Zoom Autism Magazine Issue 6 - Page 42

house. We could live these opposite lifestyles and not be resentful. Most of us know Stephen Shore and his travel schedule. What most don’t know is that he and his “DW” (darling wife) speak by phone at least twice a day, every day, wherever he is in the world. He picks up small, thoughtful gifts for special days. They love to share good food, music and laughter. They enjoy wonderful weekends and long vacations together. And it works. For 25 years or more. Some of us will marry and be inseparable. But for all of us, the truth is, whatever our circumstances, we must each define marriage for ourselves and embrace all of our uniqueness, including our neurodiversity, if we are to be happy and complete. We must all “do our Dena, her husband and their adorable Grandbaby! work.” By that, I mean, do all we can to heal and Whatever our circumstances, leave behind the baggage we all gather over the we must each define marriage years. If I could have gifted my husband anything in our marriage, I would have gifted him for ourselves and embrace all of our uniqueness, an unpacked life. But then again, would we be accommodate eachincluding other for short periods of our neurodiversity, where we are and who we are without that bag time, asking him to be less obsessive or for me if we are to be happy and complete. gage and the shared journey of unpacking the to be more contained in my organization was history? like asking us to be Olympic athletes. “ ” Words cannot express my gratitude for having found this man who is so unconditional about everything in our lives and who is the father and grandfather our children deserve, standing Once we learned these things, we wrestled for strong after 20 years. After our working lives are a while but soon were able to redefine marriage over, we will probably move for us—logiback to the same town and cally, meanOnce we stopped trying begin living in our beautiful ingfully to fit into some socially constructed idea little two-family home—but and withwe won’t exchange keys! out anger. • Here’s the really weird thing … We. Were. Both. Happier. “ of what marriage has to be, we were able to breathe again. WHATTTT??? Yes! We learned that we were happier living apart. Once we stopped trying to fit into some socially constructed idea of what marriage has to be, we were able to breathe again. We embraced that we could both be the best possible parents, grandparents and care deeply for each other without sharing the same 42 ZOOM Autism through Many Lenses ” Dena Gassner is the Director for the Center for Understanding, a PhD student at Adelphi University and an advocate, writer, and national presenter to schools, families and agencies throughout the country. More importantly, Ms. Gassner lives a life of transparency, embracing her i