Written by: Steven Petter
It’s staggering to think that 1 in 10 couple stay together during hardships and bad times just for the kids, and plan to end the relationship when the children are old enough, problem is, when are the children ever old enough? Staying together for the kids can cause more damage long term , and when that clock of misery is counting down, how do you deal with the impending break up?
Is staying together the right thing to do?
Sources state that relationship break ups have raised a massive 40% in recent times, with the main reasons being financial hard ship and that number spiking dramatically after summer holidays when families were forced to spend time together in close proximity. The reality is that these couples who are staying together for the sake of the children are disregarding their own happiness and grossly misinterpreting their children’s ability to sense when something is wrong, which often leads to an uncomfortable atmosphere and feelings of resentment. The truth is that children know when their parents aren’t getting along and can often be traumatised by years of lies, uncomfortable family gatherings and the feelings of mistrust.
Children need a loving home and stability
The reality is that our children need a loving and nurturing environment to grow and when their parents are miserable this rubs off on them, they know what is happening and as they get older they can see the cracks starting to form. Indeed a large proportion of parents who stuck together for their children regretted the decision to stay and reported that it did not have the positive effect on their children that they originally hoped. In fact it is often the case that, in the case of amicable break ups, where the children are free to see both parents and are not used as weapons in the break up, after the initial negativity of the split those children can go on to have better relationships with heir parents who are happier than they would have done. Of course divorce is traumatic for children and it is often the case that they are used as pawns by each side to create leverage but in some cases where the split is amicable there can be real growth in the relationship between parents and children who are not forced to pretend all is alright at home.
If you speak to a lot of adults who were children of parents who stayed together for them, they will generally say they knew that things were wrong and can go on to feel a sense of guilt that they were responsible for their parents misery, and as adults with more understanding of emotions it can be scarring to feel responsible for all those years of arguments and battles. Although if initially asked as children they would demand parents stay together for the sake of maintaining a ‘normal’ family unit, as adults they see the damage that is done by pretending to be happy when you are not and the resentment that festers as a result.
Try talking to someone
If you have found yourself in the situation where you and your partner are considering break up then you should first try to fix the problem through counselling or mediation as often sitting together and talking through problems can raise concerns that were hidden under the veil of arguments with relationship counselling having a very high success rate in this country. If relationship counselling is not for you, or your partner refuses to attend then you should seek help yourself and discuss those feelings with someone, especially if you have decided that staying together for the children is your only option as often a counsellor will guide you to other options. You should consider all of the options before making a concrete decision and weigh up all the pros and cons as being in that heated situation can make it difficult to think straight.
We should always do whatever is the right thing for our children, they always come first, but that may not always be what you think it is, so doing a little thinking, maybe a small amount of research can pay dividends, and often happy parents will grow happy children in the long run. Divorce is traumatic for everyone and should be a last resort but if you really have to do it then make sure you do it right and in the best interests of the children as they need both their parents to be happy so they can grow to be happy to.