What is Your First Priority: Marriage or Children?

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VšnTillBruden Posts : 353 Registered: 1/16/10
What is Your First Priority: Marriage or Children?
Posted: Feb 20, 2010 1:43 PM

My brother and I were having a discussion earlier this evening about priorities. One of the topics that came up was: "What should be your first priority? The maintenance of your marriage, or your child(ren)?" It also tied in with the question "Who are you supposed to love more? Your husband/wife/spouse, or your child(ren)?"

Just thought it would make for an interesting thread. I'd love to hear your thoughts. *:)

Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I need it the most. (Swedish proverb)

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FrancieElaine Posts : 654 Registered: 6/26/09
Re: What is Your First Priority: Marriage or Children?
Posted: Feb 20, 2010 4:52 PM Go to message in response to: VšnTillBruden

You always post such interesting discussion topics and I am surprised I am the first to respond. One of the best pieces of advice I can give a couple with a new child is, "Make sure you nurture your marriage as much as you nurture your child." So many couples don't do this, and so many marriages end in divorce. Often, Mothers feel guilty about any time spent away from baby, and Father gets the short end of the stick. Some parents let the child sleep with them, and their sex life is ruined because of it. Trust me, do not, do not, do not start letting your newborn sleep with you! It will be a very hard habit to break. Put the baby in a crib in the nursery and buy the very best baby monitors you can. I could actually hear my baby breathe on my monitors.

Establish date night while baby is still a baby and go out at least twice a month. You must role model to your children what a healthy marriage looks like. Children need to know that Mommy and Daddy love each other so much they go on dates. That will make them feel secure and will teach them what relationships are supposed to be like. As a result of a better marriage, you will be better parents.

I could talk about this all day but I'll hop down off my soapbox and give someone else a chance.

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CheetahAngel Posts : 2,017 Registered: 11/29/08
Re: What is Your First Priority: Marriage or Children?
Posted: Feb 20, 2010 5:07 PM Go to message in response to: VšnTillBruden

I think a marrage should come first that way both husband and wife can get to know each other better and spend some time alone before a crying baby comes along. Once you enjoy being married without kids then I guess the kids will come and at that point when they come I think the children come first. I don't think I want any kids so thankfully I won't have to worry about children getting in the way of the marriage lol.

 

                           
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AmyJustin2010 Posts : 201 Registered: 1/18/10
Re: What is Your First Priority: Marriage or Children?
Posted: Feb 20, 2010 7:30 PM Go to message in response to: VšnTillBruden

It's funny you asked this, because this question came up in our pre-marriage counseling with our church.

I think it is important for the marriage and the children to be priorities. The marriage is something that will affect the child, so in nurturing your marriage, you are indirectly nurturing your children. So yes, the marriage should remain in top priorities, but there are times when that isn't possible. On the pre-martial 180 question questionnaire we filled out, it said "your marriage should come before your children" and we both bubbled disagree, and the scan-tron said it was a question we had to discuss, and we came to the agreement that it depends on the circumstance. If Heaven forbid, our child were to develop some illness, you bet your ass I'd temporarily move away to some city so (s)he could get the best care possible. Not the best for our marriage, but the best for our child. You'd also bet your ass we're going to take the weekend away for our anniversaries and leave the kids home. It's all about balance.

As far as loving, I feel like child love would be a different kind of love than spousal love and therefore is hard to compare. Plus, it's hard to quantify "love." So I'm going to say N/A to the second question.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: What is Your First Priority: Marriage or Children?
Posted: Feb 21, 2010 8:14 PM Go to message in response to: VšnTillBruden

Dear Van,

My marriage and my children have high priority. Sometimes my job has high priority. Sometimes my dogs take priority.

My husband and kids are doing great, but the dog is barfing up his guts, then I'll drop everything and haul the pooch to the vet.

If family is fine, dog is fine but there's an emergency at work, then I'm off to the office to put out fires.

I'm a working mom. I juggle. All the time. Six balls in the air. (Husband, dogs, children, job, broken down car, clogged toilet, the squeaky wheel gets the grease around here.)

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Beeble Posts : 306 Registered: 11/19/09
Re: What is Your First Priority: Marriage or Children?
Posted: Feb 22, 2010 1:13 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Ok, the way I read the thread title, I thought it was going to be asking if you should be married first before having kids. For me, marriage will definitely come before having kids. I think that's just the way it should be. 90% of my friends, however, had kids before being married, and about half of them are not with the father anymore, or have more than one father of their children anyways.

But, as for the actual intent of the question, I think you have to put your marriage first because unhappy marriages make unhappy children.

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MrsMcDAtLast Posts : 860 Registered: 1/1/07
Re: What is Your First Priority: Marriage or Children?
Posted: Feb 22, 2010 1:45 PM Go to message in response to: Beeble

My priority will be my husband even after we have children. Now, that does NOT mean that I will decide to not feed my hungry child because I want to go tend to my husband. I have seen this question come up more than once on another website I frequent, and that is usually what the people there make it sound like when someone says their spouse comes first, like how DARE you say your husband comes before your helpless, innocent child?!
What I mean is that my husband and I made the commitment to decide to stay together for the rest of our lives. Our children will become self-sufficient and move out and form their own lives, but DH and I will be stuck together forever; therefore, our relationship gets priority.

If people worked as hard on their marriages as they do on planning their weddings, they'd be way ahead of the game. :)
Also, I believe showing your children the model of a healthy marriage helps prepare them for what they should look for and choices they'll make when they form relationships as adults. A great quote I heard just yesterday: "If you want the best for your children, give them a good marriage!" :)


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FrancieElaine Posts : 654 Registered: 6/26/09
Re: What is Your First Priority: Marriage or Children?
Posted: Feb 22, 2010 1:56 PM Go to message in response to: MrsMcDAtLast

You are very wise. :)

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08divabride Posts : 831 Registered: 11/17/07
Re: What is Your First Priority: Marriage or Children?
Posted: Feb 22, 2010 3:32 PM Go to message in response to: VšnTillBruden

I agree with AOTB as usual. It's a balance for me. Granted I don't have a dog, but I do balance hubby, baby, work, and school.

But if I had to give a straight answer I would say my marriage because if you don't maintain a stable relationship with your spouse, your child will suffer.


 Lilypie - (8e8A)

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: What is Your First Priority: Marriage or Children?
Posted: Feb 22, 2010 4:19 PM Go to message in response to: VšnTillBruden

The marriage, but not to the exclusion of the children. As for who to love more, I don't think it's fair to quantify love. You just love them. And the relationships and the type of love is so different that I don't think it's fair to compare the love of spouses to the love of a parent for their child. If you asked me whether I love DH or my mom more, I couldn't tell you because the two types of love are simply incomparable. I'm not a mother, but I know that type of love is vastly different as well.

But back to the first question, the marriage needs to be nurtured for the family life to be happy and healthy. That doesn't mean you should ignore or neglect your children, of course, or focus on the marriage to the exclusion of the children. Children are supposed to complement the marriage - they are the living, breathing, proof of the love between the partners, and that love needs to be nurtured with or without children.

I'll probably regret saying this, but I hate seeing couples whose lives revolve around their kids. By that, I don't mean the frantic mom who tries to balance after-school activities for three kids, or the new mother who doesn't have time to shower. I mean the couples who basically worship their children, focus every moment of life on the child, give them everything they might possibly want, make sure they don't need to -heaven forbid!- find their own way to amuse themselves for a single moment, etc, etc. Maybe I'm not explaining that well, but I wish you all knew the same people I knew so that I could say 'I'm talking about people like X' and you'd know exactly what I meant. People for whom the relationship and everything else in their life becomes secondary to the child. It's not good for the child or for the parents. My parents have friends who still helicopter around their 30-something year old children. And as much as their kids hate it, my mom sees the same parenting pattern emerging with the next generation. Oh well - it's not my business, but I hate seeing it. I'd rather see the kids nurtured and encouraged to grow into the people that they will one day become, not hovered over long after they should be independent adults.

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Mrslinnben Posts : 2,285 Registered: 6/4/07
Re: What is Your First Priority: Marriage or Children?
Posted: Feb 22, 2010 6:08 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

IArrt, I know what you mean by your last paragraph. I have a friend, who after she started dating her then bf she dropped all her friends,then she dropped more of her friends when she got married, now her life revolves around her kids and her girlfriends are non-existent. Every single stinkin' time I talk to the friend, the calls revolve around her kids & her job; I'm sorry I really don't want to talk to the kids/job for a half hour. I want to hear about you!

I think there is a fine line balancing marriage/baby/work/friends. Just because you get married or have children there is no reason to drop your friends. I sit next to a women who is constantly talking about her grown kids & what they are doing in their life.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: What is Your First Priority: Marriage or Children?
Posted: Feb 22, 2010 6:21 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

Dear AB,

"I'll probably regret saying this, but I hate seeing couples whose lives revolve around their kids"

Fast forward into the future. (Think of you at 55.)

I know people whose children move out of the house, then Mom and Dad look at each other and say "Now what?". Mom and Dad have no life of their own. I've seen this time and time again. Suddenly, there's no football practice, soccer games, dance rehearsal, school prom, booster club, doctor's appts, Scout award ceremonies, nor homework. There's just a husband and wife and the empty nest.

This subject came up, from another direction, in one of the dreaded Fake Wedding threads. "What if Mom was on death's door, with 2 days to live, and she was begging to see her daughter to get married, but daughter also has the big shin-dig planned for months later?"

I would not do that, never. My life does not revolve around whether or not I see my children get married. If I'm on death's door, I'll be more concerned with making peace with various people ("I'm sorry the dog dug up your flower garden."), trying to remember what to tell my husband ("It's been a great 66 years. Oh, and the spare key to the lawnmower is on a hook in the garage."), AND with being prepared to Meet My Maker. Dragging in a whole wedding party to the hospital room would be the least of my worries.

My kid gets married if and when he so chooses, and finds a willing bride*. Great. If I can be there to witness the event, great. If not, then also great. It doesn't mean I don't love him. It doesn't mean he doesn't love me. It's just the way it works out.

(* Or identical twin girl brides, according to the running gag in the family. That the cue for one to say "With my luck, both girls will fall in love with HIM and forget all about ME.")

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FrancieElaine Posts : 654 Registered: 6/26/09
Re: What is Your First Priority: Marriage or Children?
Posted: Feb 22, 2010 7:52 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

I know who you are talking about... helicopter moms! Moms who hover above their children, seeing to their every wish and desire. Mother's who are obsessed about food allergies and other possible medical issues and take their kids to the doctor constantly. Mothers who get into arguments with teachers because their child could never do anything wrong! Mothers whose very existence and sense of self worth depends on whether or not her children totally depend on her. Am I right?

Albert Adler, one of the world's most famous psychologists, said it perfectly when he said it is just as abusive to be too indulgent than to be neglectful. I totally agree with him on this... indulgent kids grow up to be adults who can't cope.

Jumping off my soapbox now. :)

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FrancieElaine Posts : 654 Registered: 6/26/09
Re: What is Your First Priority: Marriage or Children?
Posted: Feb 22, 2010 7:55 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

I think you will be a great MIL someday. My son is engaged to be married summer of 2011. I love my FDIL. She loves my son very much. I've already told my son if he ever does her wrong he will have me to answer to. He knows I am serious. :)

Francie Elaine, The Bride Whisperer

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FrancieElaine Posts : 654 Registered: 6/26/09
Re: What is Your First Priority: Marriage or Children?
Posted: Feb 22, 2010 7:57 PM Go to message in response to: 08divabride

Diva.. you must get a dog or your family circle will never be complete! haha! Kidding! I think I would hold off at least until you are out of school. I also balanced school, work and family. It wasn't easy but it can be done if you are determined. Good for you girl!

Francie Elaine, The Bride Whisperer

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