Okay when you live with Autism, you rapidly accept that life for you and your family will always look different than Joe Schmos down the street. So when dealing with divorce why does everyone seem shocked that that rule still applies? At least for us, Autism makes divorce look a little different.
We started dating in 1998 and married in 2003. Child one was born in 2005, child two in 2007 and child three in 2011. Autism for us became its own planet in 2009. ....To be 100% honest, Autism in NO way contributed to our relationship failure (human failings did). If anything Autism is the only thread that still binds us. If it wasn't for that I would seriously be hard pressed not to just tell him to fuck off, but parenting Autism changes that.
I think Autism gets blamed WAY to much. Lets be honest and not use any excuses as scapegoats. Autism might put pressure on a couples communication skills or appreciation dynamics, but it's not the cause of the weaknesses. The relationship is. Personal dynamics are. Don't blame Autism.
Is it fair to expect 2 Autistic boys to shuffle from house to house, week after week just because we can't keep it together? ...no that sounds incredibly selfish (thankfully its something we are miraculously united on) Instead, just like every other obstacle put in our kids path, we have taken what hits we can so they don't have to.
For example still going places together like school or an outing because THEY need both our support. Or taking turns being with them IN THEIR HOUSE, rather then making them move around.
Contemplating having two houses on the same property or him buying a house down the street so the kids get the most of both their parents as they can.
Would it be better for me if he wasn't around? Emotionally, YES! Every other way? No. Parenting Autism is hard and now it's parenting Autism x 2. No one understands that like him. He's an expert on them and so am I.
I've come to the conclusion that compartmentalizing will have to be a big part of my life because I will still have to deal with this person who broke my heart for pretty much ever, because I'll never find someone MORE dedicated to the kids or supporting of their Autism. And the logical part of my brain sees that because of Autism and the kind of parents we are, we can't do this divorce thing the way everyone else does. We still have to be a team. We have to work harder than ever to keep our personal issues out of our co-parenting issues because the kids deserve our best. They didn't create our issues. They shouldn't have to suffer because of them.
No, I don't claim to have it all together... Far from it actually. And I know that there will be so many more issues that will pop up for us because we are having to do this so slowly. Like a delicate surgery, cutting our lives apart without cutting into our babies or leaving them with tatered bits of ourselves, because they deserve so much more than absent, broken parents.
If anything Autism will keep some part of us together. Almost like the comradery veterans share, even if they have nothing else AT ALL in common. They both understand the sacrifices and dedication that duty calls them to, and are forever linked because of it. They've been in those trenches together, cut off from the world, worried about what would get thrown at them next.
So maybe love IS a battle field, and Autism is what we fight for.