“Using the ‘kids’ as the excuse as to why you’re not going to split up (even if you’re really unhappy with your partner) can create a dynamic that’s not good for anyone. Giving up on the relationship without ending it only deepens the wounds between you and your partner, and adds to the tension and resentment that can permeate the household.
When all we are doing is tolerating our partner, we are modeling unhappy, tension-filled, emotionally guarded behavior that kids then internalize and carry with them into their adult relationships. It can become normalized for them that rela-
tionships are often joyless experiences
where the answer to conflict is to ignore the situation and not address it.”
“Children are looking to us to learn what a healthy relationship looks like. If we can’t provide a healthy relationship model – good communication and
appropriate conflict resolution – then we are better off considering going
through with the divorce. Witnessing
years of bad feelings, consternation, and anger will only wear your child down.
But there are hundreds of ways to be in a relationship. Kids have grown up just fine with parents who were openly non-monogamous. Kids have grown up successfully in situations where parents traded occupying a central house where the child lived full-time. Kids have grown up successfully with divorced parents, too. But I can almost guarantee you that in all of these circumstances, the ability for a child to grow up successfully was all about having open, communicative parents.”
“You’re not happy. You know you deserve happiness and so does your spouse. And your kids deserve it too … especially your kids. That’s the biggest problem: Your kids deserve happiness.
And right now, your belief is that they will never be happy if you get divorced. Many couples decide that they can’t divorce because of their children. They believe that their kids deserve to grow up in an intact family, and that anything less will destroy them.
By staying together for their sake, you’ll be teaching them that marriage is about being miserable and disliking your spouse. You’ll also show them how to live separate lives and still be married. Instead of putting in the really hard work to try to fix things or to divorce respectfully, you can both just go with the flow and accept your unhappiness as a fact of your life. Do not do this.”