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To think children should always come before a marriage/relationship?

(27 Posts)
Justdontgetitatall Sat 27-May-17 19:29:40

I was going to post this in Relationships, but couldn't find it on the app.

So, the comment on this video is mine -

https://youtu.be/PaogOQj8yLQ

Perhaps I was little harsh in my wording but I was very shocked at the as I am a single parent that is very protective of my child.

However, with the responses given in the video, I'm now starting to wonder if I was wrong to think my daughter should always have come before my relationship with her Dad and that maybe this had something to do with our relationship breaking down....?

This is really bugging me. Was I being unreasonable or is this a cultural thing and I was correct in thinking that kids should always take priority?

PLEASE be kind in your replies, I'm quite upset right now. sad

NellieFiveBellies Sat 27-May-17 19:39:40

im not clicking the video but on the issue of priority i dont think it is as simple as you suggest.

first of all there are needs and wants. should a child's wants come before a parent's needs? if i have holes in my only pair of shoes does my child's demand for a teddy bear come first?

then there is vulnerability. a baby of course is the most vulnerable but a strapping 6ft 17 yr old son v a wife in a wheelchair or blind? who needs help to be 'saved in a fire' which is the usual example.

then there is the fact that people are better parents if they are a strong team and if they dont take any time to be a couple they cannot be the most effective team. (obviously this is only relevant to couples but that is what you are talking about)

yes, children are vulnerable and dependant and of course you dont neglect them in order to please an adult and you dont keep them in an abusive home because you prioritise adults but you simply cannot reduce the whole thing to Kids First At All Times.

Jenwen22 Sat 27-May-17 19:43:00

I didnt watch the whole video, but from what he said I think you and the majority would put your child first. Any parent worth their salt would. I love my DP very much but if it came to him or my child my child would win every time. I mean if someone wanted to put the work in to their marriage in order to build a safe and loving enviroment for the child I think that would be a bit different as the work your doing benefits your child overall wellbeing. But I dont think that was what he was getting at, but like I said anyone that selfish would be in the minority who just likes shouting out contraversal topics on youtube to get hits. Best thing to do is just ignore him xx

Trifleorbust Sat 27-May-17 19:47:27

My family comes first, which includes my DH as well as my DD. If their needs conflict, I weigh this on a case by case basis. So, if my DH needs to get some sleep but my DD needs to eat, she comes first. I will wake him up if I have to. But if my DH needs to get some sleep and my DD wants to run round screaming at 5am (she is too young but you get the idea) I will quiet her.

StepCatsmother Sat 27-May-17 19:50:22

I think there has to be a balance.

In a lot of the divorce/step-parent threads, you see comments about how awful the situation is for the children and how they didn't 'choose' to be in that situation. If adults neglect their relationship then arguably the chance of the children being put through the breakdown of their parents' relationship is increased.

I agree with the above poster who said parents have to be a strong team. You can't be that if you don't know when to focus on your partner and/or prioritise your relationship when needed.

gillybeanz Sat 27-May-17 19:51:52

Surely it depends on the situation.
There are times when my dc have come first, but others when my dh has.
It's not difficult to do a quick assessment as to which is the most important at the time.
In our family we are all equal, nobody comes before anyone else.
There are times when a person's needs come first, but it ould be any of us.

cingolimama Sat 27-May-17 19:53:47

I put my marriage first. The example of a strong happy marriage encourages the possibility of your children having such a relationship in their lives as they actually know what it looks like. This doesn't make me selfish.

HildaOg Sat 27-May-17 20:01:05

I put my child first. No man will ever come before her. Our home is our own. I'd hate to bring someone in that would change that for the worse. Now if I met someone she liked and if she was happy for him to live with us then I might consider it. If she ever said no, then he'd be gone.

They only have one childhood. Why mess it up for them?

Trifleorbust Sat 27-May-17 20:03:52

* Now if I met someone she liked and if she was happy for him to live with us then I might consider it. If she ever said no, then he'd be gone*

Would you tell him that when he moved in? Not exactly a soft sell, that.

FATEdestiny Sat 27-May-17 20:06:38

My husband is my favourite person in the world.

Our children's needs will often be put above mine and DHs needs, but that doesn't change the fact that I chose my husband, and him me, every day. He's my number 1.

Snoopysimaginaryfriend Sat 27-May-17 20:16:00

In a life or death situation then I think my instinct would be that my DD comes first.

However, it's not as black and white as 'children should always come first'.

An example of a healthy, loving relationship where all parties are respected is important to children. Our home is not a dictatorship run by our child. We all have needs and I think children need to learn that the world doesn't always revolve around them.

What if there is more than one child in the family? Dd2 is due in August. I often see threads on here about giving one child a present on their siblings birthday because they will 'feel left out'. What lesson does this teach a child?

PigletWasPoohsFriend Sat 27-May-17 20:18:40

Life really isn't that simple. It's complex and at different times different people have different needs.

RebelRogue Sat 27-May-17 20:19:31

I prioritise needs by ability and urgency.
For example all 3 of us need to eat, but dd can't cook for herself. She's also the only one with a bedtime,so her dinner not only has to be cooked,it has to be served by a certain time.
If oh is tired or ill , his need for rest comes first,not dd's need to play at stupid o'clock in the morning,jump on him,have cuddles or play x game with him.
Oh will prioritise my need for a good sleep or rest as often as he can.
Yes babies do come first,especially because they are so vulnerable,can't communicate,wait or do anything for themselves, but there are two other people with needs involved. Having those needs constantly neglected by yourself or a partner doesn't normally end well.

RebelRogue Sat 27-May-17 20:25:06

DD knows her needs will always be met,even if not straight away. She also knows that her wants will be considered,but they don't come first.

In a life or death situation DD will always come first though, OH and I wouldn't expect anything less.

sonjadog Sat 27-May-17 20:28:25

It depends. Teaching children that they always come first is not great either. Teaching them to be considerate, sometimes others come first and that they donĀ“t always get exactly what they want would seem a more balanced way of behaving to me.

BlondeB83 Sat 27-May-17 21:12:28

My DP is my number 1.

BlondeB83 Sat 27-May-17 21:13:22

Obviously different situations call for different people to be prioritised.

museumum Sat 27-May-17 21:17:10

My husband and child have equal rights in my heart. My child needs me more. But my husband doesn't strop if his cup is the wrong colour. Spending time with my dh replenishes me, whereas sometimes caring for my ds exhausts me.
But clearly in a disaster situation I'd grab my child and hope dh could manage himself.
I just don't think it's as simple as child always comes first.

CadnoDrwg Sat 27-May-17 22:17:18

My number 1 job in this world is to protect my children and provide what they need

Providing this isn't compromised then my husband has equal importance and doesn't play second fiddle to anyone.

What my children want is balanced in the greater scheme of our family.

53rdWay Sat 27-May-17 22:33:53

If I neglected my marriage and it fell apart, that would be awful. Few things would be worse than that. But fucking up my DC's childhood, that would be one of those few things. I'd rather be raising thriving children as a single parent than be in the closest, smoochiest marriage on the planet with deeply unhappy children.

Also I find a lot of the "put your marriage first" kind of articles/things like this to be creepingly anti-feminist. For all that they're directed at 'parents' not mothers, it's usually mothers in practice this stuff applies to, and it's something women worry about (or are told to worry about?) much more than men. Like all the advice about getting out for 'date nights' when you have a young baby, getting dressed up and being romantic and not talking about kids - not because you'll enjoy it, but because otherwise you'll be neglecting your marriage, and your husband might leave you for his secretary or something if you don't flap around being romantic at him on a regular basis.

FATEdestiny Sat 27-May-17 22:44:49

it's usually mothers in practice this stuff applies to, and it's something women worry about (or are told to worry about?) much more than men

Im glad I'm not married to a man like that.

I'm certain I wouldn't consider my DH number 1, if the feeling wasn't mutual.

Love51 Sat 27-May-17 22:50:58

It isn't a dichotomy here. My DH would himself put our kids needs before his own, and would want me to put their needs before his. But, we had a long and happy marriage before kids. If you are having a relationship that starts after the kids are born, you might find tension in the conflicting priorities, because you are still doing courtship, plus the new partner might not yet have that strong bond to the kids. Kids needs should usually come ahead of another adults needs, because the adult can fend for themself. Wants are different, but mainly what we want is a stable happy secure home, for all of us.

That doesn't mean I don't make my kids do stuff they don't want to do. Like most parents, I won't do, let them do, or condone, anything that might harm them.

53rdWay Sat 27-May-17 22:58:30

no, that's not what I mean, Fate. Of course there are plenty of men who care about their wives and their marriages, but men as a whole don't have the same kind of cultural anxiety and general stressing about how they might be Neglecting Their Marriages if they don't perform a grand show of romantic-ness and tend to the perceived needs of their husband more than they do their children.

I love the pants off my husband, but we're adult partners. He's not another chore or another pot of emotional need that I have to shovel my reserves of time and energy into, and he's not in some kind of competition for my affections with a preschooler.

MaQueen Sat 27-May-17 23:01:10

A good question.

It's all a question of balance. Sometimes our DDs need me more, sometimes DH does. Sometimes I need to be around my DDs, more than I need to be around DH, and vice versa. So, you attune your behaviour accordingly.

But, no, I have never just automatically put my DDs first just because... I hope I have always met their needs, and often allowed them their wants but they haven't always been my 100% priority.

DH and I are still very much in love, and I believe our happy marriage makes us better parents to our DDs. I am also aware that we were only privileged to closely share our lives with our DDs for roughly 18 years, and then they will move on with their more independent lives, which is exactly as it should be.

But, I will be closely sharing my life with DH for 60 years or (hopefully) more, so it will be the most important relationship of my life, and as such needs nourishing.

MrsKoala Sat 27-May-17 23:05:59

I'm always baffled by these threads. Dh and I just don't feel that way about each other and never have about anyone but our children. I know I'm not dh's priority or no 1 as he has told me. He knows he isn't mine. We're fine with that. In fact id hate to be with someone who I felt that intensely for.

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