Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
i think my marriage is over.(22 Posts)
There is nothing left in our relationship. Married 20 years, 2 disabled children. I am the sah parent, DH works. (too many appointments and boys needs too high for me to work. No childcare options available that would work for us) part of me loves being at home, part of me resents it so much. I would love a job, a little money, but it's not feasible at the moment.
He is a good man, a good father. He provides for us. Money is tight, but we're ok. But there is no "us" any more. We parent our children together. We never row, but we never talk either (always a child around who needs something). We sleep in the same bed, but nothing else for years. No nastyness really between us, but no affection; no cuddles, no kisses.
To the outside world we are a strong couple. We both adore our boys and would do anything for them. We do work well together in many ways, but as flatmates who share children, not as partners, lovers.
I care for him and he for me, but there is no romantic love. We are like best friends in many ways, but so much is missing.
As the children's needs have increased, I guess we just have drifted apart. Part of me thinks it is over, but how can I leave? Financially I'm dependant on him, how can I uproot my boys and go? Where would I go anyway?
I feel so trapped and don't know what to do. It feels like my life will be like this forever. I am so lonely. I have no friends (no time because of the boys). Is this as good as it gets?
I'm really overweight and I can see I have let myself go. My boys are my life - no time for anything else. I know I need to sort myself out. I can understand why he doesn't see me as a women. I am a fat blob, but there is never time to meal plan and exercise as I'm always sorting things for the boys.
I just don't know how to change things. Every new year I say I try and lose weight, but there is never the time to sort me out as the boys needs have to come first and my diet slips as I overeat when stressed.
I love my boys so much, but I'm so tired and feel there is nothing left of me anymore and nothing left to our relationship.
(regular who's name changed)
Couldnt read and run, really feel for you and totally get where you are coming from.
Dp and I only have one child with SN's and that is hard enough, we have reached rock bottom a few times over the last 5 yrs.
Only you and your DH can decide if it is worth continuing the relationship. It is extremely hard when there is no time to be alone together.
Do you go to any support groups for families of disabled children? I find them and this board a lifesaver. I get support for me and give support to others. It helps me but some people dont like groups.
Be kind to yourself
Ithink - I could have written bits of your post. Aside from the fact that I work full time outside of home(which could end anyday we stop having childcare), I know how you feel.
I dont have any ideas, except I wanted to say you aren't alone. I had put on a lot of weight and lately I have started working on that.
I dont think I can go out with my husband and not think/talk about my child. Her disability has taken over my life, our life, our families' lives too... A close family friend once sat me down and said - This is life now. You got to make the most of it.
Sounds a bit preachy, but for me, our marriage is also all about increasing my child's chances of an independent adult life, long after we are gone.
If your health is a concern, I would say sort that out first. Even if that means their therapy or care suffers for 30 minutes a day(I have had to do that)
(((hugs))) I an so sorry things are so difficult for your family
I so 'get' the overeating and stress links and therefore make no further comments on that...as it is a personal path and I find the less stressed I am the more able to deal with my health and vice versa.
Husband wise....do you get any support or time together ?
We farm our youngest to Grandparents once every month or two and go straight after the morning school drop off to the cinema or for lunch out and get back from our 'date night' in time for school pick up.
The more time together the more you can decide if things can improve?
I'm so sorry you're going through this. I could also have wrote a lot of this post. We have also been where you are.
We don't get any outside support and we have 2 sen children too. It's literally all about the children. And tbh if we ever got the opportunity to go out alone, I'm sure we'd just talk about the children anyway.
I'm sorry I've got no constructive advice, but I wanted to tell you, you're not alone. Unfortunately.
That is why we like the cinema....time to be together but not able to discuss children. Just sit and hold hands (or cry). Time to be a couple.
Gosh I really need a cinema date...gives me a nice break.
That sounds lovely. A date at the cinema would be fab!
I could also have written some of this post. I'm sorry for you, it's so desperately hard sometimes. I have twins, both with suspected asd, one twin is currently being assessed with the other soon to follow. My DH sometimes feels like a colleague managing "our project". It's awful, I miss him. I miss us. I don't want to talk about the next steps for our sons anymore. I want to go out to dinner with him, go to the theatre, get drunk! Then I'm ravaged with guilt and think about my poor boys and their future.
I won't share some of the thoughts I've had about it all, they're too dark.
I wish you well though and want you to know that you are free to share your thoughts with me if you need to.
Well, ithink, at least you're not on your own then. Looking after SN dc is exhausting and for all the reasons you've given it often falls on the mother to be the full-time carer. Is there any hope of moving on from this? I'd say it is possible. I was with my late husband for just over 30 years and there were many times when family health issues overwhelmed the relationship. I also found that around Xmas was a time when I sometimes wondered if it was all worth it and it's one of the peak times for splitting up I believe. So maybe it's normal to feel dissatisfied with relationships at this time.
From your post it sounds as though you need to find some time for you. You don't say how old your dc are but is there any chance of getting out at all? If they are not in school are there any relevant support groups that organise events -e.g. around here there is a group for parents of ASD children where you can bring the children along. Could you get out for an hour in the evening to attend a group you enjoy? Even if it's just signing up for Slimming World or Weightwatchers as there are usually other women with a sense of humour that you can have a laugh with and, as a comfort eater myself, I've found it can be easier to lose weight if you join a group.
There will be other parents in your area feeling just as you do and feeling isolated - it's such a shame that there aren't enough ways of getting people together. Hang on in there and, as others have said, use this a place to vent.
If you want to start on your weight then sliming world is great. It's easy and cheap to eat that way. My group is now full of good friends I have made. They know about my tribunal and give me hugs. If you can't pay the weekly fee then find a Sw group on FB. I am sure there is a support group on there?
Having two sn kids myself it is hard. Your defiantly not alone.
He sounds like a good man. If there is no reason not to love him I'm sure you can get that back. It needs lots and lots of talking. Not easy, I've got four kids!
I hate feeling like this. It was so nice of you all to respond.
Sometimes you just want it all to stop, just for a little bit.
I crave for "normal" but don't even know what that is anymore.
I really appreciate you all answering my post. Thank you.
Maybe you can try reposting this in MN relationships?
Have you had some kind of counselling about the difficulties you are experiencing this new 'normality' of SN life? It's a lot about acceptance and that is far harder than the day to day SN stuff. I am constantly telling myself how unfair it all is and then realising I'm the only one being unfair.
Maybe a couple of hours a week to go to slimming world if you feel it will help your self esteem. They would also help with the comfort eating,
Maybe relate for some couples counselling?
Maybe some respite care so that you and DH can have some time together.
If you decided to end the marriage (I am assuming DH is prepared to carry on as things are?) in what way would that make things better for you? Instead of two parents who both love your boys, you would be on your own most of the time. Maybe it's worth some joint counselling to see if you can rekindle some physical affection for each other rather than end the marriage.
It's clear you are suffering some burn out so maybe a GP visit will help.
Snappy has some very good ideas and I really hope some of them are achievable for you
I would second slimming world as a good option. A lot of it can be found on the net and virtual support means you can do it at home maybe around your children.
I speak from experience.
Everything felt on top of me when I was heavier. It took a year but I realised so much of my emotions were tied up in how I perceived myself. Try and change this one thing slowly and go from there. Sometimes by just trying to fix one thing, you realise how much is "tied" up in it. Feeling better about how you look, are perceived, feel emotionally will give you the confidence you need to make life decisions.
Sorry for your post. I understand a lot of it. Take comfort that many of us unfortunately do totally understand.
Boys are 7 and 13. Both are Autistic and have other conditions too.
Am taking antidepressants already. I'm envious that he goes to work and gets out. He has hobbies and I have the children. He controls the money as he earns it.
There is nothing left of me. I am just the cook, cleaner and child carer. He does help out at home and I am emotionally and financially reliant on him. I struggle to go out as have lost all confidence. I think I have a social anxiety problem as never have coped with people well. He is a good man to put up with my depression but I feel controlled by him - he is very obsessive about money and tends to criticize what I do. I don't think he means to be so harsh, but at times he is.
I wonder if it is worth being together as we don't talk, we don't do anything. Money always about for his hobby, but if I buy anything I get told off. Have looked up counselling, but he'll never agree to go or pay for it.
My boys take up all my energy. I sometimes think I'd never cope with them alone, but at other times, I feel I'm already on my own with them.
Oh it's such a mess. It's not their fault the way they are, but no one in real life understands our lives and how hard it is looking after the boys. I try so hard to be a good mum and do all they need, but it's never enough. He is not a bad person, but we just have grown apart.
Money issue - could you discuss this with DH and explain that, although you know he doesn't deliberately mean to be difficult, you feel that you have no control and need some money that is available for you to spend on you? Failing that try online surveys (listed on the Moneysavingexpert.com website). I do them with just one site and although I miss many and don't qualify for many more, I still manage to clock up a few vouchers that can be spent with a number of companies including Amazon, Wallis, Marks and Spencer. The surveys are usually quite short so there's a chance of fitting them in around the dc. I find it can provide money for the odd treat that I can spend on me and not the boys ( I say boys - 2 are technically adult but still dependents and the youngest is 14).
Relationships - my first, sadly deceased, ds had SN (no dx) and when he was around 12 months, I read an American book by a woman who had 2 SN (no dx) dc who could not get out. She and her OH organised "meals out at home" in that they'd chose a theme eg. Italian and then cook or buy some Italian food, put a check tablecloth on the dining table and a candle and have a "night out but in" when the dc were in bed. We tried it when we had our SN ds and have done it since when the other dc came along and had health problems that made it difficult to go out together. I know this is tricky with a 13 year old who isn't going to be in bed but could you manage some "us" time for just an hour or so? You'd still be there for emergencies.
Getting out and about - are the boys in school or HE? If in school and attending regularly (can be a big "if", I know) can you get out anywhere? You could research counseling just for you - there may be some organisations in the area offering free sessions, although these are likely to be limited. Or your GP could refer you for counseling alongside taking AD as having both together is, I believe, thought to be more effective than AD alone.
If boys HE then contact other groups in the area either in person or online. It is very likely there will be other parents educating SN dc at home.
Social situations get better if you keep getting out more. I speak as someone whose shyness was closer to social phobia. You must have had to fight your dc corner quite a lot by this stage so you are stronger than you are letting yourself believe. If school times fit in, could you do volunteer work? It may sound like an extra burden but it would get you into the work style environment that your husband currently enjoys. I had a very flexible volunteer job during my late DH's illness and it helped me to keep going. I took a short break after his death and then eased myself back in. I cannot work currently due to youngest ds's chronic pain issues so this gives me a much needed outlet. Sadly, I have now accepted that our family's "normal" is in many ways quite sh1t so I have stopped expecting things to change much.
Maybe an overhaul of the respite and SEN help would be in order.
The family, including your husband, depend on you to hold everything together, and if you are already on anti depressants then more support is in order. Is losing weight going to be a magic bullet, or just another thing you are giving yourself a hard time over?
If your dream outcome is to have a loving relationship with your husband, then I would put that as a number one goal, and let some of the other stuff go down the pecking order.
I wish I could sort you a really good holiday with my magic wand.
Very best wishes
"I feel controlled by him - he is very obsessive about money and tends to criticize what I do."
I can relate to a lot of what you're experiencing, but not this. My relationship with DH is dull and steady but if I was experiencing what you've mentioned above, I'd be getting seriously itchy feet, too.
Have a booooooooooooored boy reading over my shoulder, but I'll be back later.
Right, bored boy is less bored, I've managed to get dinner going and t'other boy is indulging in a Night Garden marathon. I might get a minute to think!
Regarding the money, this concerns me "Money always about for his hobby, but if I buy anything I get told off."
Are you given enough money for the household and caring expenses that you have? I'm reluctant to suggest counselling because the money for his hobby but nothing for you (or your kids?) together with the constant criticism is abusive. He is subjecting you to financial and emotional abuse. You might not be getting black eyes and broken bones, but his behaviour towards you is diminishing and harmful in its own right. Counselling with someone controlling and abusive is very rarely advisable. For your own part, though, you could enrol in the Freedom Program. IIRC, it's a small fee online and free if you can get details through women's aid.
It goes without saying that you need to check that you're in receipt of all the benefits you and your DC are entitled to (DLA, Carer's, any tax credits or UC arising from the DLA entitlement) and it would be a good idea to have these paid into an account of your own (so long as you're not on the verge of being bankrupt) so that you have some purse strings of your own to pull.
know exactly what you are going through, thought my own marriage was over as we are just so focused on our DD who has SN too. having support from family and friends has been critical, even just to get to cinema once a month and sit together in the dark and not think about our worries for a few hours.
i have started spinning & yoga twice a week, gets me out of the house and i can go once DD is in bed. Clears my head and lets me sleep better. a few tips but hang in there, life can get better....
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