There’s a deal breaker in creating an unshakable love and an unleashed passion that is quite controversial, but I think you know by now…that’s not gonna stop me.
So buckle up buttercup, because we are going there now!
You can hate me for it or love me for it…..that doesn’t change the FACT that unless your PARTNER is #1 in your life, you cannot have an unshakable love and an unleashed passion!
Your partner must be #1 in your life. Your relationship must come first.
Yeah, it doesn’t end there. Here we go.
What does it mean to make your spouse your Number One? It means that you put your partner (and your relationship) above work, above other family members, above the kids…YES, above the kids.
I know this may be a rough one to hear at first, but stay with me.
I’m only here to serve you and by the end of this article you will at least understand the reasons why it is best for you, your partner AND your kids to put your marriage first.
Then you can choose whether or not it’s for you. Deal?
First and foremost, to have an Unshakable love, by definition, NOTHING can come between you.
Again, by definition, if your spouse is further down your list than your work, other family members, kids…then by definition those things can SHAKE your relationship.
If your partner feels that ANYthing in your world is more important to you than they are, not only do you NOT have an unshakable love, but you’ve got trouble brewing.
Let’s start with the most controversial and most common one first…
Putting your partner before your kids
You love your kids. I get it. I love my kids too…more than life. No one’s saying that you shouldn’t love your kids.
Prioritizing your partner (or your relationship) with respect to your children means that your KIDS cannot come between you and your partner! It means that Mom will not align with daughter against Dad. And Dad will not align with daughter against Mom. It means you are UNSHAKABLE as a team….and from THERE you parent! From that place of indivisible alignment, you serve your children!
Here’s the thing – the greatest thing you can do for your kids is to create an unshakable love! Create a unified front, a solid marriage, unshakable by anything and anyone. From THAT space, you parent and love your children.
There are many studies that show that a child’s number one source of security and certainty is their parent’s relationship. You are prioritizing your relationship FOR your kids!
Kids are much more sensitive to your relationship than you think. Just think back to how your parent’s relationship, or lack of one, impacted you and you will see.
Wouldn’t you have preferred that your parents be a strong united front so nothing could come between them? Of course you would. As kids, you perceive your parent’s relationship as a factor in your own safety and survival. And so do YOUR kids.
Your kids want you to have an unshakable love. They don’t want anything to SHAKE your marriage!
I know you love your kids more than life itself. No one’s asking you to love them any less.
This isn’t about your LOVE. There’s no measure for love. It’s like Paul always tells our son Jake. When Gracie was born we didn’t love you any less! We have an unlimited amount of love, for everyone in this family.
It’s about how you show up and ultimately about how your priorities manifest in your life. Your partner, your intimate love, your marriage, must be your number one priority. And from there, you can parent together.
Here’s the thing
You are NOT going to parent your kids for the rest of your life.
You will always be their parent, but you will not “parent” them forever. They are leaving one day. And you want them to go. You want them to be independent, self sufficient, contributing members of society. You want them to go out into the world, live their purpose and find true love.
Your partner is the only other human in this world (besides yourself) that you have dedicated your life to, your entire life to, until the day you die. Your partner is yours forever. For all your days. They are the only one….they are the most important relationship you will ever have. They are your life partner!
Your partner is the only human on the planet, other than yourself, where you will take on their problems as your problems, you will fix it for them, do it for them, and make their dreams your dreams too. They are the only other human where you will take the responsibility of meeting all their needs, as they will yours. 100%/100% remember?
And you know what, you already know this.
When it comes to your kids, how many times have you held back from “doing it for them”, “fixing it for them” or “making their choices for them”? Loads of times right? We cannot do everything for them, we can’t fix everything, and we certainly can’t make all their choices. We must let them learn some things for themselves.
And why do we do this?
Because we want independent, self sufficient, autonomous kids who have a feeling of self worth on the INSIDE. That’s why we don’t do everything for them, fix everything for them or even warn them when they are heading for trouble at times.
As our kids get older, we need to let them make their own mistakes, fight their own battles and certainly choose their own path. So they can go out into the world prepared and ready to be the best version of themselves they can be.
And when that day comes, you do NOT want to look at your partner, and realize that you haven’t been putting them first, that they don’t feel number one on your list….maybe not even number two, three or four.
The message we want our kids to get is “Mom and Dad love you unconditionally and we know that you can do this. We are here for you.”
Can you feel the energy of that statement? Mom and Dad are a team, in solidarity. And from that strength, they can parent their children.
By this point, you may be thinking that there is some validity to this “putting your partner first thing”.
Whooooo Hoooooo!!! That’s awesome!! That’s a fantastic starting point! Transformation starts from a shift in perspective!!
We will continue with this topic in Parts 2 and 3 of this three part series on Putting Your Partner First!
In Part 2 of this series, we will cover when your business (or work) comes before your partner and how to manage your priorities with other family members! And in Part 3 of this series, we will go into the strategies for HOW to put your partner first!
Sending love to YOU!!
I couldn’t resist the image of Buttercup from The Powerpuff Girls for this article! 🙂
38 thoughts on “Buckle Up Buttercup! It’s ON!”
Stacey, I totally agree. A partnership requires that you are equally invested in putting each other first. Absolutely!
And it shows Janine!!! Just being with you and Martin, we can feel that you put each other first!!!! So Yummy!!!! Thanks for taking the time to post sweetie! Love you!
Stacey, great stuff here. Kids grow up and leave! Our partner is the life long commitment we’ve chosen and learning how to keep it first, front and center is key. I love your energy and passion about this topic. Thanks.
Amen Mary! Thank you!!!! I really appreciate you taking the time to post and share your perspective!! Love YOU sweetie!!
Bravo Stacey! This is indeed a very touchy subject and very important one. I will add my two cents. We must ask ourselves a question “What’s going to happen to our relationship when kids grow up and fly away from our nest?” Do we still have a loving and compassionate nest or an empty one?
Fantastic Andre! What a quality question!!!! Everyone should ask themselves that question! Thanks for taking the time to post here on the blog and share your two cents!!! Sending love!
Stacey, this is the best truth for relationships. A rock-solid marriage helps kids feel safe, models for them what real love and commitment is, and inspires everyone around you! The divorce rate would seriously decrease if more people saw this series. I’d like it to go viral! Thanks for your bravery. ❤❤
Wow Sandi!! Thank you so much for saying so!!! I really appreciate you taking the time to share your perspective to serve others!!!! Thank you so much for your love and support!!! Love you!
Focusing on creating a strong marriage is the best way to becoming better parents, better parents create more loving kids, more loving kids make a better world.
So well said Cena!!! Thank you for sharing that! Love you!
Stacey I was talking with an old friend the other day and she is having that exact problem with her marriage, it is not #1 in her spouse’s eyes. I copied and pasted this blog to send to her and I am dying to see her response. I am sure she will be jumping up and down saying yes, yes yes, that is how it is suppose to be…she has your info..she needs you!!
Awesome stuff…our world needs your program to be out there in the forces…
Thank you so much Debbie!! What an awesome friend you are to send this to her! I am happy to be here to serve her whenever she feels ready! And please remind your friend, that if SHE is not #1 for her husband…SHE has the power to change that!! I know it sounds crazy, but I see it happen every day. One person can absolutely transform a relationship. But that’s another blog post for another day! Thanks Debbie!! Sending love!
This is so true Stacey. I love what you are putting out into the world. I have found from personal experience and clients that this can be really tricky in step-parenting marriages, and not recognizing it always affects the dynamic. It is so true that "the greatest thing you can do for your kids is to create an unshakable love!" If you are in a positive relationship and your partner feels appreciated and respected by you, he or she will become a true co-parent and your child benefits from having 3 or 4 incredible, loving adults as parents. Your love with a step-parent models just as much for your children and the love between two biological parents might. Thank you so much Stacey. Looking forward to the next post!
Incredible Candace!! Coming from all the experience you have in this area every day, I am so grateful to you for sharing this incredibly important perspective here to serve everyone!!! I really appreciate you taking the time to share here Candace! Keep doing what you do sweetie!! Sending love!
I LOVE this post!!!! It took me awhile to get this concept and I totally resisted it when you presented it in the University program. After our coaching call, I totally got it! And I was ready for it! After I got off the phone my life was different. I saw everything through different eyes and I even looked at my husband with new eyes of love and compassion and certainty. This concept of putting your partner first is a huge game changer! The ripple effects that ensue are insane! Thank you Stacey!
Jen you are amazing!!! Watching your transformation is nothing short of incredible!!!! Thank you SO much for sharing that here, I know your story will resonate with so many people!!! Love you!!
this makes total sense to me Stacey, nothing that rocked my boat.. you are affirming what I know as the truth. I don't always follow it and I know this is the truth! thanks for your wisdom!
Awesome Chantal!!! I'm so thrilled that this resonated with you! Thanks for taking the time to comment and share here! Love you!
I know so many parents who do exactly what you've said: put the kids first. I like that you're sending the message that by putting your spouse first, you are creating a more secure place for your children. They want to know that their parents are 1:1 with each other. I don't have kids yet, but I will remember this advice for when I do have them. Thank you, Stacey!
Well said Frances! Thank you for taking the time to share here on the blog!!! Love you!
I know a couple ~ well into their 60’s now ~ who for the last 30 years have had date night on Thursdays. They announced it to EVERYONE that no invitations would have a YES to them if sent out for thursday evenings. Their parents knew it. Their siblings knew it. Their friends knew it. When they had kids, they ALWAYS had date night and their parents/siblings/friends were often the babysitter! Even if the kids had a REALLY IMPORTANT EVENT on a Thursday night like a recital (and it was ONLY being done on that night) they made a date of it and went out together afterward.
They also had a 10 minute husband/wife time. When the family gathered at the end of the day ~ after work and sporting events etc ~ they would announce it’s Husband/wife time and the kids would have to go find something to do and they would share for 10 minute their own time (mostly to SHOW the kids that THEY existed TOGETHER and were not ‘just’ Mom or ‘just’ Dad) and you know what, I don’t know a happier couple or kids (3) who are not setting this up in their own relationships now that they are in their 20’s.
Love it and love this post!
Wow! Incredible Laura!!!! That’s living proof!! Thank you so much for sharing that incredible story! Paul and I have scheduled date nights all the time. We have a great video about how important it is to DATE your spouse, especially when you have kids!!!! So important! I love your story! Thanks for sharing Laura!!! Love you!
I totally believe this concept to be true! My husband is my everything. My children are here for now, but will grow up and leave and I need my best friend in my life for as long as God has planned for us. And by loving pone another and supporting each other through good times and difficult times, we show our children what a GOOD relationship looks like… which in turn teaches them not only how to treat but how to be treated! Totally nailed this one Stacey!
Amen Kelly!!! I know you and Chris live this way and it shows!!!! Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring life here for others to benefit from!!! Thanks so much for your support!! Love you!
Stacey I agree with you to a certain extent. Spouse comes before work, kids, etc. Yet as someone who rescues people from burnout I have a caveat. I see so many people, especially women, who put everyone first and have nothing left for themselves.
So I would add one little tweak. I would say we have to learn to put ourselves first so we can put our spouse first. If we have nothing left to give, we have no true love, marriage, family or life.
Super fantastic Laurie!!! I’ll go one further….if we don’t love and care for ourselves first, putting others before ourselves is just going through the motions…it has none of US in it, because we are empty!
Women are like oil lamps, when we are full, we can light up the world, but when the lamp is empty, it doesn’t matter what you do with that wick, it’s not going to shine!
If a woman is on empty, then she must start with herself!!!
Thanks for taking the time to share here Laurie!!! Sending love!!
Stacy – I couldn’t agree more with this post! Our kids watch everything that we do and by showing and modeling for them what a strong and unified marriage is, we teach them what it is to be completely committed to a relationship. Thanks for sharing such wonderful advice!!
Thanks so much Dave! You are SO right! They watch EVERYthing!!! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your perspective Dave! And thanks for your support!!! Sending love!
Stacey, you hit it perfectly! This is something that my husband and I both work on consistently. Being business partners and life partners sometimes, it becomes all about business and we have to remind ourselves to “take a break” and have a date night or just chill at home and put the computers away 🙂
We also have a 2 year old son and so we have dedicated our week (Mon-Fri) as workdays until he gets home from daycare and then it is all about him/family time until he goes to bed. We may then finish up work or prepare for the next day after he is asleep. We also have started exploring different activities, museums, etc on the weekends.
Having this “schedule” has made us more productive and it has improved our relationship not only as partners but as parents as well. After all, once he grows up, it is just going to be the two of us again, right 🙂
SO awesome Urvi! That is truly fantastic and will serve you both and your son so well! Yep, it’s very true, before you know it, it’s going to be just the two of you again! And you don’t want your “business” to be the only compelling thing holding you together!! Thanks for taking the time to share your perspective and experience Urvi! I really appreciate your contribution! Love you!!
Wow Stacey! You know, it wasn't until I read this, that I realised how much I believed the opposite was true! Thank you so much for opening my eyes, and helping shift my perspective. I can't wait for parts 2 and 3!
You are so welcome Sarada!! Thank you so much for sharing! Love you!
Hi Stacey! i have been following your post for about 3-4 months now. I have this question still lingering and wanted to ask you this. my husband is the number one, before work, before my family and everything. But that is not the case with my husband. His work and his family comes first before me. I never made a big deal about it. But after 12 years, i am so frustrated and now my priority is kids. I am afraid to go back and feel neglected as before. How do i shift this perspective?
Thanks for following us Sangavi! You certainly don’t want to go “back” and feel neglected…you already know how that goes, no need to do what you have done in the past! It’s time to try a different approach!
There are several dynamics at play here (and much more I can’t see based on the little you have shared). But the first is “Score Keeping and Measuring”. When we keep score or measure what we are getting in exchange for what we are giving in relationship – it always backfires on us. We’ve done videos and articles on this…you can search for them here.
One of the reasons is because from your hubby’s perspective he feels he IS giving too. According to his blueprint and how he’s wired, he is giving! But according to your blueprint and how you are wired, it’s not the way you needed it….so there is a mis-match.
When this happens, both partners feel neglected or insignificant…and in time, it’s likely that one or both will pull back.
The solution – there are 8 simple steps! Do you have our brand new eBook which gives you all 8 steps of our Relationship Transformation System®?
It’s a DIFFERENT approach then what you have done before. When you follow our proven system, the tools and strategies that Paul and I teach you will NOT trigger you to feel neglected…because what you will be doing is showing up as MORE of your best and most authentic self!
Download our book (http://relationshiptransformationsystem.com/) and see if it resonates with you! Sending Love!
Hey Stacey, I understand where you’re coming from (and no…you didn’t rock my boat! :)). What you’ve written is very true, especially regards kids, however I find it exceptionally difficult to practice. I saw your post (or video) a little while ago about the word trying….I understand your point of view on that as well. As well as your belief it only takes one to start changing a relationship… However:
I’m finding it very difficult to want to change my perspective (and get rid of my masculine behaviour) in order put my hubbie first when the expectation from him is, as a mother/female it’s my job to do everything for our 4 yr old, and hubbie and house, and that I need only ask for his assistance (to be questioned later about why I was getting frustrated and couldn’t cope).
To give credit, he is now starting to ask: ‘do you want me to…’, when what I want (need) to hear is: ‘I’ll take care of this’.
I’ve asked for date nights and us time but hubbie seems to think we have to sacrifice ‘us’ for our child only to then complain about it later (usually when he’s feeling left out). It seems to be my job to ensure he feels included in everything but then he says he feels obliged to participate, even if not interested. There is only occasional me time without a 4 yr old tagging along so there is very little ‘recharge’ time.
I know anything is possible (ie I can change if I want to) but how do I get past the ‘up yours, mate’ attitude when I feel that I am not getting much back in return.
Hey Cat! Thanks for sharing here! This is something we here SO often when clients first come to work with us! It’s a very common dynamic that you are describing.
To answer your question – the way to get past the “up yours, mate” attitude when you feel that you are not getting much back in return…..(1) STOP keeping score (2) When you truly understand and ACCEPT that the WORK is for YOU and not your relationship, you won’t feel resistance to the work because of what your partner is NOT giving you.
This work is for YOU Cat! Every shift you make. Every tool you learn. Every moment you learn to navigate differently, is to create a better life for YOU!
It’s not for your partner!
Ironically, the only chance you have at shifting your partner is for YOU to shift first…but the START is for you to recognize and truly accept that this work is for YOU!
Learning how to open to your feminine is for YOU! Learning how to drop your expectations of others is for YOU! Learning how to do a Feminine Ask and get completely different results is for YOU!
Said differently, if you were to leave this relationship, you would be taking YOU with YOU to the next relationship….and yeah, the partner would be different, but you would be repeating A LOT of the same patterns again. Becuase a lot of what you have shared here is masculine and feminine dynamics and a lack of alignment in your relationship. Those are LEARNED SKILLS! You have to learn them. You can do it NOW or you can do it LATER, but you can’t skip it!
I hope you will join us at one of our events or in our next program! When you Do The Work…I know you will LOVE the shifts YOU will get to enjoy in your life every day as a result! Hope that serves you Cat!
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