Should We Stay Together for the Sake of the Children?

It’s natural for most marriages to experience difficult patches from time to time. But when issues within a marriage become too big to resolve, many couples choose to separate or divorce. However, when children are involved, the decision is not always straightforward and some couples may decide to stay together to protect their children. But is staying together for the sake of the children really the best decision?

Yes – Daniel
Growing up can be a difficult time and children need stability. Events such as divorce can rock them much harder than you may anticipate and may cause children to suffer from anxiety, depression and behavioural problems. And whilst divorce may signal the end of difficult times for adults, it can be just the start for children. They may experience the stress of moving house, changing schools or even having to adapt to life with step brothers and sisters. These kinds of life changes are a lot to cope with at a young age. So before rushing into divorce, parents should always consider all of the alternatives first and if at all possible stay together to give their children a secure home environment.

Following divorce, it’s usual for one parent to become the main carer. This can lead the child to feel rejected by the other parent and relationships within the family can become permanently damaged. However, if you share childcare, this can be equally upsetting for children, leading them to feel very unsettled as they are constantly switching from one household to another.

All marriages need work to stay strong and people are often too quick to rush into divorce at the first sign of problems. Agreeing to stay together until the children have grown up may give you the time you need to work through your issues.

No – Louise
If you are considering divorce, chances are your marriage has hit rock bottom and you’ve tried everything you can to keep your family together. Children are very perceptive and even if you think you’ve successfully hidden your problems from them, they have probably picked up on your unhappiness. Living within a strained household is very stressful for children and if you are constantly unhappy, angry, or tearful, they may blame themselves.

It’s not fair to create an unhappy environment for children to grow up in and so if your marriage isn’t working, it’s better to explain the situation to them and help them adjust to a happier future.

Your children will adapt quickly to new living arrangements and may even enjoy certain aspects. After all, having two happy households is better than one unhappy one. And because so many couples separate these days, most children will have friends at school who have been through the same thing.

You owe it to yourself to be happy too. If you’re feeling trapped within an unhappy marriage, it will be difficult to be a good parent and role model to your children.

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