Guest Post:  Could Your Marriage be Softened?

Guest Post: Could Your Marriage be Softened?

by Gina of Special Happens

There were times I thought he was just too crabby.  Not having a good outlook, too negative, refusing to see the good that can be within a family with significant special needs.

There was a time when I took this all personally, a little snappiness here, a little snarky comment there….I would push back, defensive, determined to force the light of life into his heart for fear that he’d blocked it out too much, for too long.  Or for fear that I too would take this on to be my view towards our life.

This took a great deal of effort, to do this with and to a man I love so early.  It made a perfect GFCFSFEF recipe for disaster (gluten free, casein free, soy free, egg free).  A perfect recipe for two parents full of love, hope and strength to argue in ways that sometimes left us both to wonder if we were beyond repair.  But we aren’t, we weren’t, we’re stronger than ever.

In part, I softened.  I took enough steps back from our life to see the man he is, not the man I was projecting him to be.  A man full of heart, of strength.  He is a man filled with the purpose of providing for his family by every means possible.  Forever worried by our direction, our ability to reach our goals.  He carries this along with the worries for the day-to-day, the medical worries, the career-oriented worries the single breadwinner of a special needs home carries.  That’s what eats him up…tears him apart.

So while I once demanded words that ‘proved’ his ability to love unconditionally, to march forward through slings of mud storms in our eyes, I now realize, he does.  He did.  He will.  Instead of arguing, I give him space.  A moment to vent, to collect his thoughts, and I gently lay my hand on his, within his, to quietly acknowledge all his fears.  To quietly acknowledge that all his fears are my fears, his hopes are my hopes.

To softly say, “We love you too.  Thank You.”

Gina St. Aubin is a wife and mother of 3, one diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, PDD-NOS/Autism, Landau-Kleffner Syndrome (a rare epileptic disorder causing verbal aphasia), Sensory Processing Disorder and Developmental Delays. A former Victim’s Advocate turned advocate for those with intellectual and physical challenges, Gina believes being a ‘Special Parent’ means to Discover, Embrace, Educate, Advocate, Encourage, Treasure and Laugh. Read more on her blog, Special Happens, or Special Needs Parents articles on the Examiner.com or connect with her on Twitter or FaceBook.

11 Responses to Guest Post: Could Your Marriage be Softened?

  1. Great reminder that no matter how tough life becomes, it is in acceptance and love that we are strongest. It is easy to get frustrated, much more courageous to soften. Great post, Gina!

  2. Very Nice piece. It isnt often that we as men can show our soft side without being seen as weak. I think it makes us REAL and you seeing that your husband is a strong but soft as well. Being there for each other is the key. Thanks for writing this

  3. @Daria~ Thanks so much for having me as a guest. What a wonderful series to have this month too! It does take a moment to step back, but once you do, it’s a lot easier to move forward!

    @Elizabeth Doherty Thomas~ Yes I think I too have been guilty of wanting my husband to do this or that…always something more, something other than what he *is* doing. When I stop, I realize he’s doing just what he’s supposed to.

    @Mary~ Absolutely!

    @Scott aka This Daddy~ Shortly after this moment, he and I had a conversation. It was during that conversation that I realized just how soft he is, and just how hard it is for him to show it any other way than what he does. I appreciate him so much more now. Thanks for commenting!

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