This Is Why My Husband Comes Before Our Children

By Amber Doty

Less than one month after my husband and I were married—before I even had a chance to mail thank you notes for our wedding gifts—I found myself holding what appeared to be, to my surprise, a positive pregnancy test. Weeks later, in a room lit only by the glow of an ultrasound screen, we learned that our baby’s due date was exactly nine months from our wedding. As it turned out, our new life together wasn’t the only one that began on that spring day.

Eight and a half months into our marriage, while we were still getting comfortable in our roles as husband and wife, we became mom and dad. We were newlyweds and parents. I won’t say that our son was poorly planned—we were both anxious to start our family—but I will say that in hindsight becoming a mother in the same year that you become a wife is not for the weak. The first year of our son’s life was the most difficult of our marriage to date and it is also the year I learned a very important lesson: My husband must always come before our children and, according to a survey of counseling professionals from Your Tango, the lesson is a good one. Half of the experts polled believe that wives should prioritize their husband over their kids.

It is an admission often met with outrage when shared with my mom friends, and as novelist Ayelet Waldman knows all too well, with the general public. The wife of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon published  avowing her love for her husband first before her children, making clear the distinction that while she loves her kids she is not in love with them as she is her with husband. A media firestorm followed, with condemnations from mommy bloggers across the country and an invitation to the Oprah show in order to “explain herself.”

After all, this goes against the golden rule of motherhood, the one that tells us being a good parent means sacrificing all for the happiness and well-being of our children. Putting aside our own needs for theirs is practically a requirement, but, I’m sorry, I’m just not buying it.

Neither are many of the husbands who have commented on the article releasing YourTango’s recent survey results. YourTango member Tanstaafl2 wrote that his wife’s decision to prioritize their children over him has affected his emotional and physical health.

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2 replies
  1. Shaye
    Shaye says:

    This article is asinine. Instead of putting your husband first, why can't there just be a balance? So what you got married and had a child in the same year, welcome to married life. Any man who wants to be "put first" should not participate in the act of making a child. I mean really, I've never heard anything as silly this until now. My parents have been married over 40 years and I know for a fact that my mother would never say she put my dad before my sisters and I. As Cocoa stated, the title of this article implies divisiveness and anyone who listens to such nonsense is just as foolish.

  2. Cocoa
    Cocoa says:

    I think this is the natural order. I'm not sure why people refer to it as "prioritizing" one over the other. We love husbands and children in different ways. They are all priorities. In my case, I love and respect my husband as my life partner and head of the household and caretaker of me and our children and someone who I want to create and share life with. My children are extensions of the love we have for each other. They are extensions of our DNA and we both love them with as much love as have for each other and more. This title of this article implies divisiveness to me – and it's not even about that. I would just say it's better to say we love our husbands and children in different ways.

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