Individuals stay in unhappy marriages for a variety of reasons. Some may fear being alone while others choose to stay for financial reasons. One of the most common reasons that unhappy spouses remained married is for the sake of a shared child.
Believing a divorce would devastate their child or would result in less time spent with a child, some spouses choose instead to stay the often miserable course and co-exist with a spouse. However, does staying unhappily wed really serve to ultimately benefit a child?
Imagine a child who grows up never seeing his or her parents kiss or embrace. Parents act as role models for children and the relationship between a child’s parents provides the building blocks for that child’s future relationships. Children are incredibly observant and take close note of how mom and dad speak to one another, interact and argue.
Children are also incredibly perceptive and can pick up on feelings of tension or hostility. In houses where there is no real love between parents, feelings of resentment and sadness are likely to dominate. No child wants to grow up in an unhappy home with parents who are ultimately sacrificing their own happiness for what they believe is best for a child.
It’s hard to make someone else happy when you’re unhappy. Yet parents who remain married solely for the sake of a shared child attempt to do this very thing day in and day out, sometimes for years. In some cases, divorce truly is the best option for all members of a family.
Source: The Huffington Post, “The Problem With Staying Together For The Kids,” Joe DeProspero, Oct. 29, 2014