Priority in marriage: children or spouse?
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Old 08-07-2011, 07:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Priority in marriage: children or spouse?

I would like other opinions as to what happens to a marriage once the children come along. I have been married over 35 years and I know where I stand as my wife out right told me years ago that we gave up our lives when we had children. I am not quite sure I agree with that as I always thought that if you took care of your marriage then the children would just follow along. I did not agree then but I went along with the flow because she and the children are the love of my life.

Fast forward 25 years to now and my wife has taken it to extremes as our 27 year old child is still at home with many college degrees on the wall and like a lot of other folks on an endless job search for jobs that do not exist. He has never had a job, my wife worked at the hardest job of all being a home maker but she received no pay! I am sole supporter of them all and a another child still in college, and I have been for almost 30 years. My work has shifted gears and I had to travel on assignment to another state for project work; since there are no jobs out there, off I went. I have a very good job in this day and age which I am thankful for, so I keep my mouth shut and do my job. I rotate home every few months or so for a home stay but my wife can visit and stay with me (company apartment, company will pay her expenses) at any time. She refuses as she is worried that our son is depressed and will harm himself. She waits on him hand and foot and caters to his every need. I cannot say anything as she claims that it may drive him over the edge, so "being a man" angles and yelling and threats will not work and only drives a larger wedge in the works. She claims there is no help for him, as he refuses to go to seek mental aid or assistance. I say he is just being manipulative and dramatic as he shows no signs of depression at all. In the mean time our marriage has been in limbo, we talk on the phone but no love life, (no intimate contact for 3 years plus) no relationship and here we are 25 years later with the children still coming first over her husband.

So gang; children or spouse where is the priority? I appreciate any feedback.
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Old 08-07-2011, 07:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Priority in marriage: children or spouse?

I agree with you. Your son is a fully grown man taking advantage of his mother.

Problem is you have been too much of a nice guy, having your needs pushed aside for years.

You have to take responsibility for yourself as you also played a part in letting things get to this.

Please stop being a door mat. look on this site for the 180 thread.

Tell your wife that every time she visits you, you will in turn visit her.

Tell her that they life you are leading will lead to divorce, because you are not maintaining a close bond.
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Priority in marriage: children or spouse?

Your wife and all that Catering has destroyed your son, he appears to be sucking up to being dependent on Mommy. I feel bad if he ever meets a woman and has to deal with your wife, MIL interference issues will abound. I don't know his real issues, but even if he did have some underlying mental things going on, he probably wouldn't be as depressed if he had a tougher approach to parenting and was made to "get out there & do for himself" or suffer the consequences of his own slothfullness. This is NEEDED to raise kids responsibly. Not having any sort of job by age 27, this just shouldn't be, and this is the college bound son?. . He couldn't have taken a lower paying job ? No matter how scare the good jobs are, the lower paying ones can easily be had with some persistence & effort.

She did it ALL WRONG- but you allowed her to do it, your comment here is the truth "I always thought that if you took care of your marriage then the children would just follow along".

I have 6 kids, my husband comes before all of them. I was guilty , however , of putting them before him at one time, we had 5 in 9 yrs, just wasn't thinking. We are much happier now, he is much happier with my change on this.

Your wife should be wanting to come to your company apartment, showing she has TIME for you, that you are still loved, valued for more than your paycheck.

No intimacy for 3 yrs. Why do you stay ? The kids are grown now.
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Priority in marriage: children or spouse?

Simple question deserving of a simple answer. In a marriage, the marriage, the relationship between the husband and wife, takes priority.

Sounds like you were just a means to an end for her. That end was motherhood. Seems she wanted to be a mother more than wife, and she is failing at both.
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Priority in marriage: children or spouse?

woo, yeah. Sorry but she is completely in the wrong in my honest opinion. There are times where my son has to come first ( autistic) but if it is at all avoidable then I do what I can to make sure hubby and I get what we want. I love my kids, don't get me wrong, but they will one day have a life of their own, and my H and I will be traveling the world together. He is my #1.
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Priority in marriage: children or spouse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimplyAmorous View Post
Your wife and all that Catering has destroyed your son, he appears to be sucking up to being dependent on Mommy. I feel bad if he ever meets a woman and has to deal with your wife, MIL interference issues will abound. I don't know his real issues, but even if he did have some underlying mental things going on, he probably wouldn't be as depressed if he had a tougher approach to parenting and was made to "get out there & do for himself" or suffer the consequences of his own slothfullness. This is NEEDED to raise kids responsibly. Not having any sort of job by age 27, this just shouldn't be, and this is the college bound son?. . He couldn't have taken a lower paying job ? No matter how scare the good jobs are, the lower paying ones can easily be had with some persistence & effort.

She did it ALL WRONG- but you allowed her to do it, your comment here is the truth "I always thought that if you took care of your marriage then the children would just follow along".

I have 6 kids, my husband comes before all of them. I was guilty , however , of putting them before him at one time, we had 5 in 9 yrs, just wasn't thinking. We are much happier now, he is much happier with my change on this.

Your wife should be wanting to come to your company apartment, showing she has TIME for you, that you are still loved, valued for more than your paycheck.

No intimacy for 3 yrs. Why do you stay ? The kids are grown now.


This is right on! Your wife's behavior is reinforcing his dependence. That is the problem along with her lack of focus on you. To me attention to wife and kids is like keeping spinning plates going. You need to give time to each in its turn. Sometimes you need to fix one plate but you can't spend too much time on that one because another one will fall. The most important and biggest plate should be your spouse. She has let your plate fall to the ground and is not doing anything about it. You need to call her attention to it to get it fixed.

She may need counseling to be able to see that she is not helping matters with your son before she can be convinced.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Syrum
Please stop being a door mat. look on this site for the 180 thread.

Tell your wife that every time she visits you, you will in turn visit her.

Tell her that they life you are leading will lead to divorce, because you are not maintaining a close bond.
Take Syrum's advice and demand the attention you need and take action on his lack of a job. It's time to cut the cord between them otherwise nothing will change.
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Priority in marriage: children or spouse?

Thank you for all the great advice and opinions; it is very much appreciated. I agree I allowed this to happen, but it is a bit more intense and way to much to go into and more complicated than I mentioned in the thread. In a nutshell, the wife has had major medical issues for 20 years and without my health care coverage it would quickly become a bad scene.

I stay because sometimes in life, there has to be some compassion and sacrifice and I learned 25 years ago that the wife would pick the children over me; she defends them at all costs! Since there was a lot more at stake than just my feelings, I made a choice to love them, take care of them and accept it, but this has now gone on way to long.

I always felt it was wrong yes, but I accepted it and now I love them to much to ditch them at this stage of the game. A mothers love in this case over shadowed her wanting to be a wife. That is a fact that I accepted and now need to deal with, as her defense and personality would not allow any other way but HER way. I appreciate the insight and know there are others in the same boat, where the children are put first in a marriage.

The son has graduated college and has the degrees on the wall, now I guess I have to wade into the battle ground and lay down the law. We are just not getting any where like this. Syrum has great advice and I will pick up the 180 mantle and see where the chips fall.
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