• Please keep all posts on the Rittenhouse verdict here: Rittenhouse Verdict. Note the moderator warnings in the thread. The thread will be heavily moderated with a zero tolerance policy for any baiting, flaming, trolling or other rule breaks. Stick to the topic and not the other posters. Thank you.
  • This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Kids come first, or spouse comes first?

Beaudreaux

Preserve Protect Defend
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 13, 2012
Messages
18,233
Reaction score
15,861
Location
veni, vidi, volo - now back in NC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed

celticwar17

DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 17, 2011
Messages
6,540
Reaction score
2,524
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
I lean that your spouse comes first... The points laid out in the article I completely agree with. Your children are your duty, you are not their friends, your job is to make sure you don't mess them up xD To give them the skills and knowledge of how and why to be virtuous/happy/and safe. That is your priority with your children. Your priority with your spouse is completely different. Your priority is the present, every moment you are with them, and many of those moments are about how both of you collaborate for your kids, but it first comes down to you two... it's all about the team, the team needs to be strong or the whole operation is going to fall apart.
 

LaylaWindu

One with the Force
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 31, 2015
Messages
5,435
Reaction score
1,675
Location
PA
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Independent

Fishking

DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 3, 2016
Messages
30,201
Reaction score
10,394
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
I'm more of a spouse first type of person. First of all, an example of a healthy and living relationship is one of the big things that your kids need to see lived every day, for them to have a good idea of what a healthy relationship looks like. Also, if your relationship with your spouse isn't good then that will also cause problems with raising your children. Divorce is something that is definitely harmful to children. Finally, your kids will move out one day and start their own families. You don't want to find out you're strangers once the hustle and bustle of having kids in the house goes away.
 

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,431
Reaction score
16,987
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
Kids come first, or spouse comes first?

...
Mom 1

Mom 2

Neither of those situations and attitudes is what I think of when someone says 'kids first / spouse first'. Neither of these women are putting either their spouse or their children FIRST. They've never had to really CHOOSE between either.

--

Mom #1: unable to balance 'children' - she sounds unable to even make time for herself. I'm sure her husband ranked a little higher on the ladder of significance than SHE did to herself.

Mom #2: She seems a bit... selfish. "My husband must always come before our children." is what she says, yet she's equating this with the desire to vacation without her son every now and then? She had a dog and loved it but once she had ONE CHILD she abandoned the dog and didn't care about him? She seems just strictly fickle.

--

Putting your children or spouse first does not mean you need to love one less or more than the other. It means that, REGARDLESS OF YOUR FEELINGS, if **** happens and the two separate camps are opposed to each other you will CHOOSE TO support the one that NEEDS that support.

Most people in day-to-day living aren't faced with the many situations that would force them to really think it through. The occasional vacation without your kids? Sleeping with your husband in bed at night and not allowing your kids to sleep with you? Whether you're prompt about remembering your spouses' birthday? Oh please spare me this drama of THAT being 'putting one over the other'. :roll:

If your spouse becomes abusive to your child, THEN you'll see where your priorities are. If your child develops severe violent tendencies and shows endless disrespect toward your spouse and your spouse says they should go to a mental institution for their issues, THEN you'll see where your priorities are.

If you're all getting along great, love everyone, and have good night and good mornings and your day to day is fine. Everyone's taken care of and no one's hiding in a closet to cry and you're still MARRIED and you still HAVE YOUR CHILDREN in your FAMILY - you really have never had to CHOOSE.

--

I've HAD to choose, though. I've struggled with mentally ill, violent children who tried to shatter the family into pieces in the worst of ways AND I've struggled with an abusive ex husband as well as my current husband's mental health issues post military injury. I've had someone I LOVED and wanted to MARRY tell me "I love you, but I don't like your kids."

I've MADE choices regardless of my emotions toward children or spouse. And that **** ****ing HURTS. But, my choices were for the greater good of the innocent party REGARDLESS of my EMOTIONS.

I left my ex when he became a toxic. And though I love my husband to the moon and back, I'd leave him if he turned on our children. I'd hurt myself on that deep emotional level again, if I had to.

--

This here from Mom #2 is ODD:

I strongly believe that modeling a healthy relationship for our children sets the foundation for how they form bonds when they get older. In my opinion, my husband and I are the first example of what being in a happy marriage is like. Our kids learn how they should treat their future significant others (and what they should expect in return) by watching us.

It's all good and well to prioritize your relationship and go away together every now and then - but don't stab your kids in the back in the process. That, honestly, might lead to a situation NOT being talked about in this thread: when a father must choose his children over his wife because she's a crappy mother.

This, here, really sums up my irritation (quote from Mom #2):
In a few years, our son and daughter will leave our home and when they do, I want to celebrate a job well done with my lover — not sit in a quiet house with a person who has become a stranger as a result of years of quietly drifting apart.

You don't have to CHOOSE between building a close relationship with your KIDS OVER building a close relationship with your SPOUSE! You can accomplish BOTH.

Both of these women need to get their heads out of their asses. Quit dramatizing something that you've never dealt with.

--

I say I'm this way: When things are going well, 90% of the time I put my husband first. I fix the food he wants for dinner most nights, I consider his schedule when making plans for the kids, I consider his preferences when deciding financial things when he's not around.

But I'd leave him in a heartbeat - however painful - if he turned on our children like a rabid dog.
 

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,431
Reaction score
16,987
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
Since these moms want to use small-time situations as a basis for their 'choosing' (like whether the kids sleep in their bed or not) . . . a small-time situation of my own would be when my husband was working / going to college and his car broke down on the same night two kids were in sports (baseball and softball) and had games on the same night, same time. I still didn't CHOOSE - I called up the help of family members and managed to get him to work, both kids to their games, and was able to spend time attending both, and then pick husband up to take him home.

Because I try to make everything a priority - and i pull strings to make everything happen if at all possible.

If it's not possible to jump through hoops and I MUST choose in such small-time situations, I try to 'take turns' - "Tonight I'll all go to O's game, tomorrow I'll make it to M's game." - things like that. And sometimes we even just say 'no - we need a night off' and no one goes anywhere.

Dinner still is cooked and ready, homework still done, my work is still done - just late at night.

Everyone's a priority - I make **** happen because it's important to me that none of them feel 2nd hand or neglected no matter how busy life gets.

Those whole 'choosing all the time - if husband doesn't even want to do something, we never do it' is bull****.
 
Last edited:

Masterhawk

DP Veteran
Joined
May 6, 2016
Messages
1,829
Reaction score
422
Location
Colorado
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Marriage should come first because it allows the mother to nurture their children while the father provides a living
 

Gangplank

New member
Joined
Aug 15, 2016
Messages
27
Reaction score
6
Location
United States
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
No need to pick one over the other. You can place equal emphasis on both your spouse and children.
 

JumpinJack

DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
6,628
Reaction score
2,971
Location
Dallas, TX
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Independent
Marriage should come first because it allows the mother to nurture their children while the father provides a living

Not these days. Usually both spouses work, and that's what it takes to earn a decent living, buy a decent house, provide for retirement, etc.

Also, even a person providing a living is STILL a parent and has parental responsibilities. Children learn about their father or mother by being with them. Not just by having food on the table. A parent changes diapers, gets up in the middle of the night to give medicine, take kids to doctors and sporting events, plays with the kids in the back yard, goes to the movies, etc.
 

Skeptic Bob

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
16,626
Reaction score
19,488
Location
Texas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Left
Depends on what we are talking about. I have a 6 and a 10 year old. I would place my wife first in almost every situation I can think of.

The exception is life and death. If I had to make a choice I would save the kids' lives before my wife's. And she would do the same.
 

JumpinJack

DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
6,628
Reaction score
2,971
Location
Dallas, TX
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Independent
Most marriages end in divorce. A person's children is that person's children throughout his or her life. Spouses may come and go.

The husband is already an adult. Children need a great deal of time for the daily life necessities, plus extra time to be shown by example, discussions on various subjects, fun time, spiritual training, intellectual training, education, etc.

The woman in the first example seems to equate time doing all sorts of necessary small (and big) things as prioritizing. I don't think so. I think prioritizing would be taking care of most necessary things personally, and farming out a bit of that, to make time for an adult life and time spent with the spouse and maybe even friends. A monthly date night, doing something sporting together without the kids (going roller skating, for something different, or whatever). My mother would send us off to the grandparents for a weekend occasionally. We loved it, and I'm sure mom loved it.

It's not either-or, really. But a mother AND father does need to spend a certain amount of time taking care of the ordinary needs of the kids. That doesn't mean they need to spend all their time doing that.

The one who gave her dog away when she had one child...I don't get that at all. I love my dogs. I wouldn't stop loving them if I got another pet. But she was probably right that the dog needed more attention than she could give.

What happens to women who spend their lives doting on their kids to the exclusion of friends and spouse run the risk of ending up lonely when the kids have their own families, the spouse dies or leaves, and she has not established friendships.

Life should be balanced: The kids come first in certain ways, the husband comes first in other ways (an established date night or whatever, special time at night after the kids are packed off to bed), and then herself (a pamper day, an evening with friends without the spouses), and of course work (most people have to earn a living).

It's not all up to Mom. Dad has parental responsibilities, too. It's better now than it was in the old days. Now usually both parents work and both parents take care of the kids. But more probably falls on the woman.
 

Winchester

DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
6,665
Reaction score
6,277
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Kids come first, or spouse comes first?

Here's two articles on the topic, one from each point-of-view. Please read both and give your opinion.

Memoir About Being a Mom and Wife - Mother and Wife Balance

Why My Husband Will Always Come Before My Kids

It's all about balance, sometimes the kids take priority, sometimes the spouse does. That being said if push came to shove the parents relationship has to come first, that has to be healthy and loving or what one is doing for one's kids is for naught.

The mrs and I gave up time for "us" while raising our 3 kids and did without a lot of things we wanted, but we didn't leave zero time for each other. While raising the kids it was hard to envision what it would be like once they were gone, but you know what we now have plenty of time and money to spend on us and it's great.
 

Winchester

DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
6,665
Reaction score
6,277
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Most marriages end in divorce. A person's children is that person's children throughout his or her life. Spouses may come and go.

The husband is already an adult. Children need a great deal of time for the daily life necessities, plus extra time to be shown by example, discussions on various subjects, fun time, spiritual training, intellectual training, education, etc.

The woman in the first example seems to equate time doing all sorts of necessary small (and big) things as prioritizing. I don't think so. I think prioritizing would be taking care of most necessary things personally, and farming out a bit of that, to make time for an adult life and time spent with the spouse and maybe even friends. A monthly date night, doing something sporting together without the kids (going roller skating, for something different, or whatever). My mother would send us off to the grandparents for a weekend occasionally. We loved it, and I'm sure mom loved it.

It's not either-or, really. But a mother AND father does need to spend a certain amount of time taking care of the ordinary needs of the kids. That doesn't mean they need to spend all their time doing that.

The one who gave her dog away when she had one child...I don't get that at all. I love my dogs. I wouldn't stop loving them if I got another pet. But she was probably right that the dog needed more attention than she could give.

What happens to women who spend their lives doting on their kids to the exclusion of friends and spouse run the risk of ending up lonely when the kids have their own families, the spouse dies or leaves, and she has not established friendships.

Life should be balanced: The kids come first in certain ways, the husband comes first in other ways (an established date night or whatever, special time at night after the kids are packed off to bed), and then herself (a pamper day, an evening with friends without the spouses), and of course work (most people have to earn a living).

It's not all up to Mom. Dad has parental responsibilities, too. It's better now than it was in the old days. Now usually both parents work and both parents take care of the kids. But more probably falls on the woman.

Have to disagree with you here, sure an appallingly high percentage of marriages end in divorce but not most, at least with first marriages.

The Myth of the High Rate of Divorce | Psych Central
 

Beaudreaux

Preserve Protect Defend
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 13, 2012
Messages
18,233
Reaction score
15,861
Location
veni, vidi, volo - now back in NC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
In which ways?

Sorry it's taken this long to get back to you on this, but I forgot to answer and just found this again, so here goes. I'll try to make it quick.

For the kids, they take the priority on finance until they are out of college, and then a little less but not completely out of the priority spot until they're fiscally sound on their own which they are not there yet, so they're still the financial priority for both me and the wife. Also, when my kids were young they got the priority on mine and my wife's time, because they don't stay small and do all the great, cute, kid stuff for all that long - the only exception was when I was deployed, but then neither wife or kids got any of my time. After the kids got into high school, the time they wanted parents around started to reduce, but my wife and I would and still do make every effort to spend as much time as we can with the kids. When they're home from college, they are the priority. When they aren't, at this point in our lives, my wife is the priority of my time. When my wife was fighting cancer, going through chemo, surgery, and so on, everything else came 11th on my list, because she took up all top ten spots. So during that time period of our lives, my kids came behind my wife and her needs, and they had no problem with that at all. In fact, they didn't have a problem telling me that in their lives, during that time period, she came before me and everything else (except for school) as well.

As for the wife, she is, has always been, and will always be my primary reason to get up and breathe everyday. As we get our kids up and out into life, I am able to spend more time with her, and it's almost like falling in love with her all over again. We go out on dates, take walks hand in hand, and go to sleep holding hands as well. I know that may sound goofy to some, but it is what it is. My kids will be married and on their own soon. I will be with my wife, every night and every day, until the day I die, and my kids will have their own families that I hope will become their priority. That has a different level of priority attached to it for me. It's hard to explain, actually, but that's what I feel.

I hope that answers your question without me getting too in-depth.
 

JumpinJack

DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
6,628
Reaction score
2,971
Location
Dallas, TX
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Independent
Have to disagree with you here, sure an appallingly high percentage of marriages end in divorce but not most, at least with first marriages.

The Myth of the High Rate of Divorce | Psych Central

There are different ways of measuring the divorce rate. The last I read, it was 51% based on the obvious crude method.

It seems that now, most experts agree that the current divorce rate is 40-50%. So it's not as much as I thought...but that's pretty high. First marriages have a higher rate, of course.

Your article, written by a long-married guy, seems to want to lower the rate by excluding some divorced people he doesn't identify with (like poor people, women over a certain age, women under a certain age, etc.). LOL. So much for that article.
 
Last edited:

poweRob

USMC 1988-1996
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 18, 2011
Messages
65,965
Reaction score
32,591
Location
New Mexico
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
I don't know about ranking but I think if your focus is on your spouse and being tight there that is a good thing because kids are the masters of divide and conquer... and if the parents are united on the raising, being married or divorced, the better off raising those kids will be. If there is a less than amicable separation or divorce, the kids will play that divide like champs and angry adults will use the kids like pawns against the other. Sucks bad when that happens.
 

CycloneWanderer

DP Veteran
Joined
May 22, 2013
Messages
1,577
Reaction score
584
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Moderate
There are different ways of measuring the divorce rate. The last I read, it was 51% based on the obvious crude method.

It seems that now, most experts agree that the current divorce rate is 40-50%. So it's not as much as I thought...but that's pretty high. First marriages have a higher rate, of course.

Your article, written by a long-married guy, seems to want to lower the rate by excluding some divorced people he doesn't identify with (like poor people, women over a certain age, women under a certain age, etc.). LOL. So much for that article.

I would like to disagree with your conclusion on the article. He more or less looked at how the overall divorce rate is not an important piece of data without taking situational variables into account (e.g., age, education, etc.). There was no evidence suggesting that there is a difference between rates of divorce between first and second marriages. Nothing was said for 3rd+ marriages.

So, if you are a college-educated woman who is older than 25 (or marrying one), the likelihood of marriage ending in divorce is much lower than the overall figure (~20%). If you are a 17 year old high school dropout (or are marrying one), your chance of divorce is well over the 40% average.
 

gdgyva

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2014
Messages
11,326
Reaction score
5,607
Location
Near Atlanta Georgia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
Depends on what we are talking about. I have a 6 and a 10 year old. I would place my wife first in almost every situation I can think of.

The exception is life and death. If I had to make a choice I would save the kids' lives before my wife's. And she would do the same.

good answer
 

clownboy

DP Veteran
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
26,087
Reaction score
10,860
Location
Oregon
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Kids come first, or spouse comes first?

Here's two articles on the topic, one from each point-of-view. Please read both and give your opinion.

Memoir About Being a Mom and Wife - Mother and Wife Balance

Why My Husband Will Always Come Before My Kids

When my brother and I were early teens and firmly in the snotty stage we made some ugly comments to our mother during dinner. My father looked at us with that steely look and said, "listen up kiddos, your mother will always be my dear wife, but I can have more kids".
 

Ikari

Moderator
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
82,248
Reaction score
50,622
Location
Colorado
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Left
...behind me.

I mean, that's fine, you can be second. Ultimately, I don't know what this line is for...I hope it's BBQ.
 

Rico Suave

Banned
Joined
Aug 13, 2016
Messages
1,762
Reaction score
337
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
Last edited:
Top Bottom