Friday, January 4, 2013

Autism Strains Yet Strengthens a Marriage

Nancy Clarke and Jay Petrow.
From The New York Times' Booming Blog's Making it Last column, profiling baby boomer couples who have been together for 25 years. This post is by Steven Petrow.

Last summer, Nancy Clarke, 54, and Jay Petrow, 53, celebrated their silver wedding anniversary with family members in the backyard of their Westport, Conn., home. As Jay's brother, I was best man at their 1987 wedding at our parents’ house in Southampton, L.I., and since then have watched as he and Nancy have taken on an extraordinary challenge — raising an autistic and seriously disabled son, William, who is now 19.
For two decades Jay worked “10 to 10” as a magazine art director, and then five years ago decided to make a new beginning, starting a landscape design company. Nancy, a Princeton graduate and former Wall Street trader, became a stay-at-home mom after William’s birth. They also have a daughter, Anna, who’s 15. Following is a condensed and edited version of our conversation about their marriage.

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