May 7, 2019
Brian Mayer talks about the very common issue of putting your
kids before your spouse in a blended family remarriage.
Sometimes this is done very consciously and directly and other
times it is done subconsciously and indirectly. I cannot
express any more clearly that we need to place our spouse above our
children. Looking forward to talking about this issue
today. We hope you enjoy today’s message. For more
information and additional resources please visit our website at
- In a blended family it is often easy to put your children
first. After they are your blood and your spouse is
not. Sometimes people do this very intentionally and clearly
as I will occasionally hear this in my counseling practice.
Often though it is done unintentionally through the following:
- Parenting from a place of guilt which often means not being
united in parenting decisions with your spouse.
- Not discussing decisions you make with your ex-spouse about the
kids with your current spouse.
- Not following through on decisions that you have agreed upon
with your spouse about the children.
- Sometimes I will hear one partner state that their spouse will
never take a place above the children. They will use the
analogy of a burning building and that if they choice was to save
the kids or their spouse, they would save the kids everytime.
Usually when they say this they will often talk about how kids
can’t fend for themselves and I certainly get that. But when
we dig deeper it is usually an attitude that pervades more than
just this unlikely scenario.
- If I am honest, I indirectly put the children before my spouse
in both my first marriage and second marriage.
- In my first marriage, I put doing things between the 4 of us
(my spouse and I and the 2 kids) ahead of making a priority the
time between the two of us. I often thought that this is just
how life was supposed to work while the kids were younger
- In my second and current marriage, I would often not be a
united front with my spouse regarding the care and parenting of my
- In my life and maybe your when you do these things, you really
do communicate that your spouse is not the priority. The kids
are. Most parenting and child experts will tell you that this
is not healthy for kids
- Kids need to see united parenting, parents who are affectionate
with each other and parents who make time for each other outside of
the kids. Now of course the younger your children are the
harder that this will be but here are some strategies for
- Couch Time - Design a small amount of time
while the kids are awake that you say this is our time and that it
cannot be interfered with by the children. It can be done in
the open say on the couch if the kids are too young for you to feel
comfortable going in another room to talk. If the kids keep
interrupting just keep stating that this your time. The
younger the kids are the more you might need to do this.
- Date Night – Schedule regular time outside of
the children. If you are low on money and can’t afford
babysitter then plan a date night in your home after the kids go to
bed. Set up a picnic, play cards or a board game or just
- Compromise on the Issues – Nothing will say to
your spouse more that they are most important than if you are
willing to compromise and give a little on issues regarding the
- Do What You Say You Will Do – If you say you
are going to discipline in a certain way then follow up with what
you tell your spouse. If you want to go outside of what you
discussed, then talk it over first with your spouse
- Be A United Front – Discuss situations before
you take actions and be sure to discuss what if scenarios with each
other to again make sure you are on the same page.
- Remember the children will only be there for a time, but
hopefully your spouse will last a lifetime.
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As always remember that marriage is not something you have, it
is something you do. Talk to you next week unless you are
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about a minute! Take care.