Why Staying in a Bad Marriage for the Sake of the Kids Is Bad

couple in an argument

It’s harder to end a marriage when there are kids involved. Their welfare is a priority — sometimes a bigger concern than the relationship itself. You may have read countless articles and scientific journals documenting how nasty the impact of divorce is on kids. They don’t do well in school, and they suffer low self-esteem. They struggle with trust issues in romantic relationships later on. It makes sense then that for the sake of the kids, a lot of couples consider staying together even though their relationship has already gone downhill. Sometimes, this works, but in most instances, it only makes things worse for the children.

The Impact of Staying Together

The simple truth is that when people who once loved each other don’t feel the same way anymore. They instead have serious resentment, and they’re only bound to clash. Those unpleasant feelings will seep into your dinner conversations or your backyard barbecue parties. You may not be the aggressive type of couple when you fight, and you only argue behind closed doors. But that’s still not an assurance that the kids won’t get affected.

More often than not, your children know more than you think. They sense the silent treatment over dinner. They notice the forced, awkward smiles during family photographs. They just feel helpless and restless being sandwiched between people who don’t get along anymore. In the end, your desire to make the children safe and prioritize their well-being just backfires.

While this tension-filled environment can trigger a range of so many negative emotions, the one thing that your kids will constantly feel in this entire ordeal is frustration. You have to understand that even in the middle of nasty fights, your children subconsciously hope that things will work out eventually. As long as you’re together, there’s something to hold on to. There will always be days when things between you and your spouse are well. But once the fights erupt again, with every insult or cold shoulder, the kids feel like they’re not a step closer to having that dream of better things at home. They’re in this never-ending cycle of hope and disappointment.

The Key to Better Parenting

dad leaving the family

Couples often become better parents once they’re apart. Moreover, it’s not the divorce itself that hurts children the most. It’s the tension in the relationship. You want to break that once and for all by going your separate ways — and keeping things tension-free while doing it. How do you achieve that amicable divorce? It all starts with perspective. Both you and your spouse should aim for two things: what’s best for your children and what’s going to make you happy individually. In that regard, you have to make compromises on some matters.

For instance, you probably want sole custody of your kids. What’s best for them, however, is having both of their parents in their lives. What’s going to make you happy is them growing up with a sense of a family intact. Therefore, it’s probably worth considering a shared custody arrangement. When both of you frame matters this way, disregarding your relationship woes, you can move forward better. In their years of handling divorce cases, attorneys from a child custody law firm in Kent explain that couples who share parenting responsibilities equally tend to have better relationships with their children, and sometimes with each other.

Staying together even though your relationship has gone sour may have worse effects on the kids than simply ending the marriage. Be better parents. Leave the drama behind.

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