like a regular couple. When we don't which we haven't lately - it gets prickly in the eidsvold household.

We are very lucky - my uncle is a dj/musician so works a lot of weekends and so my aunt loves looking after the girls. My mum is starting to take an interest too.

We get sleep now that dd2 is older and that makes such a difference too.

SparklyGothKat Wed 17-May-06 23:03:32

Our relationship has hit many rocky patches, normally when the children are about to have more tests or going into hospital. We bicker and shout at each other, but our relationship is very strong. We are both carers as we have 3 children, 2 with cerebral palsy, so DH gave up working 2 years ago. At first I found it hard having him about, because I had my routines and it threw them out, but he does the housework and helps with bedtimes. I do the appointments and school stuff.
At least we only bicker and not full-on fight like my neighbours do.

jenk1 Thu 18-May-06 02:10:57

Our relationship has endured many rocky patches along the way.
We have 2 children DS who is 9 and has Autism-AS and DD who is 2 and has Cerebral Palsy.
I definately agree with the post that said when you bicker and shout its because of stress.
I think its going to come to the stage where DH has to come out of work as i am finding it very difficult with 2 SN kids especially as DS is at home atm.
We have had counselling and it really helped, it enabled me to see where DH was getting stressed and where i was not coping etc.

SleepyJess Thu 18-May-06 10:09:09

It's such a relief (kind of.. hard to explain) to hear some of you guys saying your DHs will have/have had to stop working in order to help with the sitaution. We have 2 'SN' children (well one with cystic fibrosis, so not strictly SN in the common sense but a serious illness with lots of hard work/stress.. and DS2 has all kinds of SN and is very high maintenance. And then there is DD, age 7 who is NT thank God..) DH as not worked for nearly nine years.. but he gave up working because he himself became disabled with psoriatic arthritis and lives with chronic to severe pain daily.

For some reason best known to myself (and am going to have to get this irrational anxiety of mine sorted out.. roll on counselling!) I internally beat myself up for not financially supporting the family.. (I am the healthy one after all.. physically if not mentally, lol!). Sometimes I can't help feeling scummy for living on benefits long term like this. I am studying with the OU so that by the time I get my degree, our home sitation might be easier enough for me to use it and get a decent job.. but I still feel I should work now. even though there is no way I can. It's just one of the many things that eat away at me.

It's also good to share this general problem of trying to keep a relationshp strong with all these extra pressures of SN. I feel lots of empathy for you all.. for all the good that will do you.

SJ x

peachyClair Thu 18-May-06 11:17:18

SJ, if you did work it'd only get you criticism from other poeple- I was told off by a spcialist (specialist my Arse but anyway) for going to Uni 12 hours a week. ???? . Every day but one my kids are collected by me, always taken by me, and on a Thursday PM its their dad. And that's only between October and April coz of college terms. So, you do what keeps you sane. None of us chose this, and we have to live the lives that keep our famillies sane and as happy as possible.

lourobert Thu 18-May-06 11:18:59

Ive noticed that mine and my dp's relationship has takena swift down hill nose dive since our sons diagnosis just over a month ago.....I hope that with us it is still early days and that things will work out.

Its cetainly stress and strain on top of everything else though.

SleepyJess Thu 18-May-06 11:24:37

Lourobert it's very early days. What was the diagnosis? Just try to be kind to yourselves and each other at this stage. What you are feeling and going through is very natural.

redbull Thu 18-May-06 12:22:05

me and dp had a really good talk lastnight and have decided that once a month we will start going out either as a couple or with another couple that are good friends they also have 2 ds who both are on the spectrum.

i think that whats not helping our situation as you say is all the other stuff you have with relationships then probs with your SN children on top.

really symphasise with you r3dh3d (sex bit LOL!!! what is it can you explain it, oh you mean its that thing i did last night for the first time in months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
the way you described every thing is how i feel 100% the guilt trips and questioning whos doing more

Thankyou all so much everyone its good to know that its not just us its happening to (sorry if that sounds evil!!!)

lourobert Thu 18-May-06 13:12:06

sleepyjess- his diangosis is Infantile Spasms. I think it doesnt help that a arecent change in medication is causing him not to sleep at night. Its awful but I often find myself thinking that I havent got time for him as I want to concentrate on my son!

Still early days...!

anniebear Thu 18-May-06 19:27:20

can you please explain the sex bit to me also!!!

Is it something I have done

can't remember things that happened ages ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

lol lol

peachyClair Thu 18-May-06 19:42:35

Not just me with that one then? Must use this as evidence with DH...

although, I'm that shattered these days I have a glass of wine on DH's 2 evenings home a week, and fall promptly asleep. Then wake about midnight.

mixedemotions123 Fri 19-May-06 16:45:38

All I want to do once we have finally got the boys to sleep is go to sleep myself. Dh gets really miffed if he has to go more than 4 days without his nookie, but it is usually the last thing i feel like doing. Does that make me really selfish?

lourobert Fri 19-May-06 19:30:32

mix- i dont think that makes you selfish at all.......dont think i couldbe bothered with it every 4 days,even every 4 months at the moment!

Mog Fri 19-May-06 21:09:01

I hope this isn't going to sound crass on this thread but I've thought about volunteering with the LA to be a volunteer respite carer for people with children who have special needs. The reason I've thought about this is that I have three children under 5 with no family support so goodness knows what it's like when you have other needs to deal with.
Can I just ask if any of you have accessed this respite care and if it has been useful.

TIA

Mog Fri 19-May-06 21:19:06

And for what it's worth, people with NT children don't have sex either .

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