Is Your Child the “Third-Party” in Your Marriage?

Family Group

Is Your Child the “Third-Party” in Your Marriage?

A child is every parent’s pride and joy. Parents shower them with undivided attention and unconditional love. But what happens when the child becomes the only priority – conversations between parents are consumed by the child; family routines are built around the child; and the child seems to be dominating the household? 

The marriage may begin to see cracks. The family may start to experience tensions. The child may feel stressed from the attention, resulting in emotional, biological, social issues such as separation anxiety.  

Here, we share some tell-tale signs that you are prioritising your child over your marriage. 

Decreasing physical intimacy

Physical intimacy between the couple may begin to wane as one parent sleeps with the child in a separate room to assure them and lessen their separation anxiety.   

Breakdown in communication

Communication starts to lessen between the couple as most of the conversational topics revolve solely around the child. This may lead to a clash in opinions regarding daily matters such as the education and upbringing of the child.  

The child takes priority

You and your spouse are accommodating to the child’s every need and want, without considering the opinion of your spouse. This may create division in the household and may also lead to long-term behavioural problems with the child. 


So, what can you and your spouse do to overcome possible marital breakdowns and ensure that each other’s emotional, physical and social well-being are not neglected?

Here are some simple activities that you can do together with your spouse to protect your marriage.  

Express yourself to your spouse

Spring a hug, steal a kiss or leave short notes on the fridge. Express yourself to your spouse in front of your child. This helps to foster a sense of security in the child and reaffirms the commitment between the parents. 

Go on exclusive dates

Incorporate a date every month to reignite that spark you felt when you began dating.  

- Dress up and go for a nice dinner
- Participate in new activities that both of you like or would like to learn
- Volunteer and give back to the community 
- Attend webinars or workshops to learn new skills together  

Build your social support

You and your spouse are not alone in this parenting journey. Find other friends who are experiencing the same thing, share the same values and form a social support group. This way, you and your spouse can share and learn best practices from other couples.  

Bear in mind that the best gift you can give your children is to love your spouse.

Interested to learn more about how you can enhance your marriage? Contact TOUCH Marriage Support at [email protected] or click here to find out more. 

TOUCH Marriage Support aims to enrich marriages to build a strong foundation for families. Through a range of holistic programmes led by experienced marriage educators and counsellors, TOUCH Marriage Support prepares young couples for marriage, strengthens spousal relationships, guides couples through conflict resolution, and empowers couples to navigate and cope with the stressors and challenges which they may face in their marriage.