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What are some examples of how having a disabled child can ruin a marriage?

I just found out that my son has a disabling, progressive bone disease. My marriage is already horrible, mainly because my husband is very self-centered.
I love my son dearly and I could care less about my husband and him wanting my undivided attention all the time. But, I am curious about how disabilities ruin marriages because I hear it all the time.

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Asked by HollyHobbie76 at 5:11 PM on Jul. 20, 2009 in Relationships

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Answers (5)
  • The only example there ever is for this happening is a parent is not mature enough to handle it and leaves.

    Answer by feesharose at 5:12 PM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • It doesn't have to be like that. Include your husband with his care giving. Thats what I did with my DH. Our son has autism and when he would have a melt down I would ask my husband to put our son in his arms and hold him real close. My husband did not get it till he watched our son break down a few times. I made sure to make him be involved in care giving and tell my husband how much I honestly apprecitated his help. I let him know from my heart how much I needed his help while I touched my husbands hand. He was cold and distant at first too and seemed selfish. But he later confessed his distance was because he was scared and didn't know what to do. Men like to "fix" things and he couldn't fix our sons autism and he felt helpless. I told him I felt the same way and together we can help him function better. Your DH is probably the same. Deep down, scared and helpless feelings.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:19 PM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • The disabilities themselves don't ruin marriages. The problems arise from the additional stress, the 24/7 care, often medical bills and insurance caps all add extra tension to the relationship. Factor in these families frequently don't have the funds or availability to 'get away' for a few nights..or have a weekly date night it becomes obvious how marriages can fail

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 5:28 PM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • It does often. In fact marriages end sooner with families who have a child with different needs. The first step you already know: know the facts. So you know that marriages can end (not as a result of the child's disability but because of the different ways the parents respond to it) and you can start to be proactive. You asked why: jealousy. A partner might not like the fact that this child is being "babied" all the time. Lame I know. It is not babying it is providing care and support. A spouse may not have ever wanted to parent a child living with a disability and knows they can walk away because there is the other person who will do it all. Sad but true. It is not "fun" taking care of a child with different needs and it can be scary. We all want to escape and sometimes some people do. Financially it is a huge issue. Always trying to find ways to cover the cost.


    Answer by frogdawg at 7:46 PM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • Education can be a struggle for the parents: fighting the school to get the services your child needs and is entitled to by law. Scared: because the future is uncertain and you grieve for the child and the future you missed out on not having a "normal" experience like all your friends. No time for each other. The list is endless. You don't have the power to save your marriage. You can't do it alone. You and your husband together have the power to carry on your marriage. If you are trying to carry all that on you and your childrens' needs your marriage is not going to work. My suggestion is finding a family therapist or marriage counselor who can work with both of you.

    Answer by frogdawg at 7:49 PM on Jul. 20, 2009

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