All right folks, I am here to put the spotlight on a topic that is probably at the bottom of your list (if it is on you list at all!)- and that is your relationship with your partner. This has come up in many of my consultations with families in the last month and this is why I want to focus on it.
Many of you have heard that according to statistics, marriages with special needs children are at a higher risk for divorce. Although that may be true in some relationships because of the extra time needed to take care of your family with a special child- it does not have to be true. In fact, some families I have worked with have expressed that the devotion required in taking care of their child has brought them closer together. But this takes intention, persistence and commitment. Let's defy those statistics- and here is how:
1. Create the intention that your partnership matters to you. Decide that attending to your relationship will create more love, support and strength in your life and in the life of your family. Again, this is not a sprint- this is your life- how do you want to live it?
2. Share this intention/commitment with your spouse/loved one. Have a discussion to see if they feel the same way and are willing to make a commitment to cultivate time for your partnership.
3. Schedule this time weekly. Don't get overwhelmed that now you have more to schedule. It doe not need to be more than 1 hour a week (but that is the minimum). Make sure it is on the calendar or it will not happen! If possible, get out of the house together and go for a walk, out for coffee, etc.
(My husband and I do this every Friday morning while our kids are at school and this is a MUST in our relationship. He works during the night and I work during the day and without this time there would be no relationship).
4. Rules: no iPhones, laptops, cell phones, movies or conversations about the kids lasting more than 3 minutes. This is time for you to enjoy being together, remember that you have a relationship and create a container for open and honest communication (and yes- direct eye contact!)
This is a game changer folks- if you don't do it- no one will do it for you. And yes, it is worth getting a babysitter for it, because that person living in your house is your partner. Let the love in.