It has been 15 years!
15 years of marriage for me and my husband that is!
And it’s been almost 10 years of us parenting our amazing and super unique son, C.
What a whirlwind it has been. You can read our story here. I don’t think in a million years would I have thought this is the way my life would be. And honestly, I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. God is in control after all. He knows what my life is supposed to be. I just have to trust Him and follow Him.
Marriage and parenting a special needs child can be challenging. But with the right mindset and the right tools, you can have a successful and happy marriage.
Here is my list of 15 things (for my 15 years) you can do to have a successful marriage while parenting a child with autism
1. Pray for each other
Without this one pretty much everything else will be difficult. Pray for your spouse. Prayer is a powerful tool you can use all the time.
Yes this is a popular one and you hear it a lot. But it doesn’t make it less true or less important. Do not stay silent and don’t let things slide or get away from you. Open up and talk. Super important.
3. Respect each other
Wives respect your husbands and what they do and don’t belittle them or emasculate them. Husbands show respect to the amazing and difficult job your wives have caring for your children and running a household.
4. Support each other
Check in with each other. What does the other one need? What are they working on that needs your support? Let your spouse know you are there for them.
5. Work together
Do things together. Parent together. Do not let one or the other take on the responsibility all on their own, It is a huge responsibility and sometimes burden to bear. Together you are better and stronger.
6. Make decisions together
When working together you should make decisions together. Sometimes that means not deciding on something right away. Give it time, talk it over, pray on it. Decide the best course of action together.
7. Share responsibilities
Working together and making decisions together also means sharing responsibilities. That means that maybe you have some things that you as a wife is responsible for and somethings your husband is responsible for. But there will be days and times that you will have to help each other and fill in for each other. Do it without complaining and do it with love.
One of my most favorite things my husband can do for me is help me with the kids in the morning. And in turn if he is working late I will take care of some of his chores. And I know he appreciates it.
8. Take turns
This can apply to anything. Girls night out and boys night out. I make dinner, you wash dishes and the next night it’s the opposite. This time I take the kids to whatever and next time maybe you can.
9. Go on dates
Dating your spouse is so important. You are more than roommates and parents to your children. You are best friends and lovers. Court, flirt and go on dates. It can be something fancy like a dinner out or a weekend getaway. Or something easy and simple like popcorn and a movie at home after kids go to bed. Don’t ever let the romance die. I have a list easy date night ideas on this blog post.
10. Spend time apart
That famous saying is true. “Absense makes the heart grow fonder.” I don’t mean leave for days or weeks at a time. But it will not be the end of the world if you have to take business trips or are in different rooms reading/watching different things.
11. Don’t stay mad
Do not go to bed mad at each other! It doesn’t mean solve or resolve whatever issue is going on. Sometimes it just means putting things on hold until the morning. But let each other know you love each other and will talk about it in the morning.
12. Forgive each other
Forgiving will set you free. Keeping things inside and holding grudges will only make things worse. Talk it over. Get help if you need to.
13. Give each other grace
God gives us grace. Should we offer it to our spouse as well? We are all human and mess up and make mistakes and have bad days. Let’s show grace.
14. Learn each other love language
And then go and love each other like crazy.
So simple yet can so easily be forgotten in the hustle and bustle of the day. Don’t forget to kiss. And I don’t mean a peck on the cheek. I mean a loving and passionate smooch on the lips.
Parenting a child with special needs and having a successful marriage is hard work. All 15 of these can be hard to do. But striving for these things and remembering them will keep you on track.
You got this mama! Now go kiss your husband!
“…each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:33
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