3 Reasons Why Your Marriage Should Be Prioritized Over Your Kids

A connected marriage is the ultimate way to combat loneliness. When we have a strong marriage we have a partner through all the ups and downs of life. And lets be real, life can throw us into quite a bit of ups and downs (hello, unprecedented pandemic…). Having a strong connected marriage allows you to get the support you need to face all parts of life including the life journey of parenthood! 

Many parents feel that their children need to be #1. But let’s think about it a little. Who did you decide to spend your life with before kids? Who will be there after they grow up and leave the house (ideally, right?)? But then why does the marriage become second after we have kids? 

Of course we want to be the best parents we can be. This is no doubt obvious. But the real question and food for thought is “How much of a better parent can you be if you prioritize your marriage first?” This may sound counterintuitive but we will go into understanding this in much more detail later in this post. 

Unfortunately when we leave our marriage later on the list of priorities then we allow for disconnection and lack of intimacy. When your marriage gets stuck around the focus of your children and not on one another you can end up in a cycle of loneliness and resentment towards one another. And when you live in resentment and loneliness how will that then affect your parenting? As you can imagine, it will affect it big time! 

couple holding hands and looking at the sunset and colors of the sky

Maybe your marriage with kids looks like this: 

You wake up for work about one hour before you need to leave the house. Your wife gets up at the same time. You both need to get ready. Your kids need to get dressed, brush their teeth, eat breakfast, get their bag ready etc. (pre pandemic morning routines…). You and your wife are focused on multitasking, getting it all done that you barely even say one word to each other that isn’t focused around the kids. You then head off to a full day of work. 

By the time you get home all you have energy for is to eat some dinner, exchange a few words with one another, and then plop on the couch. Then the next day, the same thing. Then again. What happened to the two of you talking about life? How about a real kiss? Sex? Forget about it. Most days you are so tired. You realize though that this is placing a big toll on your marriage and connection with one another. 

Eventually you wind up in a place where you know your marriage is in a big rut but you don’t know how to get out of it. But the truth is many people struggle with the exact same scenario. And there are ways we can get out of this, but it does require re-shifting to prioritize your marriage first! 

It’s true that having kids requires a lot of your focus and attention. When this takes over focusing on your marriage however, you feel the disconnect. You feel the loneliness. And this will undoubtedly affect your ability to be the parent you want to be. When we truly understand the value of prioritizing your marriage and making these intentional changes in our lives it is entirely possible to have a connected loving marriage. 

3 Reasons Why Your Marriage Should Be Prioritized Over Your Kids

Couple holding hands in the wind

Reason One: You will be a better parent for your children when you have support and are connected. 

When you know that you have your partner by your side then there is so much more space you have to do what is needed for you to be a better parent. With all hustle and bustle of life with kids there is often so much going on. Overwhelm can become high and it can feel rather lonely when you are the only one focused on your children. When you feel that you are doing things solo. However when your marriage is your focus that loneliness gets much less prominent because you can address things more with your partner. All of a sudden you are not alone in the craziness of parenting. More importantly a connected loving relationship fuels you. It fuels you to have more energy to give out into the world including your children. 

Our team of therapists and psychologists, work with you and your partner in marriage counseling to become more connected to your partner. 

When you learn to truly hear and connect with your partner you are able to open up a lot of doors in your marriage and parenting. This will allow you to have more space to share and co-parent with one another. Having a partner to make decisions with and guide your children will reduce a lot of the pressure. When the marriage is out of sorts and disconnected it often feels lonely in the parenting process as well. By focusing on your marriage you will be able to parent with more peace and support. 

Reason Two: Focusing on your marriage brings about personal growth.

Oftentimes we think that we are doing the “right thing” by giving our all to our kids. But ultimately when your marriage suffers, the whole family suffers. When you learn to connect deeper with your partner and to refocus your attention on one another all of a sudden you feel that you someone has your back. This can change your whole perspective around parenting and marriage. This also allows you to focus on areas of your life that truly need focusing rather than only on the easier or less personal parts of your life. When I say easier its not that parenting is easy (oh no…) rather that focusing on our kids is more external than focusing on our marriage. In a marriage we need to look at our own “stuff” quite a bit and we can become more reactive in this area as well. 

In marriage counseling in Simi Valley, Ca, we work with couples on recognizing their over focus on their children and help direct them to look at themselves and their marriage. Many times the focus on the children can feel safer or more comfortable. Whereas focusing on your marriage and being a better partner can feel more difficult and stretching. Our team of therapists and psychologists help couples stretch outside their comfort zones. We help them see that they have the ability to change in the harder areas of their lives. 

When you learn to grow within your marriage you are learning to self reflect and give more than you did before. This will help you grow in all parts of your life. You will also be able to have a greater sense of lightness in your romantic and personal life. 

A diamond ring on a black table

Reason Three: Your partner will be there in the end. 

For many of us we met our partner before we had kids. There was so much more room to focus on one another at that point in the relationship. Once you have kids however the focus gets rerouted to the kids. There is just so much to do all the time when you have kids!

But the reality is that you chose your partner to spend your life with before you had kids.

Why do they get pushed off to the side after kids? Or a better question may be why does your relationship get pushed to the side? When it was the first choice you made before you brought kids into the world. And a very important point is that once your kids are grown up you hope that they will be the one there with you! Kids grow up and then have families of their own. But your family started with you and your partner and will end with your partner. Of course your kids will be there but in a very different way than when they were little.

When you reach out for marriage counseling in Simi Valley, Ca with Simi Psychological Group we help you and your partner refocus on one another. We can help you get to the root of the struggles in your marriage and better understand why the focus becomes mainly about the kids. Sometimes we need to get to know our partner again. To understand them on a different level. With the support of our team of therapists and psychologists in Simi Valley, Ca we can help you refocus, connect, and get to know one another again. 

Contact us today for a free consultation to help your marriage refocus. 

Written by, 

Donna Novak, Psy.D 

Simi Valley Psychologist Dr. Donna Novak

I specialize in working with anxiety and in helping adolescents and their families, adults, and couples better their relationships and find direction. Rather than shy away from the tough stuff in life, I prefer to face it head-on, together. I believe that challenges are part of being human and that everyone has the potential to become their own life’s navigator. So they never have to feel out of control or at the mercy of their circumstances. Learn more

Therapy services offered at Simi Psychological Group 

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At our Simi Valley, Ca therapy practice, we offer Child therapy and family counseling, Teen therapy, Anxiety Treatment, Depression Therapy, Marriage Counseling, and Neuropsychological Testing