Many parents would do just about anything for their children. They put their children first and prioritize their needs even over their own.
They might even debate staying in an unhappy or unhealthy marriage because they believe it is better for the kids. This is a question that many parents might weigh over deciding to divorce. However, if parents are faced with this dilemma, here are a few things they should consider first.
1. Children often sense more than we give them credit for
Staying in an unhappy marriage can create considerable tension in the household. Parents might argue or disagree more. They might not even be able to cooperate as co-parents. If parents choose to stay together, they might try their best to hide these issues from their child.
But children sense and understand more than adults may want to admit. Living in a household with such tension can cause children to feel anxiety and guilt.
It is possible that this could have more of a negative effect on the children than a divorce would.
2. Staying together might set an example for children parents do not want
As we discussed above, staying together might lead parents to argue and even act hostile towards each other. According to Insider, this kind of behavior could, in turn, affect their child’s future relationships with friends, family and potential partners.
This might also impact how they handle conflict in their lives.
3. Parents might inadvertently neglect a child’s needs
Even though parents might consider staying together for their child’s benefit, it could potentially do more harm than good. Parents might get distracted by the tension and stress of living in the same house and co-parenting with a spouse they do not get along with. And this could potentially impact the child’s needs in several ways, including:
- If children perceive tension in the house, they might keep their stress and problems to themselves;
- Additionally, parents might not attune to their child’s emotional needs when managing stress in their relationship; or
- Parents might badmouth the other parent or try to alienate them from the child.
It is important to note that these reasons alone do not determine whether or not a couple can stay together. That decision ultimately depends on their individual circumstances. In some cases, parents might be able to repair their relationship. In other cases, divorcing can make individuals better parents in the long run when they are not under so much stress.
Deciding to divorce is not easy, but the attorneys at Bowen Ten Long & Bal, PC, can help Virginia families make the decision that best meets their family’s needs and interests for the future.