I read an article on CNN today about five peoples’ experience in this special needs world. Although Gracie is different than all those other kids, there were things in each person’s interview that resonated with me. One of the things that clicked with me most, though, was the person who talked about the stress that having a special needs kid placed on his marriage.
Chad and I love each other very much, but we have had some very rocky moments. Truth be told, we would have had rocky moments regardless of whether we had a special needs kid, but there is extra stress that comes with the financial worries, school worries, worries about our child’s future, and the worrisome fear that our child won’t have a future. It’s extra hard because we are going through this together – when our little sweet daughter is in the hospital with a scary life-threatening infection, we are both devastated, and neither of us wants to burden the other by unloading all our fears and woes. When I look at Chad during these dark times and see my own sadness etched in his face, I can’t confess my fears to him. He is my best friend, but I can’t bring my bestie down.
And then, there are the fights about inequities in the marriage. I am the one who goes to all the doctors’ appointments; I am the one who can speak the medical language and I am the one who can answer all the medical questions, so I am the one who needs to go (and wants to, too). I take time out of my workday to trundle to all the medical appointments, many of which are very stressful and scary, and then need to make up the work time late at night. It takes a toll. The chronic sleep-deprivation, the constant feeling of being behind at work, and then the stress of whatever happened at the doctor’s – it is hard. Add to that the regular household work befitting a wife and mother, and it is not long before the inequality becomes frustrating. I often feel like singing “Under the Bridge” – or at least the first line.
This post may make it seem like my marriage is troubled. That is not completely true. Chad and I love each other so much. He and I were meant to be together – what God has joined together, may no man rend asunder. We have weathered so many storms, and we grow closer with each one. We are on this journey together – even if, sometimes, we are walking down opposite sides of the street. We are rock solid, even on the rocky roads. He is my rock.