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Jennifer Wolf

Should Parents Stay Together for the Kids?

By April 8, 2011

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A sad mom expressed frustration over her financial troubles.Do you ever come across people who imply - or outright tell you - that you should have stayed with your ex, no matter what, because you have children? It's unfortunate that people continue to pass judgment on others without knowing a single thing about their circumstances. And, frankly, not every in-tact family situation is optimal for kids, like when children are exposed to domestic violence or intense levels of long-term conflict. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

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April 10, 2011 at 10:56 pm
(1) Vivian says:

Yes… I HATE when people say this! Agree 100%

April 12, 2011 at 5:40 am
(2) Nikki says:

I think people that say that, have no idea how much it took to make the decision to get a divorce in the first place.
It is mostly not an impulsive decision. You put a lot of thought and work into your marriage before you decide to get a divorce. Specifically because you are considering what would be best for your children…

April 12, 2011 at 8:46 am
(3) Ntombizodwa says:

No, they should not because the tension in the house is no way good for the kids. The unhappiness, the insults, the name calling etc.. Ask me i’ve been there, you dont want your kids growing up with a set of parents that resent each other and if you give yourself time to talk to your kids about it honestly & openly they will ask you why are you staying in such a disrespectful relationship, and are you hoping to be dead before you can free yourself. I’ve been separated from their father for 18months now and my boys stay with me. My home is so peacefull and we dont even miss my husband, he only visits maybe once in 3months and only stays for not longer than 2hours, he never calls his sons, he just sends the callbacks instead.

April 12, 2011 at 10:25 am
(4) NB says:

I grew up in a situation like that,seeing my mother living under the under my father’s shadow !! no ,nobody deserve that life it is unhealthy, no dignity you end up being the wrong one even to the children at the end of the day ,not being respected !!!


April 12, 2011 at 11:58 pm
(5) shannon.ray says:

You have to weigh the pros and cons and decide which situation is more detrimental – leaving or staying. Though I would have loved to stay in my marriage until the kids were ‘older’ I could not because the negatives were too many to live with and I actually ended up even having to leave my church because they kept insisting that divorce was ‘not an option.’ But looking back 13 years on I know I made the right decision.

PS. Left my church but kept my faith, God never left me, and I’m way happier and better off today.

April 13, 2011 at 2:58 am
(6) busisiwe says:

i do not agree with staying together for the kids,cause i feel staying together in an unhealthy,unhappy relationship can have a negative impact on kids.kids might actually be harmed,from being exposed to a failed negative relationship.i left my relationship because i felt it was not good bringing up my kid in an environment where there was always disagreements and i was always stressed because of another persons failure to outgrow some habits.we actually get along far better as parents than we did as partners,and my kid is happier and not exposed to any bad thing

April 14, 2011 at 6:41 pm
(7) pratima says:

my daughters ask me why did i not leave their father earlier ….they gave me the strength to leave when the moral policing comments and opinions made me waver all my life…their years with the combined parenting were darkness filled and gray compared with the brightness of the days we were free to be ourselves..and to be loved for what we are..

April 22, 2011 at 8:17 am
(8) Oglatha says:

While it might be a struggle as it was for me,it was worth it to have a peaceful home for my son and he turned out to be a very well adjusted young man!

April 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm
(9) sita says:

Personally, form my experience – support of single mothering in modern day society is criminally inadequate. Single mothers require jobs which give them the privilege to parent with grace. Single mothers require reliable babysitters whom give them a chance to work and secure homes with quality schools.

Many women understand the inadequacy of support for single mothers and remain in marriages from fear. So many modern day marriages are simply held together due to financial fear. Kids raised of marriages held together from financial fear are raised relationship that is an illusion. Those children grow up and duplicate this model of relationship. Thus the meaning of marriage is warped.

July 6, 2011 at 2:04 pm
(10) EC says:

I strongly disagree parents should stay in a loveless marriages simply for the kids. Here’s why. Whenever any relationship is compromised in the family, there is going to be a struggle. However, when parents simply do not love one another anymore for whatever reason, there is absolutely NO WAY they can pretend they do, and the lack of love between WILL be evident to their kids. This is not the example you want your kids to have for a marriage, by “faking” it, or just going through the motions, though some people think this is actually ok. Faking and deceit opens doors for infidelity and shows your children the lack of importance of such virtues as honesty and faithfulness to YOU, which is of course damaging to ALL.

And, as individuals, we become people of LESS integrity if we don’t place some importance on it in our marital relationships! Emphasis should be put on the marital relationship FIRST, as this relationship transcends to the children. That’s not to say children are less important or need less attention, but they should be taught by their parents, how much importance their parents place on the virtues of honesty, love and integrity. They can only do this by honest “example”. If love it is not evident or present, then parents should part, lovingly helping their children through the transition along the way.

Dutifully staying together in a loveless marriage simply “for the kids” is a cop out. Children will respect their strength, honesty, and integrity in the long-run a LOT more, if it is explained to them as they mature, the “whys” of mom and dad getting a divorce, and not just the “consequences” of it.

If you don’t believe it..try HONESTLY telling your kids the “whys” of your not staying together when they are old enough, and THEN see if they appreciate that you made the decision to live a truthful life so that they would see the importance of it, OR if they still wish you had stayed together for them, in a loveless lie.

July 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm
(11) EC says:

I would like to add one more thing..I find it interesting that all the opinions reflected in articles on this subject are by therapists, psychologists, or others in the professional field. I respect their expertise, but in no way should this topic be generalized to suggest that parents should try,even in a loveless marriage, to stay together “for the kids”.

No experience or education they may have received justifies COMPROMISING individual or marital virtues, all for the sake of children, unless the parents agree this is what they both want. Every situation is different, and every family must make the decision that is right for THEM.

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