Tips for Sustaining a Healthy Marriage in Families with Children with Special Needs.

Year Published
Author (Organization)
National Healthy Marriage Resource Center.
Resource Type
Fact Sheet
Resource Format
Resource Language

Raising children with developmental, emotional, behavioral or medical special needs inarguably impacts a marriage. The manner in which it changes, however, is not determined by the nature or severity of the child's disorder nor even by the number of children with disabilities in a family; the impact is determined by the manner in which the couple handles intensive child-rearing demands and related stressors. Juggling the seemingly endless logistical and emotional issues associated with parenting children with special needs can cause couples to make their relationship much less of a priority. The couples that do well under these circumstances are those who find ways to stay connected to each other. One successful couple describes their experience like this: "We work as a team, give each other breaks and realize that we are in this together; we share our joys and disappointments." Make the decision together that your marriage is worth protecting no matter how great your child's needs are. There are many ways a couple can strengthen their marriage under the kinds of extreme demands they encounter. This tip sheet highlights effective principles and strategies. (Author abstract)

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