Marriage or kids #1 priority? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-11-2011, 12:44 PM
 
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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. 

 

 

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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.



 

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Old 06-11-2011, 12:50 PM
 
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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"

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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.



 

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Old 06-11-2011, 12:57 PM
 
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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.


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Old 06-11-2011, 01:46 PM
 
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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. 

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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.



 

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Old 06-12-2011, 06:05 PM
 
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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.

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Old 06-12-2011, 08:18 PM
 
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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.
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:59 PM
 
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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.

 

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Old 06-13-2011, 01:09 PM
 
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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.


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Old 06-13-2011, 01:28 PM
 
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 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.

 


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Old 06-13-2011, 02:11 PM
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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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Old 06-13-2011, 02:39 PM
 
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In my experience as a sahm for around 15 years now, it can be very hard to have things to talk about besides kids, money, or dh's work or our hobbies(sports or whatever), unless things are going on outside your family. Like inlaw drama or friends or some major catastrope in the news.


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Old 06-13-2011, 05:44 PM
 
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In my experience as a sahm for around 15 years now, it can be very hard to have things to talk about besides kids, money, or dh's work or our hobbies(sports or whatever), unless things are going on outside your family. Like inlaw drama or friends or some major catastrope in the news.


I don't agree. I've been at SAHM for 15 years now and I always have lots to talk about. I read non-fiction, best sellers and artsy-fartsy stuff. I listen to NPR and volunteer in three cool organizations. I never let myself be boring.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:00 PM
 
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Those things would qualify as hobbies, which is one of the topics I mentioned. And what's not boring for some can be super-boring to others.


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Old 06-13-2011, 07:19 PM
 
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In my experience as a sahm for around 15 years now, it can be very hard to have things to talk about besides kids, money, or dh's work or our hobbies(sports or whatever), unless things are going on outside your family. Like inlaw drama or friends or some major catastrope in the news.


I think this is true for some, but not others.  I'm a SAHM and DH and I constantly have stuff to talk about besides all those things listed.  Maybe I am just lucky though.
 

 

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Old 06-13-2011, 07:41 PM
 
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Those things would qualify as hobbies, which is one of the topics I mentioned. And what's not boring for some can be super-boring to others.



If we're going to include reading non-fiction and novels and listening to the radio and volunteer work (and, presumably, the organizations within which the volunteer work takes place) under the heading of "hobbies", then I can't see any possible reason why "only" talking about the kids, money, work and hobbies should be considered limiting in any way. This potentially includes all kinds of current events, abstract concepts, and personal philosophies, etc. There are very few things that wouldn't/don't fit into these categories, yk?


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Old 06-13-2011, 08:10 PM
 
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Yeah, that was my point...there's really not much to talk about besides what goes on in our lives, someone else's lives, or something happening in the world(and I said catastrophe but I didn't mean it to be limited to that, I have to type quickly and get in what I can in limited time!) When the kids were little and things were hectic most conversations were started by talking about the kids or work. They did progress to other things but those were the biggest things in our lives at the time.


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Old 06-13-2011, 10:49 PM
 
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Yeah, that was my point...there's really not much to talk about besides what goes on in our lives, someone else's lives, or something happening in the world(and I said catastrophe but I didn't mean it to be limited to that, I have to type quickly and get in what I can in limited time!) When the kids were little and things were hectic most conversations were started by talking about the kids or work. They did progress to other things but those were the biggest things in our lives at the time.



I don't think I'm following you at all. What does any of this have to do with being a SAHM? I can't think of anything that I could/would have discussed with my dh (or ex, or whatever) during my years as a WOHM that I can't/don't discuss as a SAHM. I'm just not sure what you're getting at.

 

In any case, I think complaints that "she only talks about the kids and our finances" and "he only talks about his work and sports" and such are really a very basic matter of "he/she isn't listening to me and/or doesn't care about the things that are important to me". That can be an issue, even if topics of conversation are many and varied, yk?


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Old 06-14-2011, 03:11 AM
 
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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.

Seriously?!!! hello. i totally dont buy that. isnt it normal to do that kinda talk originally. and to branch out at others as motherhood becomes second nature and its not so spanking new anymore. probably family finances is the key issue here.

 

in situations like this i feel cracks were already there and the parents thought the children would be the band aids but instead they were like salt into open wounds. 
 

 


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Old 06-14-2011, 07:07 AM
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I think this is true for some, but not others.  I'm a SAHM and DH and I constantly have stuff to talk about besides all those things listed.  Maybe I am just lucky though.
 

 


I am NOT a SAHM and DH and I have a fair amount to talk about. My ex-husband and I hardly talked about anything, and I also was not a SAHM. He simply wasn't interested in what I had to say, and vice-versa. We got married young and when we grew up, we were totally different people. When I look back on it, the only thing we had in common was the military. When I left the service, we no longer had anything to talk about. He's boring as hell and has no passion for anything except the Ohio State Buckeyes, Fantasy Football, and Dale Earnhart (Sr, not Jr.) My activism and general weirdness embarrassed him.
 

I think that people can find things to talk about if they are at all on a harmonious level, SAHM or not.

 

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Old 06-14-2011, 09:45 AM
 
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In any case, I think complaints that "she only talks about the kids and our finances" and "he only talks about his work and sports" and such are really a very basic matter of "he/she isn't listening to me and/or doesn't care about the things that are important to me". That can be an issue, even if topics of conversation are many and varied, yk?


 

I really agree with this. I would add that those comments don't just mean, "he/she doesn't care about the things that are important to me,' but they also mean:

 

 "I do not care about the things that are important to him/her."

 

When our kids were little and my days were crazy and exhausting as a SAHM, if my DH would have felt I was a poor conversationalist because I didn't have anything to talk about but the children that we brought into the world together and the home we created together, then I think the fault would have been his, not mine.

 

Luckily, I married a man who is interested in his children.

 

Now that the kids are older and I have more freedom, I find myself a lot more interesting, and DH is happy for me.


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Old 06-14-2011, 11:46 AM
 
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I really agree with this. I would add that those comments don't just mean, "he/she doesn't care about the things that are important to me,' but they also mean:

 

 "I do not care about the things that are important to him/her."

 

This. Definitely. I meant it both ways around, but forgot to mention this side of it in my post.

 

When our kids were little and my days were crazy and exhausting as a SAHM, if my DH would have felt I was a poor conversationalist because I didn't have anything to talk about but the children that we brought into the world together and the home we created together, then I think the fault would have been his, not mine.

 

Luckily, I married a man who is interested in his children.

 

 

I like this, too. On the rare occasions when dh feels that I'm focusing too much on the kids, it's more about concern for me (as that usually means that ds2 is being a wild child!). But, he wants to know what they did all day, and what they're learning and things like that. They're his kids, too!

 

Now that the kids are older and I have more freedom, I find myself a lot more interesting, and DH is happy for me.

 

My sole outside-the-house hobby is a Broadway choir that I belong to. DH thinks it's great that I get to go out and do something I enjoy (singing, not Broadway so much), and push my comfort zone (being both amazingly self-conscious about my singing voice, and having fairly serious social anxieties makes this quality in a big way!). But...I think he's more happy that I'm interested and have something to do that isn't all about the kids/house/family than he's interested in the choir itself. He doesn't really like Broadway music, outside the context of an actual play. He likes the choir for what it does for me.



 


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Old 06-14-2011, 03:45 PM
 
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think he's more happy that I'm interested and have something to do that isn't all about the kids/house/family than he's interested in the choir itself. He doesn't really like Broadway music, outside the context of an actual play. He likes the choir for what it does for me.
 

 

Exactly!  In the same vein, I'm happy about what fantasy football does for my DH. I don't care about football, at all. I think fantasy football is kinda silly, but it makes him so happy. He has friends all over the country that he's in a league with. He's such a serious guy and so focused on Work and Family, I think it's good he lets loose and does something silly with his friends.

 

I think that part of being happily married is being happy about the things that make your spouse happy, and that includes listen when they talk about those things and caring about how they feel about them.

 

On the other hand, unhappily married often seems to include a feeling that the way your spouse spends their time isn't worthwhile and that they don't have their priorities in the right place.

 

 


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Old 06-15-2011, 10:27 PM
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I think that part of being happily married is being happy about the things that make your spouse happy, and that includes listen when they talk about those things and caring about how they feel about them.

 

On the other hand, unhappily married often seems to include a feeling that the way your spouse spends their time isn't worthwhile and that they don't have their priorities in the right place.

 

.....and that your spouse is generally a self-centered dick who only cares about himself.

 

I didn't begrudge my ex his sports fanaticism. I couldn't stand the way he thought "quality time" with the kids was watching TV together, or the way he would sneak off to go fishing so he wouldn't have to take them with him. I hated the way he turned every family outing into a trip to Hell, what with bitching about the kids' clothes not matching, or they were talking too loudly, or whatever. Oh, and I really didn't like when he slept with other women. Yeah, I guess his priorities weren't in the right place. They still aren't. He's adopted his wife's daughter, and has seen his own kids for one afternoon in the past 18 months.

 

It's kind of hard to happily listen to stuff that bores you when the person talking is a boor. My husband sometimes talks about stuff that I don't particularly enjoy, but he's lovable and likable, so it's different.


 

 

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Old 06-16-2011, 10:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post


 

 

.....and that your spouse is generally a self-centered dick who only cares about himself.



 


yes, I think the OPer was assuming that one is partnered with a caring humane being that one cares deeply about. It's really a very different question without that assumption.

 

1. Do you feel your marriage to a person of character who loves you and your children and you hope to have as a partner for life is more important than your kids?

 

vs

 

2. Do you feel marriage to a scum bag who doesn't care about you and avoids spending time with his kids, who you mostly hope will die early so you can have the insurance money, is more important than your kids?

 

 

With question 1, most would say balance, though some would say the kids or the spouse. With question 2, I think all would agree the kids are more important.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 06-16-2011, 12:23 PM
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They are both my top priorities. I want my kids to be healthy, happy, clean, fed, and educated. I also want date nights with my husband, enough sex, and quiet time to hang out together after the kids' bedtime. In the long run I want all of us to have great relationships with each individual in our family. Our toddler takes more work than my older two (who go to school all day 9 mos. out of the year). That doesn't mean she's more of a priority than my 3rd or 1st grader, I'm just doing what needs to be done. 

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Old 06-17-2011, 02:56 PM
 
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I have a good marriage, I dont have a husband who is a - what was it? Self centered Dick. Love that! You just described my neighbor and we call him that, well not to his face.

 

If I was in that type of a relationship, I would put my kids first and get out of that since I dont want my kids thinking that is what marriage is. I am not saying I would just get up and leave one day, but try to work on it, get my self set up and then leave.

 

I have been a sahmom for 9 plus years and as pps have mentioned, we also have plenty of things to talk about. I think those who dont, didnt have anything really to say before they had the kids either.
It reminds me of the story of a relative saying how his wife was -Yes going back to work someday because she had 'Mommy mush brain."  I thought to myself, what was her excuse before the child was born? But he has said many digs such as this before.  He finally stopped when I reminded him, 'Well she married you didnt she?'

 

I wonder how many women have fallen for men who talk about how their X or STBX didnt have sex with them, talk to them, listen to them etc. How sexy to listen to that now isnt it?


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