Child or Potential Spouse?

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MsMediator

Well-known member
Mar 8, 2022
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#1
Should a parent choose his/her child's needs over a potential spouse? Let's say the child doesn't really accept the potential spouse (for example, maybe the child doesn't want the parent to remarry). (Does a child have a say in who the parent dates/marries?) Or maybe the potential spouse wants his/her needs met first.

What about after marriage? Should a parent still put his/her child first?
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
25,847
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#2
I predict this thread will quickly take a hard right turn into "Should the parent even BE getting married? What a sinner!"

I could be wrong though. I hope I am.

Also what are these conflicting needs? You need to use some examples. Do both the kid and the new spouse have cancer at the same time, and the family only has enough money to cure one? (Sorry, that's all I can think of off-the-cuff.)
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
25,847
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#3
Also what are these conflicting needs? You need to use some examples.
Hmm... Reading that back, it sounds more contentious than I intended.

I'm not disparaging, I'm curious. I've never even been married, much less twice and with a kid. How do the new spouse and kid needs conflict? Could some parents chip in here with examples?
 

MsMediator

Well-known member
Mar 8, 2022
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#4
I predict this thread will quickly take a hard right turn into "Should the parent even BE getting married? What a sinner!"

I could be wrong though. I hope I am.

Also what are these conflicting needs? You need to use some examples. Do both the kid and the new spouse have cancer at the same time, and the family only has enough money to cure one? (Sorry, that's all I can think of off-the-cuff.)
I am not sure what all the conflicting needs/demands are, as I have never been in this situation (single parent wanting to remarry or someone dating a single parent). Just curious what others think.
 

Cameron143

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2022
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#5
The primary relationship in the home is husband and wife. A child's desire should be considered but only as one consideration of many.
If a marriage takes place, the husband/wife relationship should be the preeminent relationship. It's unfortunate there are so many divorces, but if the issues that led to the divorce are not addressed, why would the outcome of a second marriage prove any different. There is a reason God established familial relationships as He has. Following His order blesses the home. Conversely, when relationships are given priority that God has not established, trouble ensues.
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
4,400
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#6
I'm thinking that if the people in the situation are already viewing it as my needs vs someone else's needs, there's not a whole lot of good endings down that path. Both adults need to be willing to work together for the good of the child or it's not likely to work.

But yeah, I could only be in that situation as the potential spouse and I'm probably too old for there to be small children involved.
 

NightTwister

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2023
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Colorado, USA
#7
I can tell you from experience that it's a very delicate process of mixing gasoline with fire without burning the house down.
 

Subhumanoidal

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2018
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#8
As far as the remarriage issue, I'd think the age of the children may be wise to consider. Having very young children that are against the remarriage could potentially have a longer negative effect on the marriage. This will likely cause the parent to be viewed by both sides as favoring the other, or they will flat out favor one over the other.
Favoring the child will strain the marriage as no one wants to be tied to a relationship where they feel they're the least important.
Favoring the new spouse leads to anger, hurt and likely rebellion in younger kids that only grows worse as they get older.
Whereas with older kids, teens for example, they're likely working to be more independent anyways, and will have less of an impact on the family dynamic. And even if there are problems it's less time for strain the marriage.

Also why the child is against a remarriage matters. Some believe that their parents will reunite and views anyone who may get in the way of that as the bad guy.
Sometimes kids simply do not like the potential spouse as a person.

I dated a woman with a teenage son. He was not happy about this as he hoped his parents would reunite.
We continued dating and over time he began to be more accepting of the relationship. He realized his parents weren't getting back together (and also how poorly his father treated his mother) but that his mom seemed happy to be dating me.
Eventually he accepted the relationship, and me, because he saw how happy his mom was.

But I think that the spouses need to be solid in their relationship and on equal ground within the family dynamic.
If not then someone gets favored and nothing will be good.
Before marriage discussions and clear understandings of what role the step parent will play, particularly in discipline, need to be worked out and resolved.

As with so many of these sorts of questions there is no one size fits all answer.
 

Noel25

Active member
Dec 17, 2022
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#9
I can tell you from experience that it's a very delicate process of mixing gasoline with fire without burning the house down.
Yes! Mom married my stepdad at the time when I was 13 and my brother was 10. It was awful. And what's funny is that he's not a bad guy. But being moved to a different school district, having to get used to living in a smaller house and being away from the other relatives...that made it very very hard. Plus my ex stepdad was very strict. We were not used to that. We would tell him "Happy Father's Day!" and he would say "I'm not your dad" I then thought "well why did you take us away from our REAL dad?" Eventually they got a divorce after several years. I think all the arguing and fighting in the beginning didn't help lay a solid foundation.

I would say if your spouse is the father/mother of the kids, then put the spouse first. This way you stay with your spouse and your kids have a more stable home environment. In other words...you put the spouse first for the kids's sake.

If you are getting remarried, your kids should come first...not your spouse.

One of the things I am very grateful for is that my mom and stepdad did not have children. I 100% believe that would have made it way worse!
 
G

Gojira

Guest
#10
I am not sure what all the conflicting needs/demands are, as I have never been in this situation (single parent wanting to remarry or someone dating a single parent). Just curious what others think.
I'd say in general the kid does not get a say. Good topic though.
 
G

Gojira

Guest
#11
Yes! Mom married my stepdad at the time when I was 13 and my brother was 10. It was awful. And what's funny is that he's not a bad guy. But being moved to a different school district, having to get used to living in a smaller house and being away from the other relatives...that made it very very hard. Plus my ex stepdad was very strict. We were not used to that. We would tell him "Happy Father's Day!" and he would say "I'm not your dad" I then thought "well why did you take us away from our REAL dad?" Eventually they got a divorce after several years. I think all the arguing and fighting in the beginning didn't help lay a solid foundation.

I would say if your spouse is the father/mother of the kids, then put the spouse first. This way you stay with your spouse and your kids have a more stable home environment. In other words...you put the spouse first for the kids's sake.

If you are getting remarried, your kids should come first...not your spouse.

One of the things I am very grateful for is that my mom and stepdad did not have children. I 100% believe that would have made it way worse!
And, this is the problem with blended families or families comprised of remarriages. The husband and wife need to put each other first. If they're not right, then the household is not right. A former friend of mine was experiencing this. No matter how good a man he was, his wife's daughter would always come first. I do not believe this is scriptural. It may not match with our emotions, but it does, I believe, align with what is right.

Now, this assumes the man, e.g., marrying the woman with the kid is not a dirtbag. In that case, I'd put my dog over him. Oops! There's that again!! LOL
 

HealthAndHappiness

Well-known member
Jul 7, 2022
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Almost Heaven West Virginia
#13
Should a parent choose his/her child's needs over a potential spouse? Let's say the child doesn't really accept the potential spouse (for example, maybe the child doesn't want the parent to remarry). (Does a child have a say in who the parent dates/marries?) Or maybe the potential spouse wants his/her needs met first.

What about after marriage? Should a parent still put his/her child first?
According to the Bible, it is not an issue either way unless the spouse has died.
 

HealthAndHappiness

Well-known member
Jul 7, 2022
8,997
3,702
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Almost Heaven West Virginia
#14
And, this is the problem with blended families or families comprised of remarriages. The husband and wife need to put each other first. If they're not right, then the household is not right. A former friend of mine was experiencing this. No matter how good a man he was, his wife's daughter would always come first. I do not believe this is scriptural. It may not match with our emotions, but it does, I believe, align with what is right.

Now, this assumes the man, e.g., marrying the woman with the kid is not a dirtbag. In that case, I'd put my dog over him. Oops! There's that again!! LOL
Looking at history/ sociology, I think Americans started accepting divorce and remarriage in the 60s . Entertainment reflected that when you watch reruns. It was never evident if the couple was divorced when they married; or if their spouses died in a tragic plane crash from Hawaii carrying a tiki doll in the luggage compartment.

 
Dec 24, 2022
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#15
Yes the husband and wife or other parter comes first. The children a very close second. Kids sense and learn from parents who put their spouses first. Not their dogs or cats nor hamsters.

I made the mistake of putting my dog and kids first before I became a Christian as I thought it was the right thing to do as a mother. My relationship wasn’t a great one with my ex because I didn’t have any guidelines to go off like the bible.
When my ex met his future spouse my son took it well but my daughter hated her. My daughter competed for her dads attention But my ex did well in that he put his spouse first. Kids will test you and push limits.
And Kids are quite resilient And adapt well and learn subconsciously.
Both my kids are fairly well adjusted even after a separation and I praise the Lord for that. They could have turned out terrors or bullies but they aren’t
 

Tall_Timbers

Well-known member
Mar 31, 2023
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christiancommunityforum.com
#18
Should a parent choose his/her child's needs over a potential spouse? Let's say the child doesn't really accept the potential spouse (for example, maybe the child doesn't want the parent to remarry). (Does a child have a say in who the parent dates/marries?) Or maybe the potential spouse wants his/her needs met first.

What about after marriage? Should a parent still put his/her child first?
A child isn't going to understand their needs... The single (at the time) parent should consider that this possible future spouse will affect the life of the child/children and should take that into consideration when deciding whether or not to marry that specific person. So no, the child shouldn't have a say, but the parent should consider the child in the big picture when making decisions along the way. The parent should carefully watch how the potential spouse interacts with the child/children and if he/she doesn't seem to care for the child/children then maybe that one should be let go...

Should the marriage happen, now the child/children have both a mom and dad (hopefully a mom and a dad) and they raise the child together, with the dad being head of the household.
 

ThereRoseaLamb

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2023
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#19
Should a parent choose his/her child's needs over a potential spouse? Let's say the child doesn't really accept the potential spouse (for example, maybe the child doesn't want the parent to remarry). (Does a child have a say in who the parent dates/marries?) Or maybe the potential spouse wants his/her needs met first.

What about after marriage? Should a parent still put his/her child first?
Well my sisters husband told her that his daughter from his first marriage would come first. I cautioned my sister that she was walking into a situation she might not be able to handle. But she was in love. She married him and the very first issue was when he had his daughter, he insisted she sleep in bed with them every night. That was the beginning of a 20 yr nightmare. Today that daughter is a grown woman, so to speak, and she has been divorced twice and she's not yet 30. She's not married at the moment, has a 4 or 5 yr old from her first marriage and just got pregnant with a man she doesn't even know. My BIL is basically supporting her financially. He and my sister have two sons, one is 18, one 16. They both say the daughter is the favorite, and I dare say they are right. I don't say it to pat myself on the back, but I wish my sister would have listened, or at least taken my advice to seek counseling first.
 

NightTwister

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2023
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#20
The more we get away from the Biblical design, the more complicated things get.
In the beginning God created one female to be the helper of one man. Divorce and remarriage were not an option.
Ideally, the world and everyone in it would be perfect. The ideal won't happen until we're in heaven.