If you are parents considering divorce, there is no clear answer on whether you should stay together for the kids. You could ask a hundred different sets of parent and each answer would be different. It’s often down to the individuals and their values or beliefs.
The best thing you can do if you find yourself as parents considering divorce is to first decide whether things can be improved or make the decision whether the kids would be better off in one home with an unhappy mom and dad or two homes where mom and dad are happy.
Divorce or ending a long-term relationship can be hard at any time let alone when children are involved so it’s not a surprise so many struggles with making this decision. It should also never be the first point of call, if things can be saved from making small changes then surely it’s time to look at the efforts you both want to put in to save the relationship first?
So, staying together can pose some risks.
The biggest risks that are run by staying in a relationship that you don’t want to be in is that the relationship can become filled with anger, frustration and can lead to continuous conflict in the family home. This also means that you run the risk of your children growing up to think that this is ‘normal’ and damage their view of a healthy relationship. Probably the opposite of what you were trying to achieve right?
When parents are wrapped up in their own problems, the children can also sometimes be left behind and end up feeling neglected. If you and your partner can’t get along and live together in the same home without running into regular conflict then maybe divorce and seeking advice from family solicitors would be the better option.
How do you decide what’s best? There is no straight answer on how to decide, it really is down to you as a couple. Chances are you could potentially fix the problems if you’re both committed to making an effort. That is all long as they are fixable problems, coming back from a partner lying or cheating or being abusive can be difficult.
Whether you decide to split or stay together the important thing is to make sure you build a strong base for co-parenting. It can be a very tall order to expect two people to live side by side, co-parent and ignore problems that they feel are an issue for the sake of keeping a family together so sometimes two separate homes where you can co-parent effectively is the best route.
There is just as much evidence to suggest that children who come from a marriage break downs that were amicable and civil end up just as successful and happy as those who’d parents stayed together. If you ultimately decide that divorce is the right decision it could help with keeping things amicable now rather than building up a volatile relationship over time.
Have you had any experience with dealing with a divorce when children are involved or are you currently working on a relationship because of the kids? Here are 5 Ted Talks that will help you with the hard choices if you are parents considering divorce:
5 Best Ted Talks for Parents Considering Divorce
Choosing to marry and share your life with someone is one of the most important decisions you can make in life. But with divorce rates approaching fifty percent in some parts of the world, it’s clear we could use some help picking a partner. In an actionable, eye-opening talk, psychiatrist George Blair-West shares three keys to preventing divorce — and spotting potential problems while you’re still dating.
In this funny, casual talk from TEDx, writer Jenna McCarthy shares surprising research on how marriages (especially happy marriages) really work. One tip: Do not try to win an Oscar for best actress.
What is it like to raise a child who’s different from you in some fundamental way (like a prodigy, or a differently abled kid, or a criminal)? In this quietly moving talk, writer Andrew Solomon shares what he learned from talking to dozens of parents — asking them: What’s the line between unconditional love and unconditional acceptance?
When faced with the life-altering reality of a marriage ending, everything seems dire. After encountering this herself, Sadie Bjornstad set off to understand why the divorce process is so isolating and clouded with negativity. What’s more, she seeks to establish clarity in how to shape life after divorce. Her research has led her to meet with women across the country and uncover common themes to their experiences.
Tamara Afifi is a Professor in the Department of Communication at UCSB. Most of her research focuses on how family members cope communicatively with various challenges they face.