Thursday, May 29, 2008

Married with Children.

I recently heard that the new divorce rate for married couples is 43% for first marriages and jumps to 67% for second marriages. That combined with the statistic that couples with multiples are three times more likely to divorce makes me feel a little doomed. This is my second marriage, I have triplets, and truth be told my marriage often times does feel the stress of our lives.

I heard another interesting remark on the subject of marriage & children recently and dug around online to find some discussion about it. This is the belief that the secret to a happiness and longevity in a marriage is keeping your husband first, kids second. This sparked my interest since I have never considered this the order of my priorities, my kids have been above all since the moment they were brought in to this world.

Here is some of the discussion

What are your thoughts on this subject? What are your secrets to a strong, happy marriage while managing the stress of having children? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas...


angie said...

I think it's really difficult to put anything but your children first when they are little. I think it's all about balance and having two adults who understand that some things (like little children) require a lot of attention. With children, especially multiples, theres just not enough time in the day to put yourself or your hubby first, especially in the beginning. That being said, I think strong efforts need to be made to get out on dates and communicate. And understand that there is a time and season for everything.

Laura said...

Def spouses come first. Besides the fact that small efforts go a long way with making sure a spouse is happy, you need a united front for your kids. They don't want to hear you arguing or feel the tension. Plus they pick up on the vibes and get cranky, soon they will be old enough to manipulate that tension.

I am not saying lock the kids up and go out for a date night; I am just saying the relationship with your spouse directly affects your kids. (You ever hear of the ripple effect?) Issues with your kids are a dime a dozen and can be put off for ten minutes to deal with a bigger, more ripple effecting issues.

Happier parents = happier kids. Not necessarily the other way around though.

Karen said...

I think that it's a balance in a family... kids and spouse. You can't neglect a spouse for your children, because that will doom a marriage. Nor can you neglect your children for your spouse, because children are helpless and need you to care for them.

I also learned in a sociology course on Marriage and the Family that those statistics on divorce are skewed and blatantly untrue because when they are calculated like that, they are based on the number of marriages in a given year vs. the number of divorces in a given year, but when you do a longitudinal study that follows, say, 1000 marriages over a long period of time (say, 30 years), you actually find that the divorce rate is significantly lower. It's just that it's logistically and financially more difficult to do that kind of a study with that kind of followup requirement.

I definitely make sure that I take time to focus on the strength of my relationship with my husband, so if that means that I've made my husband a priority over my children, so be it, but I'm not convinced that's the case. I think that the two counter-balance each other. Sometimes I need to focus on them, and Seth understands that. Other times, I need to focus on my relationship with him, but obviously with three 8 month olds and a four year old, I have to reserve that focus for after-bed-time.

reinventdad said...

Both are equally important. Your spouse is your greatest ally and he/she must remain a priority. Believe me when it comes to your multiples everyone likes to claim 'em, but when the day is done they go home the kids are your little darlings and your responsibility. That said, it's critical to have "date nights" for your relationship even if it's Applebees and a 90 minute movie :)