We were too young. To have babies let alone get married. But when I found out I was expecting our first I knew what the right thing to do was. Even though we weren’t yet married. We survived, and here we are almost three years into our marriage. With two beautiful boys.
It wasn’t easy. We had a lot of growing up to do. We were both too stubborn and unwilling to compromise. We both resented one another for past mistakes. We fought often.
Then something happened. Our oldest son got diagnosed with Autism. It was still hard, even harder. The financial strain of therapies and private pre-school was enormous. We separated a few times when the stress was too much for us to be together without fighting every day. No matter how bad it got it was never as bad as what I grew up with. That was always my goal.
In those periods of separation I would pray he would come back to me more mature, more wise. That he and I could both let go of the past and build on our future. I would expect apologies.
Over a period of time I began to grow up myself. I saw less faults in my husband and more of my own the more time I got to myself. I began to forgive us both. I became more mature, more wise.
We were kids having babies. We had to deal deaths and betrayals of fathers and other loved ones constantly through out our relationship. We became each other’s safe place. We trust each other because we had to at some points. And I’m glad God gave me you because he knew you were trust worthy enough before I did. I felt faith in our love all along.
We have cried together many times. Melting down in each other’s arms after a day of Autism hell. We have suffered losses. We have seen each other at our absolute worst. When you are tested like that your bond either breaks or strengthens.
We hit rock bottom. More than once. But I don’t think we ever will again. I can say with confidence we are both on the same page. My marriage is stronger because of all we have been through. Autism included.
The strict routines, the extra needs, the extra work, therapies, special diets, and the problems with behaviors might be enough to make some people run away when they wouldn’t otherwise. I don’t think the divorce rate for Autism parents is quite as high as they say it is though. Perhaps it exacerbates issues that are already occurring as it puts financial, emotional, sometimes physical, and often social strains on families.
For some of us it helps bring to light what is really important. When you have to work extra hard to help your child learn things such as speaking, you just don’t have the energy for the irrelevant things. When you are exhausted and your spouse reaches out and helps, you build up respect and you appreciate all that they DO do. And you let go of what they don’t. Because the two just don’t compare.
Our little canaries have taught us more than we have them! How blessed are we?!