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“Nobody Wants a Woman With a Disabled Child”: Husband Terminates Contact With Special Needs Child, Wife Breaks Free

My second son, Ben, who has many challenges, is the youngest of my three children. A diagnosis of spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, ataxia, epilepsy, and significant developmental delay, including both communicative and gross motor, has been assigned to him. He has the mental capacity of a non-verbal child who is three years old but lives in the body of a man who is twenty years old. He will require care around the clock for the rest of his life. You can imagine how horrified I was at the prospect of being a single parent and having to care for him by myself.

I had already tried to dissolve my marriage three times, but each time I was unsuccessful because fear constantly crept up and filled my head with uncertainties. Emotionally, I had become severely damaged as a result of the fact that I had spent the previous 17 years in an abusive marriage. I struggled with low self-esteem and a lack of confidence. My partner constantly drilled the idea into my brain that no one would choose a woman with a disabled child as a partner. If I were to walk away from him, I would spend the rest of my life by myself. So for the past six years, I’ve just been going through the motions. I had lost all love and respect for him, and I did not approve of the person he had developed into. It was a constant battle for me to keep our family unit intact. I put up with the abuse and put my own mental and emotional health on the back burner for as long as I possibly could.

Ben had knee surgery, soft tissue lengthening, and extensive osteotomies in November of 2014. The procedures were all performed on Ben. He did not make a full recovery, and there were a great deal of difficulties. Every night while I slept close to him, I had the overwhelming sensation that I was all by myself and pondered the purpose of my life. My realization that my marriage was finished came to me while I was in that hospital room. After we brought Ben home, I spent the next three months concentrating on his arduous rehabilitation while simultaneously going through the motions of married life. I shared my ideas and asked for some direction during my private session with the marriage counselor that we were seeing. I decided to get legal representation in February of 2015.

For the first time in my life, I made the decision to prioritize my own well-being and happiness. My existence had descended into the depths of purgatory. I had to put up with hatred, anger, and verbal abuse on a regular basis, and it was getting to the point where it was almost intolerable. But I was fortunate enough to have an incredible support network. My spouse severed all ties with Ben immediately. That, in his mind, constituted my retribution. If I were to take care of Ben by myself 24 hours a day, seven days a week, I would know how much I rely on him. That didn’t happen. I worked on improving myself and meeting with a psychologist on a regular basis for over two years. I was in a nice place, and it brought a smile to my face. I was unrestricted and able to take deep breaths. No more tiptoeing around on fragile ground.

By January of 2016, Ben had reached a size that made it impossible for me to carry or lift him any longer. I was unable to give my youngest kid a bath when my eldest son was not present since I was unable to lift him into or out of the bathtub on my own. My accessibility journey became my new primary focus as I worked toward my goal of establishing 100 percent accessibility in my house so that I could provide care for Ben without injuring myself. After waiting another half a year, I finally got around to hiring a contractor to construct an accessible bathroom with a roll-in shower. Dealing with Victor was a wonderful experience. It was always a pleasure to talk to him every day. He had a great deal of knowledge and was characterized by a great deal of compassion and empathy. The way in which he interacted with Ben blew my mind. It piqued my curiosity about who this individual was.

After Victor had finished painting the bathroom, I had him come back to paint my kitchen a few months later. After he revealed that he had recently ended his marriage, we engaged in some profound discourse. I was quite aback by how many things we shared in common. In order to keep his family together, he, too, spent many years neglecting his own emotional well-being, putting other people’s needs ahead of his own, and prioritizing the satisfaction of others over his own. Both of us have had wives who held the belief that marriage took precedence above personal satisfaction, that maintaining the integrity of the family unit was of utmost significance, and that pursuing one’s own happiness was self-indulgent. They might point the finger at menopause or claim that you have mental health difficulties that require treatment with medicines.

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I started having daily conversations with Victor that would go for several hours. Sharing each other’s drama began with conversations about our partners, our children, the dissolution of our marriages, and what was occurring on each day. Other topics included the breakup of our marriages. After some time had passed, there was a discernible change. We began to look forward to having conversations with one another. Our chats eventually turned to focus on both of us. We were talking about our personal lives, including our favorite things, our bucket lists, and the places we hoped to visit in the future. We were talking about our favorite and least favorite things from our childhoods, as well as how our days had been going. A very wonderful friendship was created.

After communicating via phone calls and texts on a daily basis for the previous four weeks, we finally agreed to meet up in person for a cup of coffee. It was impossible to deny that we had a connection; the feeling we shared was surreal. We both didn’t want to get up and leave the other, so we just sat there and spoke for hours. There was a lot of laughter. It was just stunning. However, it didn’t take our partners very long to figure out who we were. Our lives were obviously out of control because of the extraordinary level of animosity, fury, and verbal abuse that we were subjected to. Our partners in crime were dead set on destroying who we were as people.

Instead of recognizing the facts and the truth of why both of our marriages had collapsed, the tales of infidelity and many affairs began. These tales were shared to anybody who would listen and consisted of half-truths and exaggerated tales. The first steps of parental alienation were taken, which included forcing the children to pick a side and involve them in our private affairs. The actions and behaviors were completely uncalled for and detrimental to one’s health. It was a dreadful situation. We were given a choice. Either we could go our own ways and deal with the craziness that we brought with us, or we could cling to one another and keep investigating whatever it was that was happening between us. Both of us made the decision to maintain our grip. In point of fact, the next week we went on a date together and spent the evening chatting and laughing with one another. It was enchanted, and after that night, there was no going back. There was no going back.

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We were inseparable. The challenging situations that we were both going through served only to bring us closer together. We were together for not much longer before we decided to move in together. Our children who were not disabled disowned us. There is nothing more wrenching than this situation. to have your children not care about you, not care about what’s in your heart, not care about your feelings, and not care about whether or not you’re happy. This presents a challenge. Because the only things you can influence in your life are the activities and behaviors you choose to engage in, if we are confronted with bullying, harassment, or name-calling, we choose to respond with kindness or we choose not to respond at all. Simply concentrating on the good things in our lives is all that we do.

In spite of the meddling from outside sources, my partner and I made every effort to establish ourselves as a couple. Ben became more of a close friend to Victor as time went on. They, too, felt an instant connection with one another and adored one another. Victor became proficient in providing all of the daily care that Ben required, and things were proceeding swimmingly. After another five months had passed, Ben experienced a serious health problem. We had no idea that he was suffering from a twisted colon, which meant that he needed emergency surgery. We came very close to losing him. I had a strong feeling that would be the time when my ex-spouse would let go of his anger and animosity and go to be with his kid when he was in the hospital. But he didn’t.

Ben had a difficult time recovering from surgery and needed to have a colostomy. It was one problem after another that needed to be solved. We were in the hospital for a total of six weeks, and during that time he did not make any significant progress, which led to the need for a second operation to place a g-tube. On the inside, I was a complete emotional wreck, and I was just holding on by a thread. On the other hand, I refused to expose my weak spots. After 18 years of raising a child with special needs, I had become accustomed to not need anyone’s assistance and managing everything on my own. To say that this did not go over well with my Victor is an understatement. He had the want to look after me, and he had the desire to look after both of us. Whenever there was something going on with Ben, he acted like an animal kept in a cage.

It seemed to me that this was the defining moment of our journey. I had no choice but to expose more of myself to him or risk losing him. So, I let him see me crumble. I broke into a million pieces. For the very first time in my life, I exposed myself to every possible risk by letting my guard down entirely. He restored my health and my strength. He helped me get back up on my feet after I had fallen. That day, he took the reins of parenting a child with special needs, and ever since then, he has been guiding Ben and me through all that life has thrown at us.

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To enter your life and adore your children requires a man of exceptional character. It is unheard of for a guy to go headfirst into a relationship with a woman whose child has several problems and who will require care twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for the rest of his life. It sheds light on his genuine nature as well as the depth to which he is capable of loving.

We have been together for close to three years, and in that time, Victor’s parents and one of his brothers have all passed away. During the period, we have been together, Victor and I have become very close. Ben has experienced a total of two critical medical events, undergone three operations, and we have spent a total of ten weeks staying with him in the hospital. In spite of the fact that life is so valuable, there are many who would rather nurse their grudges and harbor their wrath than choose to love. instead of opting to listen and make an effort to comprehend what is being said. Instead of choose forgiveness as the option.

It seems that whenever we make one stride forward with our children, they make five steps back in the same direction. My children are finally starting to see things my way, especially my daughter, who is desperate for her mother’s affection and requires her to be close to her at all times. Even Victor’s own son is beginning to see things differently. However, he is constantly having to deal with meddling from the outside, which tears our hearts. No matter how many times Victor tries to get in touch with his daughter, she continues to reject his attempts to have a relationship with her. It has been three years since he last saw her, and I know that as long as she continues to prevent him from having a connection with her, a piece of his heart will always be broken.

In spite of the traumatic events that have occurred in both of our lives, Victor and I are more intimately connected than we have ever been. The date of our wedding was February 23rd, 2018. Not only is this stunning man my husband, but he is also my closest friend, my soul mate, and the man I will spend the rest of my life with. We are both wonderfully flawed people who have finally found each other after years of searching. Who both gave up a great deal in order to cherish the only thing that truly matters — ourselves.”

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