After you got married and gave birth to an adorable child, usually your priorities will shift. You will start getting up in the middle of the night because your baby is crying. You will start taking days off from work because something happened to the little guy or girl. You will start sleeping less, and eventually you will start giving less love to your partner.
This is normal.
Unlike your child, your partner is already an adult; they can tend to themselves. You don’t need to bathe them and get them dressed. In contrast, a baby have no ability to do those things by themselves. You will have to feed your child, you will have to dry their tears, and you have to dress them up.
However, in a Journal of Family Psychology, there is a study that suggests you should not neglect giving love to your partner as you shower your kids with love. This is because children with parents that love each other will be much happier and feel more secure compared to those with parents that couldn’t love each other. By having parents that love each other, your child could have a model of what a relationship looks like.
Another journal also notes that if parents have a fight or mishandled tensions, usually those tensions will spill over into their interactions with their child. This is especially true for the fathers. The bad news is that if a child saw their parents being hostile to each other, they will start blaming themselves for the fight and their performance at school will start to decline.
Those numbers about giving more love to your partner is also supported by a survey from 2014 by the Institute for Social and Economic Research from University of Essex. The survey said that from 40.000 households in United Kingdom, most adolescents are happier when their parents love each other. That is only for kids whose parents stay together, because children with divorced parents could have a severe psychological, behavioral, and health problems.
In another survey by Pew Research in 2010, 52% of young parents answered that being a good parent is “one of the most important things in life”, while 30% of them say marriage is. Which means, there are around 22% gap between the two choices.
However, giving all your love to your child is not a wise move. They will grow older, and when they become teenagers, they might meet your display of warmth with revulsion or sullenness. Grown children usually don’t want to be the object of all their parents’ affection. That is why, it’s important to divide the love you give to your child and the love to your partner.
While it’s not wrong to shower your kids with love, you shouldn’t shift all your attention there. Usually, having children is not a reason why someone would get together with their partner. Rather, having children is like a very complex puzzle that suddenly comes into your marriage life.
Don’t focus everything on your puzzle until you can no longer figure out your partner.
You can still love your child while at the same time giving the same love to your partner, and one way to do it is by raising your kids together. Spend your quality time together as you take your child on a walk. Show your affection for each other in public. And most importantly, tell your partner that you love them whole-heartedly.