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Would that statement bother you?

  • yes

    Votes: 28 57.1%
  • no

    Votes: 21 42.9%
  • I'm not sure/other

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<p>If your dh said to you, "my kids need me more than you do," indicating that his spending time with the kids matters more to him than spending time with his wife, would that seriously bother you?</p>
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<p>  Oh and yeah, these are our biological kids, not just his, so his possessive use of "my kids" is wrong, too.  </p>
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<p>PS. the kids in question are 8 and 13.  Dh will spend hours playing the Wii with them.  I'm not into the Wii, so it's not my activity of choice.  I don't think it's asking too much to cut down on the Wii time and spend more time with me. </p>
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<p>I would be glad if my dh would spend hours with my kids.  Is he truly saying "I don't want to spend time with you", or is that your perception of what he's saying/doing?  Do you spend <em>no</em> time together, or are you having trouble that he's spending time with the kids at this particular time of day, or for this many hours or because of the Wii?  If he took the kids for a 2 hour hike most days, would that be as upsetting?</p>
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But I can understand finding it annoying that it's all spent in front of the Wii.  That would bug me.</p>
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<p>I guess I see both sides.  I have had periods where I was really aware of how fast the kids were growing up.  In those periods, I was/am more likely to get weird and clingy with the kids.  My husband is going to be there when the kids are off doing their own thing (I assume!)</p>
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<p>But on the other hand, my marriage is so important to me and to the kids.  Their childhoods will be happier if my partner and I are happy. </p>
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<p>Have you tried to talk to him about why he is feeling this way?  Is it his normal way of functioning or is this new?  Perhaps he is just seeing the beginning of the end, so to speak???</p>
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<p>My husband does this.  There have been nights when I've gotten a sitter so we can have a "date night" and he'll ask me to cancel so he can spend that time with the kids.  I will admit, it irritates me, especially since he lives out of town M-F, and we only see him Saturday and Sunday until 5:00pm when he heads back to where he works.  But I can also see his side.  He never sees the kids during the week, so he wants to cram in as much time with them as possible.  I just can't help but wish he wanted to spend a little one-to-one time with me as well.  I get where you are coming from.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>JayGee</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284432/your-opinion-please#post_16103762"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>My husband does this.  There have been nights when I've gotten a sitter so we can have a "date night" and he'll ask me to cancel so he can spend that time with the kids.  I will admit, it irritates me, especially since he lives out of town M-F, and we only see him Saturday and Sunday until 5:00pm when he heads back to where he works.  But I can also see his side.  He never sees the kids during the week, so he wants to cram in as much time with them as possible.  I just can't help but wish he wanted to spend a little one-to-one time with me as well.  I get where you are coming from.</p>
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Thanks.</p>
 

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<p>i voted 'other' because it depends.  the statement is basically true, but the behavior that follows (or that preceded and now he is justifying by this statement) determines whether i am bothered by the statement.</p>
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<p>if his actions followed in a way that made sense, that would not bother me.  here are a couple of examples:</p>
<p> - the kids have an immediate need (illness, a scheduled activity to get to, something they are trying to learn and need his help with, etc) which he is meeting and therefore he will spend time with me later, tomorrow, on the weekend or whatever.</p>
<p> - the kids have an ongoing need for quality time with their dad (which basically all kids do, assuming time with their dad is quality) which means that he makes an effort to connect one-on-one with them during the hours that both he and they are available (evenings, weekends) and he makes an effort to connect one-on-one with me during the hours when the children are sleeping or occupied with their activities (may also be evenings, late nights, weekends, sunday morning, whatever).</p>
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<p>if his actions did not match up with the truth of the statement, i would be furious, not only about his behavior, but also about him using a true statement (with which i basically cannot argue) to defend or justify behavior that doesn't even line up with that statement or the values behind it.  examples:</p>
<p> - i have an immediate need for reconnection with dh and he is brushing that aside in favor of sticking with his usual routine because he doesn't want to do the work and he's using the kids as an excuse.</p>
<p> - he and the kids spend hours playing video games while dh fails to make an effort to spend quality time with me.</p>
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<p>so yeah, in your shoes, i would be very unhappy with this.  i wouldn't attack the video games, because that will put dh on the defensive, but i would try to bring things back into balance.  honestly, i would probably schedule a date - your kids are old enough that you don't even need a babysitter, right?  or does the 8yo need a grown up?  if so i would hire a babysitter so it is even more "scheduled" and not something dh can opt out of.  i'd try to make it a regular thing, just part of our weekly routine - doesn't have to be expensive or even cost anything.  if you want a daily check-in time when you both spend time together, maybe you can get him on board with doing a certain chore together so that you both have time to talk, like making dinner or washing the dishes or folding a basket of laundry while catching a favorite show after the kids' bedtime?  or a morning ritual where you wake up before the kids and have your coffee or tea together?  i know it all depends on the details of your daily life, but maybe you and dh could figure something out together (when you go on your date!).</p>
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<p>if it's important to you that your kids spend less time playing video games, i would approach that separately from the issue about dh not meeting your needs.  just make an unemotional, clear case to dh about why it's important, get him on board, and then you both inform the kids of the new limitations and the reasons why.  not sure from your op if that's something you want, or if it's just about dh essentially wasting a lot of time while ignoring what you need from him.  <span><img alt="hug2.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug2.gif"></span></p>
 

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<p>It wouldn't bother me if it was something other than video games. That's kind of like an excuse to waste time to me. I don't consider any type of media "quality time".</p>
<p>I'm not saying we don't watch movies together as a family. We do, and it's fun time, but not exactly quality.</p>
<p>Spending time would be a board game, crafts, cooking/ baking something, going outside to play ball, going on a hike or to a museum.</p>
<p>We will probably be getting a Wii for Christmas and I can totally see my DH doing and saying exactly this. This is making me think twice about it though.</p>
<p>Maybe you can set a limit on it for the kids? Maybe your DH doesn't really realize how much time is being eaten away by it.</p>
<p>What he said just means "Let me do what I want" in defensive guy talk IMO.</p>
 

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<p>The statement alone wouldn't bother me. I feel that way myself a lot of the time (that the kids need me more than dh does). However, it's the kind of statement that really needs context to get a handle on, yk? I actually think it's awesome that he wants to spend a lot of time with your kids at that age. In some ways, 13 is a really, really iimportant age to spend time together, ime and imo. I don't even think it's a problem that they like to play the Wii together (ds1 and I partly connect over Marvel comics, the old X-Men and Spider-Man cartoons, etc.). However, I think I'd be concerned if my dh were 1) spending hours on an activity - any activity - with the kids and without me, and 2) saying they need him "more" than I do at those ages. DD2 does need me more than dh does...I'm still her main source of nourishment, etc. DD1 and ds2 probably need me about the same that dh does. DS1? Not even close. He still needs me, mostly for guidance, but <em>more</em> than dh?? No way.</p>
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<p>I think the days of children really needing a particular parent <em>more</em> than the other parent needs their partner are fairly short-lived. The whole balancing act can be difficult, but engaging with one's children isn't a good enough reason for disengaging from one's spouse, imo.</p>
 
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Storm Bride</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284432/your-opinion-please#post_16105534"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<p>I think the days of children really needing a particular parent <em>more</em> than the other parent needs their partner are fairly short-lived. The whole balancing act can be difficult, but engaging with one's children isn't a good enough reason for disengaging from one's spouse, imo.</p>
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<br><br><p>Very well said, thank you.  Yeah, when they were babies/toddlers, we did a lot of attachment parenting, and their needs always came first.  But at some point in time I want my marriage to be important, too.</p>
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<p>I told dh that if I happened to be the children's step-mother, rather than their biological mother, his assertion that his kids came before his marriage would be really hurtful.  I also told him that having a strong marriage is good for the kids, too.</p>
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<p>The statement would  bother me because we are a family, and unless someone has a major problem, we all need each other equally. Just because he is a father doesnt mean he doesnt have to be a husband anymore. To me, it sounds like a pitiful excuse to play video games.</p>
 
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<p>I voted other because context matters, as well as the relative seriousness of the discussion.</p>
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<p>Was it in the middle of a Wii discussion? 'Cause if so I think the conversation needs a do-over. I know if I'm interrupted during reading I can be a little snappish, and I kind of hope the same was true in this conversation. If you really really don't like video games he may have been on the defensive.</p>
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<p>If however it was a quiet moment talking about priorities, then yes it would bother me. There are situations where I think it is totally true - illness, crisis, sometimes having to step in when the other parents is overwhelmed. But in everyday life, especially with kids of that age, there should be some room for both. I would definitely go back and talk to him more about that and try to figure out how to get some couple time. I wouldn't mention the Wii - let him figure out how it happens, you just state your needs. </p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Adaline'sMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284432/your-opinion-please#post_16106410"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>The statement would  bother me because we are a family, and unless someone has a major problem, we all need each other equally. Just because he is a father doesnt mean he doesnt have to be a husband anymore. To me, it sounds like a pitiful excuse to play video games.</p>
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<br><br><p>I agree!!!!!!!!</p>
 

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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>GuildJenn</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284432/your-opinion-please#post_16106670"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><p> </p>
<p>If however it was a quiet moment talking about priorities, then yes it would bother me.</p>
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<br><br><p>It was this. </p>
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<p>And I certainly get that when the kids are sick, overwhelmed, etc., then yes their needs come first.  But not on an everyday, "just because" basis, once they get past the baby stage. </p>
 

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<p><span>As PPs have mentioned, context does mean a lot. But just the statement alone would not bother me at all. Personally I feel the same. It's not that my marriage isn't important or doesn't need to me worked on, but the overall health and well being of my children is more important to me than whether or not my spouse is happy. DH feels the same way.</span></p>
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<div class="quote-block" style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:3px;padding-right:3px;padding-bottom:3px;padding-left:3px;border-top-width:1px;border-right-width:1px;border-bottom-width:1px;border-left-width:1px;border-top-style:solid;border-right-style:solid;border-bottom-style:solid;border-left-style:solid;border-top-color:rgb(217,218,216);border-right-color:rgb(217,218,216);border-bottom-color:rgb(217,218,216);border-left-color:rgb(217,218,216);background-color:rgb(234,235,233);">Originally Posted by <strong style="font-style:normal;font-weight:bold;">A&A</strong> <a href="http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1284432/your-opinion-please#post_16106295" style="color:rgb(96,73,154);"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-top-width:0px;border-right-width:0px;border-bottom-width:0px;border-left-width:0px;border-top-style:solid;border-right-style:solid;border-bottom-style:solid;border-left-style:solid;"></a><br><p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">I told dh that if I happened to be the children's step-mother, rather than their biological mother, his assertion that his kids came before his marriage would be really hurtful.  I also told him that having a strong marriage is good for the kids, too.</p>
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<p>As a former step parent, this bugs me. I can't even imagine what would have happened if I had told DH that our relationship was more important than his relationship with DD. I probably would have been moving out that day.</p>
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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MusicianDad</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284432/your-opinion-please#post_16108737"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
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<p><span>As PPs have mentioned, context does mean a lot. But just the statement alone would not bother me at all. Personally I feel the same. It's not that my marriage isn't important or doesn't need to me worked on, but the overall health and well being of my children is more important to me than whether or not my spouse is happy. DH feels the same way.</span></p>
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<div class="quote-block" style="border-bottom:rgb(217,218,216) 1px solid;border-left:rgb(217,218,216) 1px solid;padding-bottom:3px;background-color:rgb(234,235,233);margin:0px;padding-left:3px;padding-right:3px;border-top:rgb(217,218,216) 1px solid;border-right:rgb(217,218,216) 1px solid;padding-top:3px;">Originally Posted by <strong style="font-style:normal;font-weight:bold;">A&A</strong> <a href="http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1284432/your-opinion-please#post_16106295" style="color:rgb(96,73,154);"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><p style="padding-bottom:0px;margin:0px;padding-left:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-top:0px;"> </p>
<p style="padding-bottom:0px;margin:0px;padding-left:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-top:0px;">I told dh that if I happened to be the children's step-mother, rather than their biological mother, his assertion that his kids came before his marriage would be really hurtful.  I also told him that having a strong marriage is good for the kids, too.</p>
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<p>As a former step parent, this bugs me. I can't even imagine what would have happened if I had told DH that our relationship was more important than his relationship with DD. I probably would have been moving out that day.</p>
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Yeah, but in this case the dad is basically excluding his wife in order to spend time with the kids. I can imagine how that would feel. IT sounds honestly like maybe he is a bit immature and he just likes to paly the wii, so he sees it as a win win situation--he gets to have fun and he can put it on "I'm spending time with the kids." I mean I have had two "alone" dates with my SO in the history of our relationship. It certainly is challenging and we are looking for ways to better balance our needs to improve our relationship with our kids' high needs. Every time we really look at the situation, it comes down to the fact that right now there is no way that we can have that type of alone time without detriment to our kids. But that doesn't mean one of us takes the kids and disappears for hours. We find things that we can do as a family, whether it be the bouncehouse, or a free family appropriate concert or just hanging out together in the house. We don't do things regularly that one person in the hosue absolutely doesn't like to do. that is part of respecting that person's feelings. Just like I don't cook certain foods a lot because one person or another really hates it.sometimes, I do something I might not want to do for the sake of fmaily time, and so does he, and sometimes ds/dd get brought somewhere that isn't particularly exciting for them. But not EVERY DAY for hours on end.</p>
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<p> I mean, what if all of them (including mom)  liked the wii except one kid? would that be ok, for the whole family to play wii for hours while the one kid was left to his own devices?<br>
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<p> I think that in Op's point about if she had been the step parent, it would be really hurtful is the fact that obviously, if ANY of us demanded that our partner say that we are more important that our children, there would be some moving out. I think the difference in what you said is that you would be expecting to pack your bags if YOU said that you were more important than his kids. However, it would be hurtful if you were discussing something else and your partner had come right out and said, "Well, my kids are more important that you, so Ill do as I please, thanks." You have to admit that would sting a little. I know if my DH said that about "needing" to spend time with them over a Wii, I would have my feelings hurt and I know damn well that my DD's health and happiness are more important that my own. Surely he could find an activity that included her.</p>
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<div> whatever musician Dad said about being bugged because of the step parent comment (cant get the quotes to work, also, cant write below the box)</div>
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<p>Dh and I have both been in situations where we told the other "well you know what? The kids are more important than you so suck it up." With neither of us getting hurt, or at least not much.</p>
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<p>I don't see how either side acting selfishly would help in this situation and basically saying "forget the kids, pay attention to me" is not going to get anyone anywhere.</p>
 

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<p>Under the circumstance described in the OP, it would bother me because it sounds like your husband is using the kids as an excuse to play video games all day instead of being an adult spending a fair amount of quality time with his wife. He needs to grow up.</p>
 
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