Marriage and special needs is a topic discussed often in special needs community. This post looks at recent research findings on the topic.

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard the statistics about how having a child with special needs affects marriages. The most startling statistics report an 80% failure rate in marriages where a child has special needs.

Divorce and Special Needs

A recent article at the Huffington Post reinforces the statistic about marriage and special needs. In it, family attorney Linda Helfend Meyer writes about what she’s observed about the impact of special needs on marriages, both in her law practice and in her personal life. What she writes is sobering.

Marriage and Special Needs

However, these statistics leave me scratching my head because they don’t jive with my research findings for Different Dream Parenting: A Practical Guide to Raising a Child with Special Needs. When the fifty couples interviewed for the book were asked how their child’s special needs affected their marriages, most responded emphatically that it strengthened them.

Don’t get me wrong. Several said they sought marriage counseling sometime after a child with special needs became part of their families. And some couples weren’t able to reconcile their differences and are now divorced. But the vast majority are still married and feel their relationships with their spouses are stronger.

Your Marriage and Special Needs

Experiences is a great teacher, and in this day and age, our marriages need lots of assistance. So leave a comment if you like. It can be about how your marriage got stronger or about how you tried to work things out, but couldn’t. Or describe one of your struggles and how you deal with it as a couple. Leads on good marriage counselors would also be appreciated by couples who need help.

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