When I got the call from the midwife telling me that my AFP test results indicated an elevated risk that my baby (Stella) had Down syndrome and recommending amniocentesis, I told her we were declining genetic testing because "we would not terminate anyway." She sputtered and twittered and finally blurted out, "Did you know that a high percentage of marriages end in divorce when there's a child with a disability?!"
I know that statistically this is true--there is a higher rate of divorce among special needs families--even higher than the already high rate for all couples.
And folks, let me tell you, there has been trouble in this particular little "paradise." The tiny two-bedroom in Queens crackles with tension. How much of this, I wonder, has to do with our parenting of Stella? How much is just the two of us, the individuals we are? How much is the tininess of the tiny apartment?
I'm very curious about the experiences of other couples who are parenting a child with special needs. So I'd like to pose the question to those of you reading now who are in that situation: how do you think it has affected your marriage, if at all? If you were married but no longer are, were your child's special needs a factor in that decision?
I would like to hear as many voices as possible, and you may post anonymously. (In fact, that would probably be preferable.)