Special Needs

Is your marriage/partner affected?

Hi Everyone,

On another note, I also have a question about how you maintain calm at home and keep your relationship with your spouse okay while dealing with all of this crazy special ed stuff.

Since we got Mia's diagnosis, and I have been battling with the board of ed, I've been really stressed and snapping at my boyfriend a lot. You see, Mia's dad left us (we got divorced) when she was 3 months old, but we've been living with my boyfriend for the last year, and he is wonderful to both of us and very supportive. However, I know my attitude lately has been bothering him. I feel like I'm doing my best to make time for him and let him know that I appreciate him. And I want to let him know that I respect him and value his input in this process. But I seem to always just end up snapping.

For example, he's like, "We need to get her in to see a developmental pediatrician before this meeting in the next 7 days. Just do whatever it takes. Call everywhere." And I'm like, "Aghhh!!! I'm trying to do the best I can!!! You don't know what it's like having to deal with these people all day!!!!" 

Ugh. Any advice for keeping your relationship sane? 

Re: Is your marriage/partner affected?

  • For sure. Some weeks are better than others. 

    For us, I find a few things work. Regular date nights are an absolute must. If you don't have family/friends that can help ask around and find a sitter.  Make time for yourself too-switch off and take a break to unwind. Communication is really important. Men aren't mind readers so tell him point blank what you need from him. I find sex to be really important too in staying connected. It's so easy to fall in a rut when you're exhausted and overwhelmed. Try not to let it happen.

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  • My H and I are constantly battling. We're both in jobs that we're unhappy with, we have the stress and heartbreak of DD's diagnosis and on going issues and we can't seem to come together on anything.


    We're not at the point of splitting and we're both trying to learn to communicate with each other better, but it sometimes feels like an uphill battle.


    I've noticed that when we take time for each other and go out without DD or even have some alone time when she's napping we do better together.


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  • finsupfinsup member

    The magnitude and stress of what you are dealing with is huge, there is just no way for it to not become part of your every day life and seep into areas where you'd rather the stress not be. 

    For me, there has been times when DH and I weren't 100% on the same page on what our course of action should be and those are the times that stand out in my mind as being the most difficult.  I'm the type that needs to do hours of research and reading, and DH just doesn't.  He doesn't understand why I need to, and I don't understand why he doesn't. This was never an issue before, in fact it was more of a joke between us, until it was something we are totally 100% jointly invested in:  our kid.  Neither feels they can "give" in the way you might just let your spouse pick the color of the carpet even though you prefer another, kwim?

    Anyway, do your best to keep your snappiness in check.  BUT make him an active participant in the process and split up the responsibilities.  I found that when we are more equal partners in tasks, actions etc that we both are less likely to get cranky with each other and I don't feel like I'm the only one taking ALL of the tasks - he has his share too.

    What you BF is asking, make a dev pedi appt in 7 days, is nearly an impossible task.  hell, you'd be lucky to be able to get an appt for a physical in days!  I'd say, go ahead and make some calls and let me know how you make out.  This way he's an active participant and he an see that his request was seriously impossible and not just think you didn't try hard enough.   In fact, this is my go to response when DH says "we should....."...go ahead and make some calls and get back to me with what you find out.  Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't, and when he does that means I know he's serious about it.

  • Thank you for your thoughtful replies, everyone. I am seriously just so confused with this process and feeling like I don't know who to trust or where to turn in terms of anybody. Thankfully, the CPSE admin, although overly assertive and reactive, does take the time to talk to me on the phone, so I am slowly understanding where she is coming from and feeling less combative. 

    My boyfriend has been in the picture for about 2 years now (since my daughter was 1), and we've been living together for the last year, so he is very involved in her day to day care. And he is wonderful with her and very committed to both of us. The thing is, every time there is a new diagnosis or special ed related problem, I subconsciously try to shield him from it because I don't what a repeat of what happened with my husband. (When our then 2 month old daughter was hospitalized and they started telling us she had genetic problems, he had a breakdown and went home to his parents, effectively ending our marriage).

     So now, with my boyfriend, I try to just do everything myself. But that leaves him kind of "popping in" with random advice and sounding like he has no clue what's going on. For example, he read an email I sent to the CPSE admin and was like, "Well, the email is too long. She doesn't want to read all that. Here's what I would have said. . ." And, again, I'm like, "Aghhh! I'm doing the best I can!!!!" But he really is just trying to help.

  • Hugs to you. I can see why you are feeling some hesitation to let him hear it all- but I also see why that is frustrating for him. I'm not sure if this applies in your situation but with DH there are times when I want to jump in and tell him how to do things or correct his approach (one of our ds's is on the spectrum). BUT if I do it justpisses him off- i mean who likes to have your spouse correct you affter a long day.
    I have to show him what he needs to do ahead of time- maybe if you give your bf some concrete things to do and make sure that you let him know exactly how to be successful with them itwould go a long way to making him feel like an appreciated part of dd's treatment- and both of your lives. He sounds like a good guy who wants to do something good but can't figure out how to help you and then gets pissed and does the WRONG thing because he doesn't know what the right thing is. My Dad told me (when I wanted DH to propose) that men are like dogs and when you want a dog to sit you don't ask him if he is tired. He put a ring on it a month later and the advice hasn't failed me yet. I hope you guys can come up with a system that works for you. Can you bring him along to some things to let him see what the process is like- or send him to a support board for spouses or something? Hugs.
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