It doesn’t have to be true that parents with children with special needs divorce at a higher rate than the general population.
Posted by: Sue Atkins
It’s often said that parents of children with special needs divorce at a higher rate than the general population, and whilst having a child that is sick, has a disability or has Special Needs can and does, put new pressure on your relationship, with some professional support, divorce is by no means inevitable. In many cases, with the parents I work with, their bond becomes closer and their relationship stronger, but it does require asking for support from each other, sharing the responsibilities and making real “We Time” where you go and have fun together regularly free from guilt.
A big part of the problem is that children who have special needs require much more attention, time; energy and personal commitment from each parent and in my experience parents focus so much on the needs of their child that they forget that it was the two of them who came together in the first place.
Maintaining and nurturing their relationship gets forgotten as everyone is extremely busy and when there is a child with special needs, the demands on your time becomes really full on and often exhausting.
Time for your relationship and time for yourself are usually the first to go. So I encourage both parents to explore meaningfully and realistic “ME TIME” as it replenishes energy, helps you relax, re focus and come back refreshed ready to start a new day.
Then I explore “We Time” where I help you look at finding small pockets of time to keep connected with your partner and your relationship. Just as your child has special needs, so does your relationship. To keep your relationship fresh, alive and growing together, you need to remember that and you need to create time for that. It’s really important. It’s always about the little things.
It’s not about going away for long periods of time but creating TIME for each other. Sharing a film night together, going out for a meal together once a month or going to the local pub quiz. It keeps your life going and gives your life a sense of balance and perspective.
I help families ditch the gremlin of guilt as both men and women need time for themselves, time to be with the children, and time to be together without the children. If you can learn to find a healthy balance that works for both of you then your chance at having a thriving marriage will be much greater.
If you’d like me to help you find more “Me Time” or “We Time” get in touch on 01883 818329