You are here

Who/what do you prioritize first and foremost?

megansider's picture

I’ve always believed your spouse should be your top priority (granted it is someone you have been with for a long time, know very well, are responsible, caring and are good to your kids. I don’t mean they spoil your kids.) My priorities are such. 1. My spouse 2. My kids 3. My job 4. My family of origin (mother, father, sister, brother etc.) I feel I’d you do not put your spouse first it will be disastrous for your marriage/relationship. Anyone agree or disagree with this?

ESMOD's picture

Priorities.. Obligations.. Needs... Wants.. 

There are shades of gray here really and honestly, at any given time, someone's needs may take priority over someone's wants.

Parents have a primary OBLIGATION to see that their minor children's NEEDS are met.  An 8 yo can't go out and get a job at McDonald's to pay for their school lunch.  Parents need to meet the child's basic needs.. and their obligation to meet these needs trumps similar basic survival needs of their able bodied spouse that is ostensibly capable of providing for their own basic needs.

But then.. after this basic hierarchy.. generally..

The parental relationship and supporting the parents' ability to provide for the household are high priority in the home.  They are the head of the household.. Their need to use the 2nd car to get to their job trumps junior's desire to not take the bus as a sr in high school.

Spouses should generally be suportive of his spouse's career by going to important functions where spouses are expected.. and that trumps most children activities.. barring sickness or some other high stakes event.. like a Graduation or championship game.

If stepmom's mother passes away.. dad doesn't leave her in her grief to run the kids out to McDonalds.. unless stepmom specifically asks him to get the kids out of the house though...

But.. there may be sporting events that a parent might want to attend in support of their child and their spouse may prefer they do something different that day.. but the spouse does not ALWAYS have the ability to take priority.

So.. priorities do vary based upon many circumstances.

I (stupidly) told my DH before we got married that I understood his kids would come first.  He came right back with a "NO.. YOU are also a priority to me.. and they will NOT always come first).

So.. jobs.. school... health.. relationship.. needs.. wants.. can all factor in.  Sometimes it's clearer than others when someone needs to have their need/want put first.


Stepmom3333's picture

I'd put my parents before my job, but I 100% agree that your spouse should come before the kids. It's not healthy for kids to think they are the centre of their parents world, and I think a lot of the issues you see on here are where they have been allowed to become so.

My husband and I are both on the same page with this too.But that's with the caveat that neither of us would unreasonabley put each other in the position of having to choose between the kids and each other, for example my step daughter irritates me but I would never stop her from coming over here as long as everyone is respectful to each other.


ESMOD's picture

Still it depends.. Sure.. when my dad almost died last year.. I took time off from work.. he was a priority.. a priority over things my DH and I wanted to do too.

But.. if he just wanted me to come to lunch on Thursday and I had a client meeting?  Sorry dad.. I'm busy that day.

I don't think that the adult couple in the home always has to get "their way".. there is room for compromise and doing things occasionally that they know the kids will like too.

but.. ultimately.. the parents have the VETO power in the home.

My husband has my back.. but that doesn't mean he doesn't try to please other people too.. and sometimes I would go places.. to his girl's games or whatever when I would have preferred to do other things.

so.. if you are going to make your adult relationship the priority.. you  also should wield that power responsibly and not punitively.

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

I know what you're getting at here, and yes.

If a husband and wife are not a 100% united front regardless of right or wrong, there will be major divisive issues.

You can not show weakness to children. Weakness is always taken advantage of.

CLove's picture

With the guy who broke up with you previously?

I hope things are working out for you!

Husband's wife's picture

In my case it is 1) me, 2) DH, 3) DD, 4) my job, 5) my parents, 6) everyone else

susanm's picture

For me personally it used to be my spouse.  In my first marriage, which ended when he passed away, there was never any question that we were each other's first thought always.  We did not have children.  In this second marriage it is a very different story even though I stupidly expected it to be the same.  My DH and BM never put each other first but rather the kids at all times.  Trying to explain the concept of marriage as the core of the family to him is like explaining red to a cat.  He just doesn't understand because she indoctrinated him completely into the cult of child-centric life.  Now that they are adults and out of the house, he seems oddly....untethered?  I don't know how to explain it better than that. 

But he trashed my automatic "what about him?" reaction that I had since I was first married in the early 90's.  Now my first concern is myself and my career.  If he is happy then that makes my life easier and more pleasant but it is not necessary for my own happiness the way it used to be.  There is not the sense of "oneness" that existed in my first marriage.  There were just too many people and too many problems and, instead of wanting me to be part of solutions with him, his preference was that I remain an outsider.  

MissTexas's picture

us are on here, because the pecking order goes something like this:

1.) SK's and their needs and wants

2.) BM and her needs and wants

3.) Other exes DH's have kids with to try to keep the peace

4.) Current wife

For the most part it's  nothing we were privileged in knowing prior to walking down the aisle. In my case it was an evolution over time.

I have always put my DH VERY FIRMLY FIRST. I have never compromised that. THe more I chase after HIM, the more he chases after SK's due to divorced daddy guilt.

In a perfect world, spouses would put one another first equally, and mutually.

Rags's picture

Totally agree.  Any disruption in that order needs to be met with firm co sequences. Particularly between #1 & #2.