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More Harm than Good: Why You Shouldn’t Stay Together Just for the Kids

Today, staying together despite the loss of love and affection seems like the best thing you can do as a parent. The idea of separation is unsettling, so you want to protect your children from that overwhelming pain. However, the ugly truth is that you can only do so much. Sooner or later, things will fall apart. And most of the time, it can get worse than actually going through a divorce. If you’re only hanging on to the relationship with this thin, fragile thread of being a good parent, maybe it’s time to reconsider things.

Divorce Isn’t the Enemy

Although a lot of studies show how separation negatively affects kids, some studies say that it’s not always the case. The nasty consequences of divorce are just temporary. For example, they can manifest as anger at having to move to a different school or depression as the children deal with the feeling of not being loved. But over time, they become used to their new normal.

What’s most disturbing for kids isn’t the divorce; it’s the conflict between parents. Indeed, you might have decided not to leave the marriage, but if you continuously bicker with one another or give each other the cold shoulder forever, you’re putting your kids in a stressful or painful situation. The same thing happens when you’re fighting each other during the divorce or after the court battles when you’re already in separate homes. The real enemy is the conflict between you as a couple, regardless of when it takes place in the relationship.

The Key to Healthy Children

Child with parent talking with their lawyer in the background

If you really can’t make the marriage work, then accept that it’s time to walk away. Remember that staying together doesn’t necessarily prepare children for times of significant changes and uncertainty. You need to focus on the civility between you and your spouse. Also, consider how you will support your kids as you go your separate ways.

Aim for an amicable divorce. Even if you resent what you went through during your marriage, set your feelings aside to come up with a decent parenting plan that works for you and your ex. In Glen Burnie, you can consult an attorney experienced in child custody. Ideally, you should reach a joint parenting setup, which can help you nurture your kids and keep the peace between you and your former spouse.

When the court proceedings are over, aim to be a responsible parent and a polite ex. Show up during visitation time. Honor the custody schedules, and never tell your kids bad things about your ex. Doing so will only put your kids in the middle of disagreements. Finally, give them lots of love.

Overall, your plan to stay together for the sake of the kids might only do more harm than good. If you really can’t maintain the peace, do your children a favor by walking away from the marriage. It’s good to be optimistic about your relationships, but you should listen to your head instead of your heart.