While couples from all walks of life divorce, some marriages dissolve due to the hardship of raising a child with special needs. This is not always the case; however, Family Therapy Magazine notes that incidents of children with learning disabilities and other developmental issues are on the rise, with one in six children affected.
While this issue does not always play a direct role in a divorce, several factors stemming from the possible difficulties of such a situation may factor in over time.
1. Lack of emotional support
Caring for a special needs child can take an emotional toll on a parent, and when his or her spouse does not offer support that nurtures this type of well-being, it can cause the primary caregiver of the child to feel isolated or frustrated. Eventually, these feelings may cause that individual to form feelings of resentment toward the spouse, which can ultimately end the marriage.
2. Financial pressures
Children with special needs often require costly items such as wheelchairs, special transport vehicles and daily medications. While some community and insurance programs offer these at a reduced cost, couples who live at or below the poverty line may find themselves struggling to provide their child with all he or she needs to live comfortably. Such financial pressures can often lead to divorce.
3. Poor coping skills
Some married couples find that learning or developing coping skills together can strengthen the union over time. Couples who cannot manage this or turn to poor coping skills, such as the consumption of drugs or alcohol, may face a higher risk of divorce.
Parents facing the challenges of raising a special-needs child may find the help and support they need through community outreach and support groups that may help them to cope as a couple.