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A Husband Should Always Prioritize His Wife (Especially in these 5 situations)

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What makes a marriage work? Ask 10 couples, you might get 20 different answers, but there’s always a few things that seem to ring true for every couple, not matter what their other shared values or interests are. There are a lot of relationship qualities that help two people stand the test of time: things like forgiveness, trust, communication, and laughter are definitely among them. But arguably the one most important quality a relationship has that keeps it going through the years is commitment

Author and journalist, Mignon McLaughlin once wrote, “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”

And how true it is! The most important ingredient for a long-lasting, healthy, and happy relationship is a commitment to each other, no matter how much life changes (or doesn’t). And that requires continually doing a gut-check on your priorities. 

Men usually get the bad rap for being less committed than their wives, but the true obstacles to long-term commitment isn’t just about staying faithful in a fidelity sense. Often the things that really challenge your spouse as your #1 priority are actually really good things in your life. 

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The Top 5 Things That Sneakily Ruin Your Marriage Priorities

Your Children

As backwards as this might sound, your kids shouldn’t take over your marriage! It’s just as easy for moms to de-prioritize their husbands as it is for men to de-prioritize their wives for their children. And while you obviously both serve as your children’s life-line, your identity as a spouse should not be overshadowed by your identity as a parent. 

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Try to work together as a couple to co-parent, and make sure you set aside time for just each other (because without taking this initiative, it can easily be weeks, months, or even years before you finally re-surface and realize you have no idea who you’re married to anymore). 

Keep Reading: Study Confirms Putting Kids to Bed is Better for Moms’ Sanity

Your Parents and In-Laws

Looking at you, mama’s boys and daddy’s girls. Once you’re married, your immediate family is no longer your parents, it’s your spouse (and this goes whether you take his last name or not, ladies!). So what does this look like? 

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You don’t run to your parents whenever you have a falling out with your wife- you run to her and work it out. You don’t compare your wife’s cooking to your mom’s. Ever. You talk with your husband before you discuss money issues with your dad (even if he’s a financial advisor). It’s the little things that add up and help preserve your marriage as private and special. After all, three’s a crowd. 

Your Electronics

You know you’re in the 21st century when! It’s not just the younger crowd, every generation these days is experiencing a serious struggle preserving their relationships in spite of the temptation that smart phones, computers, and TV has to offer. 

Make the habit of doing a mental check-in every week. Am I spending more time surfing the web than with my wife? When my husband starts a conversation while I’m watching TV, who gets my attention? Am I irritated with my wife when she wants my attention when I’m playing video games or answering emails? Do I keep my phone on the table when we go out to eat? 

Technology is not a bad thing, but it’s one of the most powerful and sneaky temptations that can usurp your spouse’s position in your life. 

Your Friends

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There’s nothing like unwinding after a hard week’s work with a couple of close friends. And while a healthy marriage doesn’t try to eliminate friendships, your spouse should remain your best friend. That means saying no to boy’s night when your wife could really use some cuddling and special attention. It means not complaining to your girlfriends about the annoying stuff your husband does. And it means respecting your wife’s wishes when she says she isn’t comfortable with you spending time alone with your female friend from high school. Yes, even if there really is “nothing going on” between you. 

Your Career

You’ve probably seen at least a dozen movies with this theme: a man spends years building his career to provide for his family, only to learn at the end of it all that he’s missed out on what really mattered to them all in the first place: time together. 

Getting satisfaction out of your work is a huge blessing! After all, most people end up spending more time with their co-workers than their own families. But don’t let work start seeping into your at-home time. Set clear expectations and boundaries with your employer and co-workers. Let them know that after 6pm, your wife has all of your attention. The same thinking also applies to the big picture things. Is that promotion worth moving the family across the country? Is that new job worth the extra hour of commute time? 

Every woman wants to be her husband’s #1. And every man wants to be his wife’s #1. But a healthy marriage will only work if both partners are committed to upholding each other as their biggest priorities- and keep falling in love with each other every day. 

Keep Reading: How to Avoid a Narcissist

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