I am betting that the 2 sides of this debate are closer to the center than they realize.
If you put the children first, what does that look like, like day in day out?
If you put your spouse first, what does that look like, day in day out?
I was thinking it may be helpful to the debate to see what it actually looks like, because I suspect both sides are thinking only in extremes.
My husband and I put our relationship first. How this manifests itself day in day out is fairly simple, and subtle. My DH and I usually talk on the phone when I first wake up (he's already at work) If he calls, I go into another room, away from the kids to talk to him, so I can really listen to what he is saying. This isn't for hours and hours, but, maybe 10 minutes. If I am right in the middle of a diaper change, or making lunch, or a conversation with a kid that can't wait, I'll tell him I'll call him back of course....and then I do as soon as I can. When he gets home, he hugs me first, before the kids, it signals to them that WE come first. We spend a lot of time talking too.
Don't get me wrong, when we have a tiny baby, the baby is usually a part of whatever couple time we are having, and if baby needs to eat or have a diaper change, we'll handle that as it comes. Just as we'll moderate a squabble between the kids or comfort a crying child if they come to us, even if we havee excused ourselves to talk...we'll handle NEEDS as they come, but DH's rmotional wants come first for me, and mine come first for DH.