View Full Version : Does your spouse understand your child's needs/issues as much as you do?

08-05-2011, 10:43 PM
I now get that DH does not get DS's issues at all. He can never go to any appointments with me (he doesn't want to and is very stressed at work). I tell him everything. He reads the reports. But, it's like he doesn't understand ANYTHING. DH get angry at DS and thinks that if he yells enough etc.. that DS will realize that his behavior is not appropriate and change. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN and I can't get DH to understand. It's like he does not retain information about DS at all (or DD for that matter or me). I'm not sure if it is stress at work (and it could be) or if DH honestly could care less. The problem is that if he could care less I would prefer he leave so I can raise DS and not have him be hurt by DH (I mean emotionally hurt).

I wish DH would go and talk to someone but he refuses. I can't seem to get through to him. This is going to end my marriage.

08-06-2011, 09:42 AM
i got nothing but hugs, dearie... :( just know i hear ya.

08-06-2011, 09:49 AM
I'm sorry. It is so hard to fight for your child outside the home and then have to do it in the home as well. I hope you can get some peace in your marriage.

08-06-2011, 07:43 PM
I think DH has a very good understanding of DS's issues. But it took a long time to get there. Before we got the official diagnosis of autism, we was in total denial that there was anything wrong. Once we got the diagnosis, DH started learning about autism and therapies. But he really struggled with it. I was reading a lot of books and articles and learning from other moms. DH was very busy and stressed at work and did not have time to read the articles I gave him. He tried to attend medical appointments when he could and read all the reports. But he was frustrated trying to make sense of it all.

One thing that really helped was when DH met some other dads of kids with autism and seeing how they interact with their children. And DH also got to see that there are other kids like DS, who have the same types of issues and behaviors. So being active in the autism/special needs community has been very important.

Other thing that helped was that after the diagnosis we hired a behavioral therapist to help to set up and monitor our home therapy program. Even though I would be doing be doing most of the therapy, we had her train both of us in the methods and techniques. This way, we both learned new, more effective ways of interacting with DS.

After DH was laid off, I went back to work full time after being a SAHM for years. For about a year DH found himself in the role of reluctant SAHD. It was a real eye opening experience for him to have to take the lead in DS's day to day life, manage therapy appointments, deal with school issues, etc. But he did a great job. He even took DS to our weekly autism playgroup and talked with the "other moms" there.

Of course we all have bad days. Here are days when I think DH doesn't get it. There are days I think DH's discipline is too reactionary instead of proactive. Sometimes it's because DH has a hard time letting go of the parenting techniques his own parents used, even though these techniques are not effective with DS. Sometimes it's because DH has had several days without enough sleep and he is emotionally and physically stressed out.

And I also have bad parenting days when I lose patience with DS too quickly or I fail to rake his sensory or language issues into account. At those times, DH is often able to take over with a more gentle, more appropriate to the situation.

So overall I think DH does have a good understanding of DS's issues and needs, but like I said it took a lot of time to get there.

Hang in there and keep trying!

08-06-2011, 07:57 PM
Parenting a child with special needs is very stressful for everyone.

I seriously doubt that your DH simply doesn't care. He is responding to situations in the only way he knows how to do. That may or may not be related to stress at work; I'm not sure it's really relevant.

Does your DH yell at your DS if DS doesn't know how to do a math problem? What if he can't figure out how to read a word? These are skills that must be taught; yelling at the child does not teach him how to do the work.

Behavior is a set of skills that must be taught also. Just as some children take longer to learn certain academic skills, other children (sometimes the same children) need more time to learn behavior skills. Perhaps if your DH approached it in this way it would help him. If he is not able to do so, he should not be responsible for teaching behavior to DS. He needs to leave the room or whatever other solution he can come up with.

When parents don't know how to help their children with school work, they hire tutors. We are not all experts; sometimes we need outside help. I'm not saying your family needs to do this, but maybe your DH needs to leave this task to you and not be involved.

:hug: to you. It's not easy. My DS has relatively mild issues, but my DH still freaks out when DS does things that DH feels are inappropriate. It's almost as though he has forgotten what it is like to be a child (and knowing my DH, maybe he never knew in the first place).

08-06-2011, 08:17 PM
I will say that DH was very reluctant to admit that DS had issues. It took a very long time for DH to accept that DS, his only son, was not "normal". I once had to tell my DH that he could have another wife but that our son would only have one mom and that he could either get on board or choose himself over his son. Needless to say, he was "onboard" after that conversation. DH's attendance at appts (not necessarily therapy appts) is a non-negotiable in my book. I will say that I have noticed that DH's tolerance for DS has improved with time. That said, DH does seem to have a shorter fuse when he is tired or really stressed but I think this is true of anyone.

08-06-2011, 08:58 PM
I've been off the boards for a week or so...computer issues and some other things going on, so I'm sorry that i didn't see your post until now.

DH has had a hard time with DS1's issues and special needs. I think he *wants* to get it, butreally struggles with it...which is frustrating to me because I think, how can you NOT get this, when you are right there in the same room when it's happening!!!!

Anyway. I do think that my DH's relationship with his father, and how he was raised as a child, has a huge impact on how he tries to relate to our sons. A lot of his responses to DS1's behaviors are reactive, and I keep trying to tell him that. "Do you really want to have that kind of relationship with your children?" It's hard because most of what happens would be totally fine with a "typical" child, but is so not fine with our kids. I keep telling him, what I'm going through each day is NOT typical of a SAHM. And, most every couple I know has had a point when their kids were little that they thought they wouldn't make it (as a couple, I mean). Having small kids is rough enough, and having small kids who face the challenges that our kids face is nigh impossible. I think my DH wants to understand all that but it's an uphill battle.

Is it possible for you to go away for a few days, visit family or friends, and have DH be soley responsible for the kids (and no, you can't make a bunch of food and leave it in the fridge and do all the laundry before you leave!)? So he gets to experience what you go through every day? My DH and I had an argument recently about how the boys will behave for him when he takes them out to lunch, but they never do for me. He interpreted that as his metods were better...but I said no, they just don't see you as much so lunch with you is a special treat. It's different when you're with them all the time.

08-06-2011, 10:17 PM
I'm so happy people here understand this. We are really struggling, but I sat down with DH last night and laid it out. I just hope he follows through.

08-06-2011, 10:20 PM
I'm so happy people here understand this. We are really struggling, but I sat down with DH last night and laid it out. I just hope he follows through.

It's good that you were able to sit down and talk about it. Don't count on your DH's being able to follow through without many, many reminders. I think you may need to treat him almost like a child who needs to be "taught" over and over again until it sticks.

I hope things settle down for him at work, as well. Stress is a terrible monster. My DH is going through some rough stuff right now, too.

08-08-2011, 09:11 AM
I'm so sorry :hug: that you're struggling with this.
One thing that made DH really get it, is for him to be educated on the fact that there is actually something wrong with DS brain. Some people will disagree that there actually is, and that is fine if that is how they see things. I do believe it is just as much brain dysfunction as having brain damage, mental disability, mentally handicapped, whatever you want to call it. The brain is not working properly, and it is out of the child's control--he can't just decide to do better and then flip a switch.

For awhile I think he thought it was behavior diagnosis--something my child just needed more discipline to overcome--not a physical, mental problem. But after visiting with the Psych. and reading a couple short articles--like a paragraph--he got it. And thus, I could remind him--you wouldn't talk to someone else with a mental handicap that way would you? You wouldn't expect them to be able to "pull it together" just because you snap your fingers or yell, right? That put it in perspective for him.

It's tough having to label it that way. We are in a place in time as a society where we want to be PC and not label or kids, to be up beat and say the diagnoses doesn't limit or define them. But I think sometimes this does the child a huge disservice. Because if we don't see the diagnoses for the big thing that it is, we can place unrealistic expectations on them, and not be understanding enough. Sometimes be being blunt and telling it like it is, makes it easier on everyone involved.