Should You Stay Together or Split Up? What's Best for the Kids?

By Dominica

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Last Updated: May 10, 2022

Plenty of girls and boys grow up thinking about their future wedding day and their life as a married person. 

Plenty of time is spent daydreaming about the wedding, the honeymoon, the first house, and the first child. For some people, their dreams come true and plenty of things go as planned; sort of like the fairy tales depict.  But for other people, for one reason or another, the plans do not play out as they had dreamed about all of those years.

 

How Many Marriages End in Divorce?

Sometimes marriages just don’t make it. According to World Population Review, on average, 50 percent of marriages end up in divorce. This is quite a high percentage and ought to make couples think twice about tying the knot. 

Why the high percentage? 

Every therapist can tell you their theory according to relationship dynamics and offer dozens of reasons for the failures: selfishness, immoral behaviors, inability to communicate, lack of conflict resolution skills, lack of commitment, boredom, and so on. Regardless of the reasons, the high percentage is disheartening.

On top of the 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce, there is another percentage of marriages in disarray, with one or both partners miserable. The actual percentage is not known, but plenty of relationship experts assert that it could be as high as 20 percent. 

Why do these couples stay in a failed marriage year after year? 

Often, it’s for the children’s sake.

I’m sure you know of couples who are together simply because they have children together and don’t want to hurt the children by divorcing. It is a very common occurrence. 

Of course, every situation is different. One couple may stay together for the children and the home may be primarily happy and healthy. However, another couple may have a toxic home atmosphere that really affects the kids. There are pros and cons to staying in a marriage solely for the children’s sake.

 

Cons of Staying Together for the Children’s Sake

Studies actually show that children who live in a single parent’s home that has a positive environment fair better psychologically than living with both parents in a negative or toxic environment. A child who grows up in a home where Mom and Dad fight, demean one another, and are unhappy will be affected by all the negativity: either psychologically or behaviorally.

Additionally, parents who stay in a failed relationship often live in a state of loneliness, emptiness, frustration, depression, and hopelessness. Living with such negative emotions is not the best-case scenario for children who count on their parents to be fully present and raise them in a healthy environment.

 

Pros of Staying Together for the Children’s Sake

If a couple whose marriage is over decides to stay together for the kids and can live together in a state of peace and joy, then the children are more likely to grow up stable and happy. 

This can only happen when each parent commits to fostering a positive environment for the children. Oftentimes parents who choose this route only stay together until the children move out and then part ways.

Another pro of a failed marriage remaining intact is that there is always a chance of resolution down the road. Each partner may feel that the marriage is dead now. However, as years go by, people may work on themselves and grow in their personal development. The issues that were once so conflicted may be able to be resolved or even dwindle over time. 

For example, let’s say a woman in her mid-20’s is miserable in her marriage because her husband goes out with the boys a lot. She loves her husband, but really despises his selfishness and feels alone raising the kids.

She stays in the marriage for the kids’ sake and five years later her husband has a “wake up” call. He wants to be more a part of raising his children and be a better husband. He recommits, makes some changes, and the love is rekindled.

They go on to raise the children successfully and remain together. If the wife would have divorced him in his mid-20’s, they both would have missed out on some wonderful years together and the kids would have had to deal with a divorce.

 

Work it Out in Therapy

Marriage is work, there’s no doubt about that. A happy marriage consists of two partners that work on themselves and work on the relationship consistently. The good news is that if your marriage is struggling, you have options. 

There are plenty of marriage therapists that can help you deal with problems in your relationship. Before throwing in the towel, consider attending a series of sessions individually and together to see if you can mend what needs mended. You’d be surprised at how common your issues are, and there are various tools that therapists can help you use to improve your marriage.

 

A Tough Decision

Leaving a marriage is never an easy decision. Parents wonder and worry about how the decision will affect the children. 

Staying or getting out of a failed marriage certainly does have pros and cons. Each marriage is different and careful thought ought to be taken when dealing with this issue. The decision to walk or stay is very difficult and should be considered very carefully before actually making a decision. 

Counseling is certainly a great option for those who are in this predicament, as insights and guidance can be offered to each partner.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

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2 comments on “Should You Stay Together or Split Up? What's Best for the Kids?”

  1. This is awesome. I actually have friends I know that are undergoing so many troubles in their marriage. Am going to use, this info to abet their predicament.

    Thank you.

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