‘Why I love my husband more than our children’

Geraldine Walsh’s statement that she loves her husband more than her kids shocked her friends. Here the mum of two explains why her admission shouldn’t be such a taboo

‘Why I love my husband more than our children’

Geraldine Walsh’s statement that she loves her husband more than her kids shocked her friends. Here the mum of two explains why her admission shouldn’t be such a taboo

A rare sunny spell saw an outpouring of possible unwelcomed honesty as myself and a friend sat on a sun drenched patio with melting cream cakes and erroneous hot coffees. We were enjoying a rare free moment devoid of children, responsibilities and deadlines.

Our conversation swerved through the usual sunny afternoon banter and typically moved to all things kids and home. With little warning to her, I said with a somewhat matter of fact tone that, I love my husband more than our kids. Yikes. She wasn’t expecting that it seems.

My deluge of honest words made her squirm in her seat. Her eyebrows raised, twisting her not so perfectly plucked brows. She searched for the right response to what she saw as, essentially, a mathematical equation as to how my love is spread around my family. An incorrect equation in her mind. How could I possibly say that I love the man more than the two innocent, sweet daughters we have?

It’s not as simple as more than or less than in this instance. The definition of love in both scenarios is different considering the relationships are obviously not the same. She looked at me over her, somewhat unnecessary, sunglasses with disbelief that I uttered those words and jumbled them all together to make that very sentence.

Surely I meant it the other way around. It turns out most people don’t want to hear this kind of honesty. Most people won’t admit it even if they feel the same because it verges on being taboo.

Clearly thinking the worst of me, because no one would ever think such a thing, my friend asked if I was serious. Well, yes. I also don’t believe there is anything wrong with admitting it. It’s highly unlikely I will change my opinion unless, of course, he turns out to be a serial rapist, murderer or squanders our life savings on a pyramid scheme with no return. As I say, unlikely.

It’s not the first time I’ve made this statement. Admittedly, it’s also not the first time I received this reaction. I mentioned it to himself in the past and even his face wrinkled with a cringe before retaliating with, what I’d imagine a lot of people think, “You can’t say that!” Yes, I can, and I have, repeatedly. I wrote about it on a blog and was told by some avid readers that they couldn’t read past the title of the post. I offended the masses and was applauded by the few who bravely agreed.

Barry and Geraldine Walsh with their children, Allegra and Devin
Barry and Geraldine Walsh with their children, Allegra and Devin

There is fact to my little equation of mathematical hearts. The fact of choice. I chose this man. Chose to love him, live with him and share everything with him. I married my best friend. The man I’ve grown up with, changed with, evolved with. I know for a fact, that I will always love him more than I love our two children.

Some may find this remark unloving, scathing, and harsh to say. “What if your children hear you say that? How would they feel?” my astounded friend asks. But it’s not the same. Love has a never-ending defining grace that fits itself into varying boxes of different sizes and colours. Loving my children and loving my husband sit on different pedestals, different timelines, different heart lines.

I can admit that one type of love tops the other because of its longevity and connection. Because of choice. He is my rock, my future and most importantly, the reason I happily have children.

If I come across as an uncaring mother, well then, you’ve picked me up wrong. Of course, I love our children. I absolutely adore and cherish them. I give them my all. I abandoned a career to work from home so that I could be with them, watch them grow, guide them, laugh with them, love them. Never miss a moment with them.

Regardless, I can’t hide from the fact that my husband has been the centre of my world since I was seventeen. I was 22 when we married. I’ve known him for over half of my life. A nervous teenager when we met, I became a twenty-something who reinvented herself, and now today, I’m a mother and writer who is figuring out her place in the world. Life is not without its curve balls. Every time I think I understand where I am going in life, get confused and find myself lost, I turn and see him walking beside me.

I love my husband more than our children because our world has grown and changed simultaneously. He understands and knows me better than anyone. Our lives are incessantly entwined. We have been travelling this road together for quite some time. Our road and that of our children will diverge. They will grow up, lead their own lives. They will have their own relationships, make their own strong bonds and if they choose to, cherish their own children. They will drift from our central family unit and he and I will be left together as they make their own dent on this world.

I will always have him, walking there beside me, loving me, exploring our world together. He is my best friend and the reason why I am a mother. My world is what it is, because I love him, more than anything. My friend eventually dimly understood but felt the opposite. Her children topped the scale. Which I understand. Our idea as to how love is boxed and defined will always vary.

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