Love Your Children Or Husband More?


So there has been big uproar this week because a Mum announced that if her children died she would be upset, but would be OK, whereas if her husband died, it would be much worse.  Do you love your children or husband more?

I was always really worried about this before I had children, especially in the early years with David, where we had what is termed a ‘co-dependent’ relationship.  Imagine 2 circles and place them pretty much on top of each other; thats what we were like.  I remember reading the Dalai Lama’s book ‘The Art of Happiness’, where he thoroughly discouraged people to behave like that and instead become independent, but together, which really concerned me at the time.  As it happens, we managed to make the shift to a happily together & independent relationship, by surviving some tricky times (to be expected after 20yrs together), and I can totally see what the Dalai Lama was talking about now.

So, loving children or husband more?  To be honest, for me it would feel as though someone had ripped a piece of my soul out if my son died.  However, although I generally follow ‘attachment parenting’, I do feel that now that Max is 3, I’ve got a healthy balance between the two.  Maybe just tipped in towards Max, which I suspect is normal when your child is so young.

I would personally always recommend a balanced approach i.e. ‘everything in moderation’.  So not being too reliant on either your partner or your child.  However, I don’t think the other options are ‘bad’.

For a child with a parent who is more focussed on their partner, there are clearly some pros.  They wont feel a heavy responsibility towards their parents, or that suffocating feeling when you know that your parent is living their lives through you.  But they may forever search for a relationship where someone puts them first and considers them the most important thing forever, just as their parents did.  Which might be very difficult to find, and lead to them being dissatisfied with their relationships in the future.

A child with parents who always put them first, will have incredible security, to know that there is always someone who loves them and puts them first.  However, it can go wrong when the parent becomes martyred and resentful because they have over-given, leading to expectations on their behalf as to what the children will do in return.

So, I don’t think that either option will ‘ruin’ the children.  But they will create things that the child thinks is missing.  They might see that as painful, but it will give them direction and purpose in life – thats what ‘missing stuff’ does.  However, for the parent, it is more ideal to balance their dependence on either their partner or children.  I’ll write more about ‘healthy’ relationships soon!

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3 thoughts on “Love Your Children Or Husband More?

  1. Hi Lisa,

    I’ve actually posted a similar post in my blog yesterday about a mum publicly admitting that she love her husband more than her kids. And she was ultimately branded as a “bad mother”.

    While I wouldn’t agree with the name-calling I personally don’t agree with what she has to say simply because the love I feel for my husband is entirely different from the love I feel for my kids. It cannot and should not be put in the same box.

    As a mum I’d die for my kids and I don’t know if I’d be able to cope if something bad were to happen to them (touch wood). “The no parent should ever have to bury their children” is a really frightening concept for me. Now the thought of my husband passing before me (touch wood again)…I’d be devastated but at the same time I’d have to be stay strong for my kids and make them feel that their Mum will take care of everything no matter what.

    Brenda

  2. That’s a very interesting and yet very tricky question…
    I have to say that when I read the title of your post wasn’t expecting the content to be mainly on co/independance, because to me this is not so related. But that’s a good point you raised.
    To me you see, loving someone so hard that you would die or kill for them doesn’t mean that you become completely dependant.
    For example my children are the most precious people in my life. The love I feel and have discovered for them is so big that it physically hurt when I imagine that the worst could happen to them. However being a very independant person myself, I am trying to juggle between giving them their own space as well as keeping my own to myself and my husband, but at the same time I make myself always available for when they need to come to me for anything, from primary needs to comfort. It seems to work really well with my children.
    I am the same with my husband. The same as for my children, if anything had to happen to him, I would probably crumble to the ground and it would probably mean that I would never be able to love anyone else. I am hoping and praying to never have to be in this situation. But talking about dependance, I can’t say I am dependant on him in everyday situation but I depend on the love he gives me and the confidence he brings out of me. This is a very hard to describe state.
    I witnessed this situation of dependance between my parents when I was growing up and when they divorced after 28 year of marriage, my mum was left very sad and lonely, with no interests in anything. This is something I have always rejected and I guess this is at the back of my mind in my own relationship. I want my children to feel their mum can sort herself out if she ends up on her own and that they can go and live their own life without worrying about me.
    Talking about love, I would say I do love my children and husband with the same intensity, but a different love. I hope I make sense 🙂
    Thanks for this post and sorry for such a long comment!

  3. Thank you soooo much for your comments guys, much appreciated.
    You are right, because my blogs are just little quickies, they don’t go into all possible sides of the argument – but fear of loss is a big one and I’ll definitely be blogging about that and the difference between love and infatuation in the next week or so. Would love it if, you let me know what you think!

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