Wednesday, June 13, 2012

30 Years and Counting...Marriage and Raising Autistic Children

Thirty years ago hubby and I stood under a chupah and pledged to love honor and cherish til death do us part..well those are not actually the words in a Jewish wedding ceremony but you get the general idea.  I wanted everyone to know, especially those who are just beginning their journey into the world of autism, that the dire predictions of the eminent demise of your marriage are wrong.

 

I can honestly say that if we hadn't figured out what was wrong with CM1 that would have been the end of our marriage. It  was finding out what was causing his issues that helped us get over the rough patch. It is a rough patch when you have a child who could read before they were two and yet couldn't talk or play well with others. Meanwhile everyone was telling you NOT to worry. "He's a boy. He just needs to mature. You need to stop babying him..." But all along you knew something was just not right. We had more arguments concerning CM1 during those early years then we have ever had in our entire marriage. But once we had the name for it and once we had a direction then we knew what we had to do and we would be damned if it wasn't going to get done.

Autism doesn't cause the dissolution of marriages, people cause the dissolution of marriages. If you had a strong marriage before the diagnosis you have a strong marriage after the diagnosis. All autism does, as any major event would do, is show you the cracks that were already there. Believe me when I say fighting for the future of your child (ren) is one hell of a bonding experience. It lets you know exactly who you are and who you are married to as well.

When hubby and I were married, we signed a traditional Jewish marriage certificate called a ketubah. It sets out the rights and obligations of the couple during the marriage. In truth I have no idea what it says per se, accept that overall it requires that you be kind to each other and remember that the other person comes first in your marriage.



The ketubah is the centerpiece of a Jewish home. As such it has a central location in our house over the mantel in our family room. It is the first thing a guest will see when they walk through the front door of our home.


Next to the ketubah is actually some Chinese symbols reminding us that in a home there should be  tranquility, happiness, harmony and love. No, neither of us are from an Asian background, I just thought it was tremendous wisdom. Together all these ideas form a spiritual basis to go forward together.

So don't listen to the doom and gloom purveyors of trash...for that is exactly what it is..simply trash. Put it in a garbage dump along with your other refuse and get about being happily married and raising your family.

As far as us tonight...catered in dinner and some really good champagne.....

Until next time,


Elise

Go HERE to read about the autism-divorce rate myth.