When I ask my married friends this question, most of them immediately respond, “The kids!” Very few believe as I do that our spouses should take the #1 spot in our attention and affections. Once the kids start coming, it is very easy for many women to embrace their motherhood totally. Sadly, Hubby comes home and does not receive the usual warm welcome from his wife.
I’ve read somewhere before (it could have been in Fascinating Womanhood by Helen Andelin) that men value their marriages more than they will ever admit. Women can bond easily and deeply with their husbands and other people as well—their girlfriends, fellow mothers, and their children. Men strongly bond only with their wives, period. Sure, the men go biking and play basketball with their friends on weekends. But the connection they form with other men is not the same as the connection we women are able to form with other women.
So, imagine how shattered Hubby feels deep inside when he comes home to Wife and new baby and finds that there is no longer a place for him… that the solo time he used to look forward to with Wife can no longer be had. I have always kept Helen Andelin’s nugget of wisdom in mind. For Jack and me, we’re #1 to each other. Of course, we love our two girls to pieces! But we have never been wont to say our kids come first. Jack is first in my life (although I do have to up the thoughtfulness some!), and I know I am first in his—and his actions show it.
To this day—four years into our marriage—we enjoy being together even more than when we were just dating. And I’d like to think my Hubby will come home everyday, assured of his spot in the limelight. Our girls? They have enough of me when their father is out. Once their dad comes home, they’re the… fat backup dancers!