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HELPING FAMILIES OF DISABLED AND CHRONICALLY ILL CHILDREN

 
 
 
 
LOVING YOUR SPOUSE/PARTNER

 

Kids are challenging for any relationship; juggling the physical and emotional needs of special needs and of well children at the same time is an even greater challenge.  Often, the last person in line to receive your love and attention is your partner.  By the time everything else is taken care of, you have little energy left to love the person to whom you have committed your life and heart.
Love must be deliberate.

  • Schedule time DAILY to spend with each other.  Even if it seems you can only squeeze in a measly ten minutes, if both partners commit to a scheduled time each day, and follow through with that commitment,  ten minutes of  face-to-face conversation and undivided attention can go a LONG way!
  • Make it a primary, ongoing goal to develop a respite support system.  It is crucial to be able to have others you can rely on to care for your well and special needs children so that you can preserve and strengthen your relationship with your spouse or partner.  This may involve, but is not limited to:
    • Finding qualified respite care services that can care for your kids at least once a month, to give you a few hours of devoted attention to each other.
    • Involving extended family, teaching them how to care for the unique needs of your children, and building confidence and trust in their abilities to fill in for you, even if only for a few hours
    • Working with all of your children to help them learn to depend on extended caregivers and also develop independence as they are able
  • Keep track of how well you yourself keep your commitments of time and love to your partner.  Overburdened caregivers are at high risk of feeling neglected, burnt out, and un- or under-appreciated.  You know this from your own experience; your partner does as well, even if it seems the caregiving responsibilities are unbalanced.  If you must nag, nag yourself…in a positive way.  Don’t let the demands of your life rule you; rule yourself amidst those demands, making sure that your partner benefits from your deliberate acts of love toward them.

 

 

 


 
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©2016 Jonah & The Whale Foundation, Inc. • Telephone: 1-877-49-JONAH (56624) • Fax: 724-772-4998