Thu 18 Mar 2010
I get this question from time to time, “who do you love more, me or Andy?” And I understand why. Children loose a sense of identity and security when parents divorce. My kids want to know that they are loved beyond measure and they feel the need to check in from time to time.
I know and believe the marriage needs to come first. Yet, I also know that kids need to feel unconditionally loved. This becomes a delicate situation in a stepfamily. I’ll share with you how I handle this question.
Whenever, I’m asked “who do you love more, me or Andy?” I answer this way:
“I have loved you longer than I have loved Andy. You have been in my life since you were born. We have so much time and history together. Nothing can ever change the fact that I have loved you longer than I have loved my husband.”
It is such a true statement and always puts a smile on their face and a sense of peace in their heart. Once, I got pressured with an additional question from my very inquisitive daughter. She said, “but do you love him more than me?” I explained that married love and motherly love cannot be compared. I told her, “you came from me. I created you with all the love I had inside of me. You are the reflection of my love. I chose to marry Andy and I choose to love him. The two types of love should not be compared.”
In any marriage, the relationship between the husband and wife has to be at the heart of the family. The adults need to nurture and love each and model what respect and love look like for their children. A strong marriage benefits the kids in the family. This is equally important in a second (or third) marriage. Children have already been exposed to the pain of losing their parental unit to either death or divorce. We do not want our children growing up believing that marriages are disposable. They aren’t.
This is how I handle the question when my kids ask me who I love more. I am interested in any and all comments and suggestions of how others handle this same question.
Thanks for sharing.