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In Marriage, Should Your Partner Come First Before The Children

  1. #1
    mel_g20 is offline Registered User
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    In Marriage, Should Your Partner Come First Before The Children

    Hello,

    I would to love hear other peoples opinions on this. Plus if anyone can recommend a book which discusses the advantages of whether a partner should come before the children, and if so how this works in practice.

    My marriage is falling apart around me, and my husband is saying that one of the reasons is that I always put the children first - they are 3 and 5 years old. And I am no longer the women he married.

    I would appreciate any advice and help.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Gataloca is offline Registered User
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    I have never been in the situation (yet)... But I think everything should be balanced.

    I know of a couple that where dating for years. Then the lady got pregnant, they got married, and after few years (probably months) after the baby got born, they got divorced. I heard from a friend that seems that the male part was complaining about her wife only caring about the baby, leaving him apart.

    Of course, the first thing that came to my mind is that the husband was just childish and immature, being jealous of his own baby. But putting myself in his shoes, I think that the reason he was with his wife, was because he loves her in the first place, and not because of the baby. Therefore, of course he would want to have some quality time with his partner. And some people (male or female) just don't get attached to their own children, or they just don't like children.

    About who should come first, I think they both should have the same priority. Try to schedule some time to spend with your children, and sometime to spend with your husband. Hire a nanny, and go out for a dinner or do something special. Also try to involve your husband in taking care of the children, so he would not feel like being left apart.

    I know it is easier said that done, but I wish you the best. You may also try marriage counseling if you really don't know how to handle the situation.

  3. #3
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    I think it depends on the situation. I do think that the best gift you can give your children is a loving family - and the basis for that is a good relationship with your spouse. So in some ways, by really taking the time to nurture your relationship with your spouse, you ARE benefiting your kids as well. Our relationship with our spouses is the foundation of our whole family - so we need to remember to give it the attention it deserves!! So in that way, I do think that your relationship with your partner should come before the kids... Kids WILL change a marriage and so a marriage does need more work/attention when kids come along. I personally think it's important to have 1 on 1 time with your spouse every now and then (date nights or whatever you can do in your situation) just to reconnect and refresh your relationship...

    The ONLY time when I wouldn't answer "yes" would be if the children's safety is in jeopardy - if our spouse is abusive to the kids, I think that it's our responsibility to protect them by removing them from that situation.

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    jane01 is offline Registered User
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    Perhaps marriage counselling rather than a book?

    I adore my husband, but in our house, the children come first. They are only young and need their parents. However, we still make time for us as a couple, just not as often as before children. There is a balance there somewhere.

    When our little girls grow up, there will be plenty of couple time. We're just enjoying every second of them.

    Frankly, I wouldn't have a lot of respect for a husband who made me choose between him and my children.

  5. #5
    Frenchy is offline Registered User
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    In these situations, it's often the husband complaining about their wives putting the children first... maybe because men expect women to be the same than before, and don't see what changes are necessary to hold a family and take care of the children. They expect us to be good mums, caregivers, housewifes, and spouses. Why not... BUT... I think it's very easy to complain and put the blame on the other. Nobody is completely right, and nobody is completely wrong.
    Do you also have the feeling that your husband is making some efforts with you, inviting you, taking some initiative, offering some flowers or chocolates any other day than the St Valentine, making you feel like a woman and not just a mum ?
    One can't complain about a situation and do nothing to change things, maybe everyone has got a part to bring, and not always the same ones.

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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Just to look at it from another point of view though - if it is often husbands complaining that their wives put their kids first, maybe there is some merit to it? Maybe many women do put their husbands as too low of a priority to the detriment of their marriage. And instead of putting the onus on the husband to make more effort, we are the ones who can change ourselves and make more of an effort to give our husbands the attention that they need. If there are problems, then the solution has to start somewhere. Might as well start with us!! And I don't think that is really being "self sacrificing" because in the end, everyone benefits, including us. Just my opinion...

  7. #7
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    as with everything, there MUST be a balance. yes, the health & welfare of the children is #1 priority, but not everything needs to revolve around them. it is VITALLY important that mummy gets some "me" time and that mummy & daddy get some "couple" time. even if that means, dinner at mcdonald's without kids in tow. an occasional lunch, or even a night in a HK hotel (so you don't have to go too far)!

    we have done the latter and it was FANTASTIC! daddy finished work early (works from home) and i took 2 days off. we booked a hotel in TST (something different) and left our house at 11am. we arranged early check-in for 12pm. checked in, went out for lunch, back to hotel to read, relax, watch a movie, sleep... out for dinner, massages in-room, some "adult" time etc. we left the next day at the latest possible check-out time and returned home, happy, refreshed and ecstatic to see our kids again!

    next up, a couple of nights in bangkok for our 10th anniversary (he doesn't know about it yet, though!)

    the kids ARE important, but at 3 & 5, they are no longer babies that need you for every single thing in their lives. it is ok for mum to take a break and focus on daddy for a while (also ok for daddy to focus on mummy for a while, too!). your kids eventually grow up and move on. if you are very lucky and you have a true partnership with your spouse, it is your spouse that will be there for you.

    of course, if things are really terrible between you, i would NEVER suggest staying together for the "kids' sake"... to me, that is one of the worst decisions women make.

  8. #8
    mel_g20 is offline Registered User
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    Thank you all for your replies, its much appreciated.
    My husband and I have been together for 13 years and married for 9 and my children are now 3 and 5. My first child was born in Australia where I went back to work when he was 1, but then my husbands job moved us to Shanghai, where my daughter was born, and now HK. In order to progress my husbands career and experience a new lifestyle my career really has taken a back burner. - all of which I agreed to. But the impact was uprooting myself many times and building new friend networks. My husband has encouraged me to stay at home, and yes probably I prioritised my children. But he never said a word or complained in all this time, until a month ago, when suddenly he doesnt love me any more like he used to, I have been diagnosed with depression.Yes we are going to counselling next week, but I am suffering severe anxiety trying to cope. A book would help me understand some of the principles of balancing a husband and the kids. Yes I understand now some mistakes I have made, but I am not entirely alone, and when I review our life my husbands priority has been work, the kids, then me. I think every relationship must be different in the balance required - but I wish that when I went to prenatal classes I had actually been to how to nuture a healthy mariage as well as look after kids class. For me this has come out of the blue, I would urge other mums not to forget the importance of their husband.

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