Rebirth of Reason

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Mom loves her husband more than her kids
Posted by Nicole Theberge on 4/20, 2:10pm
"MODERN LOVE; Truly, Madly, Guiltily

By AYELET WALDMAN (NYT) 1687 words
Published: March 27, 2005

Sometimes I think I am alone in this obsession with my spouse. Sometimes I think my husband does not feel as I do. He loves the children the way a mother is supposed to. He has put them at the center of his world. But he is a man and thus possesses a strong libido. Having found something to usurp me as the sun of his universe does not mean he wants to make love to me any less. And yet, he says I am wrong. He says he loves me as I love him. Every so often we escape from the children for a few days. We talk about our love, about how much we love each other's bodies and brains, about the things that make us happy in our marriage. During the course of these meandering and exhilarating conversations, we touch each other, we start to make love, we stop. And afterward my husband will say that we, he and I, are the core of what he cherishes, that the children are satellites, beloved but tangential. He seems entirely unperturbed by loving me like this. Loving me more than his children does not bother him. It does not make him feel like a bad father. He does not feel that loving me more than he loves them is a kind of infidelity. And neither, I suppose, should I. I should not use that wretched phrase ''bad mother.'' At the very least, I should allow that, if nothing else, I am good enough. I do know this: When I look around the room at the other mothers in the group, I know that I would not change places with any of them. I wish some learned sociologist would publish a definitive study of marriages where the parents are desperately, ardently in love, where the parents love each other even more than they love the children. It would be wonderful if it could be established, once and for all, that the children of these marriages are more successful, happier, live longer and have healthier lives than children whose mothers focus their desires and passions on them. BUT even in the likely event that this study is not forthcoming, even in the event that I face a day of reckoning in which my children, God forbid, become heroin addicts or, God forbid, are unable to form decent attachments and wander from one miserable and unsatisfying relationship to another, or, God forbid, other things too awful even to imagine befall them, I cannot regret that when I look at my husband I still feel the same quickening of desire that I felt 12 years ago when I saw him for the first time, standing in the lobby of my apartment building, a bouquet of purple irises in his hands. And if my children resent having been moons rather than the sun? If they berate me for not having loved them enough? If they call me a bad mother? I will tell them that I wish for them a love like I have for their father. I will tell them that they are my children, and they deserve both to love and be loved like that. I will tell them to settle for nothing less than what they saw when they looked at me, looking at him."

[2005] The New York Times Company. Reprinted by Permission.
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