A truth of relationships that is often overlooked and pushed back against is the truth that your spouse should be more important to you than your children. In fact, nothing on this earth should be more important than your spouse. I know this goes against our cultural values but let's be honest, our cultural values hasn't exactly produced the most secure marriages.
This is a truth for so many reasons.
Eventually, your kids will leave the house and you will be in a house with just you and your spouse? It is important that the person your spending your golden years with isn’t a stranger.
More to the present day, your kids know that they shouldn’t be ahead of your spouse. I challenge anyone to find a healthy relationship where the kids are more important than the spouse to one or both of the people in it. They simply do not exist.
Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying that the kids shouldn’t be important. But they should not be more important than your spouse. This is not a gender specific problem either. Sometimes, it’s Dad. Sometimes, it’s mom.
This sets up the entire family structure for difficulties. The kids will feel less secure. When they feel less secure they will eventually act out. They want to know that they are secure. The biggest source of their security is from their parents. More accurately, they derive their sense of security from the health of the parent’s relationship. Don’t believe me? Read the book, The Surprising Legacy of Divorce.
Ask yourself this question, When my children are married with children, do I want their spouse to love them or the kids more? This is important because your kids are probably going to follow the path that you lay out for them. In other words they will seek someone like you. Be honest, you married someone like your mom or your dad.
Marriage takes work. It’s far harder when it doesn’t have the priority it should have in your life. It sounds noble to say that your kids are more important than your spouse, but in reality it’s the best recipe for disaster. Your spouse is looking to you to answer the core questions of his/her life. It’s impossible to answer those questions if they are not the most important human in this world to you.
And not to be too melodramatic but if you don’t answer those core questions, someone else probably will. Those answers are called affairs.