What Happens To A Marriage When A Child Plays Favorites

child chooses mom over dad

When one parent is the favorite, it can lead to contention.

It's midnight. Alex is crying. David doesn't stir.

Really though, why would he? In the past, David has gone to comfort Alex in the middle of the night only to be met with an increase in screaming. In the middle of the night, Alex wants his mommy. Knowing that, why would David bother to wake up anymore?

The thing is, Alex always wants his mommy. When I make breakfast, he tugs at my legs. When I shop at the grocery store, he sits on my hip. When I go to the bathroom, he wants to sit on my lap. He's like a barnacle, permanently attached to me. And even though I know his behavior is perfectly natural, I still want to pee alone. I mean, a girl can dream, right? And since I want that so badly, it's really hard not to point my finger at David. I'm really jealous that he gets time to himself. How To Take Care Of Yourself Like You Take Care Of Everyone Else

David, on the other hand, would really like to spend some quality time with Alex that doesn't involve screaming. He's really jealous that I get to snuggle with our son. While he understands that Alex still loves him, it's hard for him not to point the finger of blame at me.

Ultimately, this remains a point of contention in my house. Maybe I coddle Alex too much. Maybe David doesn't try hard enough to connect. Maybe Alex just likes me better right now. Maybe this will pass. We go 'round and 'round on this. There's no real way to know the answer. The hard truth is that it doesn't matter why it's happening. We have to focus on the solution.

So David has been letting me sleep in most mornings. It's been a long, slow process, but he shoots hoops with Alex, cooks him gourmet breakfasts and blows raspberries on his tummy. He ignores the cries. He pushes through and pushes through. By the time I wake up, I'm sure he wants a drink. When It Comes To Parenting, Give Dad A Chance

Once I’m up, though, I'm like toddler crack. He can't bear to be away from me. At least, that's normally how it works.  But two nights ago, I went into his room to check on him. He rolled over. I cringed for having woken him. He smiled at me. Then he asked where his dada was. It was like a knife in the gut. Because, while I do want to go to the bathroom by myself, I don't want someone else to be requested when I appear. That kind of rejection is brutal. When it comes from your child, it's especially piercing.

I hate that David went through that. I don't really want to go through it, either.

When a parent is ignored, there's no good side of the fence to be on. So at this point, I figure the solution is to have another kid. Adding fuel to fire is always a good thing, right?