Should you stay for the kids?
Its an unfortunate reality, this very question. I mean, divorce/ break ups are sometimes a necessary evil when individuals find themselves in toxic relationships. But throw children in the mix, and you’ve got yourself a decision that not only involves you, but the little ones as well. A scary thought, right?!
So do you think its healthy to stay in the relationship for the kids sake?
Relationships counselor Fiona Bennett says “couples with children often try harder to save their relationship than those without.” I can totally see that. Makes sense to me. Its easy to look on at someones tragic relationship and say, “tuh, why didn’t he/she just leave, kids or not?”
But truly, lets unpack this a bit.
Dr. Bennett says, "They (parents) can feel it's in the best interest for the children in terms of security, stability and good time with both parents."
So I ask myself, would my children play a role in the decision to, God forbid, ever divorce my husband, and yes, absolutely. I think it would be selfish NOT to consider them.
I think exhausting all options before divorce/ a break up is evidence of a valiant effort on the parent’s part. But children are little people with a great ability to sense emotions. They know when something isn’t right or when mom and dad are pretending and that can be harmful in itself.
Child psychologist Kimberley O'Brien says by doing that whole, lets stay together way past the point of reconciliation and pretend things are okay is “not an honest family dynamic [and] could force them to question things later in life."
I know folks get bogged down by all the stuff about how divorce destroys children but on the contrary, kids are super resilient too! I think what they need most is love. Even if, for a time, it can’t be from both mom and dad or from mom and dad under the same roof!
How can you deposit love into them if you’re in a situation that’s sucking the life out of you, stressing you out, and isn’t feeding your soul.
On most days, I’m able to love on my children because my husband is my rock. He gives me so much of the love that I can in turn give back to them. I cant imagine that dynamic in reverse! It would be awful.
Forget the idea that your kids wont be happy in a break up-they will be more happy when they see you happy
Staying in yucky situations means kids will learn separateness and not togetherness and they may model behavior after yours.
I hope this helps someone who is considering this choice. Its important to consider that you only have 1 life to live and to be glad knowing that the kids will be alright when mom or dad are in a healthier mental space.
What are your thoughts!?