I will explain this further. Putting your partner first is about making his/her needs a priority over other responsibilities. So it looks something like this: you've given your kids a bath and put them to bed, but instead of hitting the sack yourself, you make time for your partner to chat/cuddle/etc. You arrive home from a long day of work, but instead of asking for dinner, you ask your partner if there's anything he/she needs help with. There's a big project at work that will require a lot of your time, so you discuss this with your partner to get his/her feelings about this and make a plan to accommodate this change.
Just as a caution, putting your partner first should not be misinterpreted as neglecting your children's needs or safety for the sake of your partner, because in these cases your children's care and safety are a priority. So please seek help if your partner contributes to an unsafe or neglectful home environment. So assuming that these two things are not an issue, consider the following points why putting your partner above other things is good for your relationship.
- If you have children, putting your partner first creates a loving, supportive, and secure environment for your children to grow up in. Children can often sense the emotional tension or connection between their parents, so how you love or show love towards your partner will translate either a positive or negative message to your children.
- There's an underlying reason why your partner is falling down your priority list and it's your job to figure out why. Getting consumed in your work or children may be a sign that you are avoiding your partner. You are using your work or children to escape from issues you are having trouble resolving and this only makes the issues worse. Work and your children can only be a temporary escape from your issues with your partner and you will have a harder time confronting these issues the more you avoid them.
- It maintains a supportive, connected, and loving relationship through good and bad times. You will need your partner's support and strength more than anyone else's when life gets rough, and you will be more likely to work conflicts out between the both of you, when you have been putting your relationship first.
- When it's all said and done, your children will move away from you and build their own life, just like you did once upon a time with your partner. If you haven't been putting your partner first throughout the time you've been raising your children, then you may find yourself living with a stranger after your children have moved out. And unfortunately, all of the issues/feelings you have been avoiding all those years will still be there.
An essential part of this equation is your partner, so if you've been doing this and your partner isn't, I would encourage you to both to have a conversation about this. Or share this post with him/her. It's never too late to make a change in your relationship.