Spouse First? (read second please)

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by meowbunny, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Before reading this, please read and reply to my thread on your happiest moment.

    As you all know, I live in a retirement community. Today, the local paper asked residents (standard piece -- ask 6 people a question, post their picture with their answer) what was their happiest moment. All 6 residents were women. The answers truly surprised me. I expected the happiest moment to be the birth of their child or the first time their child was held.

    Three of the women said their wedding day. One said the day she met her husband. One the day her husband proposed. The fifth when she moved to America.

    So, I guess that as we age our priorities change from our children to our spouses. Or maybe these women always understood that our children leave us but our spouses are supposed to be with us for a lifetime. Maybe we have our priorities wrong? No matter the reason, I thought the answers were interesting.
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I kinda had an inside track on this one.
    I worked with a woman some time ago who had a very unique personality. Nice lady, but unique. She and her oldest daughter did not click and one day she made a comment eluding to the fact that she was anxious for the day to come that it would just be her and her husband again.
    I asked her about it, and she said she picked her husband. Someone else picked her kids. That's always stuck with me. At the time, it was a very foreign concept. Now, however, I'm not so sure she didn't have it right.
  3. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I don't know what the happiest moment was, but I do know the most impressionable. Only us 'oldies' will remember this.

    During the Vietnam war, they sold POW/MIA bracelets. I had a MIA one for 3 years. I must have been about 12 or so. It had the soldier's name on it and date missing.

    I'll never forget the day they brought the soldiers home and we sat glued to the TV watching the hundreds of names scroll by as they came off the planes. Some waving, some very injured. Media was thin back then so you didn't have the day-to-day viewing of a war. There was no internet to research people, etc.

    I waited...and waited, and nearly two hours into the viewing my soldier came off. My mom actually made a special dinner that night in honor of his service. (My dad is career Air Force so it kind of runs in the family.)

    This gave me a life-long perspective on war. I can't imagine what his family was going through, never knowing for so long.

    Not to get into a political disucussion, but it makes me think of our current war. Young men and women...heartsick families, and possibly a war that is futile. I guess time will tell.

    ps...happiest moment? I'd have to go with the birth of my kids.

  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Beaner's Mom, speaking as a former single parent, I didn't introduce everyone I dated to Miss KT. She only met the guy if we'd been dating a while, and I didn't let anyone stay over if she was home. Miss KT has a very difficult time handling change, and I was afraid she would get attached to someone and then if it didn't work out, I'd have to deal with her fallout, too, and I didn't want her to be hurt. Since Hubby and I got married, I try to balance who comes first, it depends on who needs me first, but I want to make sure Hubby and I have a relationship that will keep going when it's just the two of us. We've never had that, since this is his 2nd marriage and my 3rd, there have always been kids involved.
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    It's strange, if someone had asked me 5 years ago if I had to choose, would I choose my H over my kids, I'd have said, "No!" but not because he makes me especially more happier than my kids. In fact, it has nothing to do with happiness at all. I would have chosen my kids then because they still needed me. Plain and simple. In my head at that time, I would have thought, "Time enough for H and me later". Wrong.

    According to the so-called 'experts', spousal relationships should ALWAYS come before parent/child relationship. And I'm not talking about situations where abuse exists - obviously in that case, the child's safety would always come first. But in a normal family, without abuse, it is believed that if the spousal relationship is strong, then the parenting is easier and tends to run smoother. I don't know if that's true or not because I've been divorced and remarried and those scenarios pose other factors.

    Each relationship is so different from one another. It is incomparable in my opinion.

    Now that my girls are grown, it had occurred to me that my relationship with H would come first, as after all, both my girls will move on in their lives leaving us in a position not entirely at the top of their list. They will find their SO and move forward, leaving H and me to figure out what to do with one another with all that free time. Hahaha- In recent months, as difficult child has pushed me to the brink, I've come to realize that yes, I do want her out so that H and I could begin living our lives as friends, confidantes, lovers, adventurers. I want to experience that with H, as for him, my girls have always been around and in our lives. We've never had that time before children to experience one another without the kids. It will be a new thing. And at times, a very scary thing.
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I think those women in the article have their priorities right.

    I have also heard of late that having a spouse or a significant other is what people tend to rate as their top priority in terms of happiness. I know it is for me, but I think this is largely because I have been blessed (knock on wood, thanking G-d and the Universe and throwing salt over my shoulder) a good spouse.

    I think for folks who have not been similarly blessed, it might be a good idea to gather their support and good experiences from relationships with other adults. I have a friend who was divorced a few years ago. It was extraordinarily hard at first, but she is now very happily involved with several groups of adult friends and she goes out all the time to the theater etc. Perhaps in time, one special relationship will emerge, but in the mean time, she has formed several fun and exciting ones.

    I agree with the other poster who said that experts say to always put the spouse first. Bottom line, the children will always leave and then what will you have left if you have not nurtured that relationship?

    It is good and healthy to look toward other adults for adult compionship (assuming a spouse is not in the picture). Often this is a romantic experience, but it doesn't necessarily have to be this way.

    There was a period of time, when my children were younger, that they came probably "even" in terms of importance/closeness to my relationship with my husband. This sometimes was a conflict. Of course, everything is a little confusing when there is a difficult child in the picture.

    I think if I were a single woman dating with children...this would be a hard one to process. Generally speaking, especially if my children were on the young side, I would put the children first. However, I would probably be willing to even things up if I were engaged and my fiance was helping me at times with the children.

    It's easier for me of late now that my children are older and I expect them to do as best as they are able to live independent lives. I still greatly and genuinely enjoy their company, but I'm enjoying exploring other interests. For me, husband comes first and my children are a close second and I've always done my best to see it this way.
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Having raised my daughter as a single parent, there is no question she came before anyone else in my life. She did meet some of the men in my life but they weren't the ones I dated. They were my friends. None of the men I was dating were quite father material in my mind so there was no reason to bring them into her life. The males who were my friends had been friends before she came into my life and, hopefully, will be friends long after she moves on and truly gets her own life. There were even female friends I didn't introduce to my daughter.

    Personally, I feel it is healthy to have some aspects of your life separate and distinct from your child. They really don't have to share every bit of it, especially not your friends or lovers.
  8. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    With my large family my husband and I are full time parents and part time partners. It really can't work any other way. We try to find time for us but we are pretty much in agreement that it isn't something we get alot of now. We tag team with the kids so we can get a break and we need to, I think we both realize the danger of this but we seem content to wait until they are older and then regroup with each other. On hard days I really look forward to that time.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I dunno if it is because I was primarily raised by my grandmother or what. But honestly I can say that up unil just a few years ago husband was put first.

    This doesn't mean that if the situation called for it that I didn't put the kids first. Because I would without hesitation.

    So what changed?

    I finally realized that husband believes he is the center of the Universe, and nothing will ever change it. When I realized that he never loved/cared about me the way I did him, or even the way most people care about each other, especially spouses.

    I guess I fell out of love with the man. I still care about him. But the love is gone. phhhht.

    These last few years I haven't given a hoot about his needs. I cook when and if I feel like it. If he wants his laundry done, odds are he'd better do it himself. It goes on and on. We're more like two friends living in the same house than husband and wife.

    husband is honestly bewildered by my change in attitude and behavior. Although I've explained it to him ad nausem. I no longer waste my breath.
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well my marriage has had a LOT of bumps during the first 18 years, so for me, my kids are still my first pick for happy moments. I'm hopeful, now that husband is on medications and his moods are finally stable, that the next 18 or so years will swing him into a more prominent and favorable position with me. The changes are so new, though, that I still find myself holding my breath and waiting for the other shoe to drop with him. It's hard to stop walking on eggshells with someone when that's all you've known for nearly 2 decades.