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I'm just wondering, how much everyone has from their partners?<br><br>
I guess I feel like I am a single mom in this regard as my husband does little to nothing. He has never done an ounce of research about our child's hearing loss, never called any of the Drs, never scheduled anything, set up any therapy, attended any therapy, never looked into ways he can help our son's learning environment, nothing!<br><br>
I order all therapy tools, decide what to work on, do all therapy our kid needs, everything and it is tiring. At first I thought well maybe I am not letting him help but it isn't that. I've tried to talk to him about it and he shows no interest whatsoever in any of it. It is our child's future and he is too lazy to bother. If he cared wouldn't he help? Wouldn't he at least google some ideas to help our son learn to talk? Is it a man thing or is it my husband?
 

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Wow you sound frustrated! Maybe you are so good at handling it all your DH just steps back without realizing it. Have you talked about it? Can you ask him to step up in some specific ways? Attacking is satisfying, but doesn't seem to work... My DH has become much more involved as our DD gets older.
 

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My DH is a little bit useless, but he makes up for it by paying me generous compliments about how I've been mothering our DS, and now since I've become largely a SAHM it sort of feels like it's my job to handle DS's "stuff" and to keep DH updated on it which works 98 percent of the time, the only time I get angry is when he starts saying idiot stuff like "The State thinks he's disabled but IIIiiii otoh have faith in my son!" What, *IIIII* don't??? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"> GL, like PP said, maybe he'll get more involved when DS gets older and more interactive.
 

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I know exactly how you are feeling.<br><br>
My DH is far more helpful than he used to be. After multiple attempts to understand why he wasn't doing more, he realized (I learned) that his lack of interest and help stemmed from (1) feeling helpless to "fix" his son, (2) believing that he couldn't do anything to help, and (3) trusting my decisions. Of course, there was also denial there too, especially since DS's condition wasn't something DH could fix. Plus, DS often accepts only my comfort which broke DH's heart and made him feel even more inadequate as a father.<br><br>
Now, his biggest thing is helping me with tasks around the house. If I ask him, he knows that I really need him to do x or y. Also, he's far more involved now with important doctor's appointment and tests. I'm sure to schedule appts such that they interfere little, if any, with DH's work schedule. Then, I tell him he needs to be at certain appts. Now, he understands more about DS's needs and actually wants to go to the appts.<br><br>
To me, it sounds like your DP is having an extremely difficult time coming to terms with DS's needs. In addition, he might be feeling like my DH, which is that DS is #1,2,3 and DP's fallen to the bottom of the list. We've really had to focus on creating time to talk about us and things unrelated to DS, which has helped our relationship tremendously.<br><br>
It can definitely get better, and I understand your frustration. I hope some of my experience might help you and your DP.
 

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We have a pretty even split at home. I do all the daytime stuff (since DH is at work) but when we go out together on the weekends or evenings, DH gets L out of the car (cause it's a big long pain in the butt). He flushes his appendicostomy about 50% of the time (it takes about an hour). He makes his formula every night he's home and I put on his night time equipment (I hate making formula and he hates hooking him up, so it's our trade). We also split med giving 50/50.<br><br>
I do all the hospital stays (he comes when things are really bad or it was a surgery or on the weekends). I do all the dr's appts and such. He comes to ones that he thinks are really important, but it's hard to get off work otherwise. His main "hospital mode" job is taking care of dd and getting her to school in the AM and picking her up at a friends house PM. The hospital is 3 hours away so it's not like I can just run and pick her up. So that is HUGE because it makes her life a lot less disrupted.<br><br>
So I feel like we have a fairly good division of labor.
 

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We've had some issues about this. Our DD doesn't have much in the way of ongoing special needs, but she's had two heart operations, narrowly missed having to have brain and spine surgeries, and is being followed by about a dozen different specialists for various body parts (I think we need to sign up for the Lever 2000 health plan <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">). For the first year or so, DH wasn't really in the loop at all. I think maybe he was kind of intimidated because I'd done so much research, and spent so much time talking to her doctors, during the early months when she was in the hospital.<br><br>
The way we dealt with this was to have him take over a couple of clearly defined, not-too-complicated tasks (for us, this was her audiology and eye appointments). He's now the "resident expert" in those fields. This seems to have brought a little more balance to the situation, and he's more willing to talk about stuff in general, and sometimes take her to her other appointments.<br><br>
At the same time, I've had to accept that he may never be an equal partner in the planning and research, because he just doesn't share my drive for that sort of thing. Makes me a little nuts at times, but that's just how it is. And this goes for other aspects of family life, not just SN. Even though he praises my efforts to give the children good nutrition, culture, etc., if he had to raise the kids on his own, I'm inclined to suspect that they'd be munching on microwave pizza and watching cartoons all day. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/cold.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cold">
 

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my husband does just as much as I do. It's just the way our family operates, there is no other option. either he helps or people don't get needs met. it isn't optional.<br><br>
that said... he wasn't always so in the loop. everything was on my shoulders. he was say "I'm willing to help but I don't know how" and I would say "you never try" etc etc etc... finally i realized we were just SO tired and stressed we were not working good as a team anymore. we were just biting at one another playing the "I work harder than you" or "I get less sleep than you do" game and it was getting us nowhere quick. ok actually it was getting us a miserable marriage and family life. neither of us wanted to be home with the kids! we were SO tired we just wanted to be left alone.<br><br>
It didn't change overnight, but SLOWLY I began to ask for his imput more (and not bite his head off when he said something I viewed as stupid/ignorant/irrelevant) and he began to offer more opinions. I shut my mouth when he did it "wrong" and started praising him when he did it right. he started praising me more. we stopped playing the "who does more" game and just started giving more. I made an effort to speak his "language" and try to meet some of his needs/wants (even when I found them boring or frivolous) and he slowly started to do the same back to me (now I get foot rubs every night form a guy who I barely used to have a nightly conversation with!!)<br><br>
it's about 5 yrs later and we just do things OUR way. it's different than other families b/c it is what works for us. it works for us for him to be highly involved. it works for us that I get up nights and he watches them while I sleep in later. it works that he handles breakfast and works from home so he can help during the day.<br><br>
it's good to not compare yourself to other families. other families may not have the same needs, abilities and goals you do. for instance some pity me b/c my husband is home all day and I get no space to myself. and some pity my husband b/c they think I tie him down too much making him stay here and "help me" (as if they are not his kids too). we laugh about it b/c we know the truth. this is OUT family and WE decide how it works and this works for us.some families work better with mom doing more of the therapies and education and some work better for the dad. as long as both couple have a role it's fine.<br><br>
find YOUR style/balance/way. and make sure you're not putting standoffish vibes out towards your husband. husbands are great at picking up the "leave me alone and let me do it my way vibes" but LOUSY at relationship problems solving (generally).
 

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How much does your partner help?<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="laugh"><br><br><br><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="laugh"><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">
 

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My partner amazes me ! He works full time as a Self employed carpenter, he helps basically any moment he can and will take time off work etc. whenver I need him too!<br><br>
I love him!
 

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DH helps with some stuff around the house, especially laundry. I just don't have time to wash clothes for 5 people when I'm doing everything else, and now add to my already crammed schedule all these extra appointments and paperwork. I can see how this could get worse in the future once DS1 is in therapy. The place he would go is nearby but doesn't have evening hours and we both work during the daytime. This is going to require someone taking time off so our son can go to his appointments, and I know that this is going to be a huge problem because DH has always had this assumption that whatever he's doing is more important than what I'm doing. I do work part time, but I really don't want to spend all of MY days off running errands and all of his days off are spent doing whatever he wants......Wow, so totally not looking forward to this....My DH could definitely do more, that's for sure.
 

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It's varied. Initially my husband was in full denial that anything was wrong with Connor. So I did it all, and he ignored it all. In fact, even went so far as to suggest that I was imagining everything, making stuff up, exaggerating symptoms, etc. It became devisive, and in all honesty, I'm not sure how our marriage survived. We weren't partners in anything for a while, probably a year.<br><br>
Then I had to learn how to include husband. I was so used to doing it all, I didn't know how to relinquish any. And the vague "why don't you care more" wasn't helpful to him. I didn't know how to let him in, he didn't know how to get in. It was learned helplessness on his part, and it was also enabling on my part.<br><br>
So I changed my approach to being more direct. "Honey, Connor has an appt with a new dr on this time/day. I need you to be there. I will reschedule if necessary." "The dr brought up this issue [human milk fortifier, for example], here are some links, I want to sit down and talk about this together after the kids are in bed."<br><br>
So it started slowly. I also left out pamphlets and packets of info in the bathroom, on the computer desk, etc. I left webpages open on the computer. I started conversations in the car (when he couldn't run away from me!). Then I included him in the appts. Now he is the one who takes Connor to one of his therapies every week because it fits into his schedule better than it fits into mine (by design! I intentionally picked that therapy slot).<br><br>
Try try try to take the emotion out of it ("Don't you care about your son's future??") because that will only put him on the defensive. Make him see that you want him involved in the decision making. "Honey, DS is approaching school age, we have to decide if we want him in a Total Communication class, or Auditory Verbal. I've been reading up on it a little, here's some links, I want your opinion." Then a few days later ask a specific question "If we choose Auditory Verbal for school, do we still want to use ASL at home? If we choose Total Communication, do we want to try to increase his private speech therapy?"<br><br>
Other than that...I try to be open and honest. I found myself silently steaming about his non-involvement, then I'd lash out about other stuff (the dishes, the laundry, him eating too much junk food, him being impatient with the kids) But that was hardly fair, because he didn't know that I was so upset! I was being too passive-aggressive, and men don't respond to that.<br><br>
And, I have to say...don't let him try to say "well I have to work all day" because *I* am the working parent in our family, yet I handle all things medical with all of the kids. Part of it is my desire to control, and the fact that I'm more organized (and have a very flexible job!) but still...I do it, and so can he. If you're home, then it might be that you do somewhat more than him, but he should still be involved. Tell him about every appt, specifically tell him if you want him to be there (and offer to reschedule if necessary), and then in the evening tell him how the appt went.
 

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My husband helps a lot with day to day things. For example I noticed he threw in a load of laundry before he left for work today and he baked enough granola this morning for all of us. It was waiting on the stove when I got up and he even put out bowls for all of us (I assume he was getting his own so got out enough breakfast dishes for everyone). He always helps with showers and bedtime. I can go out to dinner with friends without worrying about meds or routines. That sort of thing. It sounds like maybe your hubby is simply not at home much at all due to work or related. I've got friends (without special needs kids) in that situation and it is very hard. I would be very upset if my husband never went to certain appointments with us. I feel for you if I'm understanding that correctly. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> Your needs aren't being met (say for family support) and that's not going to bode well for marriage long term. So once you figure out what is reasonable to expect and what you really need I think this needs to be worked out for the health of your relationship.<br><br>
You need more but as to what--do think it through. I used to be bothered about lack of input/help into special needs areas. The vast majority (all really) of the research into my son's special needs, making decisions, scheduling appointments, carrying out therapy, etc. has fallen to me. It's a lot of pressure at times and it feels alone and stressful to be making all the decisions by yourself. My husband will listen and even, if really pressed and given all my research and thoughts, might give an ("well, I guess maybe this but I'm not sure so do what you want") opinion but it's been only me really thinking things through. That used to bother me a lot.<br><br>
I've come to peace with it now by and large. I think I realized that I don't want to (and don't) spend my time and effort figuring out money stuff or insurance/medical bills. I don't want to think about care of vehicles or lawns (both things my hubby does without any help from me). He schedules oil changes and I schedule therapy! I do want to make decisions about homeschooling. I've got a friend whose husband has tons of opinions in that area and, in fact, almost nixed the idea altogether. She's making decisions she wouldn't otherwise because of him. I think a healthy marriage does take both partners into account of course. But it would drive me nuts to have my husband dictating things without doing the research, without putting the time to really think things through, and without actually being the one to live with the decisions. And I realized that if I was convinced of something (say that my son needs a particular therapy) and my husband said he disagreed/fought me on it I would want to explode. So, I've come to really appreciate that my husband isn't so opinionated about every little detail of my kid's lives. And I've come to peace with the idea that our lives are complicated and so we have to specialize. A lot of his time/effort has to go into work so we've got money to live. I'm overwhelmed with special needs and can't run finances. Basically, we can't both put the time and effort into the same things. As far as home more than anything else I want my husband to set aside time to bond with his sons. Beyond that, divide and conquer.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>2boyzmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15415126"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I started conversations in the car (when he couldn't run away from me!).</div>
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LOL! This is exactly what I did with my DH. I always had to be sure I was driving though as DH is exactly great at multi-tasking in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>2boyzmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15415126"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It's varied. Initially my husband was in full denial that anything was wrong with Connor. So I did it all, and he ignored it all. In fact, even went so far as to suggest that I was imagining everything, making stuff up, exaggerating symptoms, etc. It became devisive, and in all honesty, I'm not sure how our marriage survived. We weren't partners in anything for a while, probably a year.<br><br>
Then I had to learn how to include husband. I was so used to doing it all, I didn't know how to relinquish any. And the vague "why don't you care more" wasn't helpful to him. I didn't know how to let him in, he didn't know how to get in. It was learned helplessness on his part, and it was also enabling on my part.<br><br>
So I changed my approach to being more direct. "Honey, Connor has an appt with a new dr on this time/day. I need you to be there. I will reschedule if necessary." "The dr brought up this issue [human milk fortifier, for example], here are some links, I want to sit down and talk about this together after the kids are in bed."<br><br>
So it started slowly. I also left out pamphlets and packets of info in the bathroom, on the computer desk, etc. I left webpages open on the computer. I started conversations in the car (when he couldn't run away from me!). Then I included him in the appts. Now he is the one who takes Connor to one of his therapies every week because it fits into his schedule better than it fits into mine (by design! I intentionally picked that therapy slot).<br><br>
Try try try to take the emotion out of it ("Don't you care about your son's future??") because that will only put him on the defensive. Make him see that you want him involved in the decision making. "Honey, DS is approaching school age, we have to decide if we want him in a Total Communication class, or Auditory Verbal. I've been reading up on it a little, here's some links, I want your opinion." Then a few days later ask a specific question "If we choose Auditory Verbal for school, do we still want to use ASL at home? If we choose Total Communication, do we want to try to increase his private speech therapy?"<br><br>
Other than that...I try to be open and honest. I found myself silently steaming about his non-involvement, then I'd lash out about other stuff (the dishes, the laundry, him eating too much junk food, him being impatient with the kids) But that was hardly fair, because he didn't know that I was so upset! I was being too passive-aggressive, and men don't respond to that.<br><br>
And, I have to say...don't let him try to say "well I have to work all day" because *I* am the working parent in our family, yet I handle all things medical with all of the kids. Part of it is my desire to control, and the fact that I'm more organized (and have a very flexible job!) but still...I do it, and so can he. If you're home, then it might be that you do somewhat more than him, but he should still be involved. Tell him about every appt, specifically tell him if you want him to be there (and offer to reschedule if necessary), and then in the evening tell him how the appt went.</div>
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Thanks everyone! It's nice to know some families have or have had similar going on.<br><br>
Thisi s exactly it. I get frusturated b/c he "doesn't care" and then it leaks out all over our relationship. And I do control everything, I have made every single decision for our children since before they were born and I don't know how to let him in. I have tried before and tend to get the "do what you want, I trust your judgement" responses. Maybe I should force him into it and tell him it isn't good enough any more and make him research options and show him where to look--places that side with me lol!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wetcement101</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15410837"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Wow you sound frustrated! Maybe you are so good at handling it all your DH just steps back without realizing it. Have you talked about it? Can you ask him to step up in some specific ways? Attacking is satisfying, but doesn't seem to work... My DH has become much more involved as our DD gets older.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>2boyzmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15415126"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It's varied. Initially my husband was in full denial that anything was wrong with Connor. So I did it all, and he ignored it all. In fact, even went so far as to suggest that I was imagining everything, making stuff up, exaggerating symptoms, etc. It became devisive, and in all honesty, I'm not sure how our marriage survived. We weren't partners in anything for a while, probably a year.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that"><br><br>
I'm sure that if not for dh providing a paycheck that allowed me to stay home and focus on ds' needs, there's no way we'd still be married today. I mean, I'm GLAD I'm still here NOW, but man... for us it may have been more than a year.<br><br>
Now, our son has progress but then so has our family. My husband is NOW every bit my equal, but that's because ds has so little therapy anymore and there's nothing to research so it's easy for him to find enough to do to balance out with what I'm doing. But really, it sucked in a major way for a long time.<br><br>
Hugs to you...
 

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I think that everyone's definition of balance is different, so you cannot really compare. AT first my DH, wanted to be taught, but then he had a big fear of not doing it right. I had to set aside my desire for everything to be done perfectly, to give him an oppotunity to participate without the fear that he was doing it wrong.
 

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I know you are frustrated and upset but please don't refer to yourself as a single parent when you have a partner. I know you aren't out to hurt feelings and this may seem nitpicky to you but as a true single parent, I feel as though you are diminishing what I do and what other true single parents do on a day to day basis. Calling yourself essentially single because your partner doesn't help out with one aspect of daily life(even though it may be a huge aspect) feels like a slap in the face to me. You have a partner to talk with and share troubles with. You have someone helping with bedtime or bathtime. You have someone there int he middle of the night to deal witht he other kids while you run one kid to the ER instead of having to get everybody up and dressed while one kid is cyanotic and panting and drive them all to the ER at 3am while frantically phoning their father to come pick up the others. If you have to deal with an illness in yourself or your child, you have somebody who can make dinner or toss in a load of laundry. Single parents don't have those benefits. We do it all, every single day, without the help of a partner. Married or partnered parents can feed off each other and boost each other along the way and single parents don't get that luxury.<br><br><br><br>
I have a child with ADHD and a child with asthma and I am a single parent and I manage them and their meds and their appts by myself. Their dad is very involved in their lives but because he does not live with us or go to doctor's appts, it falls to me to learn everything I can and bring up questions to specialists and manage the med changes and the illnesses and the ER visits and appts. I find myself <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> at him sometimes because even though he's an amazing dad who truly loves them and is a wonderful person, I don't want to teach him multiple times their proper doses of meds or what he can and cannot combine for meds when the baby is sick. I don't want to explain how often to give the prednisone or whether or not to administer albuterol in the neb or the rescue inhaler. I want him to be involved enough in the appts and doctor visits to know this stuff firsthand. It's frustrating. And to manage the householdl and the finances and the schoolwork and the baths and the laundry and grocery shopping and such on top of all of a that. I get really tired and angry sometimes. And my children have relatively minor special needs, I realize that. But sometimes it feels like too much. I don't want to be quarantined in my home all winter with an asthmatic because a simple cold could put her in the hospital. I don't want to teach my ADHD daughter her schoolwork for the 2nd time(after her teacher taught it to her personally one-on-one at least once) or explain to her YET AGAIN why it's not okay to hit a 2 year old back for hitting her and stealing her toy. I don't want to leave the grocery store when my cart is full because she's having a meltdown and people are staring because she's nearly 10 and should be able to behave herself in public. That's when I want a partner. That's when another adult to help out would be nice.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>justmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15421637"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I know you are frustrated and upset but please don't refer to yourself as a single parent when you have a partner. I know you aren't out to hurt feelings and this may seem nitpicky to you but as a true single parent, I feel as though you are diminishing what I do and what other true single parents do on a day to day basis. Calling yourself essentially single because your partner doesn't help out with one aspect of daily life(even though it may be a huge aspect) feels like a slap in the face to me. You have a partner to talk with and share troubles with. You have someone helping with bedtime or bathtime. You have someone there int he middle of the night to deal witht he other kids while you run one kid to the ER instead of having to get everybody up and dressed while one kid is cyanotic and panting and drive them all to the ER at 3am while frantically phoning their father to come pick up the others. If you have to deal with an illness in yourself or your child, you have somebody who can make dinner or toss in a load of laundry. Single parents don't have those benefits. We do it all, every single day, without the help of a partner. Married or partnered parents can feed off each other and boost each other along the way and single parents don't get that luxury.</div>
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See, I don't have any of that as a married partner should have. It makes me so angry at him that he is so absent in our lives. He doesn't feed them, bathe them, put them to bed, do homework, nothing. I think dh and I need to have a nice long talk about him being so absent in our family.
 

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My DH is wonderful we both research things and try and help our special needs kids the best we can Im so blessed to have him.
 
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