Loving the Husband More Than the Kids Is Key to Good Life


I remember asking my mom when I was little who she loved best between me and my dad. "It's a different kind of love," she told me then. But the kisses she and my dad shared in the toy aisle, their constant holding hands, and their long vacations sans kids while we stayed with the grandparents told me otherwise. She loved my dad more. And I am so happy she did.

When a family is strong, mom does prioritize the marriage over the kids. But we live in a culture where kids come first. Or, as my friend recently said, "Since when did kids move from the card table at Thanksgiving to the head of the table?" Since when, indeed.

Blogger Joanna Goddard addresses this in her blog and the result is very interesting. She spoke of a conversation she and a friend had after her friend saw writer Esther Perel, the author of Mating in Captivity, a book about sex within a marriage (and after having kids). Goddard says:

Perel believes that there's a badge of honor among American women to not prioritize yourself or your marriage: It's all about the children. Without realizing it, she said, women can end up getting their emotional intimacy and physical satisfaction from their children, instead of their partners, said Perel. They give their babies tons of wonderful affection -- and then don't have anything left over for their spouse. The marriage can become an afterthought.

Um, yep. How many women do we all know like this? It's not their fault. And I don't blame them. But it's a problem. A huge one, in fact.

The fact is, in a family, if mom and dad aren't happy, ain't nobody else happy either. The marriage should be prioritized higher than anything else.

I see it in my own family all the time. When my husband and I are happy and loving with one another, our children are happy and loving with us. They want to get in between us and cuddle and they are much calmer. After all, the marriage is the foundation of the family.

Ideally, children are born from the love two people share with one another. They grow under the umbrella of that love and then they find their own loves with whom they will do the same. Romantic love is so different (thanks mom!) than the love I feel for my children. I would die for my kids, jump in front of a train for them, and move mountains to keep them happy. But my love for my husband is different.

It's burning and passionate and sexual (one would hope!). It gets me through the hard days and sustains me when things feel low. Without him, the rest would fall apart. I know this, he knows this, and we both work very hard to maintain it. It's not easy. My love for my children is much easier and comes more naturally and takes less work.

So in that sense, yes, my marriage is priority number one. It's what made my family and it's what will stay after my kids fly the nest.

Is your marriage your first priority?


marriage, love


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

lovey... loveyoualready

 I heard a segment on npr similiar to this years ago. It makes sense, what you're saying.

Melis... Melissa042807

I wouldn't go as far as to say my marriage is "first", because when your kids are young they need so much from you and a lot of their needs have to come first just because they can't provide for themselves yet. But yes, my marriage is definitely up there on the totem pole! Because like you said, it's what's going to be left when the kids are grown and gone. I don't want to turn and look at my husband the day the last kid leaves the house and say "Uh...hi...who are you again?". 

My husband is a huge help in making our marriage a priority. He makes it clear to me every day that in his eyes, I am still his wife and lover in addition to being the mother of his children. Just two weeks after our first son was born he arranged to take me on a really, really nice dinner date - he cared for the baby while I showered and got ready, and arranged for our most trusted friends (who had a 5 month old themselves at the time) to come over and stay with our newborn. I was a tad bit anxious at first but with his encouragment I pushed through that and we had such a wonderful time on our date, and it was so great to feel like a woman again instead of just feeling like a nursing machine! :-) 

So yeah, I'm a firm believer in making the marriage a priority. My kids will always know that I love them and that I will always be there for them, but they will also know that I love their dad and we are committed to each other. 

angev... angevil53

i completely agree, especially with the fact that loving your children comes more naturally. therefore requires less "help" than that of loving a spouse. you have to put your spouse higher on the list bc it requires much more attention to maintain the relationship. i also think it will help your children realize they aren't the "only person in the room" so-to-speak.

vanes... vanessa5470

I whole heartedly agree. I adore my husband, and vice versa. Coming from a divorced broken home, I vowed to do things right way with my own.

vanes... vanessalouanne

I adore my husband, we have a great marriage but our kids come absoutely first (to both of us) 


This is the way I look at it, if my husband abused my kids.. itd be over in a heartbeat.  Their well being comes first always and forever.  Does that mean they take priority over his well being?  Absolutely.  Would I die for my kids? Yes, no question.  Would I die for him? No, I have kids to think about.  I dont think its a problem though.  I cannot stand those couples who are so consumed with each other that their kids suffer and dont get the needed attention. (I know a few people like this)

Maias... MaiasMommy619

A real man will know that his children will always come above him to his wife and they should for him too...over her.

Mama2... Mama2MonkeyBoys

My husband and I love each other as much as any two people can. Our marriage is solid - and honestly, we rarely have sex. Sex doesn't make a marriage. Sorry if that's TMI for you, lol. The connection we have is so much deeper than that. It doesn't require physical closeness to sustain it.
But my children absolutely, unequivocally come first. I love them more than my life. I absolutely love them more than my husband. They're a part of me. Like Vanessa said, I would absolutely die for my children. There are certain situations in which I would die for my husband, but in general, no. Because I'm not leaving my kids without a mom.
And yes, if my husband ever abused the kids (would never happen, totally hypothetical) it would be over. No question. We talked about this when our first son was born, and we both agreed it was true - and totally right - that we should love our children more than we love one another. That doesn't make our love less special, or less real than it is. But those kids are a part of us, and will always come first. Always.
And that's the way it should be.

Argentina Iraheta

I grew up in a "stay together for the kids" situation, except not. My sister and I literally begged her to leave a few times, and she never did. She told us she didn't want to raise us without a father to stand up for us, except he was the one hurting us. So, I don't 100% think that the spouse comes first in all cases (as you said, there are kids to think of), because something is wrong when a person ignores their kids to save a marriage that's beyond help. My mom is still with him, and she still thinks it was a good decision to stay. She wonders why I don't like visiting or talking to him on the phone.

If both spouses are committed to making it work, then of course loving each other more is key. If you don't like each other, the kids are going to end up miserable whether you stay together or not.

nonmember avatar blh

I love my son more than anyone. That's the way a parent is supposed to feel. What happens if your husband abuses your kids? If you love him more what do you do? I've seen that happen alot where women value their relationships above their children. Of course your marriage should absolutely be a priority but most women honestly do love their kids more.

1-10 of 160 comments 12345 Last