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Many parents hold a common misconception that their children will always fare better if they stay together. Divorce is never easy, but avoiding it to keep a “happy family” together is not necessarily a wise choice. Children respond to their environment in ways that are different from adults. They are not as likely to understand what is happening and are confused and scared because their parents are fighting. Kids, especially young children, need to feel safe and believe that they live in a stable household. If a marriage has become toxic, it may be best for everyone in the long run to end the relationship.

Why Ending a Bad Marriage may be Best.

Whether to divorce is not an easy decision. Typically the length of the marriage and having children together makes a choice even more difficult. Many people find themselves in a place where they feel like they no longer have any options. Talking things out, couples therapy, support groups, and marriage counselors have all come up short of saving the marriage. If you find yourself in this situation, a divorce may be the final and the only solution left. Remember that your children will likely learn what a relationship means by watching you and your partner. Make sure they understand that a marriage is supposed to be filled with love and communication. Not fighting and hostility.

Issues that can arise with Children

There have been countless studies showing the differences in children with a two-parent household and a single-parent household. Despite loving parent’s best interests, children often do better when living with two parents. However, having two parents living together is not so important that it should be a goal at any cost. On the contrary, children can suffer from many issues if their parent’s relationship is no longer healthy. Below is are some common problems children face when their parents have a toxic marriage.

Chronic stress and tension

Remember that even young children are often more perceptive than we believe. Parents may try to hide their issues or fight, but children will almost always notice that something is wrong. These worries can lead to behavioral problems, difficulties dealing with school and social responsibility, and extreme mood swings.

A bad marriage can affect their self-esteem.

Kids will often internalize negativity and by absorbing these emotions. If not addressed, these issues can even spill into their adult life.  They can find themselves lacking self-esteem because they feel unloved or uncared for. It is often a good question to ask yourself if you believe the quality of life will be enhanced for your children if you were to split-up from your partner.

They may learn to settle for less.

Relationships are not a fairytale. A good relationship should not be weighed against a Disney movie where everything is perfect all the time. However, there are many warning signs that a relationship is heading down the wrong road. Don’t teach your kids to settle for less in a relationship. Ask yourself, “do I want my children to end up in a marriage like mine?” If the answer is no, then you probably shouldn’t be in that relationship either.

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