Leave the kids out of it!

Parents fighting in front of son © Gabriel Blaj | Dreamstime.comRecently as we ate breakfast at a hotel I saw and over-heard a family argument that made me both sad and angry. The husband was saying “It’s not my fault” and his wife was telling him it was. He finally got up and left. At this point his wife spent the next several minutes telling their teenage son why she was right, and dad was not only wrong but stupid and useless. It was all I could do to not go over and accuse her of child abuse!

It really does not matter if it was his fault – what she did was unacceptable, petty, and destructive to her husband, her marriage, her son’s relationship with both of his parents, and her son’s future relationships. Was she so desperate to be seen as right that she was willing to do all that harm to feel better? In this case it was the wife who was doing the damage; I’ve seen the same thing from men too, and it’s just as wrong and just as destructive.

Decide you will never do this to your children. Never, for any reason, no matter what. Then try to get your bride to agree to the same thing. Do this no matter how old your children are – and especially if you don’t have kids yet. If you have been guilty of this in the past, repent to your bride and look for ways to deal with the disrespect for their mother that you have sown into your children.

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5 Comments on “Leave the kids out of it!

  1. Hey Generous Husband

    My younger cousion was continually hearing her parents argue and to make matters worst they tried to sweep it under the carpet, I have always said to her parents go ahead and apologize to your child. Reassure her that you love each other, and explain.

    I wanted to list a few things on how to keep arguments under control..

    No, name calling, no foul language, no raised voices even if you are at home

    Acitely use your listening skills

    Give direct eye contact and do nothing else while your spouse is talking., look riveted, nod your head, no matter what they are saying.

    sympathize, let the other person know you understand that they are felling bad, even if they are blaming you for the problem

    ask, is there anything more you want to tell me? Give your partner a chance to discover deeper feelings adn to shift to a calmer, and more neutal place.

    Great article.

  2. Thanks again for a concise, to the point post. Probably if you asked this woman, she would say she would do anything for her children. Unfortunately, talking about their father this way is not just disrespectful, it is damaging. If anyone has told her son that he is like his dad, he now knows how his mom feels about part of him.

    Parents who don’t take care of their marriages are not doing all they can for their children. This same behavior spills over once the parents divorce. It puts the kids smack in the middle and divides their loyalties.

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  4. My mother used to vent to me all the time. It made me wonder how she felt about me since as a mild behavior criticism (leaving a dirty dish in the sink or a towel on the floor for example) she’d often tell me ‘You’re just like your father!’.
    It also made me question her stability, as I got older and her venting became a daily thing (at the age of 15 I didn’t realize it was just that venting….I thought these were serious issues that were hurting her in huge ways) I wondered what was wrong with her since she married a man she knew was incapable of change or positive emotion, and stayed with a man that she so obviously (to my unsophisticated understanding of relationships) loathed on so many levels.
    More than 20 years later they’re still together, and have a decent marriage. Far from perfect, but not the disaster that I grew up feeling it was. She was merely feeling frustrated by several legitimate issues with him (as probably EVERY wife feels), but instead of confiding in a close friend she chose to confide in me, burdening me to the point of lost sleep and failing grades because I assumed I was living in a broken home over issues like dirty clothes, coffee mugs on the bedroom dresser, and my dad’s forgetting to buy stamps.

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