Mothers are getting it wrong. We are putting our children before our husbands. How bloody dare we?!
At 11:00 today, ITV's This Morning had a debate with Andrew G Marshall, a marital therapist and author, who has written a book about putting your partner first.
In his book, I Love You But You Always Put Me Last, he offers suggestions to strengthening your relationship with your partner, (wife or husband) and making sure that you put them first, for example, greeting your wife first when you get home, children second, or by putting a lock on your bedroom door.
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby both challenged him over his ideas. Firstly, he doesn't have children and secondly, that a partner often becomes more attractive because of the way they put the children first, by being a good dad / mum.
Who should you put first, partner or child? Only 16% of respondents to the poll on This Morning said partner first, 84% saying children.
These are Marshall's The 10 Golden Rules:
1 Don't neglect your marriage: it is the glue that keeps the family together.
2 Being a parent and a perfectionist don't sit easily together. Instead, aim for good enough.
3 The main job of a parent is to take your children's feelings seriously, but this doesn't mean giving in to every whim, rather explaining why something is not possible or sensible.
4 Happy relationships need good communication skills as well as love and connection.
5 In disputes about how to raise your children, there are no right or wrong answers. Listen to each other, be assertive and negotiate.
6 Don't draw children into adult issues or let them take sides.
7 Encourage your children to be self-sufficient and don't become their servant. In this way, you will have more time to invest in your relationship.
8 You need to feel loved by your partner and not just a service provider. To this end it is important to be romantic, have fun together and make sex a priority.
9 When there's a problem, try not to label your partner or the children as the cause: look at your own contribution.
10 If something is good enough for your children, it is probably good enough for your partner, too.
These are taken from an interview published on the Guardian website here.
Now, obviously, I haven't read the book, but there are a lot of people agreeing and disagreeing with Andrew G Marshall online and in social media.
But my main thought is 'for G-d's sake, why can't mums get a break, do we need more guilt?'
I appreciate that yes, in most cases children wouldn't be there if if wasn't for your partner, and yes you need a balance, but how many us feel like we are already putting so much effort in to trying to find that balance?
Me & Daddy have struggled being a couple since Little Lady arrived, but even though I'm stressed and need a break at times, my child will always come first.
I haven't got any more space in my head or heart for guilt about my partner not being first. Am I looking at this wrong? Should I be rejecting that guilt and thinking that a happy marriage will bring happy children?
What do you think? Do you agree with Mr Marshall?