Believe it or not, we do.
Not often, and not publicly, but we do from time to time.
We refute, sometimes even deny the other’s perspective.
We fail each other.
We’ve been accused of being “the perfect couple” by some, and I always cringe when I hear it.
I hate that word.
The truth is, we’re far from perfect people, or the perfect couple, or anything even resembling that perception sometimes.
Sometimes, we have a hard time getting through to each other what we’re really trying to say.
Sometimes we can’t even look at each other.
Sometimes our house ends up in an immaculate state because we’re so mad at each other we both try and outclean the other. Physically productive, yes… But emotionally exhausting.
Because no matter how long we work, no matter how ferociously we use dishrags and window cleaner to show the other how mad we are, one thing always has to happen.
We have to work through whatever needs to be worked through, and find our way back to center.
Every. Single. Time.
The reason that we work well together is just that.
We BOTH work.
We both work our tails off to make sure that what we have remains unbroken, and that above all, we keep the promise we made each other almost 10 years ago before God and our families.
“As long as we both shall live.”
There are a lot of aspects of this life that will search you out, trying to find a chink in your armor.
A crack in the dam wall – to pick at and wear away until one day, without warning, the wall gives way – and everything you’ve been letting pile up behind it crashes through, and destroys everything you’ve built in its path.
This life we live… being parents in a completely different world than we were parented in… being parents and protectors of a child with special needs… this life will test and exploit every weakness in your relationship.
The truth of the matter is, just like in any other relationship, you have to make a choice.
You have to decide, every day, that no matter what happens – and no matter what life asks of you – you’re going to work harder than the day before to find your way back to center with your spouse.
Not your center.
Your marriage’s center.
A lot of people confuse their own center for their marriage’s, and quite honestly it’s easy to do. If you’re comfortable, certainly they must be – right?
Don’t be so sure.
There’s a common statistic that’s thrown around in the special needs community, especially pertaining to parents of autistic children. It says that 85% of all marriages with an autistic child end in divorce.
First of all, that statistic is not true. It’s been proven that parents of autistic kids get divorced at the same rate as any other couples.
Secondly, what an absolutely disgusting and harmful misconception that is to put on the shoulders of our kiddos. As if they don’t have enough to bear.
Yes, being a parent is hard sometimes.
Being a special needs parent is hard sometimes.
Being married is hard sometimes.
Hell, being a human is hard sometimes.
This life can throw us a curveball that sends us out into the weeds, looking around for a familiar landmark on a daily basis.
That’s why Trista and I work so hard to make an intentional decision every day – whether it’s her pulling me back, or vise versa – to find our center.
It’s not always easy, but I can assure you it’s always worth it.