Marriage Missions International

How Husband Feels When Wife Puts Children Ahead of Him

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How does it make a man feel when his wife puts their children ahead of him? We posed that question to a group of men. Their most common answers are listed below:

1. Insignificant and disrespected
Most replied that they felt a deep lack of respect from not only their wives, but from their children as well. “Respect is important to a man, and he doesn’t feel that when the children consistently come first,” said one man.

2. Unloved
Most men, unlike most women, associate love with actions instead of with feelings. When a woman places her children above her husband, her actions say to him that she loves the children more than she loves him. Though not as vocal about it as women, men desire to be deeply loved by their wives. It is difficult for a man to see his wife cherish the children, but treat him in a cool or casual manner.

3. Lonely
One of the man’s greatest needs is companionship, and he usually expects to find this in his relationship with his wife. “As my wife pours more and more of her life into being a mother, she pours less and less of it into being my wife,” said one man. “The friend I once had in my wife is now a friend to our children, but a stranger to me.” The lonelier a man becomes, the more vulnerable he is to outside temptation. Is your husband lonely because of the time you spend with your children? Are you in any way making him more vulnerable to the attentions of other women?

4. Unappreciated
Men appreciate being appreciated! Many men feel that their wives show greater appreciation to their children than they do to them. “If our daughter goes to a friend’s for the night, my wife misses her terribly,” said one husband. “When she comes home the next morning, my wife is ecstatic to see her and acts as if she’s been gone forever. I can be gone for days on a business trip, and my wife acts like I never left. Sometimes she even seems to resent my return home.” Does your husband know how important he is to you and how much you value him? Are you an appreciative wife?

5. Resentful and Angry
Though not a majority, some men stated that when their wives put their children first, they felt a sense of resentment and anger; some felt this way toward their children, others toward their wives. “My fifteen-year-old son walks through the door and my wife immediately asks abut his day or rubs his back if he’s tired. She pampers him constantly. I find myself resenting him, even though I know it isn’t his fault.” Is your husband frustrated or even jealous of your relationship with your children? Could it be that he feels left out or overlooked?

IDEAS TO CONSIDER:

Maybe you’re sensing that you need a major overhaul in this area, or perhaps just some fine-tuning. Regardless, here are some ideas to consider:

1. Think positive thoughts.
For every positive thought you have of your children, think of two for your husband. Begin noticing the many things he does. Perhaps he sees to it that the house is locked up every night or helps you replace light bulbs. Men enjoy praise!

2. Give him the benefit of the doubt.
Often this comes easily with our children, but is more difficult with our husbands. Grant him the same gracious generosity that you so readily give your kids.

3. Be spontaneous.
Surprise him once a week with a random act of kindness. One woman recently discovered that her husband liked a slushy drink from a local convenience store. She began buying them for him. “He loves it when I do this. It’s such a simple thing to do, and lets him know I’m thinking about him.”

4. Invest in his stock.
Share with your children things you admire about their father. This lets them see how important your marriage is to you. Though it’s been said dozens of times, the way Mom sees Dad is the greatest influencer of how the children see him. Do this with others as well. Many women excel at communicating their children’s strengths, but not their husband’s. One woman pointed out that often friends will talk about their children in glowing terms, but when they talk about their husbands, they tend to talk about their weaknesses and inabilities. If you do this, stop! Commit to sharing with others only those things that build your husband up. Words are infectious and should be chosen wisely.

5. Make your bedroom a haven.
Too often this is the catchall room. Make an effort to keep it clean, organized, and inviting. One woman bought a small love seat and placed it in the master bedroom. This is where she and her husband spend a few moments together once they’ve gotten in the door at the end of the day. It shows their children that they value each other’s company as well. Burn a fragrant candle so that the room smells inviting and warm.

6. Cater to his quirks.
Many times we think our children’s quirks are cute but our husband’s are obnoxious. One woman discovered that her husband liked his sheets changed often, yet she preferred going longer between changings. “I fought this for years,” she said. “I thought he was being too obsessive. One day my daughter asked why I ignored her father’s request for clean sheets but always changed hers whenever she asked. I was shocked. I didn’t realize I did this. I suddenly saw that I was not only dismissing one of my husband’s rare requests, but I was also modeling wrong priorities for my daughter.”

7. Check your attitude.
Said one woman, “I was stunned one night when my husband told me that he wished I had the same attitude toward him that I had toward the kids. From his perspective, I bent over backward for them. I ran all over town to find my daughter the right dress or my son the right tennis shoes. But he said that if he asked me to stop at the hardware store and pick up a gallon of paint, I balked.” Our attitudes speak volumes to our husbands.

8. Pray for your husband.
This tip could go in every chapter. There is nothing like prayer to soften your heart and sharpen your focus.

9. Reintroduce pet names into your relationship.
Refrain from calling him “Dad” or Daddy.” Choose instead to call him by a name that shows your love and high regard for him as a husband.

Your husband may or may not respond as you re-prioritize your relationships. It really isn’t an issue, though, if you are doing it to honor God. Certainly it’s nice for him to notice and appreciate your efforts, but it isn’t necessary. God notices.

The above article comes from the book, The Politically Incorrect Wife: God’s Plan for Marriage Still Works Today, written by Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby, published by Multnomah. This is a real down-to-earth book which is both inspiring yet practical, and helps those who read it to have a clearer understanding of God’s design for the married woman. The authors explain how, between the both of them, they bought into more than 40 years of modern day thinking, and eventually realized how it was sabotaging their marital relationships. As they explain, “Being politically correct kept our marriages in the ‘stuck’ position for years-so much so that if you had taken a snapshot of our marriages during that time, you would have found cold hearts and unhappy husbands who were resigned to living with emotionally distant and often angry wives.”

Excerpted from The Politically Incorrect Wife © 2000-2002 by Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby. Used by permission of Multnomah Publishers, Inc. Excerpt may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of Multnomah Publishers, Inc.

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Comments

272 Responses to “How Husband Feels When Wife Puts Children Ahead of Him”
  1. Brandon from United States says:

    My wife puts everyone before me –children first, her mom second and then friends. We have sex maybe twice a year as she would rather watch reality shows and singing competitions on TV. I’m so depressed and hate my life. Sometimes I wish I would just die in my sleep. I have no friends left because I moved and have no one other than my young kids to spend time with. I got married thinking I would have a companion in life.

    • Chris from Canada says:

      That’s exactly how my wife treats me, kids first, then her family, then strangers, then me. I’ve never been so depressed and lonely in my life, and I’m 42.

    • Gene from United States says:

      You are describing my wife, as well!

    • Joe from United States says:

      I too wish I’d die in my sleep or in some sort of accident. I’ve never felt so lonely in my life. My wife is cold and refers to me as a stalker for wanting time and attention from her. Her priorities are the kids, brothers, dad, facebook, friends, co-workers, and the dog. I’m last and only get leftovers.

    • Mike from United States says:

      If you believe children come before your spouse, then you’d better expect a very lonely, miserable marriage, and divorce.

    • Mike from United States says:

      Men, want to feel left out, a second fiddle? Marry a woman with a step-child. My advice is: don’t do it until the child is out of the house. Trust me, you will regret it, unless you men love being treated second rate. That is NOT how God wanted marriage in the first place. My bad.

    • Rev. Debra from United States says:

      Get to marriage counseling! I am a certified therapist and you are in a dangerous place already. Like you did in the beginning of the relationship, woo her. Bring back the romance and make regular date nights without the children. It is good that you want the relationship to be better. So many times it is the wife desiring a closer relationship and the husband doesn’t see
      the need.

  2. John from United States says:

    My wife clearly loves the kids more than me, and I’m fine with it. I also love the kids more than her. If the house were on fire and I could only save 1 person it would be the baby. No question. I don’t think any woman truly loves her husband. Look at how the average woman treats men: constant nagging, never satisfied, uses sex as a tool of manipulation, constantly shifting moods, only cares about her needs, only cares about the money he brings in. I could go on and on and on.

    So what’s a man to do? I have to protect my heart, and that means ignoring all her disrespectful behavior towards me. It means not initiating sex with her so she can’t use that to manipulate me. It means doing all the housework, yardwork, errands and childcare so she doesn’t have an excuse to nag (but she finds one anyway). That’s what I have to do to live with my wife. I truly wish she would go away and never come back. I love my kids too much to divorce her, because our sexist courts would surely give her custody just because she’s female, even though she’s a lousy mother. If I knew I’d get custody, I would divorce her in a minute.

    • Kaitlyn from Canada says:

      Well of course women love their men. But you also have to accept the fact that we have our needs, as well, like chores around the house or even cooking sometimes. Everyone needs a little help. It’s tough work doing that every day on your own, not to mention the fact you said you had children.

      • Shawn from United States says:

        Apparently women’s needs trump men’s needs…

        • Virginia from Canada says:

          It’s so simple, and herein lies the total frustration of a woman. APPRECIATE her, having KIDS SUCKS… it’s HARD, nursing hurts, postpartum emotions are TOUGH. Bring her FLOWERS, tell HER YOU LOVE HER, PRAISE HER… dear Lord, you are blessed to have a woman WHO LOVES YOUR CHILDREN… it could BE WORSE. Treat her, love her, enjoy her, laugh with her; it’s SO EASY it’s stupid. Value her… she is loving YOUR CHILDREN.

        • Virginia from Canada says:

          Who ever is birthing, nursing, and staying home with the babies TRUMPS anyone’s needs… GROW UP.

          • Neutrino from United States says:

            With respect, it’s also this attitude that is killing relationships across the nation. You are not owed anything simply because you had a kid. Without someone supporting them, the mothers you speak of wouldn’t be able to stay at home with the kids to deal with the things you think catapults them into a higher echelon. This is exactly what people are complaining about:

            You’ve effectively tied this entire thread together with 2 comments: You feel that you’re entitled to more of everything because you’re raising someone’s child(ren) and this escalates your value to something greater than your spouse’s. It isn’t hard to understand why someone might feel unappreciated when viewed in that way. Having the audacity to tell someone to grow up only reinforces the viewpoint that raising a child somehow makes you more ‘mature’. It doesn’t. It makes you tired, crazy, moody, frustrated, happy, and so much more. Having the mentality that you’re owed your spouse’s allegiance, paycheck, and subservience establishes a barrier to healthy communication.

            Remember, in a Godly household there’s a hierarchy:
            God
            Spouse
            Kids
            Everyone Else

            Note that spouses are ranked above the children there, and remember that your spouse is your equal, not your child-induced slave/butler.

            If children don’t see the respect between spouses, they won’t have the positive modeling necessary to speed development of healthy relationships later in life.

            Dismissing someone’s needs as unimportant, or somehow less important than their spouse destroys relationships. You have to be equals, under God, and above your children.

    • Joe from United States says:

      I started doing more domestic jobs around the house, helped with laundry, cooking, picking up kids, etc. The more I did the less she helped around the house. Eventually I was doing it all. One day I suggested she cook dinner; she refused and said I was doing a good job. I don’t know how men are constantly called the selfish ones.

      • Neutrino from United States says:

        With respect, you’ve basically positively reinforced the behaviors that are bothering you. Remember that we all have bad/off days once in a while, but we must be ever vigilant to reinforce things as necessary. If she makes a step in a positive direction, reward it. If there are things that are happening that are bothering you, then try to negatively reinforce those things. Remember that we all react to a little praise.

        Try to stay positive and keep God first. He can fix anything you’re facing. Place it in his hands, and get counseling if your relationship isn’t communicating well. We’re all people, and often times the heart is selfish. This is why we need Church and God in our lives daily.

        Try to spend the first 15 minutes of your day with a Bible. Send up all your thanksgiving for having a home, food, yard, everything positive that God has done for you. If you’re struggling right now, it may be that a major breakthrough is just around the corner, and the accuser is trying to break your will before you can make it to it.

    • Chad from United States says:

      My wife won’t do a date night. She says she love me. But it’s obvious she isn’t in love with, for a while. Same thing in this relationship. Daughter, family, facebook, friends, dig then me. And there is no left over time with me. She looks at me like I’m pathetic when I try to spend alone time with her and that all I want is s-x. But how can this be when I only pursue this 1 or 2 times a month? She’ll let me hold her hand and focus on her for about 3 seconds then something will happen or she’ll remember something (which is so much more important).

      I love her. I tell her I love her everyday between 10-15 times. I told her I was feeling extremely lonely, in which she immediately raised a flag in her mind for an affair. But I assured her that was not gonna be the case, but that made no difference in her. I truly feel so alone at 32 years old. I used to be the center of her life, and expected to always be, but at least 2nd below God. This is set by the Word of God, not by husbands… She now gets everything she needs emotionally from everyone else. And I work, pay the bills and fix anything that goes wrong in her life…

      • Cindy Wright from United States says:

        So sorry Chad, that this is happening to you. Sadly, this is very typical in more marriages than I could ever tell you. Spouses get into this lull of thinking that our spouse will always be there, and instead pursue those that bring more of a smile to their hearts. It SHOULD be their spouse that brings more of a smile, but I guess the dailyness of marriage wipes that away more than we should allow it. Why is it that we take for granted the one that we should least take for granted? That is a question that is relevant to marriages all over the world. Too often spouses wake up years later, or when it’s too late, and waste precious time that they could have spent enjoying each other, building a great relationship!

        Somehow, you have GOT to help her to see that if she invests some interest in you, that you are more than willing to bring that smile to her face. I’m not sure how you can do that, but please pray about it, asking for insight.

        Another thought that occurred to me is to recommend the book to you, How We Love: Discover Your Love Style, Enhance Your Marriage written by Milan and Kay Yerkovich. It’s EXCELLENT! It gives background into our different styles of how we want to be loved and what may have pushed us into that style. It then tells you how to address those styles (with some needing work to be done to them –they help you with that). It’s like counseling in a book…SO GOOD! I hope you’ll obtain it. It may give you insight that will help you to better address this issue. I hope and pray so.

        • Neutrino from United States says:

          Cindy, We need more people like you in the world. Often a soft word will turn a hard heart. Great advice given, and if I could recommend it, I definitely would.

    • Mayra from United States says:

      John you are not going to lose your children if you get a divorce from their mother, the law is not that biased, and it will be up to you to keep the relationship with your children close and loving. You deserve to be happy and furthermore your children deserve to have happy parents, and to grow in a healthy loving environment. They will grow up to repeat the pattern and I would like to think that you do not want your children to have marriages full of martyrdom and self destructive behavior. However, if you are determined to stay in this relationship, perhaps you guys should get professional help. Love yourself, and teach your children to love themselves through your example.

  3. Chris from Canada says:

    11 years ago after the birth of our first child, my wife became a mom and stopped being a wife. We share equally in raising the children, the household, and I worked very hard so that we could afford to have her be an at home mom. Essentially I would work a full shift at work, then full shifts at night as a dad, and every single weekend and holiday, she gets to sleep in as long as she likes while I take care of the kids to let her sleep.

    I have been totally abandoned by my wife; she does everything for the kids and barely thinks of me. We rarely have sex, maybe a few times a year, and that isn’t even my biggest complaint. What makes me the saddest is that I cannot remember the last time she said something positive or encouraging to me, or took my hand as we walked (it’s ALWAYS me reaching for hers), never once asks how my day was, etc. Meanwhile I never stop giving her compliments, thanking her for dinner, asking how her day was, etc.

    Over the past 11 years I’ve regularly brought this up and even asked for couples’ therapy, and that just makes her mad and completely ignores and dismisses everything I have to say. I want to scream at her to take just one minute, listen to what I have to say, and see what she is like through my eyes.

    • Kaitlyn from Canada says:

      You sound a lot like my father. He always wanted my mom to put him first and then the kids. He worked all night too so that my mom could take care of me and my sister in the day. He however, never let me or my sister hold our mother’s hand even when crossing a busy road. He gave everything up when he was done with it and shut everything he didn’t like out of his life. Even his own father.

      The day came when he decided to leave, and he took all the money. Left my mom without a job. He even tried to sell the house and keep all the money for himself, not even really caring what would have happened to us. My mother said to him she would always choose us over him and honestly that’s how it should be. But it made him mad. My mother even sold her van. She needed all the money she could get. We had to use our grandparent’s truck as they paid for gas.

      But then the day came where two teenagers had decided to go for a joy ride. They completely trashed the truck. And the sound of that boom and my mother crying because of all the drama is something I will never forget. My mother’s only hope was to get a job at a mall to care for us at the time. We could not even afford a babysitter so we were left to fend for ourselves, sorta. Now he’s used us for a lot of money because he thinks he shouldn’t be paying child support. And he has remained mostly out of my life. I only see him a few times a year for about 30 minutes to maybe an hour. So see it through the child’s eyes and maybe you will think differently.

      • Neutrino from United States says:

        With respect, Biblically, the spouse SHOULD be above the children.
        1. God
        2. Spouse
        3. Children.

        It’s easy to defend the parent who was wronged. It’s not as easy to evaluate the situations leading up to the mistreatment of one spouse.

        In almost every hurtful mistake made in history between two people, both are in the wrong. Someone says something stupid, another overreacts, and the spiral has begun. It takes patience and perseverance to truly overcome hurt feelings and communicate effectively.

        In this case, both parents made mistakes, and everyone suffered for it. I’m so sorry to hear that you had to suffer. My mother was mistreated in a similar fashion when I was young by both my father and my step father. I hope and pray that you are able to forgive your father, and that your mother is able to establish a wonderful life for herself. God bless and keep your family.

  4. Dami from Nigeria says:

    People keep saying how mothers are bound to love their children. Of course that is right but the issue here is when that love consumes the woman and she forget that she is not the sole parent. I am married, I love my wife, I live in a different country so we mainly communicate on the phone. My lovely wife finds it hard to make time to call me just to talk like humans do.

    I drift in and out if depression because of this. I feel extremely lonely. Many other women want my attention but I only want my wife. I tried to communicate this state of mind to her in all humanly possible ways but it’s like I am speaking Yoruba. I don’t know what to do.

  5. Lisa from United States says:

    Men need to realize the kids needs us! My daughters will always be there for me; will my husband? NO! My husband works all the time. I work too. What else am I supposed to do? He is always on line and working. I guess he made me put my daughters first and not him. My husband and I never have fun anymore. Why wouldn’t I put my daughter first? She likes to have fun and not work all the time. Men, stop saying we cater to our kids -maybe if you paid attention to your wives, your lives would be completely different!!!!!!!! And we would cater to you!

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      WOW, Lisa! Your bitterness is overflowing here. I’m sorry that you have gotten to this point –truly. If you notice, I had to take a few things out of your comment because the guidelines on this web site ask that you don’t belittle, etc. This is a forum for constructive dialogue. Also, please read some of the comments already posted and you will see that many men pay attention to their wives and children and STILL they are pushed aside. Yes, I know this can be a two-way street, but it isn’t always the same for everyone.

      And I hope you aren’t serious about saying that your daughters “will always be there” for you. What happens if they marry? Are they supposed to shove their husbands aside for you? And what if they have children? Do you slide in first, or behind them? I can’t even imagine what you say to your daughters about your husband –their dad. I hope this was a one-time rant to us, rather than an everyday occurrence. Please enjoy your daughters, but don’t make them your source for entertainment. That’s more pressure than they should carry.

      Also, please know that no one MAKES us put someone else first, whether it’s a daughter or someone else. I don’t know the circumstances behind your words. I can’t read into your life, but I’ve learned that there are two sides to every story… actually 3. There’s hers, his, and God’s (which is a truer version, because He can see from a totally different vantage point). I have a feeling that if I ask your husband about your marriage and family life, I’d hear a totally different side. Please be aware of this.

      Lisa, I know this seems like I’m trying to push at you, when you obviously already feel pushed at, A LOT! But that’s not my intent. My intent is to have you look at what you’re saying and how you’re saying it and consider the bigger picture here. Would you really want to have “fun” with someone who yells out these types of things about you? My impression certainly wouldn’t be, “yeah, I want more of that… I’m going to make special time to stand behind the daughters and attempt to have ‘fun’ with her… yeah, that’s what I’d rush home to get more of!”

      I’m not saying your husband is without fault. I’m sure he has his own stuff going on that I would see as problematic. But attacking other men who are trying to make sense of why they used to be an important part of their wife’s priorities, and now they aren’t (especially when many of them DO try to help out and be supportive), is not a good thing to do. Insights kindly given, can go a long way. Being civil with people, even strangers, is a good thing. These men didn’t attack you, why attack them? And why lump them together with those you have a personal grievance against? Yes, you’re obviously bitter, but come on! Lets be kinder here. You’re better than this, I’m sure. Please put effort into bringing that out, and maybe things can come out a bit better in the future, for everyone. I truly hope things get better for you and for your kids and for your husband –your family and marriage, as a whole. I pray for you.

      • Neutrino from United States says:

        Cindy, Once again, soft words and wonderful advice.

        Lisa, I can feel your frustration, and from what I’m reading, it seems that you WANT that spark back in your relationship. I think this is wonderful! If he has no time for you, is your mutual scheduling too tight? It’s always easier to have fun as a kid, because you don’t have anywhere you have to be once school is over. As a person who works 2 jobs, I find that my schedule is so tight that often I don’t have time for the very people I’m working so hard for.

        I respect that you love your child. This is wonderful. Your child will grow up, and one day will have their own life, and this is as it should be: genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:8, Ephesians 5:31.

        Sometimes a soft word can change a hard heart. It could be that there’s no malice in your husband’s lack of attention. As men age, their desires and drives change. Is it possible that the two of you could truly put yourselves first for a week or two and try to reconnect? It might surprise you if a little effort was put forth on each spouse’s part how much you could come back together.

        Are you willing to make amends? Is he? It’s not always an easy road to recovery, but love, communication, and mostly forgiveness will allow the two of you to come back together and remember why you decided to marry and have children with one another.

        • Cindy Wright from United States says:

          Thanks Neutrino, I really appreciate it, as well (and especially) how you have been reaching out to many, including Lisa. Your advice appears to be very wise and caring. Oh, how we need more people that will reach out to help others as you have been doing. Thanks so much for taking the time and prayerful effort to help so many. May God richly bless you because of your efforts. I/we hope you will continue to encourage others on this web site and elsewhere, as God leads. Please know that you are appreciated!

    • Jeff from United States says:

      You’re a typical women, you always bring it back to the man. Most men understand that a wife must put the children first to some degree. However, a wife should not expect a man to show her attention when he’s put dead last on her list. If my wife would just surprise me a few times a month by doing something just for me, I would bend over backwards to meet her needs. However, if she consistently puts the kids first and me last, why should I bother? Another issue is the bedroom. Women will do all sorts of things while dating and even the first few months of marriage, but they stop those things once they have kids. It’s true, most men want a classy woman outside of the bedroom, but they want their woman to be a little slutty in the bedroom. If your man tells you this isn’t true, he’s lying.

      If a woman will show her man attention occasionally and give him what he wants in the bedroom, 99.99% of men will treat their wife like she’s a queen. You get what your put into it.

    • Mayra from United States says:

      Oh wow, it seems it is all about you and not your daughter. Your daughter needs to learn through your example what is a healthy happy marriage.

  6. Joey from South Africa says:

    Good day, I think it’s truly sad how the devil has convinced married people to see each other as enemies instead of one. When I read this article I looked at what I’m doing in my marriage. There was a time where I also believed that my kids, parents and everyone else should come first in my life before my husband. But I thank God that the more I grow up and read His word I realise that my kids need a stable home more than a mother and father who are bitter and angry at the world.

    While reading some of the comments I realise that what some of these men are requesting is not unreasonable; they’re just asking for quality time with their spouse. And as much as we love our kids one day they will leave and have their own lives, then that is where we start having issues of mother in laws who don’t want to let go.

    Since I have decided to put my marriage first, as God willed it, my boys are so happy and stable. My 7 year old son already talks about how one day he will get married and he will look after his wife just like daddy looks after me. I thank God that he continues teaching us new lessons and through websites like this I’m learning a lot. May God heal those who are hurting and restore families back to each other.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      SO WELL SAID, Joey. Thank you for expressing this point made from your heart and from your experience, so clearly. Hopefully, others will pay attention to the hard lessons we’ve learned and will make changes in attitudes and deeds, working on their marriages NOW before more damage is done (or the husband gives up and declares it’s “too late”). Not only is this important for us, but for our children who are watching how we treat each other. We’re teaching them life lessons on how to interact in marriage, be it healthy and loving, or unhealthy and dysfunctional.

      I love the point you make about the mother in laws too. That’s SO true. We can’t set ourselves up to be in a place where we’re devastated when our children grow up and move on, as they’re created to do. That’s just not good for us or for them (especially in the future). Our children need to eventually make an adult place for themselves in this world, apart from us being their central focus of attention. It’s part of the “leaving and cleaving” principle put forth in the scriptures –leaving our parents, cleaving to each other “as one.”

      We’re setting our children up for failure (or dysfunction) if we cling to them too tightly, and can cause problems in their marriages, if they ever do make that vow. We made a vow to our spouse and to our God to “love, honor, and cherish” …and so we need to make a point of honoring that promise, which in turn can potentially help them to do so if they some day commit to marry. Yes, children have needs… and those needs have to be tended to, but they should not continually overrun the marriage. That just isn’t good for anyone. Thanks for making such important points on this issue.

      It’s also good for our children to know that they are not the center of this universe. That’s a lopsided relationship –out of balance. They need to learn to share and sometimes take a backseat to others, when it’s appropriate. The husband needs to stand beside his wife as a marital team and a parenting team in loving words and deed.

  7. Jonathan from United States says:

    Women want children more than they want a husband. Many single moms out there are happy. Pretty screwed up. Thank God I’m not married.

    • Marge from United States says:

      Yes, thank God you are unmarried! Signed a woman.

    • Neutrino from United States says:

      Much of this is due to societal decline as a whole. It’s been positively reinforced via the media that a healthy family doesn’t need a father, and this is entirely untrue. Men and women bring differing viewpoints and problem solving strategies to the table. God made both, because both would be needed. Men need women, and women need men. This is as it should be. Children need both as well.

      To those who are single parents, I pray for your success. I hope first that you might be reconciled with your absent spouse, but if that is not possible, I pray that you’re able to form a Godly bond with someone and establish a Godly household for your children.

  8. Steve from United Kingdom says:

    This is exactly how I feel. I’m pretty sure that if my wife could find another way to replace the money I earn, I’d be “no longer required” as she has our daughter for her chosen company.

  9. NN from South Africa says:

    It is sad just to read most comments about how most men are not getting attention from their wives. My motto is that before the children it was “us.” The children will grow and leave the home and what will happen? I have 2 children and I love them dearly, however my husband will always come first. Most women we love the idea of being “married” yet once we say I do, we treat the spouse like a stranger. I will never be the perfect wife and neither will my husband be the perfect husband, however I will make most of the time that God has given us here on earth, so that tomorrow I will not say “I wish I could have.”

  10. Shawn from United States says:

    I came here looking for direction on what I can do. In February of this year my wife gave birth to our 2nd child and 3rd child (twin girls). They are truly a joy as well as our 3 year old daughter. I love my wife and my daughters very much… but things feel like they are falling apart in our marriage. I work 2 jobs to support my family so my wife can stay home with our girls. I usually get 4 or 5 hours of sleep a day. Last week I worked 87 hours between both jobs, yet I still managed to make time to mow the grass and attend our daughters preschool trip to a local farm.

    I understand that my wife’s life is very busy and hectic right now with 7-month old twins and I certainly don’t expect her to be super woman and cater to me every moment, but I feel very unappreciated right now. I can’t tell you the last time my wife made me dinner. She is constantly taking herself and the kids through the fast food drive-thru even though I encourage her to eat healthy and feed our children health food. I usually have to find something out of the fridge when I get home… usually a can of soup or a sandwich.

    I’m currently doing the laundry for the family. I usually put a load in the washer when I get home from work and transfer it to the dryer when I get up to go back to work. Our house is a perpetual mess 24/7 and the kitchen counter is usually covered in some kind of food from the day before. I haven’t slept in my bed in 7 months as it’s usually occupied by my wife and children. My back is starting to feel the results of sleeping on the living-room couch every night and I’m only 27 years old!

    Unlike most other men commenting here, my wife and I have sex quite often… My wife thinks that “performing her duty” with me in the form of a quicky before I go to work will keep me satisfied, but honestly it just sucks. I can tell it’s not heartfelt or loving. I’ve tried talking to my wife about these things but she just gets angry and starts “one-upping” me telling me how hard her life is and how I don’t help enough. I try to help her and hold the twins when they are crying or upset.

    I honestly don’t expect my wife to be perfect. I don’t expect the house to be spotless or a 4-course meal waiting for me when I come home from work. I know my wife is very busy with the kids and I appreciate all the time and effort she puts into taking care of them… but my wife gets more sleep than I do even though she nurses two babies. Whenever I do get a day off I notice that she is always taking a nap when the babies are asleep. She gets a lot of help from her mother (who I’m pretty sure hates me because I’m not wealthy) with the babies every day and yet she can’t do 1 load of laundry a day or make dinner.

    I feel rejected by my wife. She tells me that she loves me but I don’t feel like she does. I’m burnt out and tired when I’m at home but I feel like I’m expected to do more. I just don’t know what else to do. If I tell her how I feel she just tells me I’m disrespectful for expecting her to do what I ask…

    • Mpk3 from United States says:

      He[ck] yeah she’s napping when those babies are. I guarantee you that she is NOT getting ‘more’ sleep than you. Quit being a selfish pig and man up!

      • Sheu from South Africa says:

        Mpk3, are you serious right now? What kind of a comment is that? The man just poured out his heart here. So insensitive.

        Shawn, I recommend you check out Sheila Gregoire’s blog, tolovehonorandvacuum.com. She has a blog or two on such matters.

    • Neutrino from United States says:

      Shawn, First, thank you for being a father your children will be proud of. Know that your struggle is not in vain. One day your children will realize all you’re sacrificing on their behalf. I know it’s hard right now, and you’re frustrated while trying your very best. Some things I’d like to pose for your consideration:

      1. Often it’s not what we way, it’s how we say it. I’ve ceased using ‘but’ in my sentences. “But” is used as a refutation of what came before. Consider replacing it with ‘and’. An example before “I love you, but I feel as if I’m being ignored” and example after “I love you, and I think we should spend more time together.” Try considering how the other person feels. I’m sure your wife is frustrated and struggling right now too. Maybe she doesn’t see a way to structure the day, or to get the chores done. Maybe she’s feeling depressed or uncertain about her body image. We’re all people and sometimes a gentle hand out, or a conversation opener can change everything.

      2. I realize that you’re tight on money, have you reached out to the local church to see if it might be possible to get a babysitter long enough to have a couple’s night out? Remember that your spouse comes BEFORE your kids biblically. Would your parents or her parents be willing to allow the two of you some time to yourselves?

      3. Realize that a lot of women have body image issues after birth, and because of this, their hearts might not be as sexually inclined as they once were. Make sure she knows you accept her and love her even if there’s food on her shirt and the place is a mess.

      4. See if your wife is willing to have a biblical relationship. This might sound odd, but remember that often people in this world are unequally yolked, and one person is going to have to pull most of the weight.

      5. Make the first thing you read each day the Bible. Even if you only read a single chapter, or verse, or page each day, give God’s word a chance to change your heart and mind. Keep in mind all the good things God has done for you, and continues to do for you. Put your troubles aside for 4-5 minutes, even if it’s on your commute to work, and honestly give thanks for every single positive thing you can think of. Place your problems in his hands, and do the best you can.

      6. Lastly, remember that people generally get defensive when they are ‘accused’ of doing something. So, try phrasing criticism as questions. Instead of ‘did you spill that bowl of cereal in the kitchen” maybe try “do you know what happened in the kitchen?” One is an accusation, the other a legitimate request for information.

      Always put God first, your wife second, your kids third, and everyone else after. I will pray for your brother.

  11. Tom from United States says:

    I have to admit I do feel like I’m fourth or fifth on my wife’s list. And I’ve told her that. She’s told me I’m being stupid. If her mom was still here, I’d be lower on the list. My point is that if she felt that way, and she has, it would be reality. But if I believe I’m second or lower on her list, I’m being stupid. Do women really believe this? And why is what they believe more credible? Help me (us men) understand.

    • Neutrino from United States says:

      Tom, Thanks for sharing your story. Often times, it’s hard for us to get outside of our own skin long enough to realize that others have differing viewpoints. To put this to an example: when children are little, peak-a-boo is fun because when our face is covered, the child doesn’t realize that we’re still there. They don’t yet understand that the person can still be there even if we cannot see them or their face.

      To bring this into the adult world, often times when we’re under stress, it’s hard for us to see that someone might hold a different, yet still legitimate, opinion from ours. You’re not being stupid in your statements, but it may be hard to look past the daily struggles for her to understand your point of view.

      I’ve found great success in changing accusations into less pointy questions. Instead of “I feel like you put me below everyone else.” perhaps try “Where would you rank me in your life versus other people, our children, etc?” And LISTEN to the answer. Ask more questions. Find out where she sees your rank, and then try to figure out how your needs can fit into that worldview. Don’t accuse, discuss! God bless and be with you and your family brother.

      Always begin the day with the Bible. Make the first words that enter your mind for the day God’s! Spend at least 5 minutes each day being grateful and thanking God for every good thing he’s done and is doing for you.

  12. Marge from United States says:

    My husband does this to me with our daughter. I actually hate him most of the time. The suggestions you list sound silly for a man to do. Do you honestly think a man even thinks about my quirks and desires to cater to them? Puh-leaze!

  13. Erin from says:

    I think children should come first for both parents. To love your child more than anything on earth is natural for both husband and wife. Learned too late that appreciating the little things a husband does (or wife) is the most important thing there is. Maybe it’s not always done perfectly. That doesn’t matter. Anytime a person makes an effort to help you, you need to show appreciation and acknowledge their effort.

  14. Mpk3 from United States says:

    Since when, do fathers/husbands, have to compete with their children for affection from their wives???? You IDIOTS!!!!! Children NEED to be taken care of. You can take care of YOURSELF. You and your wife should be a united front, tending to the children’s needs together. Then, when they are all tucked into bed, if either of you have an ounce of energy left, collapse into each other’s arms. But, men, stop expecting wives to have as much sex as they did when it was just the two of you. The fact that men expect their wives to be just as sexual as they were before babies came along, makes me sick. Let me tell you this….once your children are grown, look them in the eye, and tell them how mad you were while they were growing up, that their mom ‘paid more attention to them than you.’ You see how stupid you sound????? GROW UP.

    • Concerned from Canada says:

      Obviously you have a great resentment towards men by the sound of your venomous comments. I’ll try to keep my comments short and simple, hopefully without insulting you, which could be difficult to do. As to your first comment “Since when, do fathers/husbands, have to compete with their children for affection from their wives?” It’s not a competition. It’s the end result (over time) of constant neglect, isolation, and abandonment a man feels from his wife/spouse when she puts the children always first. He was once the love of her life and now he’s not. And no, men are not selfish pigs as you contend. Men have feelings just like you.

      For those mothers who disagree, look around and see if you fall into the category of a single parent and ask yourself why your relationship failed. Did you also put your child always first? Did you devote most of your love, caring, and indulgences to your children? Did you neglect your spouse and made him feel second, third or last? Then you’re probably meant to be without a partner. Your priorities shifted after you gave birth. Your child is the product of the love you have with your spouse and should not change for any reason.

      But you have to realize that children need to know that their parents love not only them, but each other. Their sense of security grows as they see parents loving each other. To put your marriage on hold for 18 years –or even one year –while you raise children is not only detrimental to your marriage, but it’s also devastating to your children. When the parental team breaks down, children become the biggest losers. They lose their family, which is where they build their sense of security. When children don’t feel secure, their whole world seems to unravel. No amount of baseball, dance, piano lessons or toys can make up for that kind of loss.

      According to Mel Roberts, (a relationship expert) If you want a one way ticket to divorce, just put your kids ahead of your spouse. If you end up focusing 100 percent of your attention on your kids first, you and your spouse will start to resent each other.

      My mom and dad will be married 50 years in Nov. To this day, I remember when dad would come home, he’d hug mom first and the dog would start barking at their embrace because he was so jealous. I remember that we’d have to wait to have dinner until he got home from work, no matter how late it was. Even at a young age, I knew that we weren’t waiting because they wanted us to all be together, it was because they wanted to be together. I also remember how he told her he loved her every day and kissed her before he left for work. They modeled a marriage that I wanted. I wanted to be the most important thing in my wife’s life, and vice versa. I never felt a lack of love growing up, just the opposite –I was surrounded by it. I knew my dad loved me, but I knew he loved my mom most. And, that’s how it should be.

      The key to a successful marriage is not trying to find the right person; it’s learning to love the person you found and maintaining that love. Statistics have shown that couples who put their marriage/relationship first over their children yield a much higher rate of non-divorced marriages. The families (including the children) are much happier and loving. Here’s something to ponder. When your son grows up and decides to marry, will you expect his wife to treat your son the way you treat your husband (if you still have one), put him on the back burner when they have kids of their own or would you expect her to love honour and cherish him like the way he deserves to be when she took those vows at the alter? Or would you be the meddling mother-in-law still trying to protect her child.

      Many (if not all) relationship experts & professionals agree that marriage/relationship should come first before children. Argue with the professionals and not the men on this forum if you don’t agree.

      • Cindy Wright from United States says:

        Thank you “concerned” you did well in making points that NEEDS to be made (and you did this respectfully, thank you)!

      • Alexandra from United States says:

        Well said. That was absolutely beautiful. When me and my husband were planning our wedding and post wedding lives together he kept trying to convince me to move away from my family. I never thought he was being selfish because he didn’t insist living near his. He also kept hinting about how “we” didn’t want children, which I never said, he just assumed. One day I decided to convey to him about it and it turned out he just didn’t want to end up being neglected and taken for granted. I promised him and reassured him that he was everything to me and always will be. We’ve been married only 4 years but I’ve yet to in any way make him feel neglected. He has a full time job, I work part time, cook for him. We devide the house work and do laundry together. We’ve yet to have children as I do want to enjoy our time alone for as long as possible. When we do have some, I’ll love my children just as much as I love my mother, father and siblings. But my husband will always be first. That’s why he’s my husband, he’s the family I made for myself. I left my family for him as he left his for me.

      • Tricia from United States says:

        You assume all neglect is the fault of the wife. See my comment below. When a dad fails to be there for his kids mom scrambles to fill the gap and as a result has no energy or desire to reward the neglect. I think earning a paycheck makes him feel a bit exceptional. You see we will never live up to that and owe him every convenience. Silence, cleanliness, good food (no food he doesn’t like aloud), and loving gestures. I didn’t bring him tea when I got myself one last week and he tried to make me feel so guilty, yet I cannot think of the last time he brought anything for me, not even on our anniversary.

  15. Jeff from United States says:

    My wife puts our daughter before me every time. To the point that I’m almost non existent. I go to work and try my best to provide for the family and she shows no appreciation for anything I do. Things were way better before we got married.

    • Leanna from United States says:

      Now tell me, when you were first married did you allow your wife to put your parents on the backburner?! Time to say hello to good ole Mom and Pop…I bet they will have a solution for you!

  16. Mich from United Kingdom says:

    When you put the kids consistently first you’re more likely to get divorced or have a horrible marriage, and so are the kids if they get married. Doesn’t matter if they are biological, adopted, foster, or step kids. Funny enough when the kids finally break free from what is effectively parental control (and sometimes emotional incest) say in their 30s, 40s, or later, they often resent the parents for it. Seen it time and time again.

  17. Tricia from United States says:

    I keep seeing guys wanting the wife to make the first move. My husband ran away from us the moment we had children, how is it right for him to say “It’s not my thing” about our children? So I’m forced to pull all the weight raising kids and supliment love he doesn’t give and am expected to think to show him gestures of love as well, and first!? I have no desire to reward that behavior. His mom is all like, “let me bake you some cherry pie” hmmm, someone’s mother cares too much for her child! That’s what he wants, a mother’s attention. Well, I’ll be happy to when he offers a father’s attention cause I’m pretty much busy morning to night. He sits around when he’s off work, if I’m sitting he’s asking what I should be doing because obviously there’s a house to run, children to feed and love! He puts himself into the mere bread winner roll all by himself!

    He is welcome to join our happy family anytime! He is so bitter and grumpy and irrational! Children are temporary, just a few short years of sacrifice! Get over yourselves! I’m sure like you and like me, your wives long for affection and kind gestures! My husband stopped buying me flowers by year one, we’re on 12 and sex has never stopped btw! But he’ll tell you it’s not for his benifit! Always on the bright side!

    • Tricia from United States says:

      Oh, and I do mother him quite a bit! I wash fold and put away his laundry. I cook and clean all the dishes, he won’t even rinse his when the kids do! I’m pissed tonight because I had a roast ready for him to take with him to work tonight but he was mad because I hadn’t put a portion in the fridge for him to put in a lunch box for work! He was home, I was out hiking with the kids. I got a text “where are you” not expecting his grumpy attitude when we got back just before he left for work. “Almost to the house” and there he was hands on hips scowling at me! And he’s certain he’s justified in being upset. Can’t wait for him to be out of the house when he’s like that. Go earn your high and mighty paycheck! The one I’m not allowed to touch other than food!

      • Virginia from Canada says:

        Oh my, so sad… and I am in the same boat. I know I will be divorced as soon as our youngest is out of the house to University, and the ONLY thing that keeps my husband and I apart is HIS NEED, HIS EGO, and NEED TO BE FIRST. If men could understand a woman’s heart, there would be so many happy homes. Truly, I am sick of trying to uplift a man, and keep kids needs met. I just don’t know what to do next… except PULL the plug and this is 8 kids later.

  18. Cici from United States says:

    I feel so sorry for you guys, seriously. My husband is my king! I have kids even from a previous marriage and I do not put them before him and we are expecting our first child and that child wont come before my husband. Sex twice a year? Stopped being wives after the kids were born? I don’t know how that happens. Sorry guys I hope things get better for you, I love my husband and I cant get enough of that man. I think about him all day long, when I am buying groceries I get the things he likes and things my kids like too but my husband works all day and I need to make him happy. I don’t know; I just don’t understand it..

    • Virginia from Canada says:

      Good for you, thought the same about my husband when we married. I took over his three kids from a previous marriage… in fact 18 years later they still call me…not him. He was my prince, my love for years… then kids and teenagers needed me… needed a parent; I showed up. Now he is upset. His needs are not met, he feels second class…grow up.

      That’s all I have to say. I am showing up for 10 grandchildren, his parents, my parents… really. Give it 15 years. Men are in need of too much care… And my husband is a Christian man. His needs emotionally are seriously beyond my abilitly to meet all my children’s, his children’s, and grandchildren’s needs… if only he would be a part of it.

    • Neutrino from United States says:

      May God bless you and your family. I’m so glad to hear someone who wants to make a relationship work. Place God first, your spouse second, children third, and you’re in for an awesome lifetime of support and partnership. So many relationships fall apart because people are too busy meeting their emotional needs by catering to kids/grandkids etc instead of their spouses. These people often aren’t able to see that they are part of the problem rather than just a sufferer of consequences…

  19. Mayra from United States says:

    I would like to receive some advice. I have two children that I love and care for with all I have – at least I think so. My children are 16 and 14 (boy and girl). I am married to a good man that loves them and cares for them as a step-dad and they maintain a good relationship with their father.

    My husband works 10 hours a day in a very physical job and he is exposed to the daily climate. My son told me, making me very upset, that his sister and him feel I chose my husband over them because I ask them to pick up after themselves and not my husband and that he thinks that is unfair. They have taken this sentiment to the point to say they are depressed.

    I feel they don’t appreciate me and my husband and don’t appreciate everything I do for them. I drive them everywhere, I cook for them what they request, I do all the cleaning I give them money to spend I spend time with them doing what they like, I talk to them (perhaps too much), since they complain that I always have an opinion… I am pretty hurt and I feel as if I’m failing.

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