Why Divorce Is Better Than Staying Married for the Kids’ Sake

We all know that couple who is staying together for the sake of their kids. It’s understandable – divorce can be very hard on kids and no one wants to introduce instability and uncertainty into their lives. Unfortunately, parents who offer this rationalization for staying in an unhealthy marriage are overlooking the obvious and immediate harm for the sake of potential future issues. The reality is that those future issues can be managed and possibly even avoided, but your children will have a front-row seat to the conflict between you and your spouse. If you are struggling with the decision to divorce and how it will impact your children, an experienced divorce attorney can help you evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of moving forward. 

Abuse and Other Hazards

Your children deserve to grow up in a stable, loving environment. Children can suffer tremendous harm as a result of witnessing physical, emotional, or verbal abuse. Your children should also not be forced to live in a situation that is marked by substance abuse or criminal activity. We know how difficult it can be to leave, especially when your partner claims that it won’t happen again or that they will get help. They do not deserve the benefit of the doubt at the expense of your children’s future. Getting a divorce can get your children out of an unsustainable and dangerous situation. 

Can You Be a Good Parent When You Are Unhappy? 

Many parents who make their children the reason to stay in their marriage believe that they can compartmentalize their marriage from their daily life as parents. While this may be possible some of the time, it’s practically impossible to completely separate the two. People who are unhappy in their marriages often experience depression, anxiety, and other negative emotions that can become overwhelming. Parents who are unhappily married will often experience significant difficulties in being present for their children. Their sadness and frustration can erode the patience they need to be a good parent. In turn, this causes a downward spiral as feelings of guilt over their parenting difficulties make them feel even worse about their situation. 

If you are unhappy in your marriage, you need to be honest with yourself and make a candid assessment of whether you can be the parent your children deserve. Getting a divorce gives you the opportunity to refocus your relationship with your children and free you from the unhappiness that is keeping you from being the parent you want to be. 

Is Parenting a Source of Conflict in Your Marriage?

The raising of children is one of the most common sources of conflict for married couples. Conflicts can arise due to fundamental disagreements over how the children should be raised. This can include questions about religion, education, or even healthcare. Resentment sets in when the couple is unable to find a way to resolve these disagreements in a healthy manner – one parent feels that they had to “give in” to the other’s demands. What started out as a minor conflict becomes a major issue in the marriage that becomes nearly impossible to solve. 

Another source of conflict is when one parent feels that the other parent does not share equally in the parenting responsibilities. One parent may feel that the other leaves all of the parenting to them. Alternatively, one parent may feel that they are constantly micromanaged by the other parent when it comes to anything they do with the children. 

Whatever the situation may be, staying together for the sake of the children is not a viable solution if parenting is one of the fundamental issues in your marriage. Instead of protecting your children from the unknowns associated with divorce, your children will come to believe that they are the reason why you are unhappy in your marriage. 

Consider the Message That You Are Communicating to Your Children

Even young children pick up on non-verbal communication, even those messages that you did not intend to speak. Children who grow up with parents who are in an unhappy marriage are receiving a variety of harmful messages: 

  • It’s okay to be unhappy
  • It’s okay to sacrifice your own happiness for someone else’s 
  • People are often hostages to their circumstances
  • You cannot take control of your own life

Children who grow up in unhappy marriages are reported to grow into adults with poor self-esteem, anxiety, and trust issues and have difficulty forming healthy relationships. On the contrary, taking control of your marriage and filing for divorce teaches your children that your happiness is important and that you have the power to improve your own situation. In turn, they will come to understand that putting your happiness first allowed you to be the parent they deserved and improved their happiness as well. 

A Better Relationship with Both Parents

It’s inevitable for most couples that you will fight with your spouse in front of the children. And even if you can avoid that, it’s likely that your children will pick up on the frustration and resentment, leading them to choose sides without realizing it. 

Divorce gives both parents the opportunity to start fresh and have a relationship with their child that is independent of the other parent. Living apart, removed from the daily interactions that lead to arguing and other interactions, can help you focus on improving your relationship with your children. In fact, your relationship with your former spouse may also improve, which could also lead to a better relationship with your children for both of you. 

Contact Seattle Divorce Services to Discuss Whether Divorce is Right for You

While divorce is often preferable to staying together for the kids, the reality is that every situation is unique. We can walk you through your options and help you find the best path forward for you and your children. Call us today at 206-784-3049 or contact us online to schedule a consultation to discuss your case and how we can help.