How Husband Feels When Wife Puts Children Ahead of Him

wife puts children ahead of husband - Adobe StockHow 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. “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?


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. This was something I didn’t even realize I was doing. 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.

This 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. It gives the reader 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. Eventually they realized how it was sabotaging their marital relationships.

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.


We strongly recommend that you read the following linked article, written by Gary Thomas. Gary brings up some issues, related to this one, that you may never have thought of previously. Please read:


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Filed under: Childrens Effect on Marriage For Married Women

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596 responses to “How Husband Feels When Wife Puts Children Ahead of Him

  1. This has happened to me on numerous occasions, my wife puts the kids and grandkids in front of me, belittles me in front of the kids.

    1. Sorry, it happens to a lot of us. Best thing to do is not fight it. Makes it worse. Play with the grands & spend time with children. Also, find a good hobby like golf, cycling, yard selling, etc.

    2. Do these men pull their weight in taking care of the children not just financially? I work full time and have to come home and take care of my kids all night with no help. Stay up all night with my baby. Clean up after both kids. Do all the laundry. Then with what little sleep I get, start over the next day. Then I have to listen to how I don’t spend enough time with him because he wants to spend his time away from the kids locked in the basement playing video games. Pull your weight guys!

      1. Men do this when they have emotionally withdrawn from the relationship. Your relationship has been slowly dying right in front of your face. Instead of taking ownership over your fault in that, you most likely nagged, belittled, and disrespected your husband. All the while, he has been communicating to you, albeit not always constructively, exactly how he has been feeling. You probably chastised him for this.

        Constant rejection in marriage tends to push husbands towards one or more or more of the following vices; pornography, affairs, alcohol, drugs, video games or other “hobbies”, and other non-social dopamine driven activities. Your husband has fallen prey to addiction, and you played a primary role in that. Video games have become something more rewarding and fulfilling than your relationship and his fulfillment of personal duty and responsibility as leader over his household.

        When he’s at work, and when he’s driving home from work, he is no longer thinking about how he can re-connect with you. He isn’t thinking about your family. He is thinking about the video games and not one thought is directed to how much extra responsibility his addiction has laid upon your shoulders. This isn’t right of him. It is just the way that it is. You’re running yourself into the ground as a result and living a life void of true passion and fulfillment. You’ve convinced yourself that you’re doing what is necessary and right. You’re actually probably even doing more than is really necessary. Is your household going to fall apart if you do 5 loads of laundry instead of 10? Will it fall apart if you order takeout a few nights instead of cooking? Let the dishes pile up in the sink? Unfortunately, even if you did let these things slip on occasion, you would not direct that energy back towards your husband.

        You have done exactly the same thing that he has. You have also withdrawn from your relationship. You have thrown yourself into the non-marital aspects of your household. You have turned towards activities that provide the socially acquired hormones; Serotonin and Oxytocin. Your life now revolves around performing acts of service for your children (Serotonin) and emotional bonding with your children (Oxytocin).

        While you and your husband’s bond should be front and center, you are instead taking/receiving this from your children; you probably view your husband as an obstacle, and not a partner. Serotonin is derived through social acts of service, and is also triggered in others through observation. Your children see you do things FOR YOUR HUSBAND, and they would receive the same delivery of Serotonin. Serotonin is responsible for mood stabilizing. Oxytocin is received through physical touch and is toted as the “love hormone”. Strangely enough, Oxytocin and Serotonin also serve to stave off our natural inclination towards the selfish; Dopamine addiction.

        1. Adam, you have done a lot of projecting here. You don’t know this woman or her husband personally. Everything may be quite different behind the scenes than what you have projected here. Just be careful.

          Yes, the scenario you painted here happens in many homes. And it is good to point this out. It can help those who are living this type of life together. But just be careful about attaching certain actions to people that you don’t know. We posted this because some women may see themselves in what you have described. And it may be a wake up call, and perhaps it can do some good. But outward appearances can be different in reality. Just be careful in who you point fingers at, because you may be pointing them at the wrong person. And that can do more harm and heap more unrealistic guilt upon someone that doesn’t deserve it. I just want to point this out so you can be more prayerful and careful in the future.

          1. I only posted such an exaggerated response for the same reason you allowed it to be posted. If it pertains even partially to her (it likely does) or others, then perhaps some perspective and understanding can be gained regarding the other person she/others choose to be with.

            I am not projecting here either. I have coached thousands of men and women on relationships and her complaints are ridiculously common. What is missing in the vast majority of cases is perspective, understanding, and empathy towards the other side. His story would be very different from hers. Unfortunately, we don’t know what we don’t know, and those unknowns are often the very things that allow us to create stand fast in these “him vs her” and “if only…” views over our partners.

            I wrote it not to victimize her husband or guilt her, rather to tell a story that is in stark contrast to the one she tells herself and others. Relationships can be extremely fragile, and these types of cycles are destructive to one of the most beautiful aspects of the human experience.

          2. Adam, I can sense your passion in this issue. And I sure don’t fault you for that. Ask anyone who really knows me and they will tell you that I carry a similar passion in trying to explain the other side, as well. SO many times men are being neglected by their wives as the wife meets their children’s every need without putting down healthy boundaries so they can grow their marital relationship, as well. But the opposite can also be true. Too many husbands neglect their wives and very often the everyday needs of their children so out of their loneliness and lack of support, the wife pours her time into the children instead. Neither extreme is overall healthy. It’s best to have both parents parent, and both spouses to invest in their marriages. It is possible to balance all of this. And yet it doesn’t happen in all marriages for various reasons.

            But we have to be careful of not throwing everyone into the same category. Yes, there are thousands of men who are neglected. But not every husband is neglected. And yes, there are thousands of wives who are neglected. But not every wife is neglected. We need to be careful of not looking at a situation on the outside and falsely labeling them as fitting into one of these categories. You said that you aren’t projecting here. But if you read over your comment again you will see that your passion to straighten out a bad situation that is happening to some husbands is overshadowing the reality of what you said to this woman. Yes, what you said may be true. But you don’t know that for sure. She may have a narcissistic, abusive husband; we don’t know either way. But when you say, “YOU have done exactly the same thing” and refer to “you” … “you” … “you” there is some projecting going on here. Those pronouns are being thrown at her when you, nor I know what’s exactly going on here.

            Again, I love your passion. And I love the fact that you are trying to help couples to act more like partners, rather than opponents. We just need to be careful not to project, finger-point, label, or try to straighten out someone who may not need straightening out. Tell a story, yes! But be careful of pushing everyone into those stories because it may be that they don’t fit into it.

            On the other hand, Adam, if you would like to write an article on this issue, we would be more than happy to look at it and consider posting it. We love to post both sides of the same issue. But it must be kind, truthful, and line up scripturally. So, prayerfully consider this. You are obviously intelligent (as we read your comments). And you make some very valid points. That could be the basis for a great article explaining another side to this issue. You can just go into the “Contact Us” part of this web site (along the top black bar) and paste what you would want to submit there. And then we will get back to you about it. If you don’t feel led that way, that’s okay too. But consider it. We hope you will.

        2. Most of the time this situation of a spouse spending all their time with the children is a (for a lack of terms) a journey. Usually it did not just start overnight. My wife loves it (and me) when I play with our grandchildren. Crawl around on the floor, color pictures, play video games with them. I just could be ugly and stay home. This would perpetuate the issue even further.

          Like I have said earlier, ‘don’t fight it’. Also about ‘hobbies’, yes hobbies are good, pick something that is not destructive to your family or marriage. Is there hope? Sure there is, but it is a journey back to a normal relationship. Have you ever been rock or mountain climbing? I have; it is a slow, hard, painstaking, painful process. A lot of times you are moving sideways an inch or 2 at a time. Sometimes you will hang there by your fingertips and your toes or insole for several minutes on no more than a 1″ seam or outcrop in the face. You are looking for the best next step or move to go up. That is like rebuilding a marriage.

        3. Bang you nailed it mate. I’m living this scenario. I have tried to discuss it and put forward my feelings directly in such scenarios in plain english. But all you get is more criticism and labelling. Yes I do love attributes of my wife; she is an amazing individual but her constant undermining and discreditation of my values and opinions in every facet of life has brought me to a point where while I do love my family I feel we have nothing mutual other than existence.

          While I respect them as individuals, I no longer focus nor care for them as we simply mutually cohabitate. It is a very empty, lonely situation that I believe none of them are actually aware of.

          Several years ago it actually deteriorated my self worth to a very extreme low point. Luckily I found enough strength in my spirit to battle my way through this dark time and am now quite comfortable in planning my Christmas away in solitude without all the superficial lies. I’m rebuilding inner strength step by step day by day telling myself this too shall pass.

          1. Hi Alex, you need to start the slow process of reaching out to them. You do not need to be lonely or feel like no one cares. Find a SINGLE common interest. Pizza? Not sure if you guys have good pizza in Australia, (have some distant relatives that live in New South Wales), but try something. Just one thing. Once a week. Eat the pizza, laugh, talk, then go do what you normally do. Don’t over-do it the 1st time.

        4. Adam, what you don’t understand is that many women just can’t ‘…let the dishes pile up in the sink…’ and then be present enough to spend time with you. One of her needs might be to have those dishes at least washed and if not dried and put away, left to dry on the drainer. I know I would be far too distracted by not having my chores under control to a reasonable extent. I’m not fussy or fastidious, I just have reasonable standards, which I need to maintain before I can relax. My husband by the way, recognizes this and does his share (he is a very wise man, lol). The length of time taken doing these chores when both of us are doing them means we get loads of time to spend together.

    3. When a husband gives praise and affection to his wife she will do the same. One reason a wife is drawn to the affection of her children is because they love her and show her kindness that she desires from her husband. It’s not always the woman’s fault.

      1. You’re right; it’s not always the woman’s fault. And for those wives, we feel sad. Their husbands need to step up and live the life of love they promised their wives.

        But many times it isn’t the husband’s fault either. And that is what this article is addressing. It is a wake up call to wives who abandon their love for their husbands and put their children in his place. Yes, children need our love and affection and care and attention, but so do (most of) our husbands. They don’t need the same type of care and attention, but many do need more than they are getting. We pray this article helps those that need this wake up call.

        1. Cindy, you are right on this one. Its kinda like a clock pendulum. Starts small, either way, swings bigger, then bigger. We guys don’t like sharing our wives sometimes. My wife loves it when I play with the grandkids, So we guys need to do our part & spend time with kids & grands, then show wife some affection, & you ladies need to show husband some affection, then time with children. Make them feel 1st. This only takes a few minutes.

    4. Most women in the United States don’t marry for love. Rather they marry for financial stability and security. They use sex as their resource and after they trap you, they focus solely on the children and demand you, as a man, provide in accordance with their expectations. It’s a fool’s errand in my opinion. Marriage and children probably kill close to 85% – 90% of all men either from the stress or the medical catastrophes that eventually occur. I lost a brother to cancer and my father was permanently disabled by a massive stroke. I’m to only man left, so I am sure my time is coming.

  2. What about a wife who lies to the kids to make her look good and him look bad; and do doctors have a name for wives who avoid husband when children come to the point of slandering him to the children?

  3. Thank you. You’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head with your steps to showing a husband that he is indeed appreciated and just as loved as all others in a wife’s life. These same rules of thumb also hold true with her friends or outside interests. A MAN LOVES TO HOLD THAT SPECIAL PLACE WITHIN HER HEART AND LIFE AS ANYONE/THING ELSE SHE TREASURES. We may even need it more because we too can sometimes feel insecure in where we stand. Though we don’t always show these same considerations to our wife and children…we most certainly do feel them. Perhaps more of us Husbands should do the same.

  4. My wife and I dated 5 years, never lived together and did not sleep together. She had two daughters, one 7 years old and one 10. We only dated once a week and kept the relationship secret so as not to disrupt her girls and my daughter. The worst thing one can do is introduce new people in the children’s lives only to have the relationship not work. Breaking bonds is a terrible thing on a child. A year and a half later things between her and I progressed nicely and we let our daughters in on our secret. Everyone was happy and I was able to enter the house when they were home and we could do things together like amusement parks, swimming, walks and movies…(the girls and the two of us.) We all got along incredibly well. I was so happy as my previous marriage was never any good; no affection, no respect, argumentative. This relationship was so good that I had to look down to see cloud 9.

    Four years into it I suffered massive heart attack at the gym and by the Grace of God I survived and recovered. I then said to her after this serious scare, that we were wasting time and I wanted to commit and grow with her and the girls as a family. She agreed and as we were both Christians we felt the next thing to do was to marry. We did and I was the happiest man on the planet. A beautiful woman with an incredible intellect and engineer yet pre-school teacher as she loved the children. She really makes a difference for them. Two months before the wedding she began to have hot flashes and migraines. Menopause had kicked in. No worries, we can handle that, I thought. Being we never had intercourse while dating we finally could love one another in a marital way. Menopause was definitely upon her. No problem, we consummated the marriage and began our lives together.

    I was Incredibly happy as were her girls and parents. Her previous marriage some 20 plus years before had been very turbulent for her after about 5 years of marriage. He would belittle her, demean her, physically accost her, separate her from her parents and steal proprietary knowledge from her parents. She became a Christian after that marriage and had been wonderful. Two months into our marriage, her libido was gone. We were only intimate twice yet I didn’t care, as she was always so affectionate, holding hands, hugging and kissing. I never had that with my first wife and I was 100% happy. Near the end of the first year of marriage, kisses were non existent, no longer were hands held and no hugs given…Unreal! I thought, at least she’s not having mood swings and angry. I loved her (still do); she refused to seek treatment or HRT even telling me she went to the Docs and was told the treatment doesn’t work. She lied, no Dr. says that about HRT until it is tried. The second year was still fun and we were happy. Zero affection, no more kisses, even a kiss goodbye. Third year I began finalizing my studies on menopause and was seeing some severe symptoms: massive migraines, extreme weight gain, distance and a refusal to do what we had always promised to do and did…Talk. Communicate!

    Getting to the point, I had asked her for nearly 7 months why the girls moreover the one was always answering me in a intellectual sarcastic tone. She tells me because I have to do more things with them!?? I said, okay what should I do? She told me it was on me? In the 8 years we were together and the 3 living under the same roof things changed…they went from 13 to 16 and 16 to 19. Their interests change and they have friends, boyfriends and different interests. I needed some help from their mother and I asked yet received nothing. I have texts to prove it going back a year.

    The eldest daughter is a nice friendly person until she does not get her way, then she turns into her angry father. She would lay her mum out nose to nose over things so foolish and immature it was frightening. I never said a words, they weren’t my children. I always heard the verbal wars yet never saw them up close as I remained upstairs. Then one night I was in the living room and I was going to help the eldest check a car out in New York as there aren’t many used ones like she wanted in PA. I’m a car dealer and was happy to help. The eldest had her laptop and I had my phone for all the apps and market reports as well as condition reports. She sent me the one she wanted me to check on so I pulled it up and was reading the options and noticed it was rear wheel drive, I didn’t realize that newer model was rear wheel drive. I said to her, “hey that’s rear wheel drive.” She said, “yeah I know” so I asked “what are you going to do in the winter?” She said she wouldn’t be here. So I said “cool where ya going?” She said, she’s moving to N. Carolina and she has plans. The previous 6 months she had been moving to Tennesse, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Mississippi and her mum and I would always chuckle as she never has a bona fide plan. So I said in an audible voice under my breath, “okay we’ll talk about it next December when you’re stuck in the driveway and can’t get out.”

    She stood up, flipped out on me and started yelling. I said, “hey, hey, come back. I was just joking. Come back. Don’t act like a baby and get back here.” She tore off down the hall to her mum crying and yelling and her mum (my wife) came out and said I can’t take this. I said. “what?” She say her daughter told her I called her a baby. Really? I said not, I said don’t act like a baby. No sooner did I say that the daughter came straight for me with the wicked face she shows her mother and pointing at me saying in a loud tone “how dare you!” I have heard her do that to her mum many a times. I stood straight up pointed directly back to her and in a strong tone of voice without yelling and said, “you don’t speak to me like that, I am a 50 year old man and you don’t do that to me, your mother lets you that but I don’t.” She proceeded to run down the hall to her mother crying, screaming, throwing herself on the floor pounding it and screaming. SHE’S 19 people!! I never saw that before. I ended up leaving to get away from a crazy situation.

    Long story short, the next day in the afternoon I received a break-up text from her mum–my wife stating that she changed the combination on the front door and “so that the girls feel safe” she added a padlock to the inside door in the garage. C and A are important to her. We never had an argument in the 8 years together! She said I don’t mesh with the girls and she ended the marriage like that? She never called a family meeting to talk it over and talk it out. Just a BAM!! I met her 4 days later and tried to work it out; in the conversation she said in the 3 years we’ve lived under the same roof, the relationship between the girls and I did not increase??? Really? I have been asking for 7 months or more and received no help from my partner in life, my wife. Then she said if she remained with me she runs the risk of not being able to see her grandkids!?? The girls are 16 and 19! What grandikds?

    Menopause and a 19 year old on paper but a 5 year old in actions. So what do you think of that? She locked me out and left me, her Christian husband, for unknown future grandchildren. As if we could not have talked it out when I tried to do so for nearly 7 or 8 months. I have the messages to prove it. My life is rocked yet again. I am tired of hurting. Now I am black balled by her entire family and I did nothing but leave an uncomfortable scene. That’s how some women do wrong for the kids. I am devastate that my wife who loved me so much and stopped touching me at all the 2nd year into marriage due to her untreated menopause literally kicked me to the curb at a very low point in my life. Google “will my marriage survive menopause?; menopause ruined my life, and more”… read the comments from men and some women trying to help men.

    1. (1 month old) ouch, you have a tough one. All of us guys who have been married for a while have their spouses go through menopause. Its a long-rocky-roller-coaster-deep freeze-always too hot ride. My wife started HRT, anti-depressant, she is much better. Give them space, no contact, see what happens.

    2. Kory, I completely understand your situation as much as a human can without having actually been there while it was going on because I went through almost verbatim. The same exact steps/phases/thing with my wife. If you ever need someone to talk to please please reply here and we can communicate. I know you don’t know me from Adam but I am a Christian and again I’ve been there where you are right now.

    3. “She tore off down the hall to her mum crying and yelling and her mum (my wife) came out and said I can’t take this. I said, “what?” She says her daughter told her I called her a baby. Really? I said not, I said don’t act like a baby. No sooner did I say that than her daughter came straight for me with the wicked face she shows her mother and pointing at me saying in a loud tone “how dare you!” I have heard her do that to her mum many a times. I stood straight up pointed directly back to her and in a strong tone of voice without yelling and said, “you don’t speak to me like that, I am a 50 year old man and you don’t do that to me, your mother lets you do that but I don’t.” She proceeded to run down the hall to her mother crying, screaming, throwing herself on the floor pounding it and screaming. SHE’S 19 people!! I never saw that before. I ended up leaving to get away from a crazy situation.”

      This is exactly what happened to me. 18 year old step daughter I’d been caring for, paying for, driving her to high school/work, bringing lunches to (she never made school lunches in the morning she only did her makeup), taking her to her boyfriends….Asked her to do one thing nicely and she blows up, screams at me… when I try to tell her not to talk to me that way, her mom gets all pissy at me, which gives the stepdaughter the green light to launch a FULL ASSAULT as she now knows her mom won’t back me up at all.

      NEVER MARRY A WOMAN WITH A KID. NO MATTER HOW NICE they are, the kids are, it will come back to BITE YOU.

      True story. I had saved up $250,000 living alone by my 30’s… got married to this woman with 2 kids from 2 previous relationships…. ended up spending close to $50,000 on legal fees trying to get child support from NON PAYING deadbeat dads…. my money paid the legal fees… she also stopped working (couldn’t walk, it hurt). 4 years later and we have gone through all my entire $250,000 savings, literally down to zero…. I had to support myself, my wife, her 2 step daughters and our newborn son all on MY single paycheck.

      She never showed any respect, ordered me around all the time, nothing I did was ever good enough. it’s like as soon as they get married, it’s a game to see how much they can extract from you in every way before you break down to nothing. I am having to sell my house now to pay off the other $80,000 in debt I have accrued because I was forced to sell all our investments over the years… Now I just want out so I can save myself from total destruction and have ANYTHING for my son one day.

  5. I have two girls ages 12 and 14 and my fiancé has an 11 year old son. His son is with us about 40% of the time and my girls are with me about 80%. He is constantly criticizing how I parent saying I do too much for them and don’t tell them no etc…when his son is with us he is treated like a guest and everything he wants he gets. I don’t criticize or resent except for when he starts in on my girls and he says “here we go….” and says I’m not allowed to compare. Help?!?!

    1. Its your children, and his son. He doesn’t really want to share you too much. Which is not necessarily a fault but he wants time and attention from his woman. It does cause issues. We do have to raise our children. Want them to know things, eventually have their own lives. You do need to set apart time for him, but he also needs to know that you have your own children to raise. Also, he is not their dad, but does need to be a good male figure with them. That is the responsibility of marrying someone with children. Finally, he needs to be friends with them., look for a few common things with them so he can communicate with them,

  6. And what if this was reversed and the husband puts the kids first and ignores the wife? This goes both ways. And us women need respect, as well. My husband ignores me, neglects me, shows me no empathy even when I’m sick. Once, in the middle of the night, he let me lay on the floor in the bathroom where I was super sick with a fever of 103 and never even asked me if I was okay or needed anything, but got up to check on my sleeping stepson (9). I asked him why and he said he figured I’d rather be alone. I was heartbroken at the cruelty.

    The kids get warm affection, constant attention and he is the “fun” parent, always trying to play and laugh with them (which I do, also, when I’m alone with them or not taking care of everyone). He belittles me, disrespects me, and I hate that my daughter sees it all. I’m angry and hurt most of the time. I’m the one who cooks, cleans, and takes care of almost everything in the house, including the kids. He doesn’t want a partner, he doesn’t want intimacy, and I gave up a long time ago. He doesn’t want me. I stay for the kids and try not to let my misery show.

    1. Sorry to hear this, especially the belittles & disrespects part. It usually is the other way around. Are all the children his or is it mixed? Does he lean toward his own children? Like I tell men, you need to get a hobby, painting, yoga, flowers, etc. Nothing that would make him think anything of you having an affair.

  7. Titus 2:1 “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: 2That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 3The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4That they may teach the young women to be sober,TO LOVE THEIR HUSBANDS, to love their children, 5To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

    First, I would like to mention that a well-known passage, in Proverbs 31, of the “virtuous woman” speaks of a family which thrives on praise, appreciation, respect, honor and love. Notice that the “aged women”, in Titus 2, are told to live Godly lives so that they are fit to teach younger women to “love their husbands”. Notice it mentions loving the husband before it mentions “love their children”. I believe, from what I have experienced and observed, that if Mom doesn’t put Dad first, she is not really giving the children the love they need because, since Dad’s needs aren’t being met in the right way, the whole family is dysfunctional. Of course this works the other way around. But there are other passages in the Bible which tell us to do our part even when the other doesn’t do theirs. Each one of us is responsible.

    1. Looking for unicorns in a world filled with demons. Imagine being a 6 deployment wartime veteran who has a spouse that tells him to go kill himself on the daily like my ex-wife did. All I ever did was provide and it was never good enough. Sexual contact all but dried up by our 3rd child and the children were all unplanned. There should be laws about stealing a mans seed and hopefully one day there will be such laws. Women who claim to be on birth control, even with their husbands and LIARS should be executed. I am so sick of this world and the women that fill it.

      Of all the things I did for her and her family, the ungratefulness is what gets to me the most. I should have just kept my mouth shut and allowed her family to receive their just desserts, should have never helped them move away from Chicago, some people just don’t deserve to be helped in ANY WAY. These are those kinds of people. Never say thank you, even if you just show up to shovel a driveway full of snow, or for paying their electric bill, or giving them a roof over their heads for 18 months…all on MY dime. I even went as far as giving away the Montgomery G.I. Bill to our 3 children to give them 11 months of college each. FREE OF CHARGE….but it’s never enough. They all want cars, computers, and cell phones to feel validated in this material world. Now I am just a retired, disabled former Staff Sergeant that no one listens to anymore. It’s great having all of this knowledge and no one to take you seriously. What a wonderful curse.

  8. When I’m telling my 3 children to either do the dishes or take trash out some type of Toure doesn’t matter Picking up their backpack up off the ground when the hook for their backpack is right above the backpack laying on the ground Day look at me and start questioning me why this why that. And then they look over at their mom and she looks at me and starts questioning me, “Why can’t they do this or why do they gotta do that right now?”

    Well for one it’s not OK for the children to question their elder. They are to just do what they are told to do. I also have my wife questioning me in back talking me as well. Am I wrong to think I’m being absolutely disrespected? My wife never talks about me to our children. She does nothing but question me in front of them. Every time I say her name that attitude of what do you want comes up. Or when I call her name the tone in her voice is just enough to make me want to give up completely.

    And when I go into explaining the things that she is doing wrong like question me in front of the kids or talking to me in the tone of voice she talks to me in, she somehow turns it around to make it out to be my fault. I am not the nicest guy when I’m being disrespected by her or the children. But my actions reflect on her and how she treats me, as well as the kids. I want my kids to love me and most of all respect me as a dad and what I do for them every single day.

  9. This goes both ways. Funny, I could not find this said about husbands respecting wives on the vast internet. Wives and women and young women need respect. They are more likely to be disrespected in my opinion. Not that I disagree with your piece. It is spot on.

  10. What about many of us good single men that really wanted a good wife and family to share our life with? There are many of us men that really hate being single and alone all the time since we never met the right woman unfortunately, and when we see how very lucky so many other men were to have a wife and family which really hurts us even more.

    The very sad thing is that God never created that many good women at all these days, especially the women that are very nasty to many of us men for no reason when we will try to start a conversation with a woman that we really think would be very nice to meet. Women today aren’t like the old days at all when it was very easy for the men in those days that were very lucky to find love with no trouble at all since most women were very normal back then, and they were very much real ladies as well compared to the very awful ones that are everywhere now unfortunately.

    Many of us men can’t even say good morning or hello to a woman anymore these days since there will be times when they will curse at us too for no reason at all which doesn’t make any sense why so many women are like this today, and there are many of us good men very seriously looking for love which we just can’t get that lucky at all meeting the right good woman for many of us.

  11. As a guy, I would be happy if a woman is fully devoted to our children. The purpose of a family is to form a unit to raise and take care of the children, not for the guy to get a second mother. He is an adult with duties that should be fully sufficient regardless if the woman ‘shows’ anything for him. Same applies to the woman: she should be fully sufficient regardless if the man ‘shows’ anything for her.

    If anyone is feeling ‘lonely’ or ‘unappreciated’, they can go out there, make some friends, get into a hobby group that will give them those things (but no cheating). And when they come home, be prepared to be proper parents.

    Both are grown adults and neither should be a crutch to each other.

    1. You know Eric, you are right. I rarely hear about the adults in a marriage/family being expected to put on their big boy/girl pants and get on with it. Of course we should support and love each other, but this article (and many like it) make husbands ( and sometimes wives) sound very needy.

      1. Needy? Well, look at like this; we all need affection and attention. Even my dogs want affection. Good mental health happens when we have affection.

        1. If you are dependent on your wife for affection and attention to be happy your wife is a crutch to you. Need attention? As I said originally go out there make friends and impress people. Need affection? Dogs are considered mans best friend for a reason. They are practically always happy to see you when you come home. Some other pets can show affection too.

  12. It’s biology. Plain and simple. Women are NOT wired to love their men…but to be dependent on them. They are chemically wired to love their children so that they do all they can to insure they reach adulthood. Women can and often do feel affection for their husbands, but they don’t have the chemically induced bond that they have with a child….a bond created by hormones at birth.

    BOTH sides of the relationship need to understand this biologic reality. And BOTH sides must make conscious efforts to counter the innate responses that arise from it.

    1. Yes, you are correct, Bible says:Husbands love your wives, wives submit yourselves to your husband. Plenty of times me & my son would be standing in different areas, my wife will go stand by him. Something we guys have to accept. Get a hobby, fishing, golf, guitar, Like I have said earlier, don’t fight it, makes it worse.

  13. I have the opposite problem, so I read the article with the genders reversed. It worked perfectly. If my husband did all of these prescribed actions, his favoritism of the children would not be tearing our marriage apart.

  14. My 19 year old son is/was doing absolutely nothing and complaining about his station in life. I’ve tried everything to get him to either find work or attend school on a full-time basis. In March of this year, I found a job that allowed me to work from home or use public transportation to commute to and from the office. This essentially gave him near all-day access to my car to find work or look at opportunities at several colleges or universities. He did none of it.

    For nearly four months, he stayed in his room and complained constantly that we should “help” him with his financial situation so he could start his life. I offered $3,500 and said, “Get a job so you have a stake in this and earn the other $3,500.” He never did it and then stated: “I’d get my life together, but we are not financially stable.” Out of desperation, I took $20,000 from my retirement account and after paying $5,000 in taxes, gave my son $15,000 dollars with the expectation that he would purchase a used car and then use the rest of the funds to get himself established and start a life. He chose to drive to California and find temporary lodging while he was working things out. Turns out, this was nothing but a vacation taken on my dime.

    Not only is he returning home, but his mother is ecstatic about his return. I was hoping my wife and I would have time to reconnect and spend time after 20 years of raising two children but now that is not going to happen. I was agitated with our son before, but now I am bitter and very resentful. I guess so long as the money is there and I keep providing, even until I am completely “rung-out,” that’s simply my lot in life. I am being treated like a disposable plastic toy and absolutely no one cares about my needs or opinions. I’ve started seriously questioning my decision to get married. What was it all for?

    1. Don’t fight it, but as long as mama is happy he is there & you keep giving him $$ he will not leave. Mama’s love their ‘little boys’ more than anything, husbands included. Don’t fight it. Find a hobby, golf, thrive with or without them.

  15. From my experience, the hardest reality to face was finding out that other than my parents, no one has ever truly loved me. I was nothing more than a meal ticket to a financially stable way of life. I believe that is what hurts the most.

    1. Michael, they may not have loved you in the way you wanted to be love, or hoped to be, but that doesn’t mean that there has not been any type of love there. Please know that. We can’t project onto others, feelings that we believe or don’t believe were ever there. Appearances can sometimes be deceiving.

      None-the-less, all of this is still difficult to take in, from the way it has all been unraveling. Do what you can, not to allow your thoughts to keep focusing on what seems to be injustices. This can add fuel to a fire and can spiral in a really bad direction.

      It sounds like you and your wife need to have some real heart to heart talks about all of this. Do what you can, so you don’t prejudge her motives and actions. (I hope she will do the same.) Try to talk about what is going on with your son (at non-combative times) and really listen. The important thing is that you both do what is best for your son and for your own relationship. You may even need a counselor, for the short term, to help you both express your thoughts on all of this so both of you hear each other, feel heard, and are able to find ways to build bridges to come to solutions that will help your marriage and your family. This IS possible! It may not look like it right now, but it is possible. I hope and pray for you and for your wife that you find a way to get to a better place in your relationship, and that you are able to find a way to BEST help your son (which probably does not involve giving him handouts where he can’t stand on his own two feet).

      Please pray about all of this, asking for wisdom, and then approach the situation from that stance. I’m not talking about a quickie prayer. Really, really seek God on this. You need a lot of wisdom and guidance. I hope you will. From that stance you will definitely find more hope than you do now. I pray God helps you, as you lean into Him, to unravel this thing in healthy ways.