Should we stay married for the kids? This is a common question among parents who are experiencing relationship problems. It is never simple to decide whether divorce is the wisest course of action for your marital problems. It gets more difficult after having kids. It takes a lot of consideration and introspection. This is because it is usually unclear what would happen after.
In an effort to keep their kids happy, many spouses choose to stay together in a miserable marriage rather than end it. They consider anything less than an unbroken family to be detrimental to their children’s upbringing. Truthfully, a ton of studies support the idea that divorce might be bad for kids. However, when the marriage is tense, violent, unstable, or volatile, remaining together for the kids might not be beneficial.
Kids watch their parents as role models for what a healthy relationship entails. It would be better not to stay married if that can not be demonstrated through effective communication and dispute resolution. Years of negative emotions, wrath, and distress will only drain your kids.
Still unsure because you’re unhappy but the kids’ happiness is the most paramount? The question “Should we stay married for the kids” still persistently rings in your head, doesn’t it?
The path could be challenging, but should we stay married for the kids? See below five reasons.
1. The Kids Are Surrounded by Conflict
Several parents believe that as long as the conflict is not aimed at the kids, then the kids are exempted from it. Contrary to this belief, kids can sense every scorn and stress even when there’s no abuse, fighting, or yelling. Do not assume that your kids are not paying attention.
Staying married for the kids may sound wonderful, but it can lead to an unpleasant home situation for them. Don’t think you can play it nice in front of the children while you are raging within. This may cause your kids to experience bewilderment. In the end, they will struggle to feel secure due to the constant conflict and tension all around them.
2. The Kids May Take It upon Themselves to Repair the Marriage
Kids have an innate sense of optimism and hope. This makes them see the world in rainbow colors. They see their parents and just assume they are destined to be in love and live a happy life forever. They do not understand the complex web of adult problems that lie beneath divorces such as money problems or infidelity.
Due to this foundational expectation, when they notice a failing marriage, they might not sit idly and watch. They unintentionally take on a load of responsibility to mend the family. Most times, their well-intended attempts would fall short. This can lead to the kids feeling intense sorrow and grief.
It would be better to be open with your kids. As a result, they are protected from taking on the onus that isn’t their responsibility.
3. You Are Modeling Unhealthy Behaviors for Your Kids
Kids have the propensity to mimic the actions of adults, particularly those that they love and respect. Therefore, the long-term effects of a parent’s deliberate decision to remain in a toxic marriage may not be favorable for the kids.
Every parent wants to be a positive example for their kids. Yes, you might be shielding your children from the agony of divorce. Nevertheless, you can also unconsciously teach them unhealthy behaviors that they will imitate in the long run.
Kids raised in abusive environments – be it emotional, verbal, or physical abuse – might abuse others in their future relationships. In addition, they may consent to be abused.
You want your kids in an atmosphere of honest communication, shared responsibilities, and mutual respect. Ex-spouses who receive help and attempt to recover can be in a better place. Then, you can enjoy a better relationship with the children as a single parent.
4. You Are Unhappy
When you’re divorced, you will need to live separately. Divorce could also entail needing to find a job. It will undoubtedly result in you living a new, different life and spending less time with your children. However, it isn’t the most horrible thing.
The most horrible thing would be living in constant fear and unhappiness. Your children, because they can sense your misery, will be unhappy as well. Remember the primary concern is for the kids to be happy. They share your unhappiness instead. There is a significant likelihood that your miserable marriage will only get worse.
It is acceptable to acknowledge your unhappiness. It is also acceptable that you and your partner recognize you both deserve to be happy. After all, happy individuals tend to be more competent parents.
5. You Are Putting Off the Inevitable
Every relationship is plagued by troubles. The stress will likely continue except both partners make a commitment to resolving the issues. The effect of a marriage that is entrenched in chronic conflict is disastrous. These are moments when the thoughts of independence become more exhilarating.
Confusion is a lie. It is a scope to hide that you are terrified of taking the likely necessary step. If you are constantly struggling with the decision of getting a divorce, you probably already have your answer. Trying to bury your resentment might not help much. You will gradually come to loathe your partner more.
You should not force yourself into a loveless and cold cohabitation to spare your children the sorrow of divorce. You might be unintentionally influencing your kids to settle for less. They learn to compromise in cases where they shouldn’t. Rather be their role model for healthy boundaries, self-respect, and independence.
With such a mindset, the divorce experience is somewhat less difficult. They may find it tough at first. But, eventually, they will get it and might even appreciate you for setting a good example for them. Then, they can survive into adulthood easier and navigate through relationships better.
There are children with divorced parents who have thrived. The essential thing for a child to have a successful upbringing is having honest, open parents. Just ensure you and your spouse can cooperate to parent the kids together.