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Your Husband or Child—Who Comes First?

Experts help you understand this dilemma.

| September 13th, 2012
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family priorities

Balancing family priorities is no simple task. That's why relationship experts have long researched and debated the best ways to preserve your wellbeing, when the needs of your loved ones reaches an all-time high.

The YourTango.com team of professionals—the digital leader and experts in love and relationships—offers surprising insights into the romantic relationships of couples with kids. Shockingly, the survey reveals that half of experts polled agree: wives should prioritize their husbands over their kids!

About this finding, one expert polled says, "The husband-wife relationship is a life commitment as is the parent child relationship. However, the parent's responsibility is to raise a child and teach him values and morals and accountability so that the child may then take care of himself when he becomes an adult. Therefore, the husband-wife relationship has priority over the parent-child as long as the children are safe."

Meanwhile, an expert on the other side of the fence asserts frankly, "Husbands can take care of themselves; kids can't."

MORE FROM YOURTANGO: It's Not Him, It's You: 6 Reasons Why The Sex Sucks

Almost unanimously, the experts say working parents should share parenting duties equally; only 4% champion working mothers as primary caregivers.

Contrary to common "wisdom," 78% of experts disagree with the assertion that couples without kids are happier than couples with kids. 65% of experts believe two kids make couples happiest; 21% claim one child; 14% say three or four.

Nevertheless, parenting presents undeniable difficulties, and 79% report that couples with kids seek therapy more often than those without.

MORE FROM YOURTANGO: How To Save Your Marriage When You Have Children [EXPERT]

While challenging in the beginning – having a newborn ranked first in terms of the hardest period on parents – there's reason for hope: 80% agree that couples become happier as their children age. The exception? The bedroom. When it comes to sex, 78% say that couples with kids are most sexually satisfied "before the birth of their first child."

Experts rank parental fighting as most toxic for kids to witness, followed by "parents who disrespect each other."

"Parents who fight aggressively with eachother create children who have fear and trauma trapped in their own bodies, leading to profound sexual blocks as adults," comments one expert.

Why do parents fight? Money came in first, followed by parenting/discipline differences. The least common reason? Sex.

MORE FROM YOURTANGO: Why Couples With Kids Are So Dang Happy [EXPERT]

These results will encourage parents—especially new dads," states Andrea Miller, CEO of YourTango. "Men often feel neglected after childbirth, but most can look forward to reaping the joys of parenthood over time."

Additional expert advice for parenting in the digital age:

  • 65% of experts agree that it is never appropriate to spank a child.
  • 56% believe that a parent's best strategy to combat sexting is to "engage in open communication with their kids about the dangers of sexting."

Research methodology: Conducted on SurveyMonkey.com, we polled 104 mental health professionals between May 18 and June 8, 2012.

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