The Effects of Spousification on a Child

By Shannon Gurnee
In Lifestyle
January 12, 2023

Today, on Redhead Mom, I’m sharing a partnered guest post about the effects of spousification on a child.

shadow of family in grass

The modern family is reportedly going through a “crisis” due to the changes that it is now experiencing. The disintegration of traditional family structures, a rise in the incidence of interest in divorce filing fee in Florida, and a reduction in the number of births are all indications that these transformations are taking place. A change in the values held by spouses, most especially by women, is the most prevalent factor that contributes to this phenomenon. The typical family values of both women and men are shifting as a result of her aggressive pursuit of chances in the business sphere. The fact that wives and girlfriends are committing less time and energy to care for children and other traditionally feminine responsibilities is a reality that men need to accept, and it’s one that they can’t ignore. Changing the established gender roles that exist in a family might result in uncomfortable or even antagonistic biological parents – surrogate spouse, father-daughter, mother-son, or other interactions. The so-called “dual identity” problem has several facets, one of which is the struggle between job and family.

Because a child’s social development involves the marriage of his parents, the dynamics of the connection as well as any future adjustments in that relationship has an effect on the child’s emerging sense of who they are as an individual. Examining how a child’s personality develops in the setting of changing parent-child interactions is, on the other hand, an area of psychology that has received insufficient research attention.


For the majority of the sample’s female participants, the relevance lies in the emotional and psychological role that one’s family plays in the process of self-identification. The third place on the list is occupied by the sphere of social interaction. The pursuit of beauty comes in at number four on the hierarchy of values, while the house comes in at number six. This is because traditional gender roles have put motherhood, which represents the importance of parental education, at the bottom of the list. When one considers all of this, it becomes very evident that women are forsaking the traditional values of the family. 

In men, one may also see this tendency. The individual’s major educational and identifying context is their family unit, which acts as such for them. The emotional and psychological benefit is ranked as the third most important one. The area of social interaction, which is often the most important thing to a male, came in at number four, while the world of family life came in dead last. Based on these data, it seems that traditional male ideals around family are also undergoing shifts.


The significance of the duties that women play in ensuring that there is good communication within the home is not lost on the husbands of those women. Wives often put a greater focus on the emotional and psychological aspects of family life, and as a result, they place a higher value on the contributions made by their spouses in this area, in comparison to how males see these aspects. Communication and an understanding of each other’s perspectives are two of the most important aspects of psychotherapy that couples focus on.


Cluster analysis was carried out in accordance with the value hierarchy of the partners to identify typical combinations of characteristics of marital interactions. According to the symptom clusters that surfaced throughout the course of the investigation into the data that was gathered, there were found to be four unique types of marriages.

  1. Married couples that place high importance on socializing tend to have comparable worldviews, high levels of psychotherapy communication and mutual understanding between partners, and a moderate level of marital pleasure. Disagreements in the evaluation of the domestic sphere and a lack of confidence in communication are two negative indications of this kind of marriage’s marital relations.
  2. Parental and educational concerns take precedence in the lives of child-centric couples. Relationships between married parents emotionally dependent on children are characterized by mutual understanding, the similarity of views, and trust in communication; high levels of happiness with the marriage on both partners; and a great consistency of views in the domestic sphere. When a marriage is kept together and connections are created only on the basis of love for children, a large mismatch of values in the realm of personal identification with a spouse may be a symptom of a lack of love between the spouses.
  3. Complementary distribution of parental-educational and social activity (or home) responsibilities among married couples, with the female typically taking on more social responsibilities than her husband does in many households. These responsibilities may include cooking, cleaning, and caring for pets. On the other hand, a mother substitutes her son for a husband. It is common knowledge that two people must have open lines of communication, complete comprehension of one another, and shared worldviews on issues pertaining to the heart and the home for there to be happiness in a marriage.
  4. Polycentric couples are those in whom both the domestic and social spheres, including parenting and education, are highly valued. Large disagreements in how each partner values their own personal and domestic responsibilities stand out as a hallmark of marital relationships, as do poor ratings of psychotherapy communication, differing worldviews, and low levels of happiness in the union. These connections are not functioning properly, parents have bitter relationships and, as a consequence, children get traumatized.


Indicators of the child’s personality characteristics suggested linkages to the husband and wife’s parental-educational, home, intimate-personal, emotional-psychotherapeutic, social-activity, and physical-appeal values. These values were examined about the child’s personality features. It is not obvious how much of an impact these parents’ ideas and aspirations should have on raising their children. There is a correlation between the degree to which parents place emphasis on the parental-educational, domestic, and emotional-psychotherapeutic domains and the degree to which their children exhibit personality traits such as friendliness, curiosity, psychological closeness to their parents, and a positive attitude towards the educator. 

There are, however, some ideals held by spouses that are associated with unfavorable characteristics of a child’s personality. As the mother’s social life becomes more important, the child’s perspective of his or her parents as a couple begins to change, and the child starts to withdraw socially as a result.  In addition to that, when it comes to a single mother, «substitute son for husband» becomes a way for her brain to cope with the lack of masculine support. And it works the other way around —  codependent father-daughter relationships can be explained by the same mechanism. The child’s shyness and aggressiveness are both made worse when the father sets a priority on his appearance, and the increase in conflict is caused by the wife placing a premium on having close personal interactions with the husband. 

It was shown that the child’s personality traits were connected to factors such as similarity in perspectives, mutual understanding, trust in communication, ease of communication, the presence of shared family symbols, and the psychotherapeutic potential of communication. When parents can improve their lines of communication with one another, their children show marked improvements in areas such as conflict resolution, decision-making, shyness, anxiety, feelings of inferiority, hostility to the family situation, social interaction, and attachment to the father. When parents can improve their lines of communication with one another, their children show marked improvements in these areas.

About Has 2134 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

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