It is reader question week on CoupleDumb. We are answering everything from why is the sky blue and why do birds suddenly appear?
Today’s question is
How much influence should your children have on your relationship? signed Harried Parent
Dear Harried Parent,
The question itself seems to answer itself. A child should have no influence on your relationship. What is more troubling is that you are asking the question at all. Your job as a parent is to care for your child and be the adult. A relationship is the job of the adults not the kids. Sure, some kids get the idea that they know what is best and sometimes they are very wise, however, a child only feels entitled to step in to make decisions in an adult relationship when there is a vacuum of power. In other words, someone is not doing their job so the kid steps in.
This is seen in cases where the parents are behaving immaturely and triangulating the kids.
Triangulation is when a couple is having difficulty communicating and begins to include others into the conversation to relieve the tension they have with each other. An example is when Mom and Dad are arguing and after a brutal exchange, one of them turns to the child and says, ‘do you see how he/she talks to me?’
We are sure you have witnessed that exchange in some form or another. It is done frequently and sometimes it could just be as easy as your child seeing you cry. They are saddened and motivated to rescue their poor Mom or Dad.
So, no, kids have no business in a relationship.