Childrearing

I Will Always Be Affectionate With My Fiancé – Even If Our Kids Are In The Room

By  | 

466080657I’ve been lucky enough in my relationships to have men who show me physical affection at home WHILE in front of children. Once, a long time ago, the father of my daughter, when we were still together, walked into our friend’s house, where we had been invited for dinner with our then toddler, and my former fiancé gave me a kiss as soon as he walked in the room and saw me. The wife of another couple, with a child, said to her husband, “See? Why don’t you ever come in and kiss me?”

Now, with my now fiancé, the father of our son, it’s not uncommon for me to be sitting on his lap, with all of our kids watching television with us, or for us to kiss each other if we walk by one another in the kitchen, even when the children are doing their homework at the table. We always kiss ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ in front of our children, and we constantly hug at home.

You’d think that with a ten-year-old, 12 year-old and 14 year-old, we’d get a lot of, “Gross!” Or even some sassiness, like, “Take it to the bedroom.” Nope. Our children have never said these words to us. Thank God. If we’re in mid-hug, we might get from one of our girls, “Can you please move? I need to grab a spoon.”

I think it is super important for parents to show affection to each other, especially in front of their kids. I’m not talking full on make-out and humping, but hugs, kisses, sitting on laps, friendly pats on the butt, and saying, “I love you,” to each other, as parents, is something our kids need to see.

I grew up in a house where I never saw my parents’ hug or kiss. I was shocked when I was at my parent’s house once, years after I had moved out, to see a note my mother had left for my father. It read something like, “I went grocery shopping.” But at the end of that note was a little heart. I was shocked because I had no idea that my mother did these sort of lovey-dovey things for my Dad, when I was or wasn’t around, considering in front of my brothers and I, we had never even heard them say ‘I love you’ to each other.

So you would think my “normal” now would be a house where affection, in front of children, wasn’t abundantly clear. But it isn’t. Not only because it’s a different generation now, where parents are much more mushy in front of their kids, but because I want my children to see it. I never say to my fiancé, when he wants to kiss me, “Not in front of the c-h-i-l-d-r-e-n,” not only because they are old enough to spell, but also because I just don’t give a damn if they see we actually LIKE each other, because we do!

Pages: 1 2

56 Comments

  1. Alanna Jorgensen

    February 13, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Makes good sense to me, but I’m sure the “Burn Eckler at the Stake Brigade” will be along shortly…

    • So edgy

      February 13, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      Thank god you were here to fan the flames.

  2. Kay_Sue

    February 13, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    To a certain extent, I agree. I want my kids to see us affectionate with each other, but there is a line that can be crossed. Our bodies are still ours, and I do expect him to respect my boundaries, as I respect his. The “nice ass” scenario, for me, would feel degrading in front of the kids, although I do enjoy being complimented and do my own fair share of complimenting his in other situations. Other than that though, we’re on the same level of affection, and I think our kids are fine.

    I do think there are situations where “making out” is appropriate and where it isn’t, irrespective of whether there are children present or not. If you’re in a scenario where it makes other people uncomfortable…probably better to tone it down. A quiet booth in a restaurant at a dinner for two is one thing; a dinner party is something entirely different, to me. Less to do with children, more to do with etiquette, which I’m more of a stickler for than some folks.

    • CMJ

      February 13, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      I agree on the “nice ass” front. I would feel weird if my husband patted my ass and exclaimed “Nice ass!” in front of anyone….regardless of the age.

    • Kay_Sue

      February 13, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      Yeah…I second that wholeheartedly. I keep imagining my grandmother’s face if my husband just busted out with that….no, not for me, thanks.

    • meteor_echo

      February 14, 2014 at 2:23 am

      I’d be pissed off at my man-friend if he EVER did this. I’m more than my body parts, and I’m not going to be treated as a set of tits and ass.

    • SDM14

      February 14, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      Agree, although sometimes my husband and I say “Nice bum, where are ya from?” in front of the kids. They’ll probably be okay.

    • jane

      February 13, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      Ditto.

    • whiteroses

      February 13, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      I agree with this. My husband and I aren’t into PDA, even if we’re just at home with our son. We hug, we cuddle, we hold hands, but tongue kissing is a bit much for us. I can’t picture my husband telling me “nice ass” in front of our son.
      But that’s us. Different strokes for different folks.

    • arrow2010

      February 13, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      Not libertine enough for the writers of this blog.

    • JLH1986

      February 14, 2014 at 9:10 am

      Yep. My husband doesn’t say this to me unless we are actively getting busy. That’s just…gross. I wouldn’t be happy with him if he said that.

    • brebay

      February 13, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      I’m with you on the affection, as long as it’s not for show, kids catch on to that. The “nice ass” would bother me in front of kids only because I don’t want my sons trying that one out at school or on some girl who’s not their wife. I actually think it’s cute for a husband/wife, but I would hold off in that one in front of kids who are still learning how to interact with the opposite sex. That would get you suspended from most schools.

  3. Elisa Probert

    February 13, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    I grew up with parents who never showed affection in front of us kids. I don’t think I ever saw them hug each other until I was in my late teens.

    It’s very hard for me to be physically affectionate at all. I don’t like being touched unless it’s on my terms, and I have to consciously make an effort to cuddle on the couch with my husband or kiss him goodbye. Would it be easier if my parents had done these things? probably.

    • jane

      February 13, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      Maybe, but I think that some people are just cuddlers and some aren’t. My daughter, for example, is just not a “toucher,” and never has been. Doesn’t like holding hands, gets extremely fidgety if you hold her, stiffens like a board when hugged, even by her best friends. At the age of 7 she had to start explaining to her friends “I’m just not a very touchy person.” My son, on the other hand, would live in a pouch like a kangaroo if I could let him, and he’s 6 years old.

      I think as long as your husband is ok with your level of physical affection, and you are ok with your level of affection (as in, you don’t think it negatively impacts your life or your relationship) you shouldn’t see it as a problem.

    • brebay

      February 13, 2014 at 7:37 pm

      I think so too. My parents weren’t. I am. We don’t do everything our parents do. They didn’t like hugging or came from a different generation. I’m a hugger.

  4. guest

    February 13, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Gotta love the irony that the article posted right before this was about stock photography featuring mainly white people..

    • TwentiSomething Mom

      February 13, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      Haha, I had to go back to page one to see what you meant.

    • Morganjane

      February 13, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      why, it’s an article written by a white person about other white people, a picture of white people seems pretty appropriate

  5. TwentiSomething Mom

    February 13, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    My parents were affectionate but I think they went overboard which made me feel uncomfortable. For instance the pats on the butt, staring at boobs, licking lips and tongue kisses were just too much and I felt it was so weird. Now as an adult, I find myself having difficulty being affectionate in front of my own child. Go figure.

    • Guest

      February 13, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      Yes, I remember my friend complaining about her parents laying on top of each other (as in eye to eye) on the couch etc. Gross. I think the staring at boobs and what not is a little much in general but I think of other friends whose parents would turn up the lion king for their kids so they could go bang loudly up the hall and remember that I didn’t have it all that bad. :-/

    • Kay_Sue

      February 13, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      We have used Walt Disney to babysit for an afternoon quickie, I’m not going to lie…but we do really try to be quiet when that urge hits…and it’s only every once in a while, on my honor! 😉

    • Alicia Kiner

      February 13, 2014 at 8:16 pm

      Considering my husband’s work schedule, over the summer, this is practically the only way we get any. Course I will say the loudly bit doesn’t happen. But then, when we’re on family vacations or stay with relatives or something, none of that happens, because I feel it’s disrespectful. I’m weird I know. But at this point, my kids are sort of oblivious to it all and mostly we just tell them that sometimes mommy and daddy need to talk where they can’t hear us.It’s worked so far. As has the locked door 😉

    • brebay

      February 13, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Agreed. Hugging and pecking I think are fine and probably make the kids feel more secure; but I don’t think any kid wants to hear a slurpy kiss or an ass-grab.

    • Buffy

      February 14, 2014 at 3:45 am

      This sounds really strange. Like sexualizing the enviromment ( can I even put it this way?) for a kid. No wonder you felt that this was weird.

      I think you should trust your instincts now and only act like you feel comfortable with.
      I guess you are a sensitive person and know exactly where to stop ( unlike your parents).
      I really believe children know that their parents are good together and creating an atmosphere of love and goodness without needing to see physical evidence.
      Because love is also in your voice talking to/ about your loved one or what you do to make them happy ( caring about their comfort, asking about their day etc pp).
      Greetings!:-)

  6. AP

    February 13, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Are you “modeling a healthy, affectionate relationship for your children”? Or “marking your territory in from of his children”?

    • AP

      February 13, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      In front of…damn autocorrect.

    • drinkpepsi

      February 13, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      It’s Eckler. Do you even need to ask?

    • Andrea

      February 13, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      No I don’t. I seem to remember an article a couple of years back about her having sex with her boyfriend while the kids were in the next room. *shrug*

    • drinkpepsi

      February 13, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      In fairness, she does have sex every day. Like. Every. Day.
      So the kids are bound to be nearby…

      She makes a point of writing about this fact often. And she wants us all to know that she even had sex every single day of her pregnancy. Because, you know, it is really important for strangers to know this information.

      And like, ex-wives…

    • Andrea

      February 13, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      Well does how we she know she is a better girlfriend than we are right? Frequency of sex?

  7. allisonjayne

    February 13, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I grew up with parents who were affectionate in front of me. I thought it was awesome. A lot of my friends had divorced parents (and both my parents had previous marriages themselves) so I was pretty happy that they seemed to be happy and in love. They ended up splitting up when I was 20, but nonetheless, they did do a decent job modeling a strong, equitable, happy marriage for a good portion of my life anyway. I hope to do the same for my kid. Minus the splitting up part, hopefully.

  8. Robotic Arms Dealer

    February 13, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    I like it when couples are affectionate around me. I just stare at them with my mouth agape. I dunno why, but then they stop 🙁

  9. Elisianna

    February 13, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    My mom used to flash her boobs to my dad in front of us. She would wait until we looked away, but we still saw a lot. She would also sometimes grab his junk, straddle him, and they would really make out in front of us.
    It really didn’t bother me, even less as I got older. I think as a little kid I thought nothing of it really, and as I got older I actually thought it was nice that a couple could be together for many years and still have that flame. Now, if they passed gas in front of me as a child or ate their cereal too loudly, that grossed me out and made me furious.

  10. MERKIN

    February 13, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    I knew this was Eckler because…

  11. CortCab

    February 13, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    When I read this headline I thought, “Didn’t I already read that article?” I think we can safely say this topic has been sufficiently covered by Mommyish.
    https://mommyish.com/2013/03/20/parents-kiss/

    • Guest

      February 14, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      Fairly certain that a large number of articles are covered many times- there are only so many ‘mommy issues’ that exist. Fertility/infertility +20 articles, stepparenting +20 articles, etc etc. The list goes on, call out another blogger for the same thing – doubt that you will because this is obviously an Eckler thing, y’all are too predictable.

  12. Kheldarson

    February 13, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    I, too, want my kids to grow up in an affectionate home. I can remember one moment of true affection between my folks, years ago when I was small I came downstairs to see them dancing. And that upsets my mom because she thinks they’ve shown more…but also admits she hates PDA. They don’t hold hands. I rarely see them hug. They don’t even sit together on a couch. It’s very old school conservative affection. I want my kids to never have to question if their parents actually like each other or not.

  13. Ddaisy

    February 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    It always grossed me out to see my parents being affectionate, because it felt so fake. They spent 90% of their time being bitter and spiteful to each other, but then my mom would get whiny and desperate and my dad would humour her, and they would have an awkward hate kiss. Fast-forward to the present day, and they’re still doing it. I think if they finally actually got a divorce and got into healthy happy relationships, I would be way more comfortable with it, and happy for them.

    It has kind of screwed up my perception though. When I’m at a friend’s house and they refer to their parents’ room, I feel really awkward for a split second, like they shared some dirty secret with me. And then I remember that normal people’s parents sleep in the same room.

  14. K.

    February 13, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    I was raised in a no-kissing home; my husband was raised in a mushy household that could have been a nudist colony…Ironically, perhaps, my parents are still 35+ years married; my husband’s are 25+ years divorced.

    I don’t really think that me never seeing my parents kiss each-other means I missed out on something. My parents are just not very physically affectionate types, but they expressed affection in other ways that went a long way to demonstrating what a loving relationship was about. There’s something equally as powerful in observing how your dad cooks breakfast for your mom every Sunday and shakes his head in disapproval at how runny she likes them, and in how your mom reminds your dad to take his prescription pills every morning just to make sure he does. These things might not be as sexy as say, slapping someone’s ass or making out at the dinner table, but they are just as demonstrative.

    I hope I learned from that.

  15. BW2

    February 13, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    I think that sitting on your partner’s lap would make me uncomfortable.

    On a side note, this piece is hard to read with so many run on sentences. I also hate when words like “isn’t” and “aren’t” are used. Even when I write emails or on my personal blog I take the time to separate the words.

    • coffeeandshoes

      February 14, 2014 at 12:11 am

      The run-ons and endless commas made me crazy too. Editing before posting is generally considered a good thing.

    • drinkpepsi

      February 14, 2014 at 12:45 am

      In fairness, I believe she gets paid per comma.

  16. E. Dacey-Fondelius

    February 14, 2014 at 2:54 am

    There is a difference between displays of affection and horn-dog foreplay.

    We have always pecked on the lips hello and goodbye and didn’t stop because kids showed up. And we cuddle on the couch and hug just cuz. But we do that with the children too. In fact, if the kids ‘catch’ us hugging, they rush in screaming, “family hug!”

    As a result, they see love expressed in very physical ways and they hug and kiss us often. It is a great dividend.

  17. Buffy

    February 14, 2014 at 3:22 am

    Public affection :
    If there’s another person around my husband and me (doesn’t matter if our child or friends or strangers) the kissing is a little peck, the cuddling a nice hug….and there it ends!
    Nobody feels comfortable having to watch/ listen to any couple making a show of their love life.
    I think it’s only decent to treat your child with the same respect you show for other people. Saying things like “nice ass” would never cross our lips ( I am sorry but this sounds so cheap/horny/ trashy when you’re older than 16 and somebody else is listening- I don’t mean someone IS trashy for saying it – it might be nice if you’re alone with your loved one- but please, don’t do it while anybody else is around…) so we’d go for something like “you look wonderful/stunning” if there’s a reason to say so.

    One side effect: All of our single friends told us, we’re great to visit any time because we don’t make them feel uncomfortable for being single like couples who always have to show the world how they always and any time have the hots for each other.

    But hey, that’s just the way we were raised and the way we’re happy together, we people of the northern parts are often told we’re a bit reserved… 😉

    • Natasha B

      February 14, 2014 at 8:55 am

      I think you did pretty well 🙂

    • Buffy

      February 16, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      Thank you, I really try 🙂

    • Kay_Sue

      February 14, 2014 at 11:01 am

      I never realized how weird a language English is, as a native speaker, until I started working on reading with my oldest son. 😉

      You did great!

    • Buffy

      February 16, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      Thank you so much:-)

    • guest

      February 14, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      Those couples are the worst – there’s nothing like feeling you are intruding when they won’t stop with the affection.

  18. CrazyFor Kate

    February 14, 2014 at 4:06 am

    My parents kiss and give each other “sexy” compliments all the time. I always put on a show of pretending it offends me, but really, they’re human and it’s normal and healthy. Of course, every family has its comfort zone!

    • Buffy

      February 14, 2014 at 4:19 am

      Just reading your comment I thought that maybe the comfort zone is when the “sexy” compliment is actually a bit funny/nice and not really sexual leering? I mean, that’s the way your dad sounds to me (funny/friendly). Just a thought why sometimes those words can sound completely wrong ( when you feel like hormones are all over the place and your’re just disturbing an orgy to happen) and with some people it’s just not wrong at all because you are just part of a funny wrapped compliment.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      February 14, 2014 at 4:25 am

      That could definitely be it, and I agree that tone is everything. Rebecca’s family sounds pretty average in that respect.

  19. gothicgaelicgirl

    February 14, 2014 at 6:13 am

    WOW it’s so refreshing not to feel weird about this anymore!
    We do this ALL the time!
    My fella constantly sweeps me up, kisses me or squeezes my thigh in front of the kids.
    I always play with his beard and cuddle him.
    The only thing that happens is the kids barrel into us cos they want a cuddle too!

  20. Sara610

    February 14, 2014 at 11:06 am

    My parents weren’t crazy, over-the-top affectionate with each other when I was growing up, but they didn’t hide it or go out of their way to keep their distance either. They were just pretty open about everything and if we had questions, they answered them. I don’t know if this is a result of that, but I never really shared the whole squeamishness that a lot of my kids had when they realized that their parents had a sexual relationship. Like the “Gross, I can’t believe my parents have S-E-X!” They didn’t do it in front of us, obviously, and we didn’t sit around the dinner table and talk about their sex life, but I always knew growing up that that was part of their relationship and if anything, I remember thinking that it was kind of cool that after 40-plus years of marriage, and only ever having been with each other, that part of their relationship was still so healthy. It was never “gross” or “weird” to me and I have to admit that I never understood my friends’ squeamishness about it.

  21. That_Darn_Kat

    February 14, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    My husband and I are affectionate in front of our children. We cuddle on the couch, hold hands while walking, kiss and hug in front of the kids, and say “I love you”. We keep anything that comes close to sexual (like when he runs his hand along my butt on his way to the fridge when I’m cooking) where the kids don’t see it, but otherwise, I think we show our kids it’s okay to be affectionate. Now, I *personally* wouldn’t sit on my husband’s lap in front of the kids, but that’s just me and that would make me uncomfortable. Other than that one bit, I think what Eckler and her fiance are doing is fine.

  22. mary

    August 24, 2014 at 1:04 am

    at least with my parents, they will do this but they often also talk about oral sex and getting naked and telling us they aren’t wearing underwear and they grab each other’s genitals when we are in the room. then they get up on top of each other and my mom says i’m jealous of their love but in reality it’s very disgusting and when my friends come over they never come again because of that, and i talk to my parents but they say my friends won’t come over because of me but i asked all my friends and they don’t come over because of the sex talk all the time. i can’t get her or my dad to stop, the dad boners to stop or the somewhat nudity to stop. and then my mom also talks to the teens i bring over and asks very innapropiate questions including stuff about weed(my friends smoke occasionally and i don’t but it’s not right to ask a minor). I’ve tried everything and its so gross and i always have to go over to someone’s house and not mine. what can i do?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *