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Keep your Marriage Thriving: Tips for Special Needs Parents

Let’s talk about how to keep your marriage thriving, and some tips for special needs parents.

Let’s face it, having a good marriage does not come easily. Add to that raising a special needs child and it becomes even more important to actively work on your marriage.

Making marriage work with special needs children

I am not as an expert, rather someone who lives it everyday.

By living this out everyday I have learned some important things during very difficult times.

Statistics and Marriage

Statistics repeatedly show an increased divorce rate among those couples raining special needs children, due to the added stresses.

Reports show upwards of 80 percent of marriages with special needs children end in divorce.

Recently there has been some questioning of the accuracy of that rate, I don’t believe it is that high, but high none the less.


Often times parents raising special needs children are mentally and physically exhausted leaving little energy for working on keeping their marriage thriving.

It just is not a priority when there are so many other things fighting for attention.

Raising special needs children makes it even more important to tend to your marriage.

So you are not also dealing with marital issues on top of everything else.

Now onto how to keep your marriage thriving.

Here are simple and economical tips for special needs parents that can be done with limited time.

Thriving Marriage

In order to keep your marriage thriving, it is so important that you give your spouse some of your time everyday.

You may need to wake up thirty minutes prior to your child to have coffee chats with your spouse before you begin your day.

I find mornings are best for us, we are both morning people and in the evenings we are worn out from work and the day.

You can choose a time of day that works best for you and your spouse.

Know it is ok that you and your spouse have different ways of approaching things.

Keeping the lines of communication open in your marriage will go a long way in making sure you are able to heal from difficult and stressful times in raising special needs children.

Make each other aware that you know of your different approaches and come to a neutral ground on school, medical issues, finances and discipline.

Always remember that you are in the marriage and parenting partnership together, and you need to trust one another.

Supporting Each Other

It is so important to share in the responsibilities of everyday living and raising your child or children.

Often with raising a special needs child there are lots of appointment, therapies and such.

These duties should also be shared by both parents so that one parent does not become angry or hold a grudge.

There will be times when both parents will be overwhelmed by situations that arise and need to be sure they do not blame the other parent.

I you find this happening it is so important to practice forgiveness.

Forgiveness for spouse and yourself as well.

Raising special needs children can and will take you to your breaking point, so give yourself grace.

Remember that you and your spouse need to care of yourself.

Make time for yourself and your spouse

Self Care

Though self care may not sound like it helps your marriage, I can assure you, if you are not taking care of yourself you will not be a good parent or spouse.

Nothing elaborate here, just some simple ways to take care yourself.

  • Giving yourself at least 15 to 30 minutes of quiet time each day
  • Keep a journal
  • Find a creative outlet
  • FaceTime close friends that you may not see often
  • Walks around your neighborhood or local park
  • Practice meditation prior to getting out of bed (a great app for that is the Insighttimer app in the )
  • Get enough sleep
  • staying healthy by eating right and working out. Great home workouts at
  • make time to be intimate with your spouse

Healthy marriage

These simple tips for how to have a your thriving marriage can make the biggest difference. Also in helping you and your spouse deal with the difficult days that come with raising special needs children.

Another great way to help your marriage is using your support system.

If you have family, neighbors or close friends that you can count on to give you and your spouse a break every now then, it is important you do that.

Sometimes it is easy to make it difficult to work on marriage while raising special needs children.

If you invest a little in your marriage and yourself, your marriage and your parenting will be so much better for it.

These simple tips to keep your marriage thriving and healthy while raising a special needs child are just a few ways to begin the process.

Soon this will become part of your daily living and it will not feel like work at all.

Till next time



Sonya Burgess

Sonya is graduate of Guilford College and a preschool teacher who lives at the North Carolina coast with her husband of 25 years, their three children ages 19,18,12 and their rescue dog Goldie. Her youngest child was recently diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum and she has a heart for encouraging other special needs mamas. One of her favorite out door activities is hanging out at the beach with her family searching for sea glass. She also enjoys doing diy projects and decorating her home on a budget. Sonya blogs at encouraging women to create a beautiful, intentional life and home.

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