MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN - SOCIAL ISSUES
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© June 2016, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
Table Of Contents
This article discusses of a number of important non-medical issues concerning marriage and having children. Anyone who is contemplating marriage and raising children may find it useful.
This is always a difficult time for both men and women because one is about to make one of the most important decisions, if not the most important decision of your life.
It is always wise to consult with older people, especially ones who are happily married and not just those who are divorced or single. Marriage is not for everyone. However, it can be the most satisfying relationship possible for a man and a woman.
FEELING SAFE, A CRITICAL ISSUE FOR WOMEN AND MEN
Women and men must feel very safe physically and emotionally with their spouse-to-be. This is not the same as the usual excitement and uncertainty of any new relationship.
However, if you do not feel quite safe, do not get married. Wait, at the very least, and see if the situation changes. There are several reasons for this:
1. Feeling unsafe often tells you that you are not ready, the other person is not ready, or the other person is not the one.
2. Feeling unsafe is not healthy in any way. Women and men need to feel totally secure that their partner is theirs, (and not too shared with old girlfriends or male friends, or family of origin, or work, or school, or beer parties, or anything else.)
3. Women, especially, are more vulnerable in marriages to rape, and physical and emotional abuse.
4. You need to feel that the other person really wants to be with, appreciates and loves you for who you are. You need to feel that the other is not going to put you second to the family of origin, friends, work or anything else.
SIMPLE RULES FOR A HAPPY MARRIAGE
These should all be discussed before marriage, not afterwards.
1. Women should change their last name to that of the man. This has to do with the sexual order. It may sound old-fashioned but it is a good idea.
A married couple is now one, and the name reflects it. Also, many children are somewhat embarrassed to have hyphenated last names, or a different last name from their mother. Why not avoid all the problems and commit properly?
2. Make an agreement with your spouse-to-be that you will not mention previous partners. Bringing up the past always stresses the marriage, even if you don’t realize it. There is no reason for it, as well. It is over and gone.
If there are children from a previous marriage, then of course there will need to be discussion with the previous partner about scheduling, finances and other matters. But here, too, do not involve your partner and take care of things as quietly and as silently as possible.
3. Make an agreement with your spouse-to-be that you will not spend a lot of time with your family of origin. This includes long or frequent phone calls, texting, emails, visits, vacations, and invites. This is very important for a happy marriage, and is a big reason for divorce. It can easily creep up on a marriage and ruin it.
If you marry, you will have a new family. Spending a lot of time with your family of origin always gets in the way, even if your spouse does not complain. If you really love your family of origin that much, and want to hang around them a lot, then it may be better not to get married.
So ask your prospective marriage partner if he or she is willing to let go of the idea of the ‘family clan’, ‘family reunions’, ‘family gatherings’, and ‘family vacations’. This does not mean there cannot be visits or vacations together. However, they cannot be too important. You want someone who will vacation with you.
You may say, “Well, I don’t get together with my family or origin much, but Mom and I, or Dad and I, or brother Bill and I, have so much in common we just love talking on the phone every week – or sometimes even more often. This is not acceptable, either.
This may be even more difficult if the one you are thinking of marrying has 4 sisters and 2 brothers, for example.
It is also more difficult when your family of origin members have drinking, money, relationship or other problems. One or even both of you can become distracted solving others’ problems, and one day your marriage is over because “just trying to help out the family” takes a lot of energy. It is usually a mistake that people regret.
Of course, this does not mean not to care about others, but it must always be handled together as a couple. So talk about such things before marriage to see where your prospective partner stands on this important issue.
Another difficult situation occurs when Mom and or Dad become old and sick. They may suddenly move nearby, or even want to move in with you. They may need more attention, money, help in the apartment, or something else.
Again, bring up the issue with any prospective partner. The key, and answer you want to hear is that all involvement with the old and infirm parents must be discussed first with my marriage partner before making commitments. Together, we will decide just how much time, and expense we want to expend on the parents, or any other member of the family of origin.
4. Decide BEFORE getting married if you will have children, how many you want, when, and how you will raise your children. This includes:
How will you handle schooling, dress, religious education, “lessons”, friends, vacations, misbehavior, health issues, and social problems such as anxiety, shyness, belligerence and others?
What will your priorities be? – this is the most important! Does your partner expect you to work, or will one parent stay home, and is that okay with you?
If you cannot come to agreement with a potential partner on these issues, the marriage is not likely to last, and divorcing when a child is involved is a great imposition on a child.
I would ask a potential partner if he or she is willing to stick it out for 17 or 18 years for the sake of the children, even if you are not that happy? It is interesting to raise these issues before marrying, and it will tell you a lot about the one you are considering marrying.
When families grow up in the same community, some of these problems are often less. However, marrying your high school or teenage sweetheart is no guarantee. All these issues to do with child-raising must be discussed before marriage to avoid nasty surprises.
Pr-marital counseling with a pastor, priest, rabbi or other counseling can be extremely helpful for couples thinking of marriage. Advantages are:
1. Quality counseling should raise all the issues.
2. A counselor should be able to tell if the issues are being discussed honestly and deeply.
3. A counselor should be able to tell if there is real agreement or not.
Waiting for sex and not shacking up. The need to work through all these issues is one of the main reasons why it is best to wait for sex and wait before living together until one is married. Sex and shacking up often get in the way, can obscure the truth, and may “force” a marriage when it is not best.
Prenatal care. If a woman is even thinking having children, begin your prenatal care now! The best prenatal care I know of is to embark on a complete nutritional balancing program. Just “eating well”, or sleeping more is okay, but in my experience it is not nearly as good.
Begin a program now, not when you become pregnant. Ideally, women should begin at puberty or even before. At the very latest, however, begin when one gets married.
This advice will sound unusual to some people. I assure you, however, that it takes months to a few years to build up one’s health to have the safest and most trouble-free pregnancy and childbirth.
I usually tell women to please wait at least a year once they decide to have children, because I see from their hair mineral tests how out of balance they are. I have watched many go through difficult and scary pregnancies.
In contrast, those who take the time to remineralize the body and build up their health are amply rewarded with easy pregnancies, and beautiful, healthy, super-babies.
Beware! Excellent prenatal care is not found in the medical doctor’s world! This is essential to know. Real prenatal care must include the details of how to eat, how to rest enough, how to take good care of oneself, and avoiding x-rays, all vaccines, all toxic exposures, and all medical drugs. PLEASE read the article on this website entitled Prenatal Care.
Relationship stress. Pregnancy training should also include how to handle the demands of one’s partner. Adding a baby to the family often causes strife between spouses as their time must now be devoted to the baby.
This always means there will be less time for other activities. It also often means that both mother and father may be tired a lot more, at least for the first year or two, and this can seriously affect a marriage, as well.
Breastfeeding. This training should also discuss the merits of breastfeeding and why a great efforts should be made to breastfeed for three years, when possible. This means the mother must know how to eat correctly and stay healthy, as otherwise the baby will usually reject the milk after a while.
It also means the parents must resist the suggestions of the pediatricians and their nurses, who usually tell mothers they may stop breastfeeding at 6 to 12 months. This is among the worst advice I can imagine. For much more on this topic, read Breastfeeding on this site.
WOMAN’S ATTITUDES AT CONCEPTION AND DURING PREGNANCY
A woman’s attitudes will affect her unborn child more than she can imagine. So-called primitive cultures know this and take precautions to make sure the mother-to-be is properly prepared for marriage and pregnancy so that her attitudes are very positive when she is pregnant.
Modern societies totally ignore this fact, and many people suffer as a result. Here are some examples of emotions and attitudes a woman should strive for in order to have the healthiest children:
1. A very positive attitude toward all men, and especially toward her husband.
2. A very positive attitude about being a woman and bearing children.
3. A positive attitude about life, in general.
She should strive to be relaxed, happy and joyous. She should look forward to her pregnancy and the birth of her child.
TRAINING TO BECOME MOTHERS AND FATHERS
In many older cultures, after conception is confirmed, the elders of the society, usually, take the parents-to-be aside. They teach them what to expect during pregnancy, and what to expect afterwards, as parents.
Such training would be wonderful for modern women and men. Here are a few basics:
1. Newborn babies are usually quite demanding! They need food every four to six hours, all through the day and night.
Their diapers need changing at about the same frequency, and babies can become very upset if a dirty diaper is left on. Also, they smell bad when the diaper needs changing, and the procedure can be messy.
Rejecting your baby’s demands can be done at times, but it is not wise, in general. Babies are very delicate and very attuned to their needs. Some, today, are also so unhealthy that they may demand even more attention, and this should not be denied.
2. Breastfeeding is not always easy. Some babies do not suck well, and this must be investigated quickly for tongue tie or some other reason for it.
Mastitis is common among today’s unhealthy women, and can make breast feeding unpleasant and painful.
Many women’s milk today is not that good, so that baby may gag, spit it up or reject it altogether. Going on a nutritional balancing program usually solves this quickly, however. It also helps with mastitis.
Breastfeeding, and having babies, generally, is particularly hard on women who do not sleep well. One must be able to fall back asleep easily. A good option is to express some breast milk and have your husband get up for the late night feeding.
3. Unhealthy babies get sick, and it can be scary. Babies cannot tell you what is wrong – they just scream, sometimes run high fevers, and often keep everyone up all night.
Putting babies on a nutritional balancing program at between 4 to 6 months of age can do wonders. However, mothers and fathers must be prepared for these episodes.
Ideally, mothers and fathers-to-be would be sharply warned to avoid all vaccines, and to avoid almost all medical drugs such as antibiotics, cortisone cream, anti-histamines and others that are doled out to babies in staggering quantities. Natural methods for handling infections and other problems often work well, and are much safer, and less costly.
Healthy babies usually do not get sick, by the way. This alone is a very good reason for a mother to follow a nutritional balancing program before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and always when breastfeeding.
Many more topics were traditionally taught to parents-to-be in “primitive” cultures. The real “primitives” in this area are us, who ignore this type of education for parents-to be.
This is another area in which education is lacking and some liberal attitudes are downright wrong. Some people assert today that fathers are unnecessary. They just get in the way, basically. The welfare state can support the women and children, they say, while the fathers go drinking or do whatever they wish.
This attitude is more prevalent than one may imagine, especially among the socialist groups such as the Democrat party. Fathers are often blamed for all the problems of our society, with its “male dominance”, and so forth. So I will comment on this.
The father’s presence in any child’s life is vital, even though the women do the breastfeeding. Many studies of child raising supports this idea. Men bring a special type of love and balance to life, just as women bring balance to men.
The male influence is most helpful, especially for girls as they grow up, so they will have excellent role models of men to mingle with later. Of course, young boys also need fathers as excellent role models, as well. However, with the girls, a man is important in their life for a certain type of balance, even if the man is not the best.
This is a truth that is not nearly well understood enough in modern society. This means, ladies, do not divorce your husband lightly, even if he is not the best!
In the so-called primitive cultures, “elders” functioned to assist all the women and men to have role models to emulate and respect. This has to do with their level of development more than anything else.
In modern societies, older people are often shunned because the culture is youth-oriented. This is a mistake, in almost all cases. The older people have a lot to contribute, so don’t send them away and live away from them, if possible, when you are raising your children.
For this reason, the liberal view that men are largely irrelevant is horrendous. Even if the man in a girl’s life is not the best, he is important and should never be cut out of the child’s life, if at all possible.
A spiritual reason that fathers are important because we naturally associate men with God. This may sound prejudiced and ridiculous, but the idea of ‘God the Father’ is not just a phrase from the Bible. It is a yang model of God that is very useful, overall.
This is not to say that God is a man or is masculine. Not at all. However, the man in the family stands for a yang principle, and it is very important. Plenty of studies show that boys, in particular, who are raised without a good father image (it need not be the biological father) have more difficulty growing up with a clear self identity.