Does your spouse or partner adhere to the “family comes first” philosophy? Read the story of a wife who’s having trouble because her spouse is seemingly forgetting his responsibility as a husband by putting his family first. In this post, I also share my thoughts on how you can peacefully resolve situations like these.
Family Comes First | Staying Strong, Understanding Priorities
In this article:
- My Husband Puts His Family Before Me
- Loving Your Partner Despite His Priorities
- Family Comes First: When the Family Literally Came First
- Husbands Fail to See Their Responsibilities
- Remember: Love Is Patient
My Husband Puts His Family Before Me
Dear Dr. Buckingham,
I have been reading a lot of your articles. I have been married for 9 months and love my husband. When we got married on July 27, 2015, the first month, we start to have problems. He put his family as a priority over me. He stated that he needed 3 months to take care of them. That just made me feel like a secondary person, but this is just the first problem.
The second problem is he went behind my back and borrowed money from his mother and didn’t tell me. And the third problem is: he pays a cell phone bill for his 30-year-old daughter. Whenever he threatens to stop paying her bill, she gets mad at him. The bottom line is he can’t say no to his family. I prayed to God to help me get through this because the thought of divorce has run through my mind. My thoughts now are that he just needs to go live with his family.
I want to enjoy life and be happy the way God designed a husband and wife to be. These are just a few of our problems. Unfortunately, there are more. I just feel like we need marriage counseling, but he doesn’t think so. But, I will be going to marriage counseling soon.
How do I love my husband when he puts his family before me?
Thanks for your page,
Loving Your Partner Despite His Priorities
Dear Concerned Wife,
I have personally experienced this phenomenon. I, too, once believed that family comes first before my partner. Like your husband, initially, I did not know how to honor and treat my wife with the love and respect she deserves. I was and am a family man. Prior to marrying my wife, I devoted a large percentage of my time to taking care of my family. In the past, I cut “good” women who called me out on my enabling behavior toward my family. If they attacked my family or said anything negative, they were gone.
This is a very sensitive issue that requires patience and understanding.
Family Comes First: When the Family Literally Came First
In my mind, my family was there for me prior to marriage and will be there for me if something bad happened, including my wife leaving me. Thus, I believed that family comes first before anyone else. I share my thoughts because I have heard hundreds of men say this.
Breaking the family bond and committing to one’s wife requires a solid relationship with God and understanding of scripture.
Husbands Fail to See Their Responsibilities
Some men struggle with putting their wife first because they do not understand their responsibility as a husband, at least from a biblical perspective. According to the Bible, the husband is to love his wife above all other human beings. I Peter 3:7, teaches us that the husband is to honor his wife. We are to show respect and consideration and offer emotional support.
I had to seek spiritual counsel in order to understand my responsibility as a husband. It was difficult for me to let go of my responsibility to my family, but I knew my marriage depended on it.
Remember: Love Is Patient
You can love your husband by being patient and attending counseling as you plan. Also, remember that love is patient.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-5 states, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
Pray for your husband and encourage him to seek counsel without nagging. Also, see if you can connect with a family member who is objective and can help your husband see his ways. My cousin helped me see things I did not see. She challenged me to examine my behavior and prayed for my marriage.
In this video from OWN, Iyanla talks to a husband who adheres to the “family comes first” philosophy and prioritizes his relatives over his wife:
If you are in the same situation where your spouse believes that family comes first and forgets his responsibility as a husband, the first step is to pray. Ask for God’s help and guidance, and from there, you can find an objective family member who can help you process the situation and talk to your spouse. I hope this post has given you some clarity on your situation so you can move forward and peacefully resolve your issues with your spouse.
BMWK Family, how did you learn how to create a balance between loving your spouse and your family?
If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc.), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions, and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on June 23, 2015. It has been updated for quality and relevancy.