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Should You Stay Together for Your Kids?

Posted by on Oct. 23, 2017 at 5:37 AM
  • 7 Replies

BY: LESLIE BECKER-PHELPS PhD

 

If you’re staying together for the kids – trying to spare them the pain of being from a broken family – give this some further thought. The truth is that your kids live the reality.

Whatever the state of your marriage, your children know it (at least on a sensing level, if not being outright consciously aware). If it’s a happy union, the health of your relationship is in the air they breathe. But if it falls short of that, they also know. Whether you and your spouse respond to each other with an icy silence, a polite distance, or heated arguments, your children are absorbing it as a model for what intimate relationships are like. Even couples that function okay together, but without loving interactions, are role modeling an emotional distance in their intimate relationship.

When you pretend that your relationship is better than it really is or simply ignore the problems, your children learn that this is how to cope with relationship problems. Or, when they have personal struggles, they might learn not to be open about them in their relationships.

It is entirely possible that your children might learn from your mistakes. They might decide to use aspects of your marriage as a model for what not to do. And that might enable them to one-day nurture a happier marriage.

But, instead of glossing over the problems in your marriage, there is another, perhaps better, way – working as a team. If you are honest with your spouse and yourself about your marriage, you can work as a unit to address problems. If those feel insurmountable, you might want to seek counseling or work as a unit to figure out how to proceed on your own from there.

Even if your marriage is shaky, good communication will show your kids how you interact together in a caring way. This might mean working together in a less than perfect union (as most marriages are), but still showing consideration and support for each other. It might also mean cooperating through the divorce process or in a divorced relationship. To the degree that they see you both working in healthy ways together, they will absorb that as a model for intimate relationships.

It can help to think about your children as part of a larger picture as you decide whether or not to remain married. Maybe wanting your children to grow up in an intact family is the motivation you need to work harder on making your marriage better. There is certainly nothing wrong with that! But as you decide whether to remain together, keep in mind that your children will be learning from how you and your spouse conduct yourselves in your relationship.


by on Oct. 23, 2017 at 5:37 AM
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Replies (1-7):
diaperstodating
by Queen25Princes on Oct. 23, 2017 at 11:39 AM
I don’t think you should.
B3autifulCha0s
by Member on Oct. 23, 2017 at 11:42 AM
It definitely varies. If the parents can coparent and be amicable during the marriage, it might be worth it. But if the parents are always fighting and can’t stand eachother, it may be better to seperate.
Jaebebe
by New Member on Oct. 23, 2017 at 11:44 AM
1 mom liked this
I agree 100%

Quoting B3autifulCha0s: It definitely varies. If the parents can coparent and be amicable during the marriage, it might be worth it. But if the parents are always fighting and can’t stand eachother, it may be better to seperate.
Beautifulmom513
by Bronze Member on Oct. 23, 2017 at 11:53 AM

I think when children are involved, every effort possible should be made to work on and fix problems in the marriage to avoid a divorce. Statistically speaking, kids generally do better coming from a 2 parent home. Divorce is extremely hard on adults, even worse for kids. A lot of kids end up needing counseling from having a hard time dealing with their parents divorcing. Of course if there is any abuse or infidelity going on, immediate divorce is usually for the best. But if the parents can still get along well and are committed to working on their marriage, I think they should as that is what is best for kids. My parents stayed together for me and my sisters and then divorced as soon as we were all grow and out of the house. We knew there was some problems in their marriage. They didn't fight often. But they slept in different room and that. I thank them daily for making that choice to stay together for me and my sisters. I had friends growing up that had divorced parents. They hated it. They hated bouncing back and forth between homes never having a true one and having to split holidays. It was miserable for them. They were always so jealous of me having married parents. Even my son deals with this. Most of his friend's parents are divorced as well and they have to deal with the same thing. They always tell my son how lucky he is to not have to deal with that. Me and my husband promised each other to never put our kids thru that. We will do our best to work thru any and all issues. Staying together until our kids are adults at the very least is very important to us. 

Khooks
by Jessica on Oct. 23, 2017 at 12:45 PM
Sometimes divorce is better than a toxic environment and I want my kids to know that you don’t have to settle in life and happiness is possible and important.
M4LG5
by on Oct. 23, 2017 at 12:49 PM

I did for a bit.....I was miserable and I can see it was impacting the girls.  When I finally had the courage to not only SAY I want a divorce but also to follow through, I started feeling better about myself.  A year later, the girls and I and their dad seem to be doing great.  My twins go back and forth and it doesn't seem to effect them too much.....with the occasional "aw man, I forgot____ at daddy's."  I check in with them and they seem to be doing fine.  Grades, sports, and just overall behavior are great. 

Sams8monkies
by on Oct. 23, 2017 at 3:14 PM
For my kids, their dad and I getting divorced was the best thing for them. The constant fighting and me emotionally slipping my kids were stressed. They were moody, and started misbehaving a lot. Since we have divorced my kids are happy and their behaviour has improved.
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