When considering a divorce, many couples will making the conscious decision of staying together for the kids. While this is an admirable and selfless choice to make, it begs the question: is that really what’s best for you and your children? Typically, a couple ‘sticking it out’ for the children will go one of three ways: reconciliation, everyone is miserable, or eventual divorce. So, what is the answer? And should you really put your children that far above your own needs and happiness? Our children are often at the center of our universe, but they are not the only factor in it.
Staying Together for the Kids: A Selfless Act?
You have to ask yourself whether the idea of divorce was a result of hard times or a true consideration.
It is not uncommon when facing hard times to question everything. While we are told over and over again that our marriages should be ‘fireproof’, the plain, hard truth is that no one, and no marriage, is perfect. We all face trials, hard times, and angry words from time to time. When hard times hit, it is easy to lose sight of what is important and what brought you together. So, before considering divorce— consider what put the idea in your head.
While your children are the main consideration most of the time, a divorce is quite personal to you and your spouse. Tracking down the reasons behind why that word popped into your head should be step one before even thinking about how the children and the possible divorce fall into the equation.
Will avoiding divorce versus an unhappy marriage be better for your kids?
Children are smart and quite receptive. No matter the age, they can sense turmoil and stress to a certain degree. But, you must realize that you are their models for what love and marriage look like. Now, you must ask yourself, is your version of marriage and love the one you want your children modeling after?
Part of being a parent is being a role model. While you might think your children are entirely their own people, they are also learning from you. Part of honoring that, is honoring yourself and what you need. A divorce, while nasty and grueling, is not the end of the world. Your children might act out and feel upset about it for a period of time. But through time and age, they will begin to understanding what an important decision this was for you, personally.
Most of these couples will likely divorce further down the line
While some couples might stay together for the kids now, they will often divorce later on down the road. Gray divorces are becoming quite common amongst empty nesters who feel that now their children can handle it. Putting off these divorces until you’re older can cause a number of issues. From life insurance policies, retirement, and becoming independent much later on in life.
There are many factors to consider
Obviously we are not encouraging divorce as your first choice. But acknowledging that an empty marriage is no better for anyone is quite important. Ultimately, you have to consider what you and your spouse need from each other, and from life, to be happy and to do best by their children. Staying together with your children as the only thing to hold you together can be unhealthy for every one of you. In the end, a divorce is a decision to take your time with.