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Who Do You Love More: Your Kids or Your Husband?

By dadcamp |

My Wife Is Having An Affair With These Two Guys

“Women and children first!”

That was the cry from the decks of the Titanic that chilly spring night as the ship went down. Women are needed to propagate the species, children have their lives ahead of them. Men are expendable.

I get it. Still, when you see a survey that says 75% of women love their kids more than their husbands, it hurts. Just a little.

The survey asked women who they love more, their kids or their husband and 3/4 kicked the guy to the curb.

My wife and I talked about it this weekend, and she just shrugged and said; “they’re a part of me. You don’t know what I went through to give them life.”

The Kid Scoop team was more 50/50 on the topic:

Casey Mullins: I’m the 25%, IS THAT HORRIBLE? Maybe people were just afraid to admit to the other?

Amber Doty: I don’t know how you can quantify love, but I believe in putting my marriage first.

Casey Mullins: What Amber said.

Kacy Faulconer: This makes me think of the show Awake where the guy’s wife is dead in one reality, then he goes to sleep and wakes up in a different reality where his son is dead. The reality with the dead wife is much more bleak. I don’t know what that says about me other than TV helps me make sense of the world.

Casey Mullins: I guess I see it as if I were to lose Cody, I’d be left alone to help little people cope as well as myself.

If I were to lose a baby or child (oh please no no no) Cody and I would have each other to lean on and support the other child with, which we’ve done before through other really hard stuff.

I always tell my husband I will take a bullet for my kids, but not for him.

Marinka: I remember when Ayelet Waldman wrote about this years ago.

Jen at PIWTPITT: I always tell my husband I will take a bullet for my kids, but not for him. He knows where he ranks and he is fine with it. I love them all differently.

Andrea Zimmerman: Weighing in from a (grown-up) kid perspective: I always hated how obvious it was that my mom loved us kids more than my dad. I found it super-uncomfortable watching that play out in front of me. I mean, I appreciated the attention, but I always felt bad for my pops. Side note: I have serious relationship issues now, so THANKS MOM.

Casey Mullins: My trouble was when my parents got divorced they LOUDLY proclaimed their hate for one another and would each tell me that I was just like my mother/father. Which led me to wonder, if you guys hate each other, and I’m just like the other one, does that mean you hate me too?

Therapy. Nailed it.

I certainly don’t feel the need to fight for my husband or protect him the same way I feel I need to protect my kids, that’s an entirely different mama bear thing. The simple truth in my situation is that Cody makes me who I am and fills in all the broken parts of me in ways no one else ever has or ever could.

I’m pretty sure he’d pick kids over me, but he gets breaks out in hives if he ever has to think about one of his little girls being hurt. I’m okay that he’d pick them over me; I know he could find someone else, he’s an easy guy to love.

Meghan Gesswein: My kids come first. I’d go after them first in an accident/fire and I would fully expect my husband to do the same. And he would.

My kids are my (current) priority, my marriage is healthy (usually, ha) and when the kids are older and/or out of the house, we can concentrate on us. Not that we neglect our marriage now, but we had kids for a reason, and we think our job as parents is to give them everything we’ve got.

I’m a little rougher.

Buzz Bishop: I don’t have a problem with my wife choosing the kids over me, really. They’re younger and cuter and spend more time in our bed with her than I do.

It was a Mother’s Day themed survey, so women were the focus, but it would be curious to know if Dads felt the same way. Go ahead, ask your spouse “Who do you love more: me or the kids?” and put it in the comments.

I think I’m on Team Kid, here.

Read Casey’s opinion here and Whit’s opinion here.

Follow Buzz on Facebook or @dadcamp

Read more at DadCAMP or The Blog According to Buzz.

Get more DadCAMP on Kid Scoop:

TIME Magazine Shot 3 Other Families For Their Cover

Cameron Diaz Has No Children, But Still Offers Advice To Parents

Are You Outsourcing Your Parenting?

More on Babble

About dadcamp



DadCAMP is Buzz Bishop, a dad, broadcaster, writer, and runner from Calgary, Alberta. When not working the mic on XL103, or wrangling his two boys, he's always training for another Team Diabetes marathon somewhere in the world. Read bio and latest posts → Read Buzz's latest posts →

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35 thoughts on “Who Do You Love More: Your Kids or Your Husband?

  1. Ami says:

    I guess I don’t get this whole post, because why do we have to choose? And how can you compare the love you feel for a spouse against the love you feel for a child? They are totally different. It’s like an apples to oranges thing, companionship/romantic love versus a mothering, care-taking kind of love.

    Additionally, if I was on a sinking ship I would stress more about the kids because my husband knows how to swim whereas the offspring would be helpless. This doesn’t mean I love the kids “more.”

  2. Kacy Faulconer says:

    Your kids are so cute–that curly hair! I might love them more too.

  3. Jenn says:

    I agree, its a totally different kind of love and I don’t think that I could chose one over the other. I love my DH with all my heart, but my DD is part of me. Its a totally different kind of love, mothering/nurturing versus romantic love…..I love them both unconditionally( well almost – if DH were to cheat, that would be a deal breaker, but still….)….My child needs me to take care of her, whereas my husband can take care of himself.

  4. marinka says:

    It depends on the day. It totally depends on the day.

  5. wendi says:

    exactly ami you took the words from my mouth!!!!!

  6. Mike says:

    “If I were to lose a baby or child (oh please no no no) Cody and I would have each other to lean on and support the other child with, which we’ve done before through other really hard stuff.”

    This rubbed me the wrong way. I think you could have made your point without resorting to a hypothetical about losing a child. It is insulting to the many strong, wonderful marriages that weren’t able to survive such a horrific loss. I don’t care what “other really hard stuff” you may have gone through together, none of it could prepare you for what you would face when you lose a child.

  7. The Mommy Psychologist says:

    A few years back Ayelet Waldman said in a NYT times article that she loved her husband more than her children. She was completely villified. She even received death threats. I talked about it here and provide the link for the original article. I wonder what would happen if you asked men the same question: wives vs. children. Hmmm….I wonder how the women would react then.

  8. Mike says:

    “If I were to lose a baby or child (oh please no no no) Cody and I would have each other to lean on and support the other child with, which we’ve done before through other really hard stuff.”

    This rubbed me the wrong way. I think you could have made your point without resorting to a hypothetical about losing a child. It is insulting to the many strong, wonderful marriages that weren’t able to survive such a horrific loss. I don’t care what “other really hard stuff” you may have gone through together, none of it could prepare you for what you would face when you lose a child.

  9. Jen says:

    If I ask myself “who do I love more” I can’t be sure because the love is different. I know exactly who I would run into a burning building for or give my life for. My husband and I would both save our kids over each other, no question. I don’t think that means I love them more, just that I love them differently.

    I am a little offended at Casey’s hypothetical example of losing a child though because I did just watch a family member go through it and it’s nowhere near as simple as that. I guarantee that either of Cole’s (my nephew) parents would trade places with him. I certainly don’t think it means they love each other less that they would do that either.

  10. marinka says:

    I love my husband and am fully committed to him. But I can imagine life without him– he is older than I am and I am fully aware of the divorce statistics.

    I can’t bring myself to even think about the possibility of surviving my children. I never want to live without them.

  11. Lala Mama says:

    No question I love my daughter more. I’m not sure if it hurts my hubby, but I know that if he said the same to me, I would totally not be hurt…it would rather be what I would except. My daughter is a part of him….actually, more like a chip off the old block….

  12. Jelena says:

    I agree that its sort of a ridiculous question, as the love you feel for a child vs. the love you feel for a partner is completely different. I think what it comes down to is that the role of protector and nurturer would supersede my “obligation” to my partner. But that doesn’t mean that I “love” my kid MORE than him, it’s just simply a different type of love/role…a different sort of commitment and innate connection. I would feel wary of ever saying that I love my kid more than my man because it would imply that he is not equally important in my life. After all, this is the person I have chosen to spend my life with…until I die. The kids will go on and live there own lives, start there own families….etc.

  13. Ashley says:

    Totally agree with AMI. I love my husband romantically and love my children as children! They are all a huge part of my life!

  14. jenny says:

    I can live without my husband,not my boys tho…i love them more and have for the 26 years ive been a parent..prolly why my marriage has failed but dont care.his mother feels same about him..i’d die for my kids…

  15. Daphanaz says:

    I love my child more. My husband knows this. He expects this. I also know that the baby comes before me. I expect it. In fact, I’d be furious if it wasn’t the case. We made a baby together. I spent 41 weeks and a day ‘baking’ her. We put so much effort into this little human. She’s half of each of us. She’s precious and irreplaceable. So is hubby, but my heart and soul belong to our baby on a way nothing and no one could ever dream of touching. Our daughter is 6, and knows full well that we love her more than we love each other (she has SO many grown up questions… zomigod..). She understands that children are everything to their parents (or should be, but like I said she’s only 6; no need for her to know the horrors of the world yet). My marriage is rock solid, both of us knowing our child comes first in all things, love included.

  16. Chris Routly (Daddy Doctrines) says:

    I love my kids absolutely and completely, of course. I would lay down my life for them in a heartbeat, and I don’t know that I could ever get over losing them. But that’s a love that is so ingrained in my being that I don’t think I even really have a choice in the matter. I loved them before I even knew them, because they are a part of me. If they walked out of my life I would still love them.

    But my wife? I CHOSE to love her, and it’s a love and commitment that I work on nourishing and feeding and requires those things to continue to grow and evolve. I don’t love her more, or less. I love her differently.

    So who do I love more? The ones I have no choice but to love, or the one I choose to love? I’ve always felt like it’s a meaningless question, really, because all else being equal in a healthy relationship it’s a false choice. You might as well ask someone with more than one kid to pick the one they love the most.

    What’s the point other than to highlight how easily some people let the love for their spouse die on the vine once the kids come along and take their place?

  17. lisbeth says:

    my kids of course .. its sad how there r so many that would pick a guy bfore their kids …

  18. Mamazee says:

    100% my husband comes first. We chose each other, we are best friends, have been married for 18 years, crazy in love, bedtime is better every year. I know he would say the same. Does this mean we don’t love our kids? No! We’re crazy about them, proud of them, scared for the future for them, want to protect them and yet see them grow into adults some day… The best gift we can give these little (and big! Our oldest is 16) guys is to have a mom and dad who truly, madly, deeply love and respect each other. A healthy family begins with a mom and dad who are totally, 100% committed to life together. Everything good, security, happiness, parenting comes from that place of implicit trust and goodwill…

  19. Amanda says:

    I love my daughter more than my husband. It is such a deep unconditional love. I love him dearly as well. But if something were to happen to our relationship where it ended, I would survive. If something were to happen to my daughter, I would be a shell of a person, I wouldn’t be able to survive without my daughter in my life. My husband does not expect me to put him first, our daughter’s needs come first. I couldn’t be with a man who would want himself put before a child he relies on an adult to provide her with everything she needs to be happy and live.

  20. Christina Gleason @ Cutest Kid Ever says:

    I can’t and wouldn’t choose. I would probably have to be committed if I lost either Tom (my husband) or TJ (my son).

    That being said, if both of them were in a burning building, mama bear would go after TJ. But there’s a logical explanation for this – Tom would have a better chance of making his own way out.

  21. Yvette says:

    There is NO way I could say I love one over the other “more”. My children are my children, mostly helpless because of their age. My husband is my ROCK. I love & depend on him more then anyone I have ever allowed myself to.
    It’s not fair to ask about who I’d save first. Any parent would save their children first. That doesn’t mean that their love for their sig. other is any less. That just means that the children can’t do what the other can.
    I don’t know how I’d live with out either or if they died. But I know that I’d have who ever is there to love & comfort. I can’t understand the question because my love for all of them aren’t limited.

  22. Michelle says:

    Honestly, I think as long as you and your spouse feel the same way, it doesn’t matter either way. As long as y’all either a) both love the kids more or b) both love each other more, then you are on the same page and less likely to have conflict and different priorities.

  23. amanda says:

    No question, my children come first. I love my husband, but my babies are my world. And if my husband were asked the same question he had better say our children, I can’t imagine being with a man who would put me before his children!

  24. StrawBerry says:

    I love them both equally, just in different ways. The kids do come first, but maybe I’m lucky we agree on that theory.

  25. goddess says:

    Wow- we DID lose our oldest son at 6 years old- tragic- and it almost destroyed our marriage, but didn’t. IT became stronger after the hard stuff. HOWEVER, Casey’s comment did NOT offend me in any sort of way at all. I understood what she was saying.

  26. Christina says:

    My husband and I talked about this when our little girl was born and we both agree that, though it’s a different kind of love, we love her more than anything else in this world, even each other! I think that’s the way it should be. I’m a firm believer in the statement “you don’t know true love until you have a child,” and I would do ANYTHING for her. As for my husband…..not so much :)

  27. nikki says:

    a childs love is unconditional no matter what your child does in life u will always love them …… your spouse is love as well but he or she can lie, cheat and do things to make the love fade ,,, your child can lie cheat steal commit murder and u will still have unconditional love for your child … i think its 2 kinds of love . romantic love can be nice but unconditional love never dies

  28. Lucie H. says:

    I think in order to have a WONDERFUL home-life (marriage, strong foundation to raise your kids, etc) you must put the most ‘priority’ on your relationship with your other half. Everything ELSE stems from that. It has no bearing on loving one more than the other. So maybe the question could have or should have been worded differently?

    Just think about how many relationships/marriages end or deteriorate once kids are introduced into the equation…

    Also, loving your child(ren) and your spouse/significant other are 2 different kid of loves. I definitely think there are moms that put so much more “attention” on their kids (thinking that means showing how much they love them) that they: #1 Lose a bit of their own identity in the process and #2 Forget that their kids are going to grow up one day and lead their own lives, leaving them where it all started, with their partner!

    So with regards to guilt factor, should the question really be where is your priority?

  29. Tracey says:

    I dont think the question is clear. If you’re asking if I had to choose to save my husband or my son I would choose my son. Of course! But to say I love one more than the other is not true. I love my child as a mother should; whole heartedly and unconditionally. However, bibically you are suppose to put your spouse first. Your children are designed to leave you and raise families of their own [mine will have trouble getting away from me =) ] Your spouse is supposed to be for life, having left his own parents to join with you. Both relationships are strong and Lord willing unbreakable. I would give my life to save either having full faith in my son/husband to carry on together without me (with more dirty laundry I assume). I think that to say you have to love one more than the other would be like loving one child more than the other. And while Im sure some people do I cannot

  30. OutOFsyncWreality says:

    My husband and I have an agreement… our children’s lives are more important than ours… we would never ever save eachother instead of our child but love them more? Not true at all, its just a different respect for the kids than we have for eachother.

  31. Jamie says:

    Sorry Hubby, but it’s no contest: I love my daughter more. I love my husband with all of my heart, but with my daughter, I love her so much it’s literally scary.

  32. LuLu.A says:

    I feel like the way that majority of people are defining their love is too rigid. I would be more inclined to say that a woman’s capacity to love and how she loves is extraordinary and different compared to how most men love, because sometimes she finds herself having to nurture and protect her partner as well as her children. Women are good multitaskers when it comes to love, she can love two beings in a different way and the same way at the same time, but in times of need such as raising small children or caring for an ill or injured spouse, we may find her love taxed (for lack of a better word) and being spent mostly on one side, this doesn’t mean she loves that person more, it’s just that her heart is putting in the work where it thinks it is “most needed” at the time. So where would the question of choosing come in if she has the ability to love her whole family this way?

  33. Shaikh says:

    Apparently, in most cases based on studies women tend to be hey i love my kids more than my hubby and men tend to be hey i love my wifey more than my kids.

    I don’t care who loves who more as long as the priorities are the same that’s all matters, for example if the wife love the kids more than the husband, then so should the husband do the same if not then there is a disunity there between the husband and the wife.

    Personally, I don’t think most men should even get married in the first place since what’s the point for most men to get married if they will end up loving their wives more than their kids and MIGHT also get hurt or disappointed seeing that the wives are not reciprocating that same type of love back.

  34. Brooke says:

    Love is not the same thing as romance, passion or lust. If you feel that the love you have for your children is different than the love you have for your spouse then you are confused about what love is. When you strip the romance and passion from the love you feel for your husband you should have the same thing: Love.

    Love is kind and nurturing and putting someone else’s needs before yours. That’s love. Love makes you feel good when you do something for the person you love. Lust makes you go crazy with sexual desire and passion. Lust is not the same thing as love!

  35. Brooke (again) says:

    A few other women commented that your children will one day leave. This is not entirely true. I fully expect my children to help me and not stick me in a nursing home when I’m old. I would do this for my own parents just like my parents did for my Nana.

    If you have a strong loving bond with your children they will never leave you. Though divorces happen. Your children are the only thing in this entire world that are 100% only yours. Everything else comes and goes.

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