My marriage suffered after we received the autism diagnosis

by | Jun 3, 2024

Marriage can be hard.  Relationships can be hard.  Trying to work, raise a family, cook, clean, pay the bills, it’s a lot for anyone.  However, when an autism diagnosis is thrown in the mix, making time for your relationship can seem that last thing on your priority list.

As a mum, your survival instincts are on high alert.  Your nervous system is in huge amounts of fight, flight or freeze and connection seems illogical especially because your brain thinks there is a sabre tooth tiger coming to rip your head off.

There’s a big BUT coming…..

If we don’t make the time to connect with our partners.  Our husbands and wives, we run the risk of being on two totally different pages.  Going in two different directions.  Two very different paths. As humans we’re wired for connection.  We’re wired to be able to communicate with another person about our problems.   To feel like they’ve got our back.  Hard to do when you can’t make a decision or when one partner feels left out of the equation.

Here’s some points that may be able to help:

Routine is king – quality time
Most parents reading this blog are probably thinking what quality time?  I can barely have 5 minutes to myself at night – I don’t have enough energy to pour into my husband.

My questions to you is…

– Can you connect at another time during the day rather than at night when you’re so exhausted?

– What are three questions you’d like to ask your partner or that you would want them to ask you?

Examples could be:

– On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the worst and 10 being the best) how would you rate your day so far?

– If there’s one thing I could do for you today to make you a little bit happier, what would it be?

– What do you need to hear from me today?

– What do you need to see from me today?

– What do you need me to do for you today?

Make it a routine to have you and your partner ask these questions every day.  This helps to clear up any confusion about what one partner should and shouldn’t do and ensure that each person’s needs are met.

Honesty will always be the best policy.

Please don’t lie, deceive or mince your words.  Both you and your partner are on the same team.  You must communicate clearly otherwise the team will not win.  It makes me think of those American baseball movies.  If the catcher doesn’t give instructions to the pitcher, how will the pitcher know how to throw.  How to deliver the solution.  Be on the same team!

Work through challenges together.

It’s not uncommon for me to see mothers doing 90% of the work as a carer.  Yes, she’s a stay at home mum, however, that doesn’t make that role of carer any easier.  When dealing with decisions that impact the child, mother’s are under extreme stress and pressure and this makes them feel isolated and alone.  As a husband or partner, make it your mission to find out what their, meaning your wife’s challenges are and work through it together.

Together you will be stronger.

If you’ve got questions or need further support in your marriage, please send me an email to

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