Deciding to get a divorce is one of the most difficult choices a person has to make in life, especially if children are involved. Since you’ve invested years in building a life together, the thought of starting over again can be frightening for both the parents and kids.
That is why many couples elect to stay together, believing that dividing the family unit will only do more harm than good. But in reality, it is actually the opposite. Choosing a life of unhappiness and martyrdom for the children can result in a number of problems.
The following are some reasons to reconsider staying together for the kids:
- Everyone in the family becomes miserable – Children are more observant than we give them credit for. Years after deciding to stay together, it is difficult for unhappy parents to hide their misery. Over time, chronic parental conflict can come in the form of bitter arguments, resentment, and anger. Parents who can’t cooperate in an amicable and civil manner or who contradict each other’s parenting decisions can be damaging to the children.
- Kids can suffer neglect – Some children may be at risk of neglect when parents are so embroiled in their own problems. The neglect can either be physical (i.e. the parents check out of parenting when feeling distressed or frustrated) or emotional (i.e. the parents may attempt individually to alienate the kids from the other parent).
- Kids are not able to enjoy childhood – Parents who are involved in martial conflict often confide in their kids. Whether this type of communication is done in a subtle or subconscious manner, your children should not deal with adult issues.
- Kids learn about relationships by watching their parents – Your children will model the type of marriage you and your spouse have, whether you like it or not. They are going to grow up to be essentially the same type of people you are, thus repeating the same relationship patterns they have experienced and seen. They’ll accept the similar type of situations and have similar outlooks on life.
- Kids would rather see their unhappy parents divorced – Most young people who have experienced divorce do not think parents should remain married for the sake of the children. Based on a survey by the family law organization Resolution, 82 percent of young people aged 14 to 22 who have experienced family separations would prefer that their parents get divorced if they are unhappy.
If you’re experiencing marital issues, do you yourself and your children a favor and properly address them. Although the key to great parenting is working together with your spouse, you do not need to sacrifice your happiness.