Have Your Children Interrupted Your Marriage?

BY: - 25 Feb '13 | Marriage

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I hold many titles in my life; daughter, sister, friend, spouse, employee, and mother. Each of these roles carry a different level of responsibility. There might be serious consequences if I neglect either one. But for me, none of those other headings mattered as much the moment I became a mother.

Anyone who has been blessed by parenthood knows the event is like no other. Nothing else compares to the degree of love you feel. My journey to motherhood was nothing I ever experienced before. As a result, I placed a lot of focus and energy into being a mom. This was the one job I didn’t want to get wrong. Normally when one area becomes the priority everything else takes a back seat. This happened in my marriage.

Unfortunately, most married couples encounter this challenge after they become parents. It makes sense. Children can’t raise themselves. They rely solely on us to provide for them. Meanwhile, we let the other adult in our relationship fend for themselves. We assume they understand and feel the same way we do in terms of being a parent. But the needs our spouse had before children haven’t disappeared. And sometimes they have some of the same requests our children have.

Just like our babies, our spouses crave attention. They want to be listened to and believe they matter to us. When they share how they feel or what happened during their day it is our job to provide our undivided attention.

Making time for our children reinforces the idea that they are important. We are creating memories that will remain with them for a lifetime. It is imperative our children never feel neglected. Again, same is true for our mates. They also desire special quality time. Making sure time is carved out exclusively for our mate is necessary. In order to do this we sometimes have to ask for help whenever we feel overwhelmed.

Simply saying how much we love our children isn’t as effective as showing them. Frequent hugs and kisses reassures our little ones of just how much they are loved. Affection is also important to our spouses. Even when we get busy raising our families, staying connected as husband and wife is critical.

We are responsible for providing our children with love, guidance, and support. Just as we chose to be parents and were aware of the obligations that came along with the title, we also chose to be a spouse. There are certain duties we can’t neglect. Yes, children change the dynamic of a relationship but they shouldn’t interrupt our marriage. It is each partner’s responsibility to maintain a healthy relationship. We must balance parenthood while maintaining a healthy love life.

BMWK — Have your children interrupted your marriage?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 573 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit www.thelifeandlovecoach.com and www.theboldersister.com.

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8 WordPress comments on “Have Your Children Interrupted Your Marriage?

  1. Derene

    This is such a hard thing to get a handle of once it’s out of control. Note to newlyweds: Make a conscious decision to always put each other on the top of the priority list!

  2. Pingback: Does Your Spouse Come First in Your Marriage? | Black and Married With Kids.com - A Positive Image of Marriage and Family

  3. Brandi

    Ok I agree with your statement but, what if you have a spouse that does not lend a helping hand. He wants you to take care of the kids and him plus clean and work a full time job… Remember no help just showing all love… What is a girl to do

  4. Naomi

    Great article! I wrote a response on my blog on marriage after kids. Have you heard of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)? It’s a modality that states romantic partners bond in the same way that babies and parents do, with emotional dependence. Your observations are spot on!

    1. Tiya

      Naomi,
      I loved your article and thank you. I am not familiar with EFT, but would love to learn more. I loved the fresh ideas, especially creating daily rituals. Not many couples realize how impactful that could be and wouldn’t take too much time or effort. Thanks again!

  5. domain

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment
    is added I get several emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Thanks a lot!

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The Battle Over Depression: Black Men and the Wives That Love Them

BY: - 25 Feb '13 | inspiration

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Photo Credit: Don Cox

I had a chance, last week, to catch up with D.C. music producer/song writer, and owner of Fire Drop Music Group, Don Cox. Don is a humble, down to earth brother with a powerful story that he wants to share with men by exposing the often silent, inner battle that men have with depression. Depression is a form of mental illness that so many men, particularly African American men are fighting through, often unaware or in silence. It is one of those issues that rarely gets talked about, but in recent years more attention is being shone on depression to the rise of instances of depression and suicide amongst African American men. But Don Cox, wants to bring the discussion to the forefront, in hopes that men will be begin to open up about this growing problem that is on the verge of being labeled an epidemic.

Don’s Story: A Business Man, A Husband and A Father
Don and his wife have been married for 16 years, they have four children — two boys and two girls. He has always been into music, but in the late 1990’s he really started to get serious about his music. Of course being from D.C., Don was into Go-Go music, as well as Hip-Hop and R&B.

While he was producing music, he was also working for the federal government. In 2005 Don left his job with the federal government to take care of one of his children who was fighting through severe bouts of childhood asthma. He shared, how it was a blessing to be able to leave his job and take care of his daughter. Yet at the same time, being a husband and father without a steady income was a real challenge to his sense of being the head of household. He recounted, times that his children would bypass him and go to his wife when they needed things, because he was not working. His career as music producer was still there, but as is often the case in the music industry, the money was inconsistent at times. It was a real time of adjustment for Don and the entire family.

Fatherhood Song and President Obama
Around the same time that Don became a stay at home dad, focused on taking care of his daughter, he also teamed up with Tray Chaney who played Poot Carr on HBO’s The Wire. Together they produced positive songs that as Don put it, “made fatherhood cool.” Their 2012 song Fatherhood, was recognized last year by President Obama at the annual Fatherhood and Families Conference, for it’s positive message and was featured on BET’s 106&Park. Individually, Don was also selected to represent the state of Maryland by the makers of Bounty Brand Towel’s, as they recognized him as being a great father.

Outwardly, Don’s life was reflecting all the things that every father and husband wants to portray, and every wife wants in her home. He was a sacrificial father, a dedicated husband, balancing a career in the music industry that was being recognized from the local community all the way to the White House. Yet inwardly, Don labeled himself, at that same time, as being “mentally locked up.” All the accolades, the recognition, the positive music, the great family life, none of that was registering. Despite every positive in his life, Don had a negative outlook on everything good that was happening to him. Instead, he met anything that appeared to be good, with suspicion, negativity, and doubt. He did not know it at the time, but now as he works through what he describes as a near “breakdown” in 2012, he realizes that back then he was battling depression.

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About the author

Edward Lee wrote 68 articles on this blog.

Edward is a husband, father, founder of Elevate Your Marriage Marriage Coaching, author of three books: "Elevate Your Marriage", "Husbands, Wives, God" and "Husbands, Wives, God Weekly Devotions." He is also the Pastor of LongView Bible Church in Owings Mills, Md. Visit Edward's blog at: elevateyourmarriage.com

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