All kinds of bad things happen when a man feels that his wife loves the children more than him, or put another way, the wife puts the children ahead of him. A wife should never put her children ahead of her husband. The union before God is between the husband and wife, not wife or husband and children. There is a profound negative effect on the relationship, household, and more, when the husband feels as though his wife puts their children ahead of him.
In this article, I would like to first describe what happens to the husband when his wife puts their children ahead of him. I’ll also discuss briefly how this will affect his relationship with his wife, his children, finances, the household, and the marriage overall. I’ll then move to resolutions for this condition for the husband and the wife.
How A Wife Puts Their Children Ahead of the Husband
How does a wife put her children ahead of her husband? What does that look like? The Bible says that your heart will be where your treasures are (Matthew 6:21). If the wife treasures the children more than her relationship with her husband, then that is where her heart will be. This can simply be seen by the things she does. Therefore, if a wife puts a lot of effort into her children and neglects to put energy into nurturing her relationship with her husband, then she is telling her husband loud and clear that the children are more important than her husband and their marriage.
A wife puts her children ahead of her husband when she dedicates herself to the children’s education, well-being, safety, etc. and puts little to no effort into nurturing her marriage relationship. She sacrifices or dedicates her life to her children, not the marriage union. This often manifests in little to no date nights, little to no intimate getaways, little to no intimate conversations about things other than the children (or child), and little to no sex. The wife has used the marriage to raise (in many cases to spoil) the children.
The Husband’s Feelings When His Wife Puts Him Behind the Children
Let me provide some things that happen to a husband when he discerns that his wife has put their children ahead of him.
- Unwanted – If the wife neglects her husband for the children, then that means that she doesn’t want her husband. The husband may conclude that his wife married him for children not because she wanted to be with him.
- Used – If the wife’s devotion to her children persists over many years, then the husband will feel as though he was used (tricked) into marriage. She enticed him and snared him so that she could get married to have his support and resources so that she could mother her children. He was just an object to fulfill her desire for children.
- Unloved – Overall, the husband will feel as though his wife doesn’t love him, even if she says she does. What he sees from her doesn’t match the love that she professes, and therefore, he is not loved by his wife.
- Resentful – The husband may discover that he resents his children (for taking his wife from him), and he will resent his wife for rejecting him. This resentment may cause him to pull away from his wife and his children.
- Lonely – The husband will become lonely because, as far as he is concerned, his household is made up of the union between his wife and children and then him. He is not united with his wife because she has joined with her children.
- Hopeless – A man who is pushed aside for the children by his wife will begin to feel that the happy marriage that he wanted so badly will never happen. How could it? His wife has “married” the children, not him. She will nurture a life-long relationship with her children and leave him out in the cold, so to speak. There is no hope that he will have the marriage that he dreamt about.
- Angry – The husband may become angry at his wife for making him feel so bad and hopeless, and for deceiving him. He becomes resentful and angry at his wife for ruining his life, or rather, the life he thought he would have.
- Depressed – The condition of his marriage may depress him. Instead of a happy marriage and a happy home, he has to face the realization that his wife loves his children, not him. This depression may manifest itself in many bad ways in the marriage and household.
- Desperate – After many years of neglect, the husband may become desperate to salvage his life (not his marriage) and obtain the happiness that he wanted in the beginning. Nothing he did in the past to obtain a happy marriage has worked, but he still wants to be happy. He decides that his happiness will not include his wife.
The Side Effects of A Wife Putting Her Children Ahead of Her Husband
How does the husband’s feelings about being second-class to his children affect the household, the family finances, the man’s relationship with his wife and children, and his own wellbeing? What are the side effects of a husband being put second to the children?
- The relationship with his children is damaged and will not reach the potential that it could have. This is because he resents his children for stealing the love that he wanted from his wife.
- The marriage is gradually severed. His wife has shown that she doesn’t want her husband, so why should he stick around? This could lead to separation, divorce, marital abandonment, or infidelity.
Financeswill suffer. He may begin to seek happiness, acceptance, or love from something that requires funding. This could be gambling with purported friends, spending money on things that he thinks will make him happy, another activity that gets a lot of money, or another woman.
- Some men may even resent God for giving him, “that woman.” She doesn’t make him happy (not that she really should), she rejects him, she had children with him for ulterior motives, etc. God gave him a bad deal and he becomes mad at God for messing up his life,
- His bad relationship with his wife typically means no sex or very little sex. That will result in increased stress. He may become stressed about an affair that he is having or wants to have, his secret and bad spending activities, his loveless marriage, or his dysfunctional home. He may also have increased stress because having sex with his wife is one way a man relieves stress, which is absent in his marriage.
- Porn – A man may turn to fantasies or porn as an escape from the misery of his marriage. It would be like a drug. He could pretend he is loved by a woman in his fantasy world. This may escalate into sensual or sexual sessions with other women.
- A Broken Marriage. As time goes on, the husband will pull further away from his wife and thus gradually sever the marriage. He and his wife are not together, and he has stopped trying to be together. He will move on to ensure his own happiness apart from his wife.
- A Broken and Dysfunctional Home. Marriage should be an intimate environment where everyone (husband, wife, and children) are blessed. However, when the husband or the wife break that union, then the entire household is broken, and the home can become dysfunctional. In this case, the wife pushing her husband aside for the sake of the children is the catalyst that causes this brokenness.
There is nothing positive for the marriage relationship if the wife puts her children ahead of her husband. Some men remain miserable as well as dedicated. Others will find enjoyment in their lives apart from their wives. Others will find happiness in the arms of another woman or some other activity (even porn). A few will eventually resolve the issue perhaps after the kids are grown and left home. Even in this latter case, the relationship isn’t what it could be if it was nurtured all those years of child-raising.
The solution is very simple. Wives. Do not put your children ahead of your husband. Doing so will have detrimental effects on the marriage, the children, and your life. I know that children require a lot of time and energy, especially when very young. However, you must not neglect your husband but instead should continue to nurture your relationship as you raise the children together.
Be open with your husband. Teach your children when they are very young that you will spend time with daddy. They will learn that mommy and daddy need some alone time. Be honest with your husband about your feelings. Repent of neglecting your husband and start anew. The amount of time necessary for recovery is dependent on how damaged the marriage is. However, give it the time it needs and start a new intimate journey together. The marriage may not be where it could have been, but it can be better than where it was going if the husband and wife start a journey towards togetherness.
Husbands. Be open and honest with your wife. Be understanding with your wife. The mother instincts are different than the father’s instincts, so try to understand that and be empathetic as much as possible. Discuss your feelings with your wife in a manger that she can accept if possible. Avoid abandoning your wife to pursue happiness. Do all you can to win your wife back and to heal the relationship.
Both husband and wife should work together to reignite the passion that once existed between the two of you. Remember when you were first married and in love. Well, as you probably know by now, love fades away like a campfire flame. However, those flames can be reignited. Once the flame is blazing again, you should both work hard to never allow that flame to go out again.