Talk

Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Putting your husband before your kids

(57 Posts)
floatingawayfinally Sun 05-Feb-17 19:26:36

Me and H are in the process of separating. One of his accusations of why he thinks our relationship hasn't worked out I s that I put the kids before him. This baffles me. Isn't that what a parent should do? Our kids are quite young, under 5 so still very needy. Just wondering whether anyone else has come across a man child like this who sees his own children as competitors? I have come across some people who think that should be your order of priority if you want a successful long term marriage but I just can't imagine that this is a normal way to think.

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Sun 05-Feb-17 19:29:08

No. Kids first every time, and frankly I judge people who don't do this.

QuiteLikely5 Sun 05-Feb-17 19:30:02

What he said is open to interpretation. You have interpreted in a way that makes him look unreasonable but infact there should be times where your husband is prioritised over the children and likewise for you all.

AuntieStella Sun 05-Feb-17 19:31:34

No, it should never ver be one versus another.

The family is where everyone should be loved, and everyone cared for according to their needs.

He''s attempting a very silly game by introducing a wholly spurious and unnecessary (and indeed damaging) hierarchy.

Angrybird123 Sun 05-Feb-17 19:32:47

Like everything there is an element of balance required. Your post doesn't say exactly what he objects too or what he is asking for. I do think that beyond real babyhood actually there is a place for sometimes allowing the absolute top best option for the kids come second to the needs / wants whatever of either parent occasionally. Without more details it's not possible to say who is being unreasonable.

gamerchick Sun 05-Feb-17 19:32:58

Well there are some men who like a lot of attention but they're usually arseholes in general and right at the other end of the rope there may be some mothers who when they get their babies everything else gets shut out.

In the middle are the partnerships who share the slog,the fun of littlies and the shitwork so there is actually time and energy to focus on nurturing their relationship.

mrmanc Sun 05-Feb-17 19:34:01

It depends.

Of course the kids come first when it comes to their needs and wellbeing.

However there are circumstances when they could - and arguably should - learn that mum and dad need to be a priority too. Perhaps mum and dad are talking, there's nothing wrong with being made to wait. Equally, if mum or dad have something planned and a kids event comes along, nothing wrong with putting the parent first every now and again.

It's noble to put the kids first 100% of the time but it sometimes can lead to resentment. It can also be used as a weapon if one is cross with the other.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Sun 05-Feb-17 19:36:38

I put my kids first but my mum is in your DH's camp, she believes it is right to put your husband/wife ahead of your children.

PoundingTheStreets Sun 05-Feb-17 19:41:57

There are so many ways that could be interpreted. As others have said, he could be making a reasonable comment, or he might be an immature manchild.

The first thing I'd ask is who did what around the house and in terms of childcare? If you did way more than he did, I'd hazard a guess that he's an old-fashioned chauvinist who seems to think that possession of a penis means he should be 'head of the household' whose needs come first.

Sometimes, new parents (mostly mothers) end up so subsumed by the responsibilities of parenthood that they forget about all else. This can be unhealthy not just for a 'neglected' partner, but also for the person doing the 'neglecting'. It is healthy for each parent to respect their own needs and their mutual relationship as well as catering for the children's needs.

As a PP stated: IT works best when you pull together as a team instead of it being a competition. Children's needs come before adult wants, but likewise some adult wants need to be prioritised over some children's wants in order to achieve harmony.

If you H is basically saying: You don't dress up enough for me anymore and we don't have sex enough after a week where you've been at home clearing up baby sick and washing his skidmarked pants, however, you really will be better off with a divorce.

AllTheLight Sun 05-Feb-17 19:42:57

It's natural to put the kids first, especially when they are little, but I do think that you have to put some effort into your relationship too, eg making an effort to have 'quality time' together on a regular basis.

AllTheLight Sun 05-Feb-17 19:45:00

I do know one couple where the wife always puts her husband first (eg going with him whenever he travels away for work and leaving the kids behind). I don't agree with this approach personally.

NapQueen Sun 05-Feb-17 19:47:08

Depends how he means.

"My wife always puts the kids before me - if they hurt themselves she goes to them even if we are mid conversation" HIBU

"She refuses to go away with me on our own for a fortnight because she won't leave the kids" HIBU

"I have been permanently banished to the sofa because my wife let's both the kids sleep in the bed with her every night and there's no room for me" - YABU

"My wife won't ever just sit and watch a movie with me or have a chat over a glass of wine because she insists the kids stay up till 11pm or whatever time they fall asleep on the couch - I feel like she keeps them round her 24 hours a day to keep me at arms length" YABU

floatingawayfinally Sun 05-Feb-17 19:47:08

I can understand how it would be healthier for children to see the world doesn't revolve around them. However in our case my h feels the world should revolve around him. He does very little housework and childcare. So actually a lot of the time I am having to overcompensate because of his lack of attention for the kids. I have always felt like he doesn't take enough responsibility to actually care for his own children and when I deliberately leave them with him it is with the knowledge that the standard of care goes down. Not enough to kill them but definitely on the edge of neglect. Oh and it does include physical needs and care. For example making kids breakfast, ironing their clothes an making them a packed lunch etc. Apparently the fact that I rarely do the same for him makes me a bad wife.

BToperator Sun 05-Feb-17 19:48:57

I think as others have said, it is about balance. To some extent I put DS first, in so far as he needs me in a way DH never will. I am very conscious however, that when DS is grown, and off living his own life, I want to still have a relationship with DH, so it is important, that in amongst all the chaos of family life, we make time for us as a couple.

Hurleygirl123 Sun 05-Feb-17 19:54:00

I know of many men who resent the kids and the amount of their mothers attention and time they take..and also know couples where they put their relationship before their kids needs, I have to say I judge them too. Sure they are very solid, have loving and close relationship but to me their kids seem kind of sad, and it's uncomfortable for me to see them get the 'crumbs' of their parents time and attention.. Worst example ; treating yourselves to a fancy restaurants meal, while kids get frozen pizza and noodles! Everyone's different but it makes me squirm slightly... And it's always the man who stomps his feet and demands his position. Sorry for the essay!

KP86 Sun 05-Feb-17 19:54:35

How often did DH make your breakfast or iron your clothes? He sounds lazy.

BTW, ironing clothes for DC <5yo is a little insane IMO ;)

happy2bhomely Sun 05-Feb-17 20:08:23

My children's needs will always come before my husbands. Their wants come after my husband's needs. In general, I put my husband's needs before my own, but then he does the same for me.

I do lots of things for my children that I wouldn't do for my husband because he is an adult, not a child.

I love my husband more than I can say, but I would throw him under a bus if he hurt my dc. And he knows it.

I think any man who makes you feel that there is a choice to be made between him and your children is no man at all.

floatingawayfinally Sun 05-Feb-17 20:18:41

Let me give you a hypothetical scenario which is somewhat similar to the predicament I was in which triggered our separation and this comment. Let's say your oh got a dream job but it involved moving half way across the world for 5 years to a place that had schools which were not as good as the ones they have the potential to go to here in the uk (can't afford the very expensive private schools). Would you say your oh pursuing their dream job is more important or children's need for a decent education. What some would argue is that the kids will still be quite young (under 10) so could recover from a rocky start. So it's more important to support your h.

peukpokicuzo Sun 05-Feb-17 20:19:13

Each of you should want to put the kids before your individual self.

Theoretically your spouse comes "before all others" which includes before your kids.

However within any normal relationship the conversation would go like this:
A: The children need Xxx my love but I am worried about the fact that this means Yyyy for you and that is important.
B: Don't worry about me my love. Thank you for thinking of Yyyy but I'd much rather put the children before myself.

If both partners think about their partner first, then their kids, then themselves the effective outcome is that the kids' needs come first but neither partner resents the other because each partner freely chose not to put themselves before their children.

What you have there op is a selfish whiney man-child who doesn't know how to be a decent father.

schlong Sun 05-Feb-17 20:24:05

Kids trump husband. Every. Bloody. Time. A man who's huffy if he perceives you to be prioritizing your kids is an immature, spiteful fucker.

DJKKSlider Sun 05-Feb-17 20:27:04

Kids first from 0-18yo
Then kick em out and partner first.

(I'm only joking... Once they're kicked out its you first. grin )

schlong Sun 05-Feb-17 20:30:33

My mother trotted along after my father around the globe uprooting us kids and never resisting. Upshot is I'm NC with both. I so wish she'd prioritized us and not kow towed to him unthinkingly. Op you're doing the right thing by refusing to subordinate your kids' wellbeing to his dream job.

HarmlessChap Sun 05-Feb-17 20:31:01

I do understand the situation and several of my friends have said similar. I think that while DCs must take priority its important that parents put themselves and their DP 1st some of the time.

When my DCs were little it often felt as though I was being excluded from the family unit and that I was basically a lodger living with a mother and her offspring.

I know that I really enjoyed the day a week I was looking after mine alone once DW returned to work as otherwise DW was always monitoring my interaction, taking over, criticising, telling me how she does it etc. even then I received regular texts to check up. We certainly couldn't go out and leave the DCs with a sitter and have time to ourselves without her constantly fretting and wanting to go home to check on them or ringing up the sitter.

How much of that can be attributed to DW's PND, which lasted until our youngest DC was nearly 2, I can't say but I think my situation was unusual. Now that the DCs are teenagers she's forgotten how to interact with me as a couple and our marriage has become a platonic relationship.

SaorAlbaGuBrath Sun 05-Feb-17 20:32:19

My children's needs will always come before my husbands. Their wants come after my husband's needs. In general, I put my husband's needs before my own, but then he does the same for me

This sums it up for me.

Personally I'd have moved for the dream job, but that's just me. My DP has just left a job that was killing him inside, and started a new one with longer hours but it's worth it because his emotional wellbeing is so much better. Just as he would put my emotional wellbeing before his own wants. It's a question of compromise.

Surreyblah Sun 05-Feb-17 20:33:56

IMO it's totally U to be annoyed with or resentful of a partner for not wanting to move abroad, for any reason! Whether DC are involved or not. It's not a standard thing to expect of a partner, unless it's a shared aspiration. As well as education, childcare issues the trailing partner often can't get a work visa.

Becoming a parent and being a good parent curtails some aspects of working life: some men, don't seem to get that.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now