Staying together for the children - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Staying together for the children

Sometimes people talk about staying together in an unhappy marriage for the children.

I was a child with unhappy parents, and IMHO, its a very bad idea. My parents always said how much they "loved" each other, and so as a child I saw their miserable broken relationship as "love". It took me a very long time to unlearn that lesson.

Other thoughts? Should parents stay in an unhappy marriage for the benefit of their children?

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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 10:50 AM
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Re: Staying together for the children

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Sometimes people talk about staying together in an unhappy marriage for the children.

I was a child with unhappy parents, and IMHO, its a very bad idea. My parents always said how much they "loved" each other, and so as a child I saw their miserable broken relationship as "love". It took me a very long time to unlearn that lesson.

Other thoughts? Should parents stay in an unhappy marriage for the benefit of their children?
I think when people say they're staying for the children, it's just a rationalization for lacking the motivation or the courage to leave. Or the motivation or courage to actually fix it.

You get to have it both ways, and to play it safe. Without having to do any work or take any risks.
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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 10:51 AM
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Cool Re: Staying together for the children

Kids are resiliently smart and can usually see through this kind of thing!

Maybe it's OK for younger age children, but the older ones will definitely see through it!

"To love another person is to see the face of God!" - Jean Valjean from Les Miserables

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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 11:12 AM
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Re: Staying together for the children

As I said in the other thread, I think it depends on the degree of unhappiness... you can have a perfectly functioning relationship even if you are not 100% happy. In my opinion, the children would be better off like this. My parents were ok, although my mother was very cold and unemotional and my father violent. I still wanted them to be together, at least when I was young...
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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 11:34 AM
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Re: Staying together for the children

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As I said in the other thread, I think it depends on the degree of unhappiness... you can have a perfectly functioning relationship even if you are not 100% happy. In my opinion, the children would be better off like this. My parents were ok, although my mother was very cold and unemotional and my father violent. I still wanted them to be together, at least when I was young...
Which explains your weakness as an adult...

Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.


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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 11:35 AM
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I agree with Marduk. This is said out of fear. It is just another excuse not to get divorced. Much like an affair, this is a way to rationalize. In this case, staying married when deep down you’d be happier if you left.
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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 11:40 AM
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Re: Staying together for the children

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Sometimes people talk about staying together in an unhappy marriage for the children.

I was a child with unhappy parents, and IMHO, its a very bad idea. My parents always said how much they "loved" each other, and so as a child I saw their miserable broken relationship as "love". It took me a very long time to unlearn that lesson.

Other thoughts? Should parents stay in an unhappy marriage for the benefit of their children?
I was also a child with unhappy parents.. well, my dad anyway, he was verbally and emotionally abusive to my mom. I remember thinking, even back when I was really young, how much I wished they would get a divorce! I hated the way my mom was treated, and I hated having to be stuck in a home with my angry dad. She did finally file for divorce when I was 13, and after initial upset, I was so, so grateful. Granted, not all situations are openly abusive, but people make the HUGE mistake of thinking that they are shielding their children from the fact that their marriage is miserable. Kids are way smarter and more intuitive than they are given credit for. I think kids that get stuck in these homes eventually come to resent their parents for NOT breaking up and making them live with the dysfunction. Not to mention you are setting a crappy example of what marriage is that they are likely to grow up to repeat themselves.

As the saying goes, its better to be FROM a broken home than to have to LIVE in one.

Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.


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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 11:41 AM
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Re: Staying together for the children

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Which explains your weakness as an adult...
Absolutely...
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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 11:42 AM
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Re: Staying together for the children

No guts and fear for the parents, then their shiny dispositions rub off and start the game all over. What a loss for the kids.

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If you think the grass is greener on the otherside it's not, what you see are the weeds.
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 11:50 AM
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Re: Staying together for the children

Yes, children usually do want their parents together but they also want their parents happy. They know. I was always well aware my parents werenít happy and I would have much preferred they had gotten a divorce. My mother claimed she stayed for me but I donít believe that for a moment. She was too weak to leave and I was the one who paid the price by growing up in an unhappy house. I have no doubt that influenced my own marriage and not in a good way. So, no, I definitely donít support the idea of staying in a dysfunctional marriage for the children.

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post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Staying together for the children

There are also of course many forms of bad relationships. I think though that children are far better at picking things up, even if they don't understand them.

They can also learn all sorts of unintended lessons. For instance I grew up having learned that it was "normal" for a married couple to have no physical contact at all, and to spend almost no time together. Mother cleans house and cooks. Father goes to work and brings home money. They speak politely to each other at meals. At other times they were rarely in the same room. A very efficient arrangement for operating household.
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post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 12:26 PM
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Re: Staying together for the children

It's only way a couple should stay together for the kids is if they can create an environment in which the kids are happy the family is together. If the kids say "We have a great family", then it might be worth it even if the parents are just putting on a good show. Kids growning up in a family environment where they feel safe, happy, and loved is worth it even if it's a little bit phony. But if the parents aren't able to create such an environment, then divorce will likely be much better overall. Growing up in an environment filled with fear and anger will create lots of problems that aren't worth staying together.
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post #13 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 12:28 PM
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In my situation I seriously thought about staying with my STBXW for the kids sake but decided that they would be better raised by a happy Father. As it turned out it was VERY important that I filed. The kids will be much better off now then they would have been if I stayed. Kids are smarter then we give them credit for and I didn't want them learning what a relationship SHOULD be by watching what was going on in my marriage.
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post #14 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 12:37 PM
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Re: Staying together for the children

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Yes, children usually do want their parents together but they also want their parents happy. They know. I was always well aware my parents werenít happy and I would have much preferred they had gotten a divorce. My mother claimed she stayed for me but I donít believe that for a moment. She was too weak to leave and I was the one who paid the price by growing up in an unhappy house. I have no doubt that influenced my own marriage and not in a good way. So, no, I definitely donít support the idea of staying in a dysfunctional marriage for the children.
I had to like this twice , Openminded say it straight up. I didn't like this twice because his marriage suffered because of his honesty.

It is true because of if his parents, he has suffered because of it. I like to say l believe people say that it didn't affect them much, but little do they know that all of the crap goes with them and it unknowingly they live it out what they seen or because of it build up a boundary and what will be tolerated so no other person could ever live up to it.

So then they themselves become miserable for the most part of their own lives.

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If you think the grass is greener on the otherside it's not, what you see are the weeds.
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post #15 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 12:45 PM
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My parents often said that they stayed together for us kids. I got tired of hearing it, and at one point told them to stop blaming their children for their mistakes.

When I left my ex husband, my parents were less than pleased. Several years later I met my now husband. After several years we decided to get married. The day before our wedding, my mom told me that she had hoped that my ex and I would get back together for our son. I was shocked, and offended. Up until that moment the only thing I had really said about my ex was that we had problems that we could not work past. I decided to tell my mom why I had divorced my ex. My ex had a severe aversion to monogamy, and had cheated on me throughout our 10+ year relationship.

My ultra conservative mother was appalled. Up until then, she had sent my ex birthday cards and gifts, Christmas gifts, and had basically been treating him like the much loved soon in law (that I had left, and didn't 5 years fighting in a contentious divorce). Needless to say, he was no longer the perfect SIL that they had hoped I would reconsider divorcing.

I cannot even begin to imagine staying with him for our son. I would die for my children, but there wasn't a chance that I would even consider getting back together with my ex. If Hades had frozen over, I'd have gone skiing. .

Staying together for the kids may work for some people, but generally speaking it forces the children to grow up trapped in their parents toxic marriage. Sadly, it will likely affect their children's concept of what a healthy relationship looks like.

Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace. ~Buddha~
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