Post # 1
During our premarital questioning with our pastor he brought up the question “Who comes first in the family, your marriage or the children?” and both of us immediately responded with “The children of course, we’re grown adults but while we have children they should always come first”
Apparently that was the wrong answer. Apparenly for a healthy marriage the marriage should always come first and the kids should never be allowed to come in between the marriage. According to him, the best gift you can ever give your children is a healthy marriage because it shows them what a healthy relationship is and they need that.
So it got me wondering about everything. I’m guessing he’s not talking about “If you have only $2 to your name and no food who gets the food your spouse or your child” because of course that should be the child. But I think he was going by situations like having a date night with your spouse but your child asks you to take them somewhere, putting your relationship first over your childs desires? Or perhaps when talking with your spouse to wait until the conversation is over before talking to the child trying to interrupt?
So in a non financial way, what comes first, your marriage or your children and what does that mean to you?
Post # 3
I say my spouse. we just had this talk last night actually. the way we see it, we are deciding to build a life together. Our home, our children, our family dynamic is all part of the life we’re building and our relationship is the foundation. How can we expect it to stand if the foundation is cracked? we want our children to know that a marriage is a partnership and SO and I are a team, always. we want them to know that a relationship is built on respect, honesty, trust, support and communication. and when they have grown and left the nest, I want to look at my husband and know that we have grown and gone through life as united as we were on the day we said our vows.
Post # 4
@MrsNewBride427: I’ve seen this “shift” in a new parent’s attention and care when a baby arrives, and its understandable in the beginning for both parents to totally focus on the new member of the family…but as time goes on, if both parents can’t find that equilibrium between being parents and spouses, the relationship suffers intensely.
Its as simple as the parent wanting to be the best parent they can be, so everything they do and think is centered around their child, the spouse is left alone and seperate, their parenting input is increasingly ignored, their needs neglected and instead of a family, there is this single entity and the couple comprised of parent and child.
It breeds an enormous amount of resentment on the neglected parent’s part, both for offending spouse and their own child, creates strife, anger, discord and general unhappiness, and is difficult to change as time goes on, because the child is accustomed to a level of parenting that cannot be maintained in a healthy way.
Long story short, you have kids so that they’ll grow up and leave, but you get married to spend your life with someone, invest in the long term when you can.
Post # 5
My spouse for sure. I won’t have a family for my children if I don’t make marriage my first priority.
Post # 6
@Birdee106: + a million
Spouse was here first. Our relationship is #1 priority. Keeping that healthy will keep everything else healthy.
Post # 7
kids are a priority and that doesn’t mean you stop taking care of your marriage
Post # 8
I don’t have kids yet, but your kids eventually leave you. You married someone to share in the joy of having kids, so if your marriage is unstable that will spill over to the child. I think marriage comes first.
Post # 9
I say marriage. Commenting to follow!
Post # 10
I would say right now it is about equal. My DH and my son are first to me.
Post # 11
kids before marriage because well you can always just get a new husband :p
Post # 12
My husband comes first now as my children are older, but when they were little their needs outweigh an adult so they had to come first.
The way I see it now is that my boys will leave and start their own families my husband is the one I’m going to grow old with. Keeping our marriage happy and strong is really important to both of us. We don’t want our love for each other to die:)))))
Post # 13
Spouse before children (for me personally), always.
Post # 14
Spouse comes first for me.
Post # 15
We don’t have kids yet (and aren’t technically married) but I just watched the movie “Parental Guidance” on an airplane and there was a line in the movie that stuck in my head about how after your kids are all grown up and left home your spouse is the one who will still be there with you….
Needless to say it made me tear up a little and reach over to hug my FI 🙂
Post # 16
Ideally, I don’t think there should be a hierarchy, any more than one child should take priority over another. Of course, adults and children don’t have the same needs, so the things that are prioritized for each person should vary appropriately, but I would hope that no one in the family would have to be neglected.
My mother chose my step-father over me, and it drove a wedge that is still between us. I guess she’s happy with her choice, at least, I hope she is, but it’s not a situation that I would want with my own child. I hope that my family will be able to strike a better balance.