In 2005, mother of four Ayelet Waldman wrote an essay published by The New York Times that ignited a firestorm of controversy in the parenting community. "I love my husband more than I love my children," she boldly proclaimed in the piece. Even as she soon found herself facing down more than a few angry mothers, Waldman stood behind her words and further explained that her children were not the center of her universe -- the key reason, she added, why she and her husband enjoyed a passionate sex life.
Waldman appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" a month after her article came out.
"So many women today have become so focused on their children, they've developed these romantic entanglements with their children's lives and the husbands are secondary. They're left out," she said on the show. "You guys know Valentine's Day at your kids' schools... All the moms come in with perfect, frosted pink cupcakes that they've made with their kids... Is Valentine's a day to make cupcakes with your children? No, Valentine's is supposed to be a day about romantic love."
As parents in the "Oprah Show" audience gave her looks, Waldman stressed that she did indeed love her children. She was simply making a distinction between that love and the romantic love she felt for her husband, choosing to focus on romance.
It's now been a decade since Waldman started this controversial conversation. "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" recently caught up with the author and learned that she still strongly believes in the polarizing statement she made so many years ago.
"If you focus all of your emotional passion on your children and you neglect the relationship that brought that family into existence... eventually, things can go really, really wrong," Waldman says today.
In addition to strengthening the romantic connection between the parents, Waldman insists this outlook has had a positive impact on her children as well. "I have not been a perfect mother, but giving my children a sense of security in their parents' relationship is something that I feel really proud of," she says.
As for her four children, Waldman says they were never shielded from what happened nearly 10 years ago. "They knew about the essay before it made a huge fuss," she says. "They're happy, contented, successful kids."
Waldman's oldest child is now in college, which has only confirmed for Waldman the importance of maintaining her romantic relationship. "My husband and I are realizing that in the end, this house is going to be empty but for the two of us," she says. "Thank God we still love each other and love making love to each other because that's who's going to be left."
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