None of these reasons, in my opinion, are "wrong" - they're simply part of the human condition.
In answer to my question "has your child with autism wrecked your life?" (referring specifically to children with really profound autistic symptoms), though, one commenter named Laura said this:
We don't become (or shouldn't become) wives or husbands or parents out of a selfish need or motivation for someone to give something back to us. These roles may require complete selflessness on our part at some point in life and deciding that because the other person cannot give back to me what I give to them...their life is not my call to make. And as a side note, I make their life worth living in some way by the way I have so much control over what kind of life they live. As with the disabled husband, with a disabled child, I have the responsibility to figure out what makes them tick, what gives them joy, satisfaction, confidence and any amount of independence and GIVE it to them in ridiculously large amounts.I must say that I am in awe of an individual for whom marriage and childbearing is a wholly unselfish and altruistic act - and for whom selflessness is a pure joy. Few of us would embrace an unexpected disability, and fewer of us would gladly dedicate their lives solely to the joy, satisfaction and confidence of another.
Personally, while I am raising a child with autism - and while my husband and I have made life changes to support that child's needs - I can't really say that I became a parent out of a purely selfless desire to care for another human being. I wanted to enjoy parenthood (and I do!). I wanted a reason to play, get silly, and rediscover the world through a child's eyes (and I do!). It's hard for me to fault parents for feeling angry, frustrated or depressed when none of their ordinary dreams of parenthood come true.
What's your feeling about marriage, child-rearing, and unexpected disability? Express your thoughts here - or vote in the poll!