Recently Mary and I were in my doctor’s waiting room where she found the May 20, 2019, copy of Time magazine on the table. Leafing through it, she found an article in very large print with the headline, “LOVE YOUR SPOUSE MORE”. After reading it she handed it to me. “Read this, I know you’ll love it.”
It began: “Parent’s love for their children can make them do peculiar things. Like staying up until 1 a.m. gluing glitter on a second-grade class project. Or driving 40 miles to deliver a single soccer cleat. Or, perhaps, bribing their teenagers’ way into a fancy college. But one of the weirdest things parents do is love their children more than their partners.” (Italics mine.)
“Yes,” I all but shouted to my wife, sitting next to me. “I finally found something in Time that I agree with!”
The article went on to say research shows that kids who grow up in a home with parents who show they love each other are much happier and more secure than those who grow up in a loveless home. They see how their parents treat each other and mimic that behavior with people they know. Guess what: Kids who see their parents fighting and screaming at each other scream and fight at school.
Too often parents become so involved in their kid’s lives that they “forget” about their spouses. And after spending 25 – 30 years living for their kids the parents become strangers to each other. Over the years many couples have told me just that. They were very happy together until the kids came.
The authors went on to say, “That by the age of 50-55 they (parents) can’t go to a restaurant and have a conversation.” Far too many times, Mary and I have been at a restaurant and watched couples at tables next to us spend the whole evening and never speak a word.
What a shame! It‘s important to have dinner with your whole family, but make sure you have at least one date night every week – without the kids.
Mary frequently reminded me that, “The kids came to live with us, not the other way around.” Think about it; they came to live with you for 18 years, then the leave. She says kids need to know that, and adjust. You married your spouse to live with until, “Death do us part.”
Marriage lesson for the day: Don’t stop loving, don’t stop sharing, and don’t stop talking with him/her. It will make the empty nest more fun and the best years of your life!
And like all of you who have been reading my work have heard so often, “Be the person you want your child to become!”