You’ve Got it All Mixed Up

 

As you’ve likely noticed if you follow my blogs, relationships fascinate me, and social media irritates me. The ubiquity of marriage and parenting seems to have brought about veiled competitions on social media transcending race, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Common themes seem to always boil down to the illusion of a perfect family life. I will wager to say, however, that illusion or not, many people seem to have it all mixed up... 

 

While traveling on the train to our Chatham office last week, I overheard a conversation between two women who appeared to be friends, discussing their husbands and children, a similar story I have heard elsewhere, too: “I would do absolutely anything for my kids...my kids are my number one priority” and, “My husband just doesn’t understand that the kids come first...”.  There seems to exist this notion that after the kids come along, your spouse becomes second in line—getting the kids to activities, buying them nice things, protecting them from negative feelings, and ensuring their every need is met seems to have taken precedence over the person with whom you decided to create a family.  What research indeed tells us, however, is quite the opposite; those relationships that thrive are those where partners make one another’s needs and dreams a top priority, and children do best when they are given the opportunity to learn and grow independently through various experiences, including failure.  It would seem that somewhere along the way of creating a manufactured presence on social media that perhaps families have lost sight of this reality.  Building and fostering a loving, nurturing marriage upon a foundation of respect and admiration for one another will, in turn, solidify a partnership which can persevere through an awful lot, including the sometimes insurmountable task of parenting.  By no means am I suggesting that your children’s needs are not important, but what I am suggesting is that you be your partner’s best friend, not your kids’.  

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