Parents all over the world feel the stress of having a child with autism. This letter is from a parent in the UK and was first published in The Autism File.

Dear Chantal,

My husband and I are near a divorce, the pressure is immense with our autistic son who is 4 years old. My husband blames me and I blame him, all our arguments I know are from stress, then we drink to numb the pain of helplessness. We need help and I don’t know where to turn to.  I need to talk to someone and I am desperate for my husband to love me again. Autism has simply wrecked our lives, I love my son but I feel I have lost my life and husband now. Please help.

Feeling the Pain

Dear Feeling the Pain,

My heart goes out to you.  You are not alone in your situation, unfortunately many marriages become very stressed when trying to deal with having a child with autism. It sounds as if you and your husband need some time away together from your child, time to enjoy each other’s company, to rediscover what you enjoyed about each other before autism entered your life.  Try to find someone to watch your son on a regular basis (ie once or twice a week) so you and your husband can leave the home and have a date. Individual counseling for you to have someone to speak to, and couples counseling may help you learn how to deal with the new family dynamics. Finding the right therapist is important. Perhaps contacting your local autism society chapter and finding out if there are any recommendations from other parents. Finally, joining an autism  support group could help you feel you are not so alone and you may find other moms you enjoy connecting with. As well, there are many on-line social communities available to connect with to share information and vent. There are more and more dad support groups as well.  My best wishes in re-connecting with your husband, and finding the support you need.