SAN ANGELO, Texas — First comes love, then comes marriage. Following the wedding bells usually comes a baby carriage, but who comes first when it comes to love and attention?
Ben Hubert, a marriage counselor at West Texas Counseling and Guidance, said that married couples should put their relationship before their children.
“Children are not the center of the universe and I know that is counter-cultural in the society we live in today that everything revolves around our five-year-old,” Hubert said. “If the focus is only the children matter, we need to always respond when the children cry out, then when the children leave you look across the table and you don't know who that person is anymore.”
Hubert said children learn what love is by watching their parents interact with one another; and the balancing act of tending to your partner and your little ones is by no means an easy one.
“As much time as parents spend talking about their children, they need to balance talking to each other, you have to find the time you have to make the time,” Hubert said.
San Angelo couple Natalie and Harold Munoz agree that finding the balance between marriage and children is a tough one, but they admit they put their children before their marriage.
“I come from a single-parent home, so I understand that the child comes before,” Harold said.
The Munoz’s have been married for 11 years and have two children, and said making sure the children know they are love if their main priority.
"In Columbian culture the kids are king, so we go directly for the kid,” Harold said.
His wife, Natalie, said that mostly has to do with maturity. Children are still learning what love, attention and true affection is, so if her husband doesn’t always greet her with a kiss first, it’s not the end of the world.
“When it comes to if he's walking through the door and kid is crying is, he going to tend to them or me first. I have good coping mechanism because I've been on the earth longer than my child so if he bypasses me to give attention to my child, I'm not going to make a story about that,” Natalie said.
Hubert said not every marriage is the same, and different things work for different couples, but one thing he does stand by no matter what, is making your marriage your primary focus is not neglecting your child.