5 reasons your marriage MUST come first (for the sake of your kids)
Posted May 16
Life can get crazy, especially when you're responsible for those tiny humans running around the house. You and your spouse love these kids more than anything in the world, but some couples tend to forget to love each other when they’re giving all their time and energy to their little ones.
While you shouldn’t constantly neglect your children to be with your spouse, there are times when it’s actually healthy to leave them with a sitter and take time to be by yourselves.
Here are five reasons your spouse should be the most important person in your life, no matter what:
1. Before you have kids, you have each other
Before kids, you’re best friends, you do everything together and you just enjoy being in each other’s presence. After you have kids, you don’t get that time together unless you deliberately plan for it, and even then it’s hard to make it happen.
This puts a strain on your relationship. If the only time you’re talking to each other is at the end of the day when you can barely keep your eyes open, your relationship will suffer. Marriage needs constant nourishment and work, so take time to tend to your relationship without your kids.
2. Your kids will benefit
Although it might feel like you’re being selfish at first, nurturing your relationship with your spouse is actually the best thing you can do for your children.
When I was growing up, I never doubted that my parents loved each other. I realize now that this was because their first priority was their relationship with each other, and I am so grateful for that. Providing stability for your child eliminates the stress they feel when their parents are fighting or their relationship is strained.
Your kids will also benefit by having a firsthand example of what a healthy relationship looks like. Your kids watch you more than you think — they notice a simple kiss on the cheek or when you hold hands in the park. These small gestures give your children an idea of what they should look for in a spouse when they get older.
3. Your helicopter parenting will create a monster
If your child is constantly the center of your attention and you’re giving them everything they could possibly want or need, you're slowly creating an entitled adult that will have a hard time functioning in the world.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to help your kids, but when they can't do anything for themselves, that causes a problem. While your parenting isn't the only situation that can create a self-centered child, you can reduce this risk by instead making your spouse the center of your world. Your child will realize that other people matter and they will appreciate it so much when they get older.
4. What happens when all your kids grow up?
Your last baby graduates high school and moves out of the house, so what do you do now?
If you and your spouse have been putting each other first throughout your marriage, you’ll be just fine. You still have a healthy relationship and you’ll feel comfortable taking fun vacations, going on dates, and spending the rest of your lives happily married. Your relationship will be stronger than ever and your adult children will be so happy you’re happy.
If you’ve been neglecting one another, this might not be the case. Divorce rates tend to go up after the age of 50 — perhaps because once the kids are out of the house, couples realize they're now married to a stranger. Couples need to constantly get to know each other, even when kids are in the house.
5. Your spouse is a key part of your family
Your life and family wouldn’t be the same if your spouse wasn’t there. You two work as a team to build your family and raise your kids. You each have roles that are essential to your family dynamic. No marriage is perfect and some take more work than others, but the work you put into nourishing your relationship with your spouse will be worth every minute.