Marriage With Autism


Marriage with autism.

It’s hard, it’s beautiful, it’s an adventure. 

When you see another couple of a special needs child you ask them how they are, and most say “we are great.”

You see beautiful pictures on Facebook, but that isn’t always the reality. 

I think it’s a topic that isn’t talked about often.

Marriage is a challenge for any couple. You have two people living together who are opposites most of the time, so naturally they are going to argue. 

Throw a special needs child in the mix and suddenly, doctor and therapy visits consume your life. 

Finances can be tight and cause extra stress. 

Most of the time one parent has to quit their job to help with all the appointments, and daily life activities. 

It seems that one parent holds more emotional weight than the other. 

One stresses over everything and the other might let the weight roll-off. 

Sometimes your spouse can become your emotional punching bag.

When a meltdown happens in public it’s easy to blame the other parent. 

Things build and feelings don’t get talked about like they should. Not because they don’t want to, but because one parent stayed up until 2:30 am with their child. 

Date nights only happen once a year, because finding a sitter who will keep your special needs child is nearly impossible.

It’s also hard for us to go out and enjoy it because you are worried about how they are doing, and how they are coping; Are they happy?  Are they mad? What if the sitter doesn’t understand what he/she needs? 

So then it just makes sense to stay home. 

Schedules don’t always get followed as they should.

It feels like one parent is always on board but the other is lagging behind a little. 

But you keep fighting for your happiness because it’s in there somewhere. 

You keep standing firm on your foundation because your kids are depending on you. 

Remember the day you said “I do and I’ll love you through better or worse”? I bet you had no idea you would walk through an autism journey. 

It might have taken you by surprise when you found yourself sitting next to your spouse in an evaluation room with your child. 

There are days when our marriage has been tested to the limit, but God is always faithful. 

A few years ago we were at rock bottom, our marriage couldn’t win for anything. 

Over the years we have learned the key is communication. 

But how you communicate matters. 

One of the best ways to open a line of communication is using this tool we learned; 

Tell your spouse this and ask them to do the same for you, “today I felt helped/cared for/served when you did ‘xyz.’ Or, today I feel like you could have served/cared for/helped me better by doing this.” 

This tool saved our marriage and keeps an open line of communication every day.

Even though we don’t get out of the house together alone often,  it’s always important to find time to sit and talk, watch a movie, or even do household chores together. 

I’m sharing this because I want people to see that life isn’t perfect, and we don’t have a perfect marriage. 

Marriage is work and autism affects every part of your life. You can’t let it be between you and your spouse. 

I pray today you find peace through your walk.

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Kimberly Marler

Kimberly and her husband, Matthew, have been together for 12 years. They have three boys, Bryce, Lucas, and Drew. Their middle Son Lucas is autistic. She started a blog “Light Up Autism with Lucas” in 2021. She wants to take you along through their journey with autism.

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