I’ve been drawn into the debate on if women should put their husbands/ significant others before their children. In this article, here, it is claimed that putting your husband first is the “secret” to a happy marriage…
The article was really an interesting read for me. Mel Robins, the author of the article, spoke about two bloggers who laughed when they told their priority list being, “their children, their girlfriends, and then their husbands”. Robins then states, “marriage is not a joke. It’s something we work hard at and are tremendously proud of. I want it to last a life time, which is why I treat it accordingly”. She then goes on to say, “I bet her husband’s breakdown is the same: his children, girlfriends, and then his wife”. …..Ouch!! Is it just me, or was their slight shade, lol!
In the article it is implied that putting you children first can cause them to be obnoxious kids. And questions if you wouldn’t want your kids to grow up and marry someone who puts them first? That you have to show them that by making your marriage an example. Hmmm..
A related article on Psychology Today, Who Comes First, the Kids or the Marriage?, more or less implies the same thing.
It is stated in this article that making your kids the centerpiece of your life can create risks such as indulgence, entitlement, and prolonged dependency. Also, reciprocating the idea in Mel Robins article, that putting your kids first can risk neglecting your marriage and foster feelings of resentment, neglect, resignation, and alienation in themselves or each other.
The article goes on to talk about this couple, Betty and Stefan. Long story short, Betty gives all her attention to their children disregarding the issues in her and Stefan’s relationship which led to a lack of intimacy and loss of trust. Betty states that she has to give all her attention to their children because Stefan is lacking, and he retaliated that the children need to become more independent and responsible. After the kids are grown Betty and Stefan are still together but their relationship is still unsatisfying due to them never facing these underlying issues. How sad!
Are we doing more harm when we put our children before our partners? Do we do this unintentionally because there are issues in our relationships we rather not deal with?
On the opposing side, another article I read, Why I’ll always put my children before my husband… even though it’s already destroyed one relationship, where Lucy Cavendish basically says putting her children first has ruined a previous relationship with her child’s father, and she would do it all over again. Lucy questions, “can’t marriages take a back seat while children are young? They’ll grow up soon enough!” Lucy also states, that she thinks there is a difference in men and women on this topic; that women would say they put their children first, but men would say they put their wife first. I thought that was interesting, maybe true, but a little unbalanced. Like, maybe that’s where the underlying problem is…unbalanced priorities. Stay with me for a minute, but if each person prioritized their partner first, or their children first it would be a little more balanced, but I can see where someone will feel shorted if they weren’t on the same priority level as they put their partner. Does that make sense?
I found all of these articles interesting and valid points in each opinion. For me, I think it’s a tricky balancing act. Parenting takes a ton of work and energy and so does a succesful relationship or marriage. I don’t think you should stop putting in energy into your relationship because you have children, but I am guilty of falling into that trap and I saw the negative effects it had on our relationship. I had to start being intentional about nurturing our relationship and still be a great mom. I also see the positive effects on my children that comes from giving more energy into my relationship with their father. It’s like they can sense when we’re pouring off of each other and thrive off of it.
Mothers, I want to hear from you! What are your opinions on this topic?
Related Links: I Put My Husband Before My Kids, And This Is Why