Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Staying Together For The Sake Of The Children: Is It Worth It?


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The sad reality about modern life is that a lot of relationships end at some point. The divorce stats are pretty scary, with something like 1 in 3 marriages ending in a divorce. We could get into a whole debate over why this is the case, but that’s not the point of today’s article. 

Today, we’re looking at something that the stats don’t show. Out of the two-thirds of marriages that don’t end, how many of them only continue for the sake of the children? You’ve heard of this before, right? A couple will stay together purely because they have kids. They don’t want the breakup to affect their children negatively, so they tough it out until the children are adults. 

Why do some couples do this, and is it something that makes sense? If you’re struggling with your marriage, should you just stick it out for the sake of your kids?

The impact of a divorce on kids

How does divorce impact the children involved in it? 

Well, there’s no denying that it will be a tough time for them. Many of you may come from families that experienced this very thing when you were little. You can probably remember how it all felt - you were confused, upset, and felt like your life was changing. Plus, a big challenge for kids is dealing with the whole custody issue. As this guide to child custody laws shows, most kids will end up staying with their mother. This means they might only see their father on one weekend each month. Growing up without both parental figures can make it hard for a child and affect everything from their mental health to educational performance. 

So, you can understand why some parents decide that this isn’t something they want to put their kids through. They don’t want their children to feel like their life is torn into two, and they certainly don’t want them to worry about seeing one parent less than another. As such, they stay together as a way of protecting their children. 

The impact of staying together in a loveless marriage

On the other hand, how will your kids be impacted by the two of you staying together? You assume that this is the best decision, but is it?

For instance, you and your partner might argue a lot, meaning your kids have to grow up in a family where there’s a lot of shouting. They might pick up on this and it can change the way they approach relationships with others. Effectively, by staying together, you might create a toxic home environment for your children. Not only that, but you can confuse them! They might wonder why mommy and daddy always seem to fight and don’t seem to love each other. Kids aren’t stupid; they know when something isn’t right, and their suspicions grow when they become teenagers and young adults. 

Plus, think about the impact on both of you! Love is such a beautiful thing, and you’re shutting yourselves off from this by staying together in a loveless marriage. Neither of you will have a chance to go out and find someone new that you actually love. This can feel like a selfish thing to worry about, but it’s not selfish at all. Everyone deserves to find someone and live a happy life - are you truly happy in a loveless marriage? Yes, your family is altogether as one, but is this genuinely bringing happiness to your life? Wouldn’t you be happier if you were free from this marriage and looking for your true love elsewhere?

Is it a bad idea to stay together for the sake of the children?

In short, yes. 

You have good intentions, but in the long run, it won’t be good for you, your kids, or your family. The worry is that, if you split up, you’re making your kids’ lives a lot worse. In reality, you’re not giving them a very happy life if both of their parents are forcing themselves to be together. Arguments are too frequent, and the environment at home is not a positive one. 

The fact is that kids can still have excellent lives when living with one parent. The key is to work out how both of you can still be great parents without being together. Yes, it will be hard for your kids, but they adapt! Once they’re adapted and got used to things, there are no issues at all. 

So, for the sake of your kids, don’t force yourself to stay in a marriage that isn’t working. By all means, try to work through the issues, but if you can’t, it’s better to pull the plug than force a facade. 

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