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Name: Will
[ Original Post ]
I am the father of an autistic child. Those of us who have autistic kids know all too well the challenges that come with having an autistic child. I suppose I should get right to the point....I came here looking for answers, opinions, I'm not sure what. Validation? Maybe. But the decision I'm wrestling with will affect many people and I need some input to help me sort everything out.

I am considering divorcing my wife of 18 years. Now, before you all jump on me, let me tell you that the reasons for it are NOT because of my daughter being autistic. I am a very strong man, and if all I had to deal with was the normal day-to-day struggles of our relationship and the challenges of an autistic child, I could handle all of that. Easy? No. We all know better than that. But I want to do it because I love my son and I love my wife.

The problem is: her parents live with us and have for 4 years. This came about because of bad planning on their part, and bad financial management on their part. I was against this from the beginning. I have read way too many anecdotal stories about how this sort of setup can lead to problems in a marriage. I tried to warn my wife against it; her friends and other family members tried to warn her against it; but she felt she was the "one person" who could make it work.

The problem is that they are lazy. They do not help out at all. We buy the groceries, buy their toilet paper, pay the bills, and they waste the money the DO have on unneccessary things. My mother in law doesn't work, my father in law does. He spends whatever he can of his money on archery equipment, etc. It's his bobby. His whole life, he has put his wants and desires above the needs of his family. There were times when my wife was a child that they nearly did without because his wants came before their needs.

Now my father in law is talking of retirement. Although he has nothing to show for his life, and his old home literally fell to the ground because of no upkeep. It looks like my father in law's retirement plan is the well-advertised "Jeff" plan.

My wife knows that I am not happy with them being here. She knows that things have not been right with us since they've been here. She knows how unhappy I am with the lack of privacy, the lack of consideration, everything. I almost had a nervous breakdown six months ago over this. She knows that this is afffecting me.

She either has a low opinion of me (by bullying her way over mine) or has too high of an opinion of me (thinking I'm strong enough to handle ALL of this.)

I can handle the difficulties of our lives in regards to our autistic child. I can't handle "everything". I'm tired of being expected to take care of the world. I just want to take care of my family.

How absolutely freaking ridiculous is that? A man who wants a divorce, because his wife won't ALLOW him to do what so many men out there won't do.......take care of their family.

I am SO tired of everything and everybody.
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Name: Will | Date: Apr 14th, 2008 3:28 AM
Oh, and a P.S. to this story I left out:

Both of my inlaws are in good health in their late FIFTIES. 

Name: kat26 | Date: Apr 14th, 2008 2:52 PM
i know what its like to raise to raise an autistic child, my son is mild to moderate autistic. i aso know what its like to have someone staying at our house too, even if its family-it just totally takes away your "homie feeling" of being at home. sounds to me like you're not only supporting your family, but hers as well. i would not let them push you out of your own house and divorce your wife of 18yrs over it though. i would put your foot down and tell your wife that they need to get their own place, then they'll have to spend their money on their bills instead of indulging in their wants. its not your job to support your wifes mother and father...i would have never done that for 4yrs...i understand helping out family in time of need...but 4yrs -to get back on their feet is long enough. 

Name: kat26 | Date: Apr 14th, 2008 2:54 PM
ps. and by the way- my father is 70yrs old and still works...lives in his own house and supports himself. 

Name: ryans mom | Date: Apr 18th, 2008 4:49 AM
My son has autism and I notice when there are other people living in my house besides my husband and I my son gets a lot more nuts. I think that he actually feels the situation at hand, if we are having an argument he will hide. If there are too many people over at one time and there is too much noise, he would hide or cover his ears. we cut it down to only us living in the house because it helped make more sense to the child. He ultimatily became more calm and so did we. It was nice to have to talk to each other again after the kids went to bed. 

Name: kat26 | Date: Apr 18th, 2008 5:29 PM
whenever we have alot of company over, even if its family my son will go to his room. he does not like being around a whole lot of people either. 

Name: Markysmom | Date: May 2nd, 2008 6:52 PM
WOW!
No, you shouldn't leave. You give her a date to either be out or, her parents be out. I know when I've pushed my hubby to far. I don't go there to often. But, You can regain your home. Just stand up and do it. You will feel much better about your self. Good luck. And yes, it's tha easy. 


Name: jojojohnson | Date: May 10th, 2008 6:41 AM
wow, I feel for your situation., while your wife is trying to help out her family.. You are trying to do the same thing. I applaud you, as my husband is quite absent in the parenting. I think you just need to put your foot down. YOU can not jeapordize your health. You have to be strong to take care of your child. And while I sympathize with you. I also know, our kids need us, not our stresses. 

Name: Cadesmom | Date: May 24th, 2008 5:56 AM
Don't make the same mistake that I made. My parents were living with my husband and myself and my autistic son, in our house, although they were in their 70's and on a pension. They were quite capable of living on their own in their own little apartment, but I felt sorry for them because they both had health issues. My husband went along with my decision but after two years, we were battling all the time. Everything came to a head when I finally exploded during our celebrating Thanksgiving with all the family over. My parents soon left, and I never did speak to my father again, as he passed away before I had the chance. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is....when you keep everything bottled up inside you for so long, you're bound to loose it someday. Your inlaws are only in their 50's. It would be quite different if they were elderly and infirm. You need to save yourself and your children. Let it out! Tell your wife that she must give her parents a move-out date and that's final. 

Name: Snupi75 | Date: May 27th, 2008 5:15 AM
Have you discussed the possibility of professional counseling with your wife? Sometimes an objective 3rd party can make her understand things that you are unable to get across. Is there a reason you in-laws couldn't go into an elder-care facility (Not a nursing home, a place where their meals are cooked for them, laundry is done, etc. They must still be able to handle their medications and finances, but approach it from their own peace of mind. i have an autistic 6 year old grandson, and believe me, peace and quiet are a rare commodity! Anyway, if you need to vent some more, i'll be glad to listen. I don't profess to have any answers, but I'll be your sounding block. [email protected] If you have MSN messenger we could chat in real time sometimes and give you a place to vent. You need someone to listen to you. 

Name: I know | Date: Jun 1st, 2008 5:25 PM
I do understand where you are coming from to some degree. I completley sympathise with your situation. The problem is that your wife is in a terrible no win situation here. She can't please all of you and seems to be trying to do just that!I I guess she feels that she should look after her parents and is overlooking the problems that come with it because dealing with it will be so tricky. She may feel that she can't loose them or you.
It seems a very sad situation. I'm just tired of coping with a "possible" autistic child and I totally get what you mean by being so drained. It is so emotionally draining being a parent of a special needs child.
It would be a good idea to sit down and talk with her about how you feel as you haven't said how she "knows." Maybe she is not aware how bad things have got.
Firstly though it would be a good idea to decide what you want to change. If you want the in laws out do they have anywhere that they could go? Could you arrange something for them?
Either way I definately agree that this isn't fair on your relationship but when tackling this make sure that you don't sound like you're attacking her parents as she will only get defensive.
I hope that you can make this work.
Another thing that could help is having a night out together as a couple. Maybe this could help as well- remembering that you are important and to nuture your relationship this way.
All the best but do try this before you walk away. 

Name: dalia_in_nevada | Date: Jun 18th, 2009 5:12 AM
I am writing you this letter in the hopes of some desperate
assistance in Nevada. I have a young Autistic adult son,
19yrs old, ( Vincent Ortiz ). I understand the dilema you are going thru.
You are not alone. I will be happy to talk to you any time, if anything
just to listen and support each other.
I will make this brief and to the point.
I am a single mom working many
hrs 7 days a week, savings is now gone in an attempt to pay
on my own for caregivers.
My son has severe "episodes" at which he can bite/scratch/pull hair or
all of the above. These behaviors all began over the last couple of
years and are progressively getting worse.He is 5 foot 10 185 pounds.
I am 5 foot 2. I can not restrain him when he attacks.
I desperately need HELP now.
There are NO group homes or facilities who take children and/or young
adults w/ Autism here in Nevada. The state treats Autism like it is a dirty word.
I am in fear for the safety of myself and my daughter as we have been
attacked a cpl times now without a caregiver here full time.
I was thinking there are several folks in the same dilema as myself
here in Nevada as well as across the country..
I would like to know if you could :
1.) assist with helping me open a
RANCH FOR AUTISM here in Nevada. Pahrump still has land low
priced and it's far enough out that folks who don't understand Autism
will feel comfy, yet it is close enough for medical needs.
I know exactly what these children need to make their life
complete and busy with a scheduled routine and space to roam.
I know that I could sucessfully provide the care and know how to
make it a wonderful structured environment for the children.

For instance:
an equestrian area
music program
arts n crafts
a green house
pool / spa
trampoline
swings
merry-go-round
sand box
walking paths

2.) help / steer / assist me w/ getting some families
together that are looking for longterm placement for their
young adults where they will be loved and cared for as if we were there
ourselves. Home-like environment with plenty of activities to keep them
busy and fulfilled. We need 20 committed families that have a young adult
who needs the special care and guidance the Ranch for Autism will provide.
We all know as parents we can not be there forever for our loved ones.
I know I do not want my son to be institutionalized when I can't be there
for him any longer. Of course our children can have visits ( home or on site)
anytime. You may have the connections, knowledge to get this request
completed. You may know someone with acreage ( we need approx. 50 acres )
that needs a tax write-off, or a family member willing to donate.
Maybe help get a fundraiser, some attorney's, doctors, wealthy
folks. Get the community involved! I have faith in you. Together we can pull
all resources and do this.
I currently have an investor to meet/match up to $800K, which is about
1/3 of what we need to reach our goals.
Please contact me with any contacts / ideas that you may have.
God Bless!

Respectfully,
Delia Power
702-942-0731
360 Yacht Ave
Henderson NV 89012
[email protected] 

Name: There IS Hope | Date: Jul 14th, 2009 2:41 AM
Hi. I work in a school district, as a special-education paraprofessional. I have been blessed to care for and help many different children of various ages, with a variety of challenges. I recently listened to / watched a woman share her incredible story of raising a son with autism. It touched me deeply. Her son was healed, a few years back, and continues to improve in his schooling. I ordered her book and found so much hope in her experience. Hope that applies to everyone, including families with autism but not limited to only autism. My heart goes out to all. If anyone is interested in the details of the book and the radio / t.v. program, please e-mail me at [email protected] (Since it is my understanding that some things cannot be posted.) With excitement, encouragement, and heart-felt appreciation and compassion to every family touched by especially autism...There IS Hope. 

Name: Cathy Gagliano | Date: Sep 22nd, 2009 6:28 AM
Will,
Sorry that your disgusted. I wish my husband had a pinky of interested in his children and marriage the way you do. But you need to take care of yourself because your children need you. My son is PDD/Seizure Disorder/ADHD. We had to put him in a home 1 year and half ago. It is 2AM on a Monday and I can not sleep because my husband does not appreciate all I do for our children and the sacrifices I have made. My other son has ADHD is 8. Your in-laws need to find a place of their own. You need to make your wife understand enough is enough and that your marriage and commitment to each other should come first. Her Dad needs a good reality check as to whats important in life. It sure the hell not up to you teach him. I have run into the same problems with my inlaws. They are and were both very selfish people. My father in law passed away and Mom in law wanted to move in with us. I said to my husband it is either your family or her. Important move on his part other wise he would be living with his mother eating tv dinners. I am very lonely and sad lately because I feel like there is too much stress in the world and people don't know what is truly important. They don't know what problems really are. Your inlaws need a life of their own. NOT IN YOUR HOUSE. Your wife needs a reality check. It sucks to be the strong one in the relationship. Thats me also. Gave up a career to raise both my beautiful boys and my husband is an SOB sometimes. Can't see the forest passed the trees. Screwed up priorities. Don't divorce her that is too easy. Make it work for the sake of the children. Get rid of the inlaws. Make your wife see it your way.....If she loves you she will. I have come to the conclusion that many people are very selfish. It sound like your not. Like myself.....hold on to your family it is important. Sincerely, Cathy 

Name: DebH | Date: Sep 22nd, 2009 11:51 PM
Holy cow, I really feel for you right now. If I can be blunt, the inlaws need to be booted out and left to their own devices. Your wife is enabling them to be irresponsible and apathetic about their own welfare, it's not helping them at all. My Mother is in her 50's and still working, no plans to stop because she is accustomed to a certain lifestyle and not willing to give it up. So she provides it for herself. there's no reason why they shouldn't BOTH be working for many years to come. Have you tried any counseling? I mention that because someone needs to point out that your wife has chosen her parents over you and her daughter, and she might want to rethink that choice. It has to come from a third un-involved person. Preferably someone not previously acquainted with your family. The in-laws also need to understand that this situation is detrimental to their grand-daughter, and if they don't get that then it's just their selfishness. In that case I would put their stuff on the curb and change the locks. 

Name: tasha1011 | Date: Aug 20th, 2010 5:17 PM
I have posted an article on controlling temper tantrums (anger outbursts). You can read it at http://www.associatedcontent.com/
article/5700064/autism_controllin
g_anger_outbursts.html?cat=25


It
gives tips and suggestions to parents (like myself) who have children on the spectrum. Read it and tell me what you think. 

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