The decision to get a divorce can be difficult and frightening, especially for couples with children. However, many couples decide they can’t divorce because of their kids, believing that they will be better off growing up with an intact family unit. In fact, one in four married couples remain together for the kids and intend to separate once the last child has left the home. Unfortunately, many experts say that staying in an unhappy marriage just for the sake of the children is not necessarily the best thing to do.
The following are several reasons why staying together for the kids is a bad idea:
- Everybody ends up miserable – Consistent parental conflict is immensely harmful to children. Through the course of the marriage, it can be difficult for unhappy parents to keep up appearances and hide their miseries. Feelings of bitterness, resentment, unpleasantness can permeate throughout the household, making everybody miserable in the process. Kids are more perceptive than we give them credit for, something that parents have forgotten about as they get older.
- Kids can’t just be kids – Many parents embroiled in marital conflict sometimes end up confiding in their children, whether subtly or subconsciously. No child should be forced to endure the complications and pain of adult struggles.
- Kids will model the type of marriage their parents have – Parents who are miserable in their marriage are actually teaching their kids how to behave when it comes to their own adult relationships. They learn what marriage is, how to be a husband or wife, and how to either effectively or ineffectively handle conflict.
- Kids would rather their unhappy parents separate – According to a survey by Resolution, a family law organization, most young people who have experienced divorce do not believe parents should stay together for the sake of the kids. The poll found that 82 percent of those aged 14 to 22 said it was ultimately better that their parents had divorced.