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Loving a "Middle" Child; Keeping the "Excitement" in Your Marriage

Dec 18, 1995

How would you convince a middle child that he really is part of the family? I depend on my older son for help, and the baby just naturally demands a lot of attention, so unintentionally my middle boy seems to get left out.
Middle's Mom

Perhaps it might help to look at it from the child's point of view. He is a middle child, that is true. It may be easy to neglect him because the elder and younger children naturally draw your attention. I sympathize with your situation (having four myself.)

The onus of being the middle child is not something that the middle child necessarily has to feel from the beginning. After all, when the child was born, he didn't come out screaming, "Oh, no! I'm a middle child!"

Being the middle child could have been a position of great blessing and wonderful love. The child certainly didn't know what to expect. I'm saying all this because I've heard people say that their middle children struggled to receive love from the parent "because he's a middle child." In other words, as if it's a phenomenon that parents really can't do much about.

I take the opposite tack. Quite plainly, the fact that the child is a middle child seems to me to be irrelevant. When things finally boil down to their essence, the middle child wants to know one thing: "Do my parents love me 100%?"

If the father and mother love the middle child in a full and unique way, fairly distributing their love between all the children, I believe that the middle child won't have any negative impression about being in the middle. Why should he? His Daddy and Mommy love him. They tell him all the time that he's special, and the jewel of their eye, and that they love him more than the sun and the moon and the stars (or even elephants and tomatoes, as I tell my middle child.)

Fairly distributing love to all of our children is not an easy task -- but it can be done. It requires us to notice each child in turn, and assess their internal situation and emotional feelings. We can ask ourselves: How's my daughter doing today? Does she feel joy? Have I expressed less love to her in the last few days than I expressed to the other children?

After that, we simply make more effort to give true parental love to the one who needs it at the moment. Of course, this means that our own internal feeling toward the middle child needs to be one of parental love.

If we don't feel enough parental love for one of our children, I recommend long and thoughtful reflection, prayer, soul-searching or whatever method will help us understand why we don't love enough. After examining ourselves, the next step is to spend time with our children and discover how much they need us -- and how much we can love them.

When my wife is away from me, I crave for her. I just cannot live without her. But after a month or so after she comes back, I'll tend to tune out. I am not all that excited. What can I/my wife do to keep up the excitement in our lives? Your response is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Maintaining a relationship of unselfish love with one's spouse requires a number of elements. Your concept about your relationship with your wife may need overhauling. Do you see her as your friend, partner and equal? Do you feel that her happiness is one of your paramount concerns? If so, then you are headed in the right direction.

Based upon an attitude of trust, respect and commitment to your wife, the next step is to make sure that you both are communicating in a real way about your mutual internal feelings and desires. It's difficult to maintain a relationship if the husband and wife have misunderstandings between them. When one spouse is away, a feeling of affection and longing for the other can develop. The key issue is to deepen that feeling when you're both living together on a day to day basis.

If you are committed to love her without limitation, and you express your love on a daily basis, I feel that she will profoundly appreciate your love -- and respond in kind. The excitement and romance between a couple should be based upon heart and love in order to remain until they are old and grey. I recommend my text posted on this web page, called "Parental Love: The Guidepost for Sexual Activity." You may find it interesting.

Peter Falkenberg Brown is passionate about writing, publishing, public speaking and film. He hopes that someday he can live up to his favorite motto: “Expressing God’s kind and compassionate love in all directions, every second of every day, creates an infinitely expanding sphere of heart.”

~ Deus est auctor amoris et decoris. ~

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Peter Falkenberg Brown
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