What’s more important than the kids in any family?

I do a lot of Couple Counselling due to a number of presenting issues and many communication problems. When I ask the couple who is the most important people in your family relationship, in other words, what’s more important than the kids? The common answer I receive is either ‘the kids’ , sometimes I also get ‘us and the kids’. The couple is the most important people in your relationship and family. If man and woman are happy, committed and strong, the family unit is also and the children benefit. Some couples, mainly mum’s, get slightly shocked, believing the children are supposed to be first as that is what they have been told all their lives, mainly from their mum. We have been told that we need to sacrifice all our desires, happiness and needs, for our children. When we place something in front or our relationship or between our relationship – the relationship suffers. When the relationship suffers we all suffer, including the children. There is no question the bond and connection we have with our children is unbreakable and strong but that relationship should not take over or take precedence in our couple relationship. Ensuring each partner is the number one priority in life helps strengthen and secure your relationship. When your relationship is happy and secure your marriage is better, stronger and far more likely to weather any storms, meaning the couple stay together and the children remain stable with both parents. While there is continued debate about the outcome of children raised in a one parent home the fact is, children learn their relationship rules from the parent. It is called modelling and modelling is done not only with behaviours but also with relationships. If mum and dad have a strong and respectful relationship, the child learns this is what a grown up union is about. If the parents display care an consideration for their partner, listen calmly and discuss issues without yelling then this is also what the child learns. To communicate, hear and respond appropriately teaches them how they need to treat their future chosen partner and how they deserve to be treated. Children raised in a loving home is the best start in life we can provide them. Children can however also learn this from a single parent home, in other words do not accept the research that shows children from single parent homes fail to thrive. In fact children from conflictual two parent homes can have worse outcomes. This is why date nights every month or two are so vital and valuable. It keeps the couple as man and women instead of so many losing their identity to become only mum and dad. Keep up the excitement, love and sex in your relationship. We evolve as people so we need to reconnect and keep up to date with our partners emotions, feelings, desires and wants and only by spending time together, talking, laughing and sharing does this happen. Enjoy your coupleness as in a few short years when the children are off living their own lives it will remain the two of you. We do not want to be sitting at dinner with a stranger across from us, we want to ensure it’s our lover and partner we can communicate, share and laugh with. Love

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