WHY CHILDREN RUIN MARRIAGE
by Marc H. Rudov
May 21, 2008
Cancel the Wedding
There’s a question every man should ask his fiancée before their big wedding day; too bad he doesn’t ask it: Are you marrying me to become my wife or a mother? If she doesn’t immediately reply, without hesitation, “to become your wife,” cancel the wedding.
Why would I make such a bold assertion? It’s not just because all my assertions are bold. Marriage, as strictly defined, has nothing to do with children. That’s right. Yet, in the typical home, the husband and wife will allow their marriage to revolve around their children. Worse, when that marriage ends, and there’s a good chance it will, their divorce will revolve around their children, too.
In my observation, wives are more guilty than husbands of making children “priority #1.” This is because such behavior is socially acceptable and politically correct in a country that considers motherhood noble and fatherhood trivial. When I discussed my article “Are You Her Number One?” on various radio shows, many a female caller was outraged at the prospect that any man should outrank her children!
According to Harvard psychology professor, Daniel Gilbert, children take the happiness out of marriage. In fact, Gilbert claims that sadness increases with the number of children. Most people don’t like to admit this, because it would sound horrible, but it’s true.
Ignoring Their Wedding Vows
I’ve examined the vows of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic weddings — as well as the texts of numerous states’ marriage licenses and certificates. Nowhere in these vows or documents can I find the word children. In other words, marriage is a bond exclusively between a husband and a wife. It does not include children. It does not include in-laws. But, is this what really happens in marriages? Hell no.
Ask any woman whom she loves more, her husband or her children. I’m betting she’ll say, “my children, of course.” Her husband is, obviously, programmed to respond, “Well, that’s the way it is, right?” Yet, he’s the one with whom she created a sacred bond in marriage. But, if hubby says he loves his children more than his wife, he’s history. Double standard?
Based on the high divorce rate, the high adultery rate, and the high number of unhappily married women, why do people bother marching down the aisle at all? There’s no logic here. If one could lose money on Wall Street as easily, predictably, and consistently as he can in matrimony, there would be no Wall Street. But, people continue to marry. Why?
Women marry to have legitimate children and receive financial support for themselves and those children. I believe this because women bring 70% of divorces. Men, on the other hand, given the highly expected financial and child-custody losses, take huge matrimonial risk because they genuinely want to be married and to have families. There’s no other way to explain the respective nuptial decisions of men and women.
But, regardless of their financial or familial motivations for saying, “I do,” what men and women don’t do, quite clearly, is adhere to the vows they took to forever cherish, love, and honor each other. Somehow, the import and memory of these vows vanish when children arrive, and THAT is the problem. Children are born outside the bounds of marriage and must never be allowed to invade it. Alas, they’re allowed, even encouraged, to invade it.
The NoNonsense Bottom Line
I’m not suggesting for one minute that spouses not have children. That’s ludicrous. I am suggesting, though, that spouses gain perspective on where those children rank in the hierarchy: not at the top. Spouses must keep each other at the top, as they promised to do.
Now, if you’re concluding, while reading this, that I’m advising you to ignore, abandon, and mistreat your children, you’re not intelligent enough to marry or procreate! Parents own and run the home; children must respect them and their rules. Brats cannot survive in a home where parents honor and admire each other.
It is inexcusable to vow, on your wedding day, to place your spouse first and then violate that vow by subordinating your spouse to your children. Marriages disintegrate because they weren’t integrated in the first place — wherein the participants viewed their wedding vows as meaningless utterances. Finally, at the marriage’s end, there’s nothing but hatred and revenge between spouses — exactly what they promised would not happen.
Children don’t ruin marriage, unless their parents give them the power to do so. Spouses ruin marriage — way before they become spouses — by believing that children belong at its center. Again, if that were true, marriage vows would include children. They don’t.
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So, don’t get married until you have enough maturity and conviction to treat your spouse as the most important person in the world — above and beyond your children — and receive the same treatment in return.
If your children ruined your marriage, you never had a marriage: She married you to become a mother!
© 2008 - Marc H. Rudov - All Rights Reserved