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What are the effects of young children when there is fighting in the home vs. separation.

My husband and I are at our wits ends with each other. I am suffering from depression and am seeing a counselor once a week. I have stopped drinking my occasional glass of wine to try to get my antidepressants right. Our children have been witness to yelling and constant tension while my husband is home. I have another place to raise my children away from name calling and alcohol abuse. I love my husband but I don't want to subject my children to this kind of environment if he is unwilling to change. I am VERY worried about the effects of a separation on a two and half year old and an eleven month old.

Answer Question

Asked by DSMMama at 8:57 AM on Nov. 16, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 2 (11 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • A separation is easier on kids than seeing their parents at each others throats. The "old school" thinking (by mental health professionals) was that an "intact" family was best - most studies over the last 20 or so years have proven that a separation, managed properly, is better for everyone involved if the parents relationship is high conflict. If you and your DH are that miserable, you are affecting your children negatively.

    Answer by Scuba at 9:03 AM on Nov. 16, 2010

  • Thank you for your insite and information Scuba this will be helpful in finding the right thing to do for me and my children!

    Comment by DSMMama (original poster) at 9:06 AM on Nov. 16, 2010

  • It's actually having a large effect. It causes emotion stress for your children. Children who witness this usually have low-self esteem, poor school grades, depression, feelings, hyperactvity, aggression, and anxiety just to name a few. I can really be harmful for children to be inthis situation but I think your doing well talking to someone each week.

    Answer by Jenaiko01 at 9:07 AM on Nov. 16, 2010

  • I believe in keeping families together. That is not to say that there are not times when temporary separations may be necessary. However, they should happen with the intent of working through the difficulties and then reuniting the family. If you have a place to go, that may very well be a good option for you. But before you go, tell your husband that this is to be temporary, that you love him and you want to live your life with him. Then specifically outline the things that need to change before you will return. Be sure to think about changes that you yourself need to make and include those. There is a wonderful book that I think may be of great help to you. It's BOUNDARIES IN MARRIAGE by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend. Very often, these kinds of problems in marriage occur because one or both of the spouses has never learned how to set and enforce personal boundaries. Another option is to not fight in front of them.

    Answer by NannyB. at 9:47 AM on Nov. 16, 2010

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