You have probably heard that phrase before, or maybe you tell it to yourself. It would have been easier to walk away from a bad relationship before there were children involved, but now there are a lot of factors to consider. Everyone wants what is best for their children, and staying in a miserable marriage to make sure that they are happy is a very tough decision to make that can have some negative consequences in the long run. Raising kids is very difficult and fulfilling work, but it can be terrifying to think that you would be doing it on your own. Here are some aspects to consider when thinking about staying together just until the kids have moved out.
One of the biggest risks, if not the biggest risk is that if kids grow up in a contentious household they will start to imitate those behaviors and will carry it with them for the rest of their life. Parents that are constantly bickering or putting each other down will be viewed as part of a normal relationship and they seek out relationships that mimic that. It is very true that we marry and date people that have similar traits as our parents, and if those traits are fighting, nitpicking, anger, and resentment, then children who grow up with that will gravitate towards that later on, starting the cycle all over again.
When parents are so wrapped up in their own problems either with work or with each other, it can have the unintended consequence of neglecting some aspects of their children’s lives. Maybe it is easier to go out to eat every night then to try and cook a healthy meal, or if one parent is going to an event the other won’t attend because it is easier to split. Children can still be raised in a home and given everything that they need but still feel emotionally neglected from their parents if their parents are emotionally distant from them.
Parents are a team. You and your spouse should feel united in your common cause to make sure that your children are raised happy and healthy. Once that team falls apart it can be hard if not impossible to fake it for the kids. Communicating becomes harder, parenting styles differ, and chaos starts to take over. It can be hard to imagine not having someone around to help with day to day tasks, but it can be as equally hard having someone around that is questioning all of your decisions. There are a lot of parents that are great co-parents either before, during, or after a divorce, but if that doesn’t work for you and your spouse, don’t feel guilty. Human emotions are complicated and even though your love for your children will unite parents, sometimes it’s not enough to keep them together.
When deciding to stay together for the kids, it’s important to understand that kids are only as happy as their parents. If that means separating, it will be better in the long run. If there is still love in the marriage and you believe that it can be salvaged, then working through your problems might be beneficial and you will be happy that stayed for the kids to show them that even though marriage is tough, it is important to solve your problems. If there is ever a case of abuse, then there are available resources to you and your children so you can get out safely. Divorce is never easy, especially when there are kids involved, but if the only thing keeping you from separating is because you want to fake it for the kids, then maybe it is time to evaluate your options and speak with professionals.