Don’t Stay in a Broken Marriage “For the Children”
If you are clear that you are miserable in your relationship, don’t procrastinate on getting a divorce “for the sake of the children.” While some experts would argue that having one parent move out of the home increases the stress on young children, consider the likelihood that the benefit of no longer seeing Mommy and Daddy fighting far outweighs any negative effects.
The premise for the remainder of this article is that you have already explored all avenues for rebuilding an empowering relationship with your spouse – you have talked, you have had counseling, you have contemplated your future.
Having determined that a happy relationship is no longer possible, you are considering remaining in your unhappy marriage “for the sake of the children.” Don’t do it. Here’s why:
1. While growing up with two happy parents who love each other is probably the ideal nurturing environment for children, living with one happy parent is far better than living with two people who are unhappy and hate each other.
2. However noble your intentions, you are not going to be able to fake happiness for long. Your children will recognize your unhappiness almost at once, and that will cause them great suffering.
3. While you and your spouse may make an agreement never to argue or treat each other badly in front of the children, you will not be able to keep such an agreement. You will exchange icy stares, unkind words, and sarcasm – if not worse – in spite of your resolve and idealism.
4. Your own well-being does matter, don’t discount the importance of your own happiness. Martyrdom is highly over-rated. There is no special place in heaven for those who suffer for no good reason. Don’t let guilt – which is also highly over-rated – cause you to make a decision that will certainly cause misery for both yourself and your children.
5. It is your decision – and you are responsible only to yourself in making this decision. Don’t be bullied by your partner, parents, relatives, friends, or church. They may have some so-called “moral” position, but the only important factors to consider in making this decision are your children’s well-being and your own.