Dealing With Divorce: Should You Stay for the Kids?
Parents in an unhappy marriage will often stay for the sake of the children. Conflict drains the resources of a relationship and in doing so, can give way to. Should you stay together for your kids? Find out here. | webob.info When your relationship has reached a point where you both know it isn't. Having a child puts a strain on relationships, but staying in an unhappy marriage is the best thing you can do for its long-term success.
But, the mother argues, a baby needs to be held to feel secure and know we are here for her. In the group, the couple would explore why they feel so emotional about their view. Maybe the mom is compensating for what she didn't get as a child from her own parents. Once she and her husband realize why this particular issue is so touchy, it's easier for them to be sympathetic and find a solution they're both comfortable with. What can couples do on their own if they want to improve their marriages?
Staying in an unhappy marriage could be the best thing you do, new study suggests
Work on issues with your partner when you're calm -- not at 2 a. Often after couples have had a fight, they're reluctant to bring up the issue again.
But if you don't, it can linger and resentment can build. If you argue in front of your kids, tell them later that you worked out your disagreement or show them that you did by calming yourselves down in front of them. Make time for the relationship.
You may not be able to afford a sitter or be ready to leave your baby, but you can check in with each other for at least 10 minutes every day. That can be done after you put the kids to bed or even on the phone while you're both at work, as long as you're sharing what happened to you that day and how it's affecting you emotionally.
The pace of life today is so frenetic that few couples do this. But marriages are capable of change, and small changes can make big differences.
In your research, you've found that being in couples groups with trained leaders also helps children. Why do you think that is?
We enrolled 66 of the couples in our second study in couples groups for four months. One half were in groups that focused more on the parent-child relationship, while the other were in groups that stressed the marital relationship.
We conducted interviews with parents, observed the family interacting, asked teachers to fill out questionnaires about the couples' children, and gave the students achievement tests. Those whose parents had been in groups of either type were doing better academically and having fewer behavioral and emotional difficulties than the children whose parents received no support.
This was true even six years later. Interestingly, couples in both kinds of couples groups had become more responsive parents -- warmer and more skilled at setting realistic limits for their kids. But only the parents who were in the marriage-focused groups had developed more satisfying marriages. That tells us that if parents improve their relationship, they will not only improve the marriage but also become more effective parents.
Do kids really know when their parents aren't happy with their marriages? We've found that kids sense when their parents are upset or in conflict even if their parents are not openly fighting. And from academic achievement tests and teacher reports, we know that the kids who feel responsible for their parents' conflicts don't do as well in school.
They don't make small talk. They don't chuckle about last night's episode of The Cosby Show. They don't even acknowledge each other's birthdays. The dinner table discussion is strictly kids-to-parents, never parent-to-parent. They sleep, smile and even vacation separately. And they live in the same house. But at least they love me. This is my collection of mental notes before I had turned 5. As an adult, I absolutely get it, why unhappy marriages linger for the supposed betterment of the children.
The intention is good. But if we're being honest about it, people don't stay in bad marriages because they believe it's what's best for their children.
They stay in bad marriages because they personally don't want to be separated from their kids. It makes complete sense, but that doesn't make it right. While there certainly are benefits of having both your parents in the same house every day, two people who aren't in love with each other anymore are bound to clash, causing unrest, friction and ultimately an uncomfortable environment for children to grow in.
It happened to me, and sadly, someone, somewhere reading this is inadvertently allowing it to happen to their child as well. To be clear, this blog is not meant to toss my parents under the proverbial bus.
Staying Lovers While Raising Kids
I never have, nor will I ever, blame them for falling out of love. And it's flattering to think they both refused to leave the house so they could spend more time with my sister and me. That said, I once overheard my father tell my mother, "The kids are all I have in this house. I was already an adult at age 20 when my parents officially separated. But naturally, I had seen it coming and to a certain degree had expected it.
Why or why not? Studies have proven that parental conflict harms children more than any other factor. If parents are fightingbad-mouthing, or in other ways disrespecting one another around the children, the kids will be negatively affected and emotionally scarred.
The Problem With Staying Together For The Kids
If children live with parents in conflict or who live in a loveless marriage, children are exposed to negative experiences about marriage and relationships that can last a lifetime.
Young children often have less trouble dealing with divorce. However, you should be physically and emotionally prepared first.
Many families wait until summer for the actual transition to two homes. They prepare the children in advance and let the school know, so they can take advantage of school resources.
Learn how best to break the divorce news to children before taking any action. Younger children may be able to adjust better. Does the age of the kids matter? Yes, younger children adapt more easily than older kids and teens.