If you talk to someone in an unhappy marriage who has not yet decided to get a divorce, they may say they want to stay together for the kids. This is a common reason that parents give, and it is hard to blame them. They love their children and want what’s best for them.
What they need to understand, though, is that staying together for the kids isn’t always what’s best. In fact, some experts believe that it can be much worse for children.
Why is it worse?
The answer lies in the type of home life that the children get. If you and your spouse are miserable and you’re constantly fighting, they’re exposed to a home life full of frustration, anger and aggression. This can be stressful for them, even though they’re not the focus of any of these feelings. It’s not necessarily a good environment to grow up in, and parents may be better splitting up and learning how to get along as co-parents. This often improves the home life for the children, even though they don’t live with both parents anymore.
You also need to remember that the children learn their parenting skills from what they see. Children may, in turn, use those same problematic skills with their children, thus passing on this level of dysfunction. Getting a divorce can show them that there are other solutions and illustrate how parents can be happy and helpful to their children without needing to stay married.
If you decide to get divorced, be sure you understand all of your parental rights.