If you haven’t read “Tips For A Strong Marriage Of Parents With ASD Kids,” then I suggest you read that blog first. This is the second part, and it will discuss more tips on how to make an effort to keep the relationship going amidst the stress and issues related to your child’s disorder.
Personally, I can say that it’s a battle. If you’ve read the first blog, you’ll understand what I’m saying. It took my husband and me two years to fix our marriage after we discovered of our son’s ASD. I thought we wouldn’t make it because of the stress, but it seems that the universe is aligning in our favor. We found ideas on how to deal with the issue on our child and keep our marriage intact.
Have Some Time Alone
Though it is encouraged that you bond with your partner and with your family, it is also urged that you spend some time alone as well. You need your “me” time to explore other things and do activities you love doing. It will help you unwind to relax your mind and body. It will also help you get energized in facing situations about your ASD child and marriage. “Mind resting usually doesn’t mean to have no thoughts, but to slow down thoughts and give each thought less meaning. Resting is going into the body and allowing things to be as they are.” Andrea F. Polard, PsyD said.
My “me” time is every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday when my husband is in charge of our son. I usually do yoga or run around the neighborhood. Other things that I do in my alone time is reading, writing stories, and watching sappy romance films.
Fight And Make Up
With the stress and frustration that caring for a child with autism can bring, it is quite expected to build your temper and hit your spouse’s “nerve.” Go ahead and let it out. Get it out your chest but after that, make sure that you make up with your partner.
I am always guilty of this, but my husband never takes it to heart. When I realize that I’ve bitten his head again, I hug him tight from behind and plant kisses on his neck. This tickles him, and then, he forgets how a “monster wife” I am, at times.
Get Enough Sleep
“The amount of sleep you get and the quality of that sleep can actually affect your physical and mental health in ways you don’t anticipate.” Julia Hogan, LCPC explains. That is why you also need to get some good night sleep. Dealing with a child with autism is indeed stressful that is why you need all the energy there is to function effectively. I agree with this tip 200%.
Having a support system from the outside will give you renewed strength in facing the obstacles and daily challenges brought about by your ASD child. For us, it’s my mom. She is a very loving and understanding grandmamma. My mother even took special education class after learning that my son has ASD.
Focus On The Good
In whatever challenge you face, always focus on the good side. Rejoice in the triumphs no matter how small. This applies to both your child’s ASD and your marriage as well. This will keep you inspired and motivated.
Have A Sense Of Humor
Find humor in your situation and laugh at it. This will lighten the burden on your child’s condition and probably take away marital stress.
Rethink Your Priorities
Life is constantly changing. Thus you have to be very open and flexible. This is also true with marriage and having a child with autism. But despite everything, never lose sight of your priority. And what is that? LOVE. COMMITMENT. FUTURE. FAMILY.
However tough the situation may be, focus on it but never let go of your marriage. “Become aware of your emotions and allow yourself to feel them. Mindfulness is the main goal here, and bottling up emotions won’t do any good.” Heather Edwards LMHC, NCC, BCC used to say. Don’t let the situation wreck whatever you have with your partner. Allow the circumstance to mold your relationship with your spouse instead. One out of 59 children is bound to have ASD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is very common. Divorce is common too, but why give in?