Reasons My Marriage Will Always Come Before Children

In navigating the intricacies of life, one often discovers that the mantra “Reasons Marriage Will Always Come Before Children” holds a profound truth. This thought may feel paradoxical initially; however, research indicates it’s a beneficial perspective to embrace. Here’s why this relationship dynamic can be crucial for a harmonious family life.

On our honeymoon in Italy, my husband Jerry and I joined a tour group of 20 strangers, all of whom were at least a decade our senior. We met a retired couple who gave us some unsolicited but valuable first-hand marital advice: prioritize your relationship with your spouse above all others. Insightful counsel! An elderly man then elaborated, saying, “Even after you have kids, you two come first.”

Even as a young newlywed taking advantage of a child-free vacation in a lovely nation, I raised an eyebrow and cocked my head in surprise. Didn’t they just break every parenting rule in the book?

His better half continued, “Someday, your children will go off and start their own families. Only your partner will be left to comfort you. It didn’t sound so self-centered when she said it like that.

This couple seemed to have it all figured out. Is it the key to a happy family to always prioritize your spouse over your kids? It didn’t take much persuading to get me to choose my career over my kids.

Expert Opinions

The concept of putting one’s children second became widely discussed shortly after this conversation. Ayesha Curry, mother of three and wife of Golden State Warriors star player Stephen Curry, recently made headlines when she said Hello Giggles that the key to a happy marriage is putting each other first, even before the kids. Knowing that another marriage (and a young one) agreed with my decision to prioritize my husband gave me peace of mind. But her remark ignited a heated online discussion on whether or not it makes you a terrible parent to prioritize your partner over your kids.

Families and relationship professionals will tell you that it does not. Multiple studies have shown that marital happiness drops sharply in the first three years after a baby is born. Since you’ll be spending so much time with your child, paying your partner a little more attention might not be a bad idea. According to studies published in the Journal of Family Psychology, the satisfaction levels of 67 percent of all couples declined while 33 percent remained stable.

New parents sometimes experience strain in their relationships due to a number of causes, including financial concerns, lack of sleep, postpartum depression, and even jealousy over the baby’s attention. However, the quality of their relationship is important, and it can trickle down to their children. Saint Louis-based author and researcher Colizza claims that parental affection is the most important aspect of a child’s psychological, behavioral, and intellectual growth.

It’s All About Striking a Balance

Putting your spouse first when you have kids may seem backward, but you’ll be teaching them an important lesson. Alisha Powell, a certified clinical social worker, and therapist in Atlanta, Georgia, says, “You are [your child’s] biggest example,” so showing them how to care for themselves is a terrific approach to urge them to do the same.

To be clear, I’m not arguing that parents should feel justified in putting their marriage ahead of their children. The safety and happiness of your child are (and always will be) your top priority. The point is to keep your sanity, keep the romance alive, and hold on to the original spark that brought you and your partner together. When both parents are content, so are the kids.

For this reason, Jerry and I have committed to maintaining a regular schedule of date evenings and making every effort to celebrate our wedding anniversary with a trip (even if it’s just a staycation). The grandparents may enjoy some quality time with the children, as they have already claimed the babysitting duties.

What makes a family happy? I believe this to be true.

Helpful Hints for Managing Your Family

Putting others’ needs before your own can be exhausting, so finding a happy medium is essential. Your kids’ health, safety, and happiness are obviously top priorities, but it shouldn’t force you to put your relationship with your partner on hold. Here are some easy ways to prioritize your relationship and strengthen your bond.

  • Set aside time each week to go on a date. This can cost as much (or as little!) as you’d like. The aim is to schedule regular time for uninterrupted, one-on-one interaction.
  • Take a collaborative stance in the parenting role. Get on the same page about where you want to take the family so that you can tackle problems as a unit.
  • Make talking to one another a top priority. Make it a habit to talk openly and honestly about how you’re feeling to head off potential issues before they even start.
  • Spend time together as a family through play, and show your children that you value and enjoy their company.
  • When you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Seeking out couples counseling doesn’t indicate a broken relationship, and it can provide useful resources for doing so.

Meaningful articles you might like: Parenting Techniques for the Busy Mom, 5 Things Our Moms Wish They Had Known Before Marriage, How We Saved Our Dying Marriage After Having Children