If you Google "autism and divorce rates", the number looking back at you is staggering. According to most articles you read, 80% of couples who have a child with autism get divorced.
That is an alarmingly high number, almost a hopeless number. There's still that 20% of couples who stay together, but it's still not that encouraging.
Why would numbers be so high? The thought is that between the regular stress of a marriage, then the extra financial costs of a child with special needs, conflicting parenting styles that get magnified when both parents feel the extreme need to be an advocate for their child, potential blaming, plus the fear and weariness of a diagnosis, that 80% number seemed fair, and no exhausted parent of a special needs child ever challenged it.
The Centre for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute recently had a press release regarding the divorce rate among couples with an autistic child. What they found was almost more interesting than the 80% statistic most people were talking about. They found that number to be completely false, and that "a child's autism has no effect on the family structure".
Brian Freedman, Ph.D., lead author of the study and his team point out several critical points:
Having determination can go a long way when it comes to staying together or not. If you don't want to be that false statistic of 80%, then don't be! If you see that the relationship is struggling for whatever reason, be it directly because of a child with special needs, or any other marital stressor, fix it now! Don't wait until it's out of control. It may seem like I am just saying this from some pedestal of a perfect marriage, but that is not the case at all!
Today is my 10 year wedding anniversary!
I cannot say that any part of this past 10 years has been easy. But I can say it was worth it.
To give you the quick version of the last 10 years, we got married when I was 7 months pregnant, then that child was diagnosed with autism, we've had (many) job losses and being completely broke, no vehicle (or vehicles that only functioned partially-like a stick shift VW that had no reverse, then slowly started loosing other gears!), moving 9 times, having another child with physical challenges, having 2 late term miscarriages, a fire, and that's not even all of it! There have been many, many times where this has almost fallen apart.
All I can genuinely say is that it is only by God's grace that my husband and I are still together. I am not being overly dramatic, I mean that with all my heart. The worst things that have happened in our marriage I didn't even mention, but believe me when I say they were breaking us. But I believe that "what God has joined together, let no man separate" (Mark 10:9).
Something has happened to me in 10 years, besides getting older. I look back and think, "um......how did we get through all of that?", but then I also look at the road ahead, and know that no matter what, God is in control. I look at who I am now compared to who I was 10 years ago, and I thank God I am not the same person. I have hit rock bottom many, many times, but lucky for me in God's economy, down is up.
To my husband of 10 years: You amaze me with your faith in me. I have betrayed you many times, but you choose to remain with me, joined to me. I feel like we're in a race, and this last stretch has been even more uphill than we anticipated, but I have genuine faith we will continue to run this race with determination to finish as winners together.
I am a better person now because of you, but mostly because of God working through me and you to keep us changing and growing together.
I love you, and here's to another 10 (plus) years.
Hi, I'm Amy-Lyn!
I am the lady behind this here blog! I live in the sticks with my animals, my super handsome husband, and my
3 amazing kids!
Here you'll find things from recipes (gluten-free, paleo, and strait up junk food!), DIY ideas, thoughts on raising a son with autism, and whatever else pops into my brain! : )
Read more about me by clicking here!
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