Does/Should Your Significant Other Come first?

well, that’s pretty much it. should they? do they? are they further down the list and you wish they were further up but you feel like you can’t?

personally, i think that if you get into a relationship and you tell the person that you’re getting into it that you work/play in a band/etc., and you take it very seriously and they accept it then, then that does absolve you (mostly) from the “you never put me first” arguments that tend to follow.

if it’s laid out…that he/she comes a very close second and they accept that…and then complain about it later, it’s their problem. then again, if it’s their problem and blows up into something big, it becomes your problem.
sooooo what say you, oh wise dopers?

If you have a serious endeavour that requires some of your time exclusively, and you have a SO that seems to think it’s a waste of time and that instead you should be at home with him or her, you have to make a decision. Do you want to pursue your dream, or have a lifetime of arguments about other reasons why you never put them first?

I personally would never get into a relationship with somebody who was so jealous of the things I did in my life before I needed her approval, that she would bitch at me about it. Anybody that high-maintenance, who needs constant attention and refuses to let you be who you are and do what you do, is a colossal waste of your time.

Really, do you need to get laid that bad that you’d give up being a musician? Or wanting to be a doctor? Or teaching boys to become men? There are a lot of more level-headed people out there. It’d be to your benefit to find one.

What’s that faint smell of smoke? Hrm…

Well, anyway, it’s always been made quite clear throughout the duration of my current relationship that school comes first. I never get the “you never put me first” argument. I don’t ever really put it forward, either. Frankly, we’re both huge parts of each others’ life, but we also both have a lot of other things going on that the other sometimes plays second fiddle to. It’s the nature of the game, since our lives don’t intersect or overlap in any way whatsoever except when we see each other. We only have one mutual friend, she goes to a different school, she lives on the other side of town…anyway, we’re kind of both close seconds, and we deal with it.

Boy, I REALLY misunderstood the title of this thread.

It depends on whether or not you plan to have kids. They WILL come first, before your band or SO or yourself, even.

Women who support (tolerate?) their SO’s passion usually lose their patience when they reproduce. It’s a biological thing.

yes you did. if you come first, please, be considerate to her and pinch the base. oh yeah, and don’t wipe your dick off on the curtains.

it’s not that i necessarily disagree with what you’ve said, but what about a couple in whose judgment is in question needs that endeavor?

let’s say it’s…a musician. he’s got a traveling band, loves girl, all that happy stuff…and then they have a kid. kid comes out, happy day. however, this family needs him to have this traveling gig or else they can’t maintain their standard of living or afford the kid.

i guess another way of asking this is…does having a kid mean you no longer have dreams? or does it mean you have to postpone them (sometimes indefinitely)? does it mean something else with regards to the parents’ dreams?

I was going to come in here and say yes, of course my SO comes first. But I’ve realised that he doesn’t. University does. This is the same for both of us. If it wasn’t, one of us would have dropped out to be with the other. But because university comes first, we’re doing the long distance thing.

Here’s the thing to remember: It’s possible for your SO to really admire what you do, be extremely proud and supportive, and want you to do whatever you need to do to succeed … and you’ll still never get past those “you never put me first” arguments. They never end. It’s an eternal balancing act, and there’s always going to be guilt one way or the other–that you’re ignoring your SO, or that you’re ignoring your dream/job/etc.–and it’s no one’s fault. You just have to get used to endless compromise, every day–b/c this isn’t something where you come to a final agreement and then everything is OK. You’re ALWAYS going to have to work at balancing both.

Why? 'Cause it’s worth it.

I think that when both people can recognize something else has to come first in the other’s life, it’s OK. Like AngelicGemma, university comes first - that’s the same way it was for myself and my (very recent) ex. But it was very frustrating - and in fact one of the major reasons we broke up - to not come second, not come third, but play in the back row of the orchestra to his myriad of other commitments (to stretch the “second fiddle” analogy). Constantly. Was I being unreasonable to break it off over this? Some might think so. I can recognize that he had commitments that were more important then our relationship, and I did too, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. There are some days when hell, you just can’t hang out. But never making some time for it - always, always, putting other things first - was ultimately the end for us.
Compromise is the key word here, I think.

First at what? A SO shouldn’t have right of first refusal for every activity. And a SO does not take priority over everything else in your life. They shouldn’t make you quit your job or school or even any hobbies or activities you enjoy. By the same token, if you don’t see your significant other for weeks at a time because you would rather be off goofing around with your buddies, she might have a point.

Linear hierarchies are stupid because even if you put your SO first, you still need to work, you still should have friends and you still need to have your own interests.

This is a common issue in my industry (consulting). The job requires long hours and frequent travel. Quite often it leads to either divorce or leaving the industry.

In terms of life goals, like uni or establishing a business or band etc–then as long as both agree, I see no reason for the SO to “always come first”.

In terms of relationships, absolutely. IOW, SO must come first (especially if SO is a spouse), before sibs, mom and dad, drinking buddies etc. And of course, when kids come along–their needs should be taken into account first.

That is not to say that the above don’t matter and should be eliminated; it means that you and SO decide on how and where to spend holidays, weekends or evenings, vacations etc. It means that you don’t spend every weekend fixing stuff for Dear Old Mom etc. SO must be the priority here, but not exclusively.

Hope that made sense.

I believe that your relationship with God (as you undestand God) comes first. If you are married, your spouse comes next, even before kids. If you are not married, any mutually agreeable arrangement of priorities such as God, school, band, SO or God, work, a good book, SO is fine.

I think relationships change, and what wasn’t a problem the first year or so might become a problem for people who are trying to develop the relationship into something more solid. Not that your SO should ever dictate what you can and can’t do, but she might think she’s ok with the band/travel thing at first and then later come to realize she doesn’t like how it makes her feel. She’s not wrong in feeling that way, and you’re not wrong for wanting to stick with the music. If it works out, you can come to a compromise, if not, a decision must be made.

In some ways it depends on the kid(s). A bunch of us in my online mommy group were comparing notes & it became clear that a woman with one kid (with no special needs or issues) can usually run the show on her own most of the time. Hubby (SO) optional.

But…add in a second kid, or change the situation so that an only child is particularly high-needs, and the scenario shifts. Now you’ve got a mommy who needs help and if it’s not forthcoming, there are going to be real problems. It depends on the woman, the money, other family nearby who can help out, etc.

For example, we have twins. Totally unexpected. I’ve read that there’s a high divorce rate among parents of twins and it doesn’t surprise me a bit.

In terms of dreams - it’s a trade-off. Reproducing doesn’t mean you no longer have any freedom or future, BUT the pressure to provide food, clothing, shelter, safety and medical care (i.e. insurance) is enormous.

HOWEVER, in place of some portion of dreams that are lost, you now have a present reality that knocks the socks off anything you knew before. I was reading an article just yesterday about how kids are Zen-like, they’re totally in the present moment. Very true. The smart thing to do is join them. That’s when it’s good.

It seems like we live in a world where we’re all supposed to be working hard to be the Next Big Thing, and 99.999% of us are going to fail. So where’s the fun in that? Placing ambitions in a secondary role and focusing on the present moment via parenting – much more rewarding, IMHO. I have my little career as an artist, I create, I need an outlet; yet I’m not a big deal and I don’t have to be.

BTW, musicians aren’t the only ones struggling w/this – my Hubby is a scientist who also always had huge ambitions and expectations for himself. And…they just didn’t pan out. Nothing clicked. But, because he has to provide for his family, he wound up taking a different kind of job, and it turns out he’s happy as all get out. Not that he’s given up on his dreams, but he’s far more engaged in the here-and-now, rather than spending his time and energy imagining what he might (should, he would say) be able to accomplish.

Good question to ponder, BTW. Better to think about these things before taking a plunge.

I’ve not heard of that. FWIW, my girlfriend had two kids before we met and my passion is just fine by her. In fact, she wants me to finish school almost more than I do.

Er, what?

See, there’s the thing right there. Should I join my GF’s family, they’re absolutely going to need for me to have my degree–and for her to have hers, too.

It’s so much better if you both come together :cool:.

But what on earth is this base-pinching business about?

I think you have to look at it as a complicated bubble chart with lines reaching out to each other in complicated ways. It isn’t a strict hierarchy or at least it shouldn’t be. A spouse of significant other should be one of the larger bubbles but there are others. I would personally make children a bigger bubble but satisfying that means keeping the other parent happy as well so it is interconnected.

I would never let a spouse or significant other tell me what hobbies I should have or who I should associate with while at the same time I would generally regard them as more important than those.

FWIW, I would at this time make my SO a larger bubble than her kids. That may change if we have kids of our own in the future, though.