Rhett Smith 73: You Can’t Have Both a Great Marriage and an Activity Centered Life that Puts Your Kids First
I have the great privilege of working with couples in my office on a daily basis. Some come to me before they are married, some within a few years of marriage, but the great majority of them come to see me after a crisis that was indicative of the marital drift in their life. In Episode 19 of my podcast I talked about marital drift and the kid centered marriage.
But essentially what often happens in relationships is that couples set out with good intentions to care for and love each other…to make each other priority. In fact, it was often that feeling of being a priority in dating that led to engagement and marriage. But over the course of the marriage couples often make sacrifices that hurt the marriage and leave one or both spouses not often feeling like a priority. I see this most often in couples that just got busy. They had kids…the kids got busy with sports and activities…and the marriage drifted. Then one day they wake up, perhaps 5, 10, 15, 20 years later, and are so disconnected that they don’t know how to reconnect, or aren’t sure it is worth the effort.
The drift itself often is felt early on in a marriage, but it’s not until a crisis hits such as an affair, an addiction, or the threat of divorce that couples will recognize it fully or want to engage it.
And in this episode I talk about one of my core beliefs that I have come to realize after 20 plus years in the pastoral and clinical counseling setting….and that is that couples can’t have both a great marriage, and at the same time put their their kids first by running around in a million different directions and pursuing a million different activities. Something will have to be sacrificed, and often it’s the marriage. My other belief that I explore in this episode is that the marriage should have priority, not the kids. I think we live in a culture where we have put kids first, and what often gets sacrificed is not only the marriage, but the family falls apart as well since the marriage is in disaster. Instead, I have seen time and time again that where the marriage is priority, the kids benefit. This isn’t a statement about one being more important or loving one more. You love both, that’s why the marriage is a priority.
So as you listen to this episode I want you to think about your own marriage, and whether or not it’s the priority over your kids. And what implications are there for the answer you have?
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I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist practicing in Plano, Texas. I work with individuals, couples, and families regarding a number of issues from marriage therapy, anxiety, depression, infidelity, faith, relationship strengthening, and a whole lot more. If you are interested in scheduling a session with me, or having me out to speak, please contact us via email or phone (469-304-9022).