If you Google that question you'll get almost 20 million results. Clearly it's a something people have on their minds. So, what's the answer? If you sift through page after page of Google results you'll see which way popular opinion leans, but take a few minutes to read and consider this alternative response:

It's not a valid question

The bottom line is that you should love both unconditionally.That means that you purposefully choose to love your spouse and your kids, come what may. That doesn't mean you have to like them all the time, or even enjoy being with them, but you love them for who they are. Your spouse will always be your spouse. Your kids will always be your kids.

Unconditional love is not compatible with a ranking system, especially when it comes to family. You cannot love your kids more unconditionally than your husband (at least one of them would have to be conditional). It's like infinities: You cannot have one infinity that is greater than another. The question is irrelevant.

Your love is not an island

The question in the title of this article implies that your love for your spouse and the love you feel for your kids are independent of each other. Not true. The love you feel for your spouse is irrevocably intertwined with the love you feel for your kids, and vice versa. You see your spouse every day in your kids, and you see your kids every day in your spouse. You can still love one without the other, but that love is fullest when they're together.

Not all love is created equal

I say that not to contradict my earlier statement about ranking unconditional loves, but rather to point out that love is fluid. To ask whether you should love your spouse or children more is like comparing apples and oranges. It's a logical fallacy. The way you love your spouse, while similar in some ways, is still very different from the way you love your children.

For example, the love you feel for your spouse is probably built onmutual respect, trust and intimacy, while the love you feel for your children may be more based on responsibility, biology and investment. Of course, there is some overlap, but you get the point.

A better question

Now that we've established that both your children and your spouse should be loved unconditionally (notice I didn't use the word equally, as it is moot in the context of unconditional love) we might pose a more appropriate question, like:

Which relationship is more important to keep healthy: The relationship between you and your kids, or you and your spouse?

Answer: The relationship with your spouse

When I was in school it took me months to understand the geometric phrase, "a square is always a rectangle, but a rectangle isn't always a square." Now that I do understand it, I think it applies well to relationships: Taking care of your marriage first always benefits your children, but taking care of your relationship with your children first doesn't always benefit your marriage.

Children are sponges. They're always watching, they're always learning. You and your spouse are their heroes, their mentors, their parents. Eventually you want them to grow up and start a family of their own. The most effective way to teach that is to show it in your marriage.

Don't get me wrong - take care of your children - but understand that in many ways the best way to do that is to take care of your marriage first.

Do you agree? Comment below with what you think.

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