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Marriage or kids #1 priority? - Page 5

post #81 of 116

I'm not talking about day to day disagreements. I think healthy disagreements over things are good for kids to see. Shoot DH and I a disagree on a lot of things and love a good debate between each other. He is a hard core republican where as I am more liberal so it can be very heated around here at times..lol   I can only go off of my experience and DH's. My parents disagreed, my parents got upset with each other but it was was done in a healthy way where it was. Then DH had parents who fought and while in some points it was abusive. I mean we could all be going somewhere and his parents would have an all out fight in the parking lot to include physical abuse or verbal abuse. I used to work for them and I was put in the middle of their fights. It was very unreal to me because I saw my parents fight however not to that extreme.  When it came to things that related to us kids. my parents always backed each other up and then discussed it in private later if they felt things needed to be done differently. Where as DH's mom always stepped in when she shouldn't have and the times where she should have she never would.  Of course DH came from a very abusive home. Both his parents were abusive to each other and these are all things we are working at with DH. Because he blocked a lot out and now having DD he is remembering things and trying to make the changes he needs to so she never grows up thinking that what he saw was normal. Then on the other hand I have a BIL who to this day has never seen his parents disagree on anything. He has no idea how to handle confrontation or how to disagree/stand up for himself. He is getting better but still is a work in progress. 

 

I also mean more in a situation where like if DH felt something DD did deserves for her to be grounded and I felt like well I think your over reacting. I don't think its wise to have that discussion in front of DD and I need to back him up at that moment. Things like that. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

new2this, in reference to what you said about a united front, I used to think (before having kids) that my husband and I should never disagree in front of the children.

 

Then I had my had my own children and learned how very difficult it would be to ever have any real conversations if we saved all big discussions for the approximately ten or so minutes a day that we were both awake and our children were both asleep.

 

I do believe in disagreeing respectfully and not raising our voices to one another if we can help it. However, I now actually think there's value in children seeing that Mommy and Daddy can disagree and sometimes they can even get mad about something, and yet they still love each other and still stay together.

 

I also no longer see the term "united front" as a good analogy for the parent-child relationship since we are not at war with one another.



 

post #82 of 116

new2this, glad you clarified that, because I read it that way too.

 

Funny you talk about your inlaws, that was my paternal grandparents! My parents both grew up in households where both parents fought and yelled etc. Both of my parents agreed No, that is not a marriage for me. They also lived in the midwest when raising us and my grandparents were on the east coast and another set in Florida (the fighting ones). So I saw my grandparents once or twice a year and it was something for me to see them fight with each other. It was nuts. Now I knew why my parents moved away.  

 

We have also had private discussion about- hey maybe we were too soft or too hard on the kids about whatever, nothing extreme but enough to warrent a private talk.

post #83 of 116

new2this, thanks for explaining further!

post #84 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by new2this View Post


I also mean more in a situation where like if DH felt something DD did deserves for her to be grounded and I felt like well I think your over reacting. I don't think its wise to have that discussion in front of DD and I need to back him up at that moment. Things like that. 



 



Why can't you say, "Can we talk this over in private before making a decision?"

I'll all for backing up my spouse, but not if I think he's wrong. He will need to convince me that he's right. And if he can't see things my way and I can't see things his way, compromise needs to be reached.

 

Consequences shouldn't be handed out in the heat of the moment, anyway, IMNSHO. Cool heads prevail.

post #85 of 116


Sure I could say that but if I walk in and he is already dealing with it why do I have the right to butt in? Even if I don't walk in and am right there and he steps up and handles it first.  It totally underminds him and his parenting skills. Same way if he is handling DD now and she is upset and he is trying to soothe her and I butt in. For our relationship and household the only time I would step in when he handling the kids is if he was being abusive (verbal, physically or emotional) Outside of that I trust he is doing what he is doing for good reason and I support it. And punishments can always be changed but if he is the one that handed it out he needs to be the one that deals with it. I just need to enforce it when he isn't around. 

 

We believe in dealing the with situation at the moment rather then waiting unless its something big. 

 

But when it comes to our marriage we do a lot of things traditionally like he is the man of the house and things of that nature. It works for us and that's how we decided together to be.  So I don't expect other to do it but that's just how it is for us. and how we plan on raising our kids in a more traditional old school type of way with some modification. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post





Why can't you say, "Can we talk this over in private before making a decision?"

I'll all for backing up my spouse, but not if I think he's wrong. He will need to convince me that he's right. And if he can't see things my way and I can't see things his way, compromise needs to be reached.

 

Consequences shouldn't be handed out in the heat of the moment, anyway, IMNSHO. Cool heads prevail.



 

post #86 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by new2this View Post


But when it comes to our marriage we do a lot of things traditionally like he is the man of the house and things of that nature. It works for us and that's how we decided together to be.  So I don't expect other to do it but that's just how it is for us. and how we plan on raising our kids in a more traditional old school type of way with some modification. 



 


This is actually the viewpoint of most of the people I have met in real life who promote the idea of "marriage first" -- which is why, as I've alluded to upthread, I tend to see it more as man or husband first than marriage first. I'm not saying this to single out or attack new2this, and I actually do appreciate all the time and thought she's put into her responses here.


 

 

post #87 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by new2this View Post


Sure I could say that but if I walk in and he is already dealing with it why do I have the right to butt in? Even if I don't walk in and am right there and he steps up and handles it first.  It totally underminds him and his parenting skills. Same way if he is handling DD now and she is upset and he is trying to soothe her and I butt in. For our relationship and household the only time I would step in when he handling the kids is if he was being abusive (verbal, physically or emotional) Outside of that I trust he is doing what he is doing for good reason and I support it. And punishments can always be changed but if he is the one that handed it out he needs to be the one that deals with it. I just need to enforce it when he isn't around. 

 

We believe in dealing the with situation at the moment rather then waiting unless its something big. 

 

But when it comes to our marriage we do a lot of things traditionally like he is the man of the house and things of that nature. It works for us and that's how we decided together to be.  So I don't expect other to do it but that's just how it is for us. and how we plan on raising our kids in a more traditional old school type of way with some modification. 



 

 

 

Well, I won't argue with you. That type of relationship with my husband and children wouldn't work for me. I'm not a fan of patriarchy or knee-jerk reactions.

post #88 of 116

I wouldn't expect you to argue with me. Its one of those situations where what works for one doesn't mean it works for the other. We are not a household of because I'm the man and I said so thats why. Just as because I am the parent thats why doesn't really work either.  We don't get very far with that type of thinking here. We take what works for us and leave what doesn't. Its hard to explain without it sounding like we are living in an era of before woman had rights. We are equal in every sense. However when it comes down to it I trust my husband's final say on things I mean if I didn't then I never would have stayed with him. Everything I do is because I chose to do so, not because I am forced into doing it. We discuss everything that we can when it effects the family but if he has to make a choice on the spot about something I trust he is doing it because he feels its best for our family type thing. Just as if I had to he knows I would be doing it for good reason. I mean I can't expect him to respect me if I don't give the same type of respect to him. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post



 

 

Well, I won't argue with you. That type of relationship with my husband and children wouldn't work for me. I'm not a fan of patriarchy or knee-jerk reactions.



 

post #89 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by new2this View Post

I We are equal in every sense. However when it comes down to it I trust my husband's final say on things I mean if I didn't then I never would have stayed with him. Everything I do is because I chose to do so, not because I am forced into doing it. We discuss everything that we can when it effects the family but if he has to make a choice on the spot about something I trust he is doing it because he feels its best for our family type thing. Just as if I had to he knows I would be doing it for good reason. I mean I can't expect him to respect me if I don't give the same type of respect to him. 



 


So....you wouldn't have stayed with him if you didn't trust his final say? Why does he stay with you if he doesn't trust what you think/say? If you are equals, as you claim, that is.

 

Sorry, I just don't get it.

 

Your other post said "I also mean more in a situation where like if DH felt something DD did deserves for her to be grounded and I felt like well I think your over reacting." If you trusted his judgment and his final say, then you would never feel like he is overreacting.

post #90 of 116



Yes, I don't stay with dh because I'm always willing to let him have the final say...I stay because we love each other and our girls would be devastated to have Mommy living one place and Daddy in another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post




So....you wouldn't have stayed with him if you didn't trust his final say?

post #91 of 116

That's not true I still have my own feelings and opinions and we disagree on some things. Even if I trust it doesn't mean I won't say hey I think maybe your over reacting or might have been able to handle it in a better way. But I am done trying to explain because I shouldn't need to paint a exact picture. We both feel we are equals and that is all that matters. But I also know my outlook on things doesn't really fit with those on the board here. I am okay with that. I am here because there are parts of natural parenting that I do follow. While others not so much. Like I said we live in the traditional sense but with modifications. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post




So....you wouldn't have stayed with him if you didn't trust his final say? Why does he stay with you if he doesn't trust what you think/say? If you are equals, as you claim, that is.

 

Sorry, I just don't get it.

 

Your other post said "I also mean more in a situation where like if DH felt something DD did deserves for her to be grounded and I felt like well I think your over reacting." If you trusted his judgment and his final say, then you would never feel like he is overreacting.



 

post #92 of 116


Ok I am not staying with him for that main reason either, but we have been through a lot where at one point we were going to divorce and we are working at building our marriage back to where we would like to see it. I stay with my husband and put up with his crap for years as he put up with mine because we love each other and reality is we had no reason to stay together. We had no kids at the time. So it would have been very easy divorce to just walk away. But obviously we felt we still had it in us to fight for our marriage and here we are. Now with kids mixed in and well divorce hasn't been talked about since we made the choice to stay together. 

 

I guess what I meant with the I stay because I trust him comment is more like If I didn't trust how he does things then what is the point of staying. You can love someone all you want but if there is no trust then its pointless. And trust goes way deeper then "oh are they being faithful"

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post



Yes, I don't stay with dh because I'm always willing to let him have the final say...I stay because we love each other and our girls would be devastated to have Mommy living one place and Daddy in another.



 

post #93 of 116

new2this, you don't need to worry that you don't fit with the board. This board represents many diverse view points!

 

But about trust -- maybe we define it in different ways. To me, "trust" doesn't mean that I'll go along with someone else's decision to treat my child in a way that doesn't sit right with me. I trust my husband and children, but that doesn't mean that they are my conscience. Only my own conscience can be my conscience.

post #94 of 116


I view it the same way. But not all things that don't feel right are necessarily  wrong either. I don't think just because I am mom that my feelings on things with my kids trumps dads feeling ya know. So if he felt that his grounding or whatever it maybe even after we discuss it is so important and its not all that important to me outside of hey I think maybe its a bit harsh I trust that he has darn good reason for it to be so important to him. I mean yes if I felt so strong about something then I say hey no either we compromise or it don't happen at all. Just as I would expect him to do the same and we have. Our biggest hurdle was vaxing DD. We went round and round about it both presenting our sides, however he did win in that situation because at that moment I couldn't see a reason why not to after he made his case. We did compromise on how its done and what ones we will skip or delay so we both came to that agreement. And in turn he has been to every apt she has had where shots were given. I mean she is only 9 months old and we haven't even really gotten into parenting outside of the newborn stage. But we do discuss a lot about the future what ifs because he did come from a screwed up broken home where there was abuse. And he wants to change it so the cycle don't keep repeating itself. And really he obviously does trust me because he is in a job that takes him away for months up to a year or more at a time. And so not all things get discussed till after the fact. And he knows I would never do anything to harm DD or do something that goes against our dynamics of our family. Just as if it was reversed I know he would never go and do something that would go against the dynamics of our family. We had a long 9 months to figure stuff out before DD was here because well if things hadn't changed on both our parts I was walking, because I refuse to raise DD or our future kids in a home like he grew up in. 

 

So one thing I do for myself to save myself a unneeded argument I ask myself why is this so important to me, and why doesn't it sit right with me. Is it because of feeling or is it deeper then just a hey this don't seem right. Because there have been times where something hasn't seemed right but turned out just fine and glad I went along with it because in the end it was very rewarding. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

new2this, you don't need to worry that you don't fit with the board. This board represents many diverse view points!

 

But about trust -- maybe we define it in different ways. To me, "trust" doesn't mean that I'll go along with someone else's decision to treat my child in a way that doesn't sit right with me. I trust my husband and children, but that doesn't mean that they are my conscience. Only my own conscience can be my conscience.



 

post #95 of 116

I too agree with others who have said there is no "first"--I believe my marriage and my children are all equal priorities. But in terms of making marriage a priority, I think it's really a longer term/bigger picture view. Day-to-day my son tends to take priority, but if I feel like the overall balance is getting out of control, I try to devote a little more energy to my marriage. Sometimes that takes the form of doing things to make my partner feel special, other times it means doing things that will benefit both of us (like making time for sex, having a date night if we can, holding hands while we watch our son play at the park, etc). He does the same. If one of us feels like we need some reconnection, we make an effort to vocalize that to avoid letting any one person drift too far away and feel resentful. It's sort of a mutual monitoring and renegotiation.

 

I guess I've just seen many marriages in my life fall apart after kids. I know 4 different couples at this moment who have young children and are in the process of divorce. Each of them led those kind of crazy hectic lives where they barely saw each other, never seemed to enjoy each other's company, didn't have "time" for conversation/togetherness/joy, etc. I am sure it doesn't happen to all couples like that, but it does seem to happen to many of them. I see my own parents--my mom put everything she had into raising kids, forgoing all friendships, activities, interests, and her connection with my dad. And now they are still married but couldn't be farther apart emotionally. I just don't want to go down that road, and neither does my husband.

post #96 of 116
We strive for balance and the kids got more than their fair share when they were small. Obviously, responsible people know that littles come first and goals sometimes have to be put on hold for a while. But we make marriage a priority because we have seen friends struggle down the divorced/single parent road. It's no fun at all. We don't want that for our children.

Now that my kids are in high school, my hubby and I do find time for dates, fun, hikes and good sex because if we've been good parents we'll be empty nesters soon. We don't want us not to have anything to say to each other. We are building more shared experiences and memories so that we will have a life together after children.
post #97 of 116



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

For those who put their marriage first, I do have one question. What does that actually look like, on a day-to-day basis? I mean...dh and I are both wiped out. We're financially tight right now (not broke, but we bought a new minivan last January, and it won't be paid off for a while yet - it puts a  strain on the monthly cash flow...and ds1's grad year has been bizarrely expensive). DH is hugely important to me, and I love him tremendously. I also agree with the poster who said that he and I are for life. DS1 is already on the verge of moving out (would be doing so, except that he can pay his way loan-free through his three year post-secondary program if he lives at home). I know that the other three will do so, eventually, although it's still a long way off for dd2!

 

But, I just...we can't reasonably afford date night very often. We don't have a lot of energy for getting through the day, let alone putting a bunch into each other. I just can't quite imagine what putting each other first would look like.


Making the time to have real conversations with each other, not just conversations about the kids. Having common interests outside of the home and kids, so that we don't bore each other to distraction. Keeping up with current affairs so that we have things to talk about besides the kids!

 

I'm sure this won't be popular, but most of my co-workers are men, and a lot of those who are divorced tell me that their marriage broke down because (in their opinion, of course) their wives gave up talking about anything beyond the kids and the family finances.

 

post #98 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post


Making the time to have real conversations with each other, not just conversations about the kids. Having common interests outside of the home and kids, so that we don't bore each other to distraction. Keeping up with current affairs so that we have things to talk about besides the kids!

 

I'm sure this won't be popular, but most of my co-workers are men, and a lot of those who are divorced tell me that their marriage broke down because (in their opinion, of course) their wives gave up talking about anything beyond the kids and the family finances.

 


These are the answers I'm seeing from most people, but I'm still not getting how this is putting the marriage first. If the marriage and the children are both priorities, then they're both priorities. That would obviously (imo, at least) include taking time for each other as partners. These things all sound like simply keeping balance, yk?

 

 

Quite honestly, I've watched enough marriages come apart that I wouldn't pay much attention to what either party told me was the reason for their divorce. If I heard it from both parties? Sure. But, otherwise? Nope. I can remember the reasons my ex thought I kicked him out and they would have been hilarious, if they hadn't been so infuriating. (And, I talked a lot about ds1 and about our finances, but I talked about many other things, as well...not that it mattered, because he wasn't bloody listening, anyway.) Divorce is probably the single most perfect illustration of the concept that there are three side to every story.

post #99 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post




 

 

 Divorce is probably the single most perfect illustration of the concept that there are three side to every story.



That's for sure! I recall when one expectant mama told me that it was important to her to supplement breastfeeding with bottle feeding, and to continue working after her baby was born, because she felt that what broke her mom and dad up was that her mom totally absorbed herself with the care of the children, and her dad felt left out and started cheating on her. Never mind the fact that, at around the time this woman became pregnant with her child, her dad was in the process of divorce from his second wife because he'd been cheating on her. She just seemed so sure that she needed to bend over backwards to make sure her husband was just as involved in their baby's care as she was.

 

And yet, she said her dad used to buy her skimpy clothes when she was a teen and tell her that boys would like her if she wore them. It seemed like there was so much more to the story than just "Dad felt so left out."

 

 

Of course, it was totally her choice and no one's business whether she breastfed, worked, or what have you, and certainly no tragedy that she and her husband decided to do it that way.

 

It just kind of made me feel sorry for her mom since it sounded like her mom had it really rough raising the kids on her own while her husband ran around with other women, and here her daughter was kinda blaming her, or so it seemed to me...but of course I don't even know them so I it's none of my business, just something that made an impression on me.

 

post #100 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post

I'm sure this won't be popular, but most of my co-workers are men, and a lot of those who are divorced tell me that their marriage broke down because (in their opinion, of course) their wives gave up talking about anything beyond the kids and the family finances.

 


You know, I've heard that, too. But I suppose the women could say that their husbands never talked about anything but work and sports.

 

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