In every marriage, spouses face an inevitable choice between their children and their spouse. It is a classic dilemma that confronts every couple and one that is inescapable and difficult. It is especially true in second marriages, like mine. I have to admit, it is an ongoing issue in our home and one I’m trying to figure out with the right amount of love and respect shown towards everyone.
Some therapists advise that the husband/wife should always come first. Others, like Dr. Laura, advise to always put the kids first. As with much of her advice, I think it’s too cut-and-dried and doesn’t take into consideration the grays of life. In my case, I was raising my boys alone for several years and the bond we had was deep, plus the hurt from their mom abandoning them was deep and different for each of them.
Dealing with each other, in sickness and in health… My wife had a medical emergency early one recent morning. The details are unimportant, but the care and response that we received were very important. At five a.m., she called her doctor and got him on the phone. He said we should call 911, which we did. Within a few minutes both a paramedic vehicle and a fire truck arrived at our door. Moments later, she was getting attended to by three men in uniforms while I sat nearby feeling useless.
It was quickly determined by their efforts and in conference with the doctor that she was well enough for me to drive her to the hospital. So, less than 30 minutes after this began we were on the road. As it was so early, the drive was traffic-free and we entered the Emergency Room as the sun was rising. Thankfully, it was a quiet morning there so we were quickly ushered into “Triage” and then given a bed. In no time, a nurse had begun an IV and shortly afterward, the doctor on call did an exam. He had already spoken with my wife’s primary doctor.
The classic second marriage dilemma is the parent of the kids choosing between his or her kids and their spouse. Recently, I faced that problem times ten with choosing between wife and kids.
First, my wife had a medical emergency that involved paramedics, 911, and a morning rush to the hospital, followed by surgery, recovery, and coming home – all in the same day. Between it all, I had to deal with my boys getting to and from school and try and do a little necessary work. While my wife was obviously going through the worst of it, I was completely worn out trying to balance everyone’s needs.