Should You Avoid Divorce Simply to Protect Your Children?
This is a difficult question to answer. There are so many variables. Why is divorce being considered? Are you or your children in danger? Is there physical, mental, sexual, or emotional abuse involved?
Neither you nor your children need to stay in a dangerous situation. However, divorce should not be considered the only option without some serious consideration of the consequences for yourself and your children.
In some cases, staying for the sake of the children is a good idea. You have to live somewhere. Also, remember that all marriages go through stages that are not as exciting as those first few years. Bills mount, responsibilities increase, and you and your spouse face the normal difficulties of everyday life. If you are considering divorce because your relationship has fallen into a rut, consider counseling, either alone or with your spouse.
On the opposite side of the situation is the possibility of your children developing future problems by observing the conflict, anger, and frustration of their parent’s relationship. Children model their parent’s behavior. You need to ask yourself if you want their marriages to model yours.
Also, there are some major disadvantages to divorce. You and your mate will have to maintain separate households, more expensive than sharing a home. Additionally, the division of responsibilities can present problems.
Children of divorced parents do suffer some long-term consequences. Mothers and fathers fill different roles in a child’s life and the absence of either can fill a void that leaves long-lasting emotional damage. Immediately after divorce, children experience anger, depression, non-compliance, and even aggression. Most adult children of divorced parents feel that their parent’s divorce was one of the worst experiences of their life.
Are there positive things children can learn from the divorce of their parents? Yes. They may learn to be more independent and self-reliant. They may make better marriage choices when they become adults. In addition, they may be more willing to seek counseling or take other steps to resolve their own marriage difficulties if they occur.
A family that is composed of two parents is, of course, ideal. With this recognition in mind, some parents decide to stay together, even if it means their partner can no longer meet their own emotional and physical needs. Some even decide to divide the home so that they can co-parent while living in the same house. This is a difficult decision, and an even more challenging living arrangement. However, some parents have found this a viable solution, at least until their children are out of the house and on their own.
It is best to work through the hard times, seek marriage counseling, and do everything possible to make your marriage work. However, it may be that staying married only for the sake of your children may do them and you more harm than good.
Ultimately, those who are in relationships that are filled with anger and strife need to decide how they will handle the future. Divorce is one option. Only you and your mate can decide if counseling will work, or if it is time to dissolve the marriage. Considering which is best for your children is part of that decision.