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My Wife is a higher priority than my kids

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By Al Ferguson

Al Ferguson is the CEO and founder of The Dadsnet.

Published on 27/12/2017

Last year, in an interview with GQ, Bear Grylls shared his views on his marriage to his wife Shara, saying:

Couples often think that the kids should always come first, but smart couples know that the best foundation for the family is their relationship.

In protecting that, they can then best love their children.

Bear received quite a bit of criticism for this, and for the life of me, I can’t understand why.

Here’s how I see it.

Before Ted was born, I dated Jen. We took each other out, laughed together and wanted to spend every spare minute with each other. We fell madly in love and got married. The joy that we found in each other was something special.

Then Jen fell pregnant and our world changed dramatically. As those of you with babies will know, you become utterly exhausted. Accompanying this extreme fatigue is the fact that your conversations revolve entirely around the baby, even when they’re asleep.

It’s all too easy to take your eye off your relationship, and anyone with any kind of life experience will know that each and every relationship needs to be cultivated and looked after. Especially between you and your partner.

My wife and I, therefore, make sure that we are pro-active in our relationship with each other, because we know that if we are in a good place with each other, we’ll be much better parents.

I’m not ashamed to say that Jen brings the best out of me. She encourages me and supports me in my endeavour to be the best dad I can be. For me, in order for us to be the best parents possible, we need to be the best couple possible.

And that requires time, effort and devotion.

Not only am I a better parent when I prioritise my relationship with Jen, but I’m also a better role model. Is it any wonder why our children are growing up with difficulties forming, and maintaining, relationships with friends and family when they’re not growing up with a decent example of a relationship?

I want Ted to grow up seeing what a loving, mutually respectful and cohesive relationship looks like. The best way I can do that is by allowing him to see and experience one right in front of his eyes every single day he has them open.

I’m proud to say that I do my very best to prioritise my relationship with Jen above my parenting. The reason being, I am a better parent when Jen and I are a solid unit.


*This post was originally pubilished on Baby Centre

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  1. Taz

    I envy you and Jen. your both such lovely people and as well as being great/amazing parents you make us believe that love truly does exist and that when things are at their worst the love is still there. I wish I had what you have.

  2. Danny

    Great post Al! People forget the children are the tokens of your love. You’ve always got to remember the reason you fell in love to begin with before these meddling kids came along. Devoting time to your relationship also means you get to wake up in the same house as your children everyday, which is a blessing.

  3. Stephen

    Respectfully disagree. Someone doesn’t fall pregnant, they become pregnant. There’s meaning in the words we choose to tell our stories, this is the key to relationships across the board, as you pointed out. It is amazing though that families have so many differences in what values they nature and mature. Some prioritize friends and family, others prioritize work and wealth. I won’t disagree that relationships are put to the test when children become part of them, but your relationship is separate from them. You won’t always be on the same page when it comes to parenting, no one ever is, so what do you do at the moment? Part of the larger problem with the world is no one is teaching how to handle differences, whether it be opinion or values or moral compass or anything. Children need to see how to handle diversity so they understand how to work through a situation where there is opposition.

  4. Jason

    Family is a team. Most important will vary day to day depending on circumstances. That said, a solid foundation helps, and do getting you and your significant other in a good place will help massively.

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