Children and Relationship: Two Separate Issues

As mothers, when we are frustrated with the children, sometimes we have the tendency to take out our anger on our partner and vice versa.  She says, "Well if you didn't give the kids that...maybe they wouldn't behave like..."  He says, "Why don't you just get off my back, you always have something to say!"  See the difference?  One talks about an action related to the children and the other wants to criticize the way she is communicating with him.  One is a parenting issue and the other is a relationship issue.  If this conversation was to continue it would most likely reverse and reverse some more until everyone is yelling including the children in the next room.

Moms and Dads sometimes aren't conscious of how we are taking two separate issues and making them become one especially in the heat of battle.  Throw in everything else into the battle like, finances, job, relatives, location and more and you will have a myriad of issues that all end up in the same category: divorce.  When talk like this happens all hell will break lose!

We have to remind ourselves that if we handle the relationship and the children as two separate issues (as well as everything else,) things will be easier to handle.  We must pace ourselves with each issue and don't try to cover everything in a single meeting.  Maybe talk about one issue on Monday and then something else on Wednesday.  However, if we put everything in one big pile and try to handle it all at the same time in one major blow up, nothing will get done.  Rather, all parties will walk away with hurt feelings.  "Mom screamed at me." says one child.  "She was yelling at me too," says Dad.  "I couldn't hear her and didn't want to," says grandma.

I have been guilty of this sort of thing myself sometimes consciously and other times subconsciously.  I have started with an issue related to my relationship and then before long the children are involved, sometimes because they are just there--in the way!  You know, standing there looking at two adults talk while pushing trucks and cars around.  "Go play!  Now where was I..."  By this point I'm so frustrated and so is the partner mainly because it is taking too long to get to the point.

Sometimes as moms we catch a lot of heat in our relationships because of the children; yet, our partners can't see the problem behind the problem.  For instance, let's say one child has a challenge that takes up a lot of your free time while another child is always pestering you for something.  The irritation that you feel is yours and yours alone especially when your partner doesn't want to be bothered.  He doesn't see or maybe chooses not to acknowledge how your issues with the children are affecting your mood.  Now he has an issue with you, what!?  Yeah, it happens.  As confusing as it may sound, but sometimes they forget that the children and you are two separate matters and that neither you or the children should be treated as one big challenge.

We all must be mindful when raising children and handling issues with partners that we are simply flawed people.  Every situation is not going to be dealt with like a customer service rep in a fast food restaurant.  "Would you like fries to go with that shake?"  Sometimes the napkin, fork, ketchup and whatever else you asked for isn't going to be in your bag when it is given to you through the drive-thru window.  Now consider that analogy and apply it to your intimate relationship and your parenting skills.  You can't always do it all and not all at the same time, mom.  Sometimes you will forget what challenges are connected with you, the children and your relationship and when this happens, handle them all separately.

Some couples are ready to get a divorce for reasons that they see, but they fail to look at what was going on behind the scenes.  Maybe a spouse was putting too much pressure on the other to do everything right and when some things were forgotten, he or she was treated like one of the kids.  Sometimes when there is an issue with the children, the partner wants to blame his or her spouse.  He or she acts like a voter picking sides rather than working together.  When things like this happen, it isn't any wonder why men and women in relationships with children start looking to be anywhere, but at home.  Keep the children out of your relationship as best you can.  Treat them and your relationship as two separate issues.  When in the heat of battle, stay on a single topic and forget about the rest for the time being.  Who knows, your relationship just might last long after the children are gone?

Nicholl McGuire

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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