One of the first things my wife learned about Autism was that 80% of married couples who have a child with Autism get divorced. This statistic has been thrown around and cited all over the internet, on Oprah, by Jenny Mcarthy, and it sounds scary. But is it true? So far, I can't find where this study was done or how accurate it is, but that doesn't matter, because after living as a husband and father to a child with autism for as long as I have, I can say that it feels true enough. It's a statistic rooted in truthiness.
Spending quality time with your spouse is squeezed in before sleeping hours. Our son has poor sleeping habits, that we have to regulated with small doses of melatonin - otherwise he may never fall asleep, no matter how strict our daily routine is. Not to mention that if/when he wakes up to use the bathroom, he will never fall back asleep. All of our alone time (talking, physicality, tv, etc) has to take place between about 8 and 10pm before Noah first wakes up at around 3:30 - 4:30AM when he starts his day. From this alone you can see that it's a wonder these marriages don't end in double murder suicides with all the sleep deprivation involved. Let me add a footnote to that so nobody gets the wrong impression. I'm a satirist. I use sarcasm a lot. My wife and I have never, or will never, attempt to murder each other and then end our own life.
This next week, I'm going to focus on Marriage and how hard you have to work and how willing you have to be to make it work when one of your children has autism. I don't pretend to have all the answers, but real or not, my wife and I have not become part of that statistic.
This 4 part series on Autism and Marriage continues with Autism and Marriage Day 2 - Date Night!