Marriage First And Children Second

Marriage First And Children Second

by Nannette Nero Zuke, LMFT




Giuliana Rancic, E! News host and cancer survivor, stirred up controversy last week with her statement to US Weekly that she and husband Bill Rancic, reality TV star and first Trump “Apprentice” hired, “put our marriage first and our child second.”



If you’re married with children you know all too well how hard it is to find time for everything. There’s meal planning, homework, Little League Games, breast feeding, runny noses and first dates. . . the list goes on. The stressors in living up to the this American standard of super parent with a myopic child-focus can be daunting! That is if you buy into this standard. Sometimes it may feel that you’re just not good enough if you don’t give your child the opportunity to participate in every activity, bake cupcakes for the PTO fundraiser or purchase all the latest and greatest things your child  desires.  The pressure is strong and the ante is high because so & so’s parents let him/her do/have such and such a thing. 






Most American parents dream of offering their children something better than they had as kids, but to what extent? 


To the extreme where they indulge their children at the sake of their marriage? 


And then who benefits?


A child-focused standard hasn’t always been the American way. If we go back just a few generations, children were far from the focus. Many of us have fore fathers & mothers who dropped out of school as children to work and support the family. Life 100 years ago was not easy for children. No one would wish such challenging childhoods on their own children.  


When an individual or a society makes a change, we often move from one extreme to the other before we settle out with a moderate balance. 


What about your family?


Later last week Giuliana was quoted by E! News saying "Bill and I understand that my comments have sparked some debate and feel it is a good thing to open the conversation about how to find a balance between your marriage and your children. Your relationship is the first example your child learns from and we will do everything we can to show our child how much we love, respect and are devoted to one another. He can only benefit from this, and hopefully it will carry over into his other relationships throughout his life." 


Could Giuliana and Bill be trend setters toward a more moderate balance in family relationships?


Balancing family relationships takes work and the pay off is great. From early years in Marriage & Family Therapy with pioneers like Salvador Minuchin and Structural Family Therapy to contemporary practices such as John Gottman’s Method; Marriage and Family Therapy has helped couples find balance in family relationships providing opportunities for all family members to grow in loving relationships.


How do you balance family relationships?


Nannette is a mother, wife, daughter, friend, psychotherapist,blog writer and consultant. She is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and works with individuals, couples and families in her private psychotherapy practice located in Kennebunk, Maine. Finding her own balance in family relationships hasn't always been easy, but well worth the effort. Nannette appreciates your thoughts and comments and hopes you’ll look for other Healthy&Whole blogs on her website


Photo & Image credits: 

Bride And Groom Just Married Posing Happily courtesy of photostock; Playtime courtesy of photostock; Child in Angry courtesy of supakitmod

Happy Family courtesy of Vera Kratochvil


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Nannette Nero Zuke, 


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