Putting Your Spouse First: Truth About Balancing Your Family
Whom do you love more, your children, or your spouse? Or who comes first ‘spouse or children’? Don’t bother to answer. In your mind and heart, you know who it is.
This article is not a pros and cons quest for getting the right answer to the question asked above. Rather it is an explanation to the correct answer to why you should consider putting your spouse first, supported by experts and studies around the world.
So, whom should you love more?
To answer steeply, it should be your spouse who is getting more of your love and not your child.
Why your spouse should come first? Let’s go through it one rationale at a time.
The parenting conundrum
David Code, family coach and author of “To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First,” says that something which may put a twist to your thought of giving unconditional love to your children.
Breaking the myths of parenting below are some points to support the “loving your spouse more” argument.
The extra attention given to the children as compared to a spouse can take no time turning into helicoptering. As you give space in your spouse’s life, there has to be space in your children’s life.
The more you will be involved with your spouse in day to day activities, the more your children will start exploring his or her individuality.
The myth is, kids require more shaping from your end to turn out to be happier and better persons. With the mental depression wave hitting in hard, it is evident that this myth is leading your child to turn out to be needy and dependent rather than happy.
Treating your kids as a second choice is beyond some selfish thought; it is for their health and well-being.
Setting an example
Children follow what they see, whether it is fashion, accent, or manners. That is the reason why some parents go for twinning with their children, to share the bond and inculcate some likeness and set a trademark of their relationship.
Setting an example of your love life or the bond with your spouse is what they will follow at some point in life.
They shouldn’t see broken marriages and damaged household lives. Respecting and loving and putting your spouse first is what would set an excellent example of a relationship.
Stating the priorities
When stating your priorities out loud, your children get the idea that the family he is a part of is not broken.
Most of the divorce heading families don’t express what they feel like and put any non-important work above their breaking marriage.
Besides children, when you state your priorities by small gestures of love towards your spouse too, there comes a sense of completeness in the family.
The life partner connotation
What marriage counselors and lifestyle coaches have advised and strongly recommended for years is “Get a cause, a goal or an activity that gives meaning to your marriage.”
Before reading further questions, you have to bring forward your rational side. Why not think of a child as just that cause to live together?
Why make it the only important thing in your individual life? Why not be a team for the same? After all, past your mid-age, your life partner is the only one who is going to be there for you.
Doesn’t sound appealing? Alright, let’s take another perspective.
Karl Pillemer, from Cornell University, interviewed 700 couples for “30 Lessons for Loving”.
He says in his book, “It was amazing how few of them could remember a time they had spent alone with their partner – it was what they’d given up.
Over and over again, people come back to consciousness at 50 or 55 and can’t go to a restaurant and have a conversation”.
Now, this may sound a little horrific while reading, but it feels more terrible in the later, lonely, and empty-nested life.
So the secret to a happy married life is to put your spouse first. If you can garner a healthy relationship with your spouse, parenting becomes easy as a team effort for both.
When I say team, it brings me to another issue that needs to be addressed. Spouses aren’t just team members in your life journey; they are your lovers and partners whom you have chosen to live with for the rest of your lives.
Children are the result of that decision, and thus, you must insist on putting your spouse before your children.
How to balance your love?
If you are still finding it difficult to balance your love rationally among your child and spouse, you can go by baby steps.
Putting your spouse first is easy. All you need to do is treat them like you treated them while they were your boyfriend/girlfriend.
Your children will see a healthy relationship flowering in their house, making a positive impact in their life.
Life is busy nowadays, especially if you have kids, so even small surprises and gestures can make your marriage work smoothly.
You wouldn’t have to think of a topic to talk about if you are already sharing your thoughts on what you are going through.
Marriage and having kids doesn’t mean you have to stop being the support system of each other.
Considering children’s share of love. They definitely should get urgent attention, as every day at their young age is crucial to their later life.
What attention and love we talked about here are more like long term, stable and continuous efforts that you need to give to your marriage, but what children demand is short term, just to solve their instantaneous problems.
Embrace the uncomfortable choice of putting your spouse before your child in terms of your love and attention. Route for it, it works!
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.