But it doesn’t have to be a death blow to a marriage, she said.“There are more difficulties in terms of lack of time and financial demands, and there is certainly more stress,” Marshak said. But there’s an arc to learning how to have a good marriage under those circumstances.If it weren’t for his son I would continue the relationship and see where it leads.But I am having a lot of anxiety about the possibility of committing to him and his child long term.
Do not just become “parent-partners.” When parents’ only connection to each other is through or about the child, it can cause problems, Marshak said. “It’s an urban legend,” says Laura Marshak, a professor in the department of counseling education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and co-author of “Married with Special-Needs Children: A Couples’ Guide to Keeping Connected.” Well, that explains why I could never find any hard data to back up that statement. I was Googling every possible word combination I could think of, panic-stricken. That’s not to say that couples with a child with a disability don’t face extra challenges, pressures and stress. Marshak says there have been studies that show a higher divorce rate among couples who have a child with special needs, but it’s nowhere near 80 percent, she said. Tossing in kids can intensify whatever strengths or weaknesses are already there.Even though they love their kid like crazy, the worrying and advocating and fighting with insurance companies or schools can wear parents down over time, and make them more snappish with one another.Is this a valid reason to keep looking for a different partner? One of the things I’ve learned over thirteen years of giving advice is this: if I ever dare suggest that someone is entitled to not want to date you, I am perceived as an insensitive asshole. In fact, if you were to not consider the effects of being a stepmother and caretaker to a special-needs child, you could be considered hopelessly naïve.If I tell a woman that it’s okay for her not to marry the penniless, 46-year-old, always-between-jobs Peter Pan guy, then those guys will feel I’m denying their basic humanity, when, in fact, all I’m doing is letting the woman know that there are plenty of other fish in the sea that she will not have to financially support. A quick Google search reveals that the annual cost of autism therapy can exceed ,000 to ,000 per year and that the lifetime cost to support an individual with autism is greater than .2 million.