Husband vs. Children?

This post is a mini-carnival post – please check out this post for another take on this topic 🙂

There seems to be a pervasive idea in the Christian community that the husband’s needs should come before the children’s needs. It seems that people (in general – not just in the Christian community) have the idea that if the children’s needs come first, it will only serve to place the husband’s needs last to the detriment of the marriage relationship. Underlying that, as far as I can tell, is the idea that if the children’s needs come first, the marriage relationship will automatically become child-centered and the marriage will fall apart. I don’t think that has to be the case at all.

I think that this whole child-centered vs. husband-centered premise is a false dichotomy that completely lacks balance and perspective. Why must it be an either-or situation to begin with? Why can’t the husband help the wife meet the children’s needs and her needs so that she’s better able to meet his needs? If both adults in the family are working together to ensure that everyone’s needs are met, doesn’t everyone win?

I just don’t understand why there can’t be a “working together” mentality instead of the children’s relationship with their parents, specifically with their mother, being perceived as a threat to the father’s relationship with the mother. Shouldn’t the father desire his children to have a strong bond with their mother? Shouldn’t the father desire his children to have a strong bond with himself too?

The marriage relationship is extremely important, but I do not believe that it should be elevated to the level of causing harm to the parent-child relationship – the definition of which will naturally be vastly different depending on the child’s age. Adults are adults. They can handle some delayed gratification – certainly better than a baby or toddler can! As children get older, they can handle more delayed gratification as well.

Date nights, as nice as they are, are not a need (I suppose they could be for some people but I don’t think they are a need for everyone or even most people). Date nights are a want and a baby or toddler’s needs should always trump an adult’s wants. Now… taking our children on “date nights” and then putting them to bed early so there’s alone time afterwards is one of the compromises that my husband and I have come up with to satisfy the adults’ wants and needs as well as the children’s wants and needs.

A wise mama whose children are grown, wrote a lovely post about “date nights” and her relationship with her husband now that the children are gone. I highly recommend that you read it to see how this issue can be handled gracefully and with everyone’s needs in mind.

I just don’t understand why it has to be so adversarial… Father vs. children. Why? Sure there’s a limited amount of time and energy… but if both parents work together in order to meet the children’s needs, the time and energy left for the parents to meet each other’s needs together can be extended quite a lot!

The Bible is very clear that there is no male or female at the foot of the cross. My husband and I are (by my interpretation) to be one flesh, raising our children and teaching them in the ways of God; taking care of, loving, and submitting to each other; and helping everyone in the family while following and giving honor to God. There’s no room for selfishness or striving against fulfilling the children’s needs in there.

Naturally, my relationship with my husband is much different than my relationship with my children. I married an adult – an adult who can wait longer than the children can (at least at their current ages – all 5 years old or younger) and who can help me out with the children in order to ensure that his own needs are able to be met because my needs and the children’s needs are being met as well.

Maybe this sounds a bit like Utopian thinking to you, but I assure you, that it can be done! You do not have to choose between your husband and your children – you can choose both, but it does take a willingness from both parents to make everyone’s needs a priority and to sometimes shelve parental “wants” until the children are older.

The time when your children are very small is but a short time in your life – please don’t compromise their needs in the name of “putting your husband first” in your family. Put God first instead. Take care of everyone’s needs without compromise – including your own. Ask for help when you need it. It doesn’t matter whether that help is coming from your husband or from a good friend or church member, but everyone needs help to make this scenario possible.

Examine the false dichotomy of putting husband first vs. children first for yourself. What can you do in order to ensure that everyone in the family has all of their needs and a reasonable number of wants met? What would you need to change? Whom can you ask for help when you need it? What can help you and your husband recharge without compromising your young child or baby’s need to be with you?

Paying needed attention to your children is not going to ruin your marriage, nor does it automatically equal a child-centered family. As KatieKind put it in the blog post I linked to above – if you and your spouse are both working towards the common goal of raising your children you will not all of a sudden wake up strangers when the children leave. This is especially true if you’ve both been working together throughout your childbearing years to meet the needs of everyone in your family – yourself, your spouse, and your children – without hierarchy.

~B.

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About barefootbetsy

I'm a musician, a mama, a lifelong lover of learning, a seeker of truth, and an avid barefooter.
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19 Responses to Husband vs. Children?

  1. Pingback: Myth Busting 5: Put the marriage first | Dare to Disciple

  2. Young Mom says:

    So true. My husband and I work together to attend to our families needs. It has taken a long time, but we are finally OK with taking care of ourselves, and that gives us the energy to care for each other and our kids.

  3. Pingback: Sunday Surf « A Little Bit of All of It

  4. Pingback: Putting Spouses Before Children | Why Not Train A Child?

  5. First time commenter here and I’m totally on the “other side” here, but….I think you’re right that husbands and wives can and should work together to take care of the children (my husband and I do), but I think this misses the point a little. I think the warning that exists in Christian circles to put your marriage first comes because there are *some* people – women in particular for some reason – who COMPLETELY ignore their marriages and their husbands with the mentality that, “Oh well, my husband and I will spend time together and nurture the marriage when the kids are older.” And then in the meantime, they don’t grow together because they ignored their own relationship. Then the kids do get older and they suddenly discover that they have nothing in common anymore.

    Of course children have much more immediate needs than adults and so we adults do have to be unselfish and delay gratification, but there are people who are completely obsessed to an unhealthy, extreme level with their children. It’s an extreme, but I’ve seen it happen…and now those people are getting divorced. I think the warning comes to prevent people from falling to that extreme. Marriages are falling apart left and right and I think the reminder to give your marriage as much attention as you do to your children is well-needed.

    • barefootbetsy says:

      Thank you for commenting! I’m not sure that we’re completely on “opposite sides.” I agree with you that there are dangers in both extremes. The reaction to one extreme should not be to swing all the way to the other extreme. The suggestion to child-centered families should not be to become husband centered.

      Both relationships need to be nurtured and that when children are young, they should be given the priority by *both* parents in an effort to make sure that everyone’s needs (including the needs of the husband and wife *as* husband and wife) are being met in an age-appropriate manner.

      Then again, I have seen many more cases of husband-centered than child-centered. I’ve seen children left alone to “cry it out” from just a couple of weeks of age in order to not compromise any time that husband and wife had alone. After having a child… the truth is that you simply do not get as much time with your spouse. It’s part of being a parent. Yes, you still need to make time and be a wife to your husband, but it will never be as much as it was pre-child until after the children have left. I’ve seen children who were co-sleeping happily (with mother’s co-sleeping happily too), kicked out of the family bed at 3 months because the husband believed that co-sleeping was “sullying the marriage bed.” Really? They couldn’t get creative and find a way to please each other away from the literal bed while also maintaining the sleeping arrangement that was meeting the child’s and mother’s sleep needs?

      My point is that there are compromises that have to be there. Tiny babies and toddlers should not be the people compromised – they shouldn’t be “obsessed” over either, but my point is that there can be a happy medium. There can be a balance – and people should strive after the balance, not after simply “not being child-centered.” Parents should strive after the balance of being Christ-centered and family-centered in their day-to-day life.

      The real question I have is: Why is that balance not suggested as an alternative to “child-centered” instead of “husband-centered?”

      Thank you again for your comment!

      ~B.

      • barefootbetsy says:

        And I apologize for all the typos – I was running out the door when finishing up and didn’t catch a few things that are bothering me upon re-reading. Oops *blushes*

        ~B.

  6. greenegem says:

    Elizabeth, thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

    I wanted to add something to what B said. So often, because Christians tend to focus on the ‘power’ kids have over their parents as a point of discipline, a myriad of kids’ needs get thrown out with the proverbial bathwater. One of these needs is to know absolutely that they are worthy of love and attention from their parents, worthy of their time, simply becuse they are God’s gifts to us. When the focus is taken off of the fact that they are precious and fragile, and placed instead on their ‘dangerous’ power, it results in fear of takeover. Oh no! the children are running things! I’m sure you know what I mean.

    Most of us on here believe that nurturing the children is a large part of the PURPOSE for having a two part [male plus female] comitted parental unit. If both parents are focused on raising the children it is not detrimental to the marriage, because we are fulfilling our purpose, the purpose God gave us, to raise up our children knowing God and his amazing sacrifice for us.

    For example- when Momma is the only nurturer, she can burn out quickly. Dr. Sears had some awesome thoughts on this, and I cannot remember which of his books it was in. When my husband nurtures the children, cares for them, is gentle in his instruction with them, my heart turns toward him! When I get a night out, I come back lonely- not for my kids! (well, yes them too) but for my husband!! Being alone for a little while- sans kidlets- reminds me of the woman I was when I first fell in love with my husband! This is why Betsy and I say that raising our children jointly, both sharing in the sacrifice for the sake of our kids, nurtures the marriage relationship, rather than taxing it.

    My husband looked at me the other day and said, ‘We do produce some fine specimens, don’t we?’ We both marvel at how our children end up turning us towards each other. Our marriage grows simply because we are doing the most difficult and important job there is- we are raising our kids. ❤

    gg

    • Thanks for responding to me! Probably not on *total* opposite sides, but I think I would definitely fall into the non-attachment parenting camp, for the most part, although I’ve been told that some of the things I do classify me there. Whatever…labels drive me nuts.

      Anyway…I’ll confess I followed the basic principles of Babywise (!) but I also spend a heck of a lot of time making sure my kids know they’re important. Getting down on their level to talk to them, speaking gently, rocking them back to sleep in the middle of the night, feeding them when they’re hungry and not holding them to a strict schedule for my own convenience, playing games with them, etc. Thankfully I have a husband who is 100% happily involved in the raising and care of our children so I don’t feel that burn-out all that often. I completely agree that husbands and wives should be equally invested in their children…I just think – and have seen – people whose lives revolve around ONLY their kids. There are some mothers who consider their needs as above their husbands and who refuse to change things for them even if they aren’t happy and I do think that’s selfish. There are parents who spend every waking moment looking at their kids, talking about their kids, hauling them from one activity to the next for the kids’ happiness and then one day, they wake up and realize they didn’t invest serious, quality equal time in their marriage. Their kids are grown and they have nothing in common anymore because the kids were ALL they had in common for 20 years. That’s all I’m saying…that there are times when kids (not as newborns and not even as toddlers) need to learn that their parents mean a LOT to each other and that sometimes what parents need does take priority. That is probably one of the biggest gifts parents can give their children these days – kids need to know that their mom values their dad as much as she values them, not more, and not less (and vice versa with the dad). And I also think it teaches them to have an others-focus as they grow older. My husband and I go for date nights a few times a month if we can swing it and my kids have never batted an eye (and sometimes even ask for the babysitter or Grandma)…but they do come running with bright eyes, smiles, hugs and kisses when we come back. They know we ALWAYS come back and we’re ALWAYS happy to see them.

      Ok…I’ll get off my soapbox now…I do get your point…not trying to be argumentative. 🙂 I love reading different perspectives.

      • barefootbetsy says:

        Thank you for coming back! I definitely think we agree much more than it would appear at first glance which is neat. I also enjoy reading other people’s perspectives and discussing things with those who don’t see totally eye-to-eye with me, but who are willing to share their views respectfully.

        “Anyway…I’ll confess I followed the basic principles of Babywise (!) but I also spend a heck of a lot of time making sure my kids know they’re important. Getting down on their level to talk to them, speaking gently, rocking them back to sleep in the middle of the night, feeding them when they’re hungry and not holding them to a strict schedule for my own convenience, playing games with them, etc. Thankfully I have a husband who is 100% happily involved in the raising and care of our children so I don’t feel that burn-out all that often.”

        Not to make this about you and me, but this sounds like you’ve found a really good balance! I’m really not a fan of Babywise (as I’m sure you could’ve easily guessed!), but I know that some people can use it and find a balance like you have which is very cool 🙂 I have tended to follow Dr. Sears’ recommendations, but I don’t hold myself to a strict AP checklist or anything. If something isn’t working for our family (any member), I’m happy to reevaluate and work with other family members (mostly my dh since our oldest is only 5.5) to adjust things accordingly. It sounds like we’ve both come to similar balances from a totally different angle.

        ” There are some mothers who consider their (children’s) needs as above their husbands and who refuse to change things for them even if they aren’t happy and I do think that’s selfish.”

        This is a little murky, IMO, and I think it’s where we disagree the most. Possibly because I haven’t seen much, if any, of this thinking in Christian circles – despite growing up on the West Coast – so it’s still really a hypothetical for me. I don’t think that putting anyone else’s needs first could be called “selfish” since being selfish means to be putting oneself first and to be excessively concerned with oneself. I do think that putting the children’s needs so far above the husband’s as to not be meeting his needs is completely unfair to the husband, but I just can’t get behind the idea that it’s selfish.

        I also don’t think that meeting everyone’s needs is completely the wife’s responsibility. The mother/wife should be trying her best to meet both her children’s and husband’s needs, but the husband also needs to be letting his wife *know* his needs – women aren’t any better at mind-reading than men are – and to be helping her meet the children’s needs so that she is better able to meet his needs. If the husband is leaving the wife to flounder by herself with several small children plus a household to care for… well… he’s probably going to be neglected to some degree, if not completely.

        It’s not solely the husband’s responsibility either – please don’t read that as me placing the blame on the husband instead of the wife. Husband and wife should be one flesh, working towards what is good for each other and their children. Yes, this goes completely against human nature, but it is, I believe, what the Bible instructs us to do.

        Seeing their parents care for, not only each other, but themselves and their siblings will almost certainly help children learn to also put others’ needs first. Seeing a father who demands their mother’s time to the detriment of themselves and their siblings would not do that quite as well, I would think.

        And I have nothing against date nights at all. It’s simply not a need in my marriage – it’s a want. A want that we can easily put off until our children are well over 1 year, for certain, and only do very occasionally after that. Date nights have been held up in many Christian circles as a “gold standard” – as if your marriage will surely fail if you don’t have them and that’s simply not true for everyone as my family proves. That’s all I wanted to address – not to say that date nights are a bad thing, per se. They certainly aren’t. If you enjoy them and your children’s needs are still being met, I say, more power to you! 🙂

        Thank you again for coming back! It’s been good “talking” to you and I’d enjoy hearing from you again if you’d like to add anything else.

        ~B.

  7. My husband and I waited a long time to have a child. We had been married 10 years when we chose to have our son. And sure a “real” date night would be nice, but we like to have our son with us. Right now he is not quite 4; we know this time with him is limited. Before we know it (and undoubtedly sooner than we would like), he won’t want to hang around his “uncool” parents and we will have plenty of time for date nights. We both agree that our son comes first, and it is not at the expense of our marriage. We show each other that we love each other and we show our son that we love each other and him; thankfully it is something that comes naturally for us, not something we have to “make a point to do” so it is genuine and I am not worried about not knowing how to go back to just us when my son grows up and has a family of his own…even if we never have a date night again.

  8. Sheila says:

    I agree completely. The whole “husband’s needs first” attitude makes it sound like a husband is just one more drain on a mother’s resources, and that she needs to spend all her time serving him and then turn around and serve the kids at the end of that. If I thought like that, I’d really resent my husband! I have kids to be needy, and a husband that I actually like spending time with. When I spend time with my husband, I see that as serving my own needs — or rather, both of our needs. It’s adult time. But most of our time together is spent with our son, and we like it that way. We love spending time together as a family. The rest of the time is spent after bedtime when he doesn’t need us. Since my husband pitches in to help with the chores, there isn’t much to do after bedtime besides spend quality time together.

    My own parents, though, definitely followed the “spouse first” rule, to a degree that upset me. My mom would start to fall asleep in my bed, and I would beg her to stay all night with me. She would say, “But I’m Daddy’s wife first, so I have to go be with him.” I found that very upsetting, and thought that Daddy got an unfair share of my mom. It would have been better if she had said, “I want to sleep in my own bed.” Or when I was older, she refused to keep secrets from my dad — even if it was stuff about my period or other embarrassing stuff I really didn’t want him to know. I think it would have been considerate at least not to mention that she would tell my dad everything!

    Definitely we need a balance. And most of all, I think we should avoid telling our children that they come “second place.” I know some parenting experts think it’s important to make sure kids know “their place,” but I think kids need and expect to be first in our hearts, and we should make every effort to make sure that they always feel like they come first. After all, they have no one to turn to but us.

    Hope you don’t mind my commenting on an old post; I’m surfing around your blog today and really enjoying it!

    • barefootbetsy says:

      Thank you for your response!

      I think that it’s also more challenging for parents/spouses to find a balance between spouse and children than to elevate one above the other. Especially a balance that everyone is satisfied with. Communication is very important as well – if the children and spouses all feel welcome to speak up when their needs aren’t getting met then a balance can be achieved more easily.

      I’m so sorry that you were marginalized by your parents 😦 Mine were similar and it really hurt sometimes.

      Thank you again and I’m so glad that you’re enjoying the site.

      ~B.

  9. Damo says:

    Most churches don’t preach husbands needs over the childs needs. The main teaching is the spouses (not husband exclusively but wives too) should prioritise their marriage partnership over and above making a child / children the central focus. Once children become priority number one instead of the husband and wife prioritising each other the foundation of the family (the marriage) can crumble. The priority order nearly all churches teach is GOD / Spouse / child. If you have the child at number 1 then you are probably what is called a “helicopter” parent – the kind of parent who lives for the child and hovers over them constantly. Studies have found many adult neurosis and anxieties stem from a childhood subjected to overbearing helicopter parenting with out the marriage partnership having correct priority to illustrate how a “healthy” spousal relationship actually works. So make sure your spouse (who you became one flesh with in marriage) is a higher priority in the family relationship than the child. I’m not sure why you seem to think having established priorities would cause a child to not receive attention. Spouses whom love each other and continually renew and strengthen that love have prioritised their relationship thereby providing the best stability and loving environment for children. This is well known and more importantly Biblically sound. Some people here are saying make everyone priority number 1 but there is no such thing as 3 equal first place priorities. Get priorities in order is the main message.

    • barefootbetsy says:

      Thank you for taking the time to write!

      My comment got a little wordy, so, to sum up: I do not believe that it is necessary or beneficial to automatically prioritize any members of the family and/or their needs above any others. I believe that individual situations and needs should be evaluated and dealt with accordingly. I have personally seen that the teaching of the necessity of elevating husbands over children can, but does not always, lead to the neglect of babies’ and small children’s needs.

      I believe that a family should be Christ-centered rather than either marriage-centered or child centered. If a marriage is Christ-centered and if a couple works on strengthening their marriage while also responding to their children’s needs, I believe that the marriage will prosper through those early childhood years and the children will thrive. Those things have not been mutually exclusive, in my experience.

      Finally, my issues are with these teachings and the teachers who teach them, not with the individual families who may follow these teachings.

      “Most churches don’t preach husbands needs over the childs needs. The main teaching is the spouses (not husband exclusively but wives too) should prioritise their marriage partnership over and above making a child / children the central focus.”

      Most churches I have attended – throughout the United States – have preached husband’s needs over children’s needs. Your experience might be difference than mine, and that’s fine.

      Placing the husband’s needs above the children’s is one of the reasons given by teachers such as Ezzo for not co-sleeping and for letting babies “cry it out.” Husband’s needs should be met in a timely as well in order to have a healthy marriage, but, as adults, husbands are developmentally able to delay gratification and understand the reason why until the baby or small child (who is not developmentally able to delay gratification of needs or understand the concept) is taken care of and/or asleep.

      “Once children become priority number one instead of the husband and wife prioritising each other the foundation of the family (the marriage) can crumble.”

      Nobody here, to my knowledge, has advocated that children be prioritized over anyone else. I believe the very idea of prioritizing either the husband and his needs vs. prioritizing the children and their needs to be a false dichotomy.

      It is a simple fact of life that children’s needs often need to be met more promptly than an adult’s needs when the children are small. As the children get older and are less reliant on their parents for basic needs, the parents can meet each other’s needs more quickly and easily than they could when the children were small. It’s all about each individual family finding a balance that works for their children and their marriage.

      The balance a family finds in order to meet everyone’s needs to the best of their abilities will likely look different when the children are small versus when the children are older and able to be more independent.

      “The priority order nearly all churches teach is GOD / Spouse / child. If you have the child at number 1 then you are probably what is called a “helicopter” parent – the kind of parent who lives for the child and hovers over them constantly. Studies have found many adult neurosis and anxieties stem from a childhood subjected to overbearing helicopter parenting with out the marriage partnership having correct priority to illustrate how a “healthy” spousal relationship actually works.”

      I completely agree that it is incredibly detrimental to hover over children or to treat them as though they are the center of the universe. Despite that, I do not understand how attending to children’s needs (not wants) in a timely and age-appropriate manner would preclude having a healthy spousal relationship. Those things have never been mutually exclusive in my marriage or parenting life.

      “So make sure your spouse (who you became one flesh with in marriage) is a higher priority in the family relationship than the child.”

      Why would there need to be a set hierarchy of priorities in a family in the first place? Fulfilling everyone’s needs, remaining Christ-centered, and building both strong spousal and parental relationships seems to me to be a much more beneficial goal.

      “I’m not sure why you seem to think having established priorities would cause a child to not receive attention.”

      I don’t think that. Having some established priorities is very important and even people who automatically elevate their husband and his needs above their children still pay attention to their children. Be that as it may, this teaching can easily lead to a failure to adequately meet young children’s needs when those needs are in seeming opposition to the husband’s needs.

      Quite frankly, I do not consider either a husband’s needs or a wife’s needs to be automatically more important than children’s needs. Children’s needs are just as important as adults’ needs – that’s why they’re called “needs” – and, in any given situation where one family member’s needs are at odds with another family member’s needs, I think that many things need to be taken into account.

      Some examples of considerations I usually make:

      1. What are the maturity levels of the children in question?

      2. What are the developmental stages of the children in question?

      3. Which need requires the most immediate attention? (taking the first two questions into consideration unless one of the needs is an emergency where time is of the essence)

      4. Is it possible for everyone’s needs to be met at the same time? If so, how? (the answer to this question is “yes” more often than most people would probably think)

      5. Can another member of the family (such as the husband or an older child) help to meet the children’s needs so that the helper’s needs can be met more promptly?

      6. Would it be beneficial to ask a friend or extended family member for occasional help? Would it be beneficial to find either periodic or regular childcare for one or more children so that everyone’s needs can be met more effectively?

      7. What is the most efficient and beneficial way to meet everyone’s most pressing needs?

      “Spouses whom love each other and continually renew and strengthen that love have prioritised their relationship thereby providing the best stability and loving environment for children. This is well known and more importantly Biblically sound.”

      I do agree with part of what you say here. Nevertheless, I do not believe that prioritizing everyone’s needs (including the children’s) precludes providing a stable, loving environment for the children. I also fail to see how working together to meet their children’s needs would prevent a married couple from “continually renewing and strengthening their love.” Working together, as one, to meet their children’s needs could even be a large part of strengthening a couple’s love when their children are very small and needy.

      “Some people here are saying make everyone priority number 1 but there is no such thing as 3 equal first place priorities. Get priorities in order is the main message.”

      I honestly don’t understand why some family members’ needs should be elevated above others. I believe that the individual needs of everyone in the family should be prioritized based on the considerations above and any other factors that are applicable to individual families’ situations.

      Sometimes, out of sheer necessity, the children and their needs have to come before the husband and his needs or the wife and her needs. Usually, in my experience, once the child’s needs have been met, the adults can more easily and comfortably attend to their spouse’s needs and their own needs in peace and quiet knowing that their children’s needs have been met.

      Thank you again for writing! I hope that my response has helped to clarify my position a bit more for you and I always enjoy hearing from people with different perspectives!

      ~B.

    • Claire says:

      Damo, do you prioritise every single relationship in your life on a scale with no one being equal? Do you place your relationship with one of your children above another? Or one workmate above another, in a way that is static, rather than responsive to changing situations? If you do, I’m not judging you, you’re welcome to do things your way, but you need to know that it is neither ‘Biblically sound’ nor universal. Most people have no trouble placing a group of people on an equal priority, and there is no Biblical reason why we should. In this case, Betsy and I have argued that the family should be viewed as a group of equal priority, but very differing needs and there is no Biblical reason why we should not view them that way.

      • Claire says:

        To clarify, when I say ‘not Biblically sound’, I don’t mean ‘Biblically unsound’. I mean I don’t think the Bible has a stance on the idea of having all the people in your life ranked from 1st to last. And when I imply that doing so is not common, that is coming from someone who has spent her life being thought ‘weird’, so it’s not a bad thing 🙂

  10. JD says:

    You are very naive. Yes husbands and wives should work together for the children, but if the parent relationship is all about the kids, then there is no relationship. If the husband doesn’t attend to his wifes needs the family and wife is out of balance. If the wife doesn’t attend to the husbands needs then the same. If the husband and wife are not attending to each other then the family is out of balance. Don’t you see that if the parents aren’t happy then the family won’t be? Isn’t that obvious?

    • barefootbetsy says:

      Fascinating response. I’m not sure how you got the impression that I said that the parent relationship was “all about the children.” I agree that the parents’ relationship should not be “all about the children” and I have not said it should be.

      My article was about meeting everyone’s needs so that the parents and children are all happy, so neither do I disagree with your assertion that the parents’ happiness is important. My article was primarily about how the idea that only the parents OR only the children could be happy/have their needs met is a simplistic and false dichotomy which unnecessarily pits the children vs their father. A dichotomy that you possibly espouse?

      So, since you didn’t respond to what I actually wrote, I’m not sure exactly where we disagree (other than about my alleged naivety and your possible belief that either parents or children can be happy and have their needs met, not both) nor why you chose to start off your comment with an ad hominem attack.

      If you can manage to respond and clarify your position in a civil manner (preferably about what I actually said in the above article and this comment) without any further personal attacks, I would be more than happy to continue this discussion. If not, then no further comments of yours will be approved.

      ~B.

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