So the love light has gone out. For whatever the reason you and your spouse are going in different directions.

But you’re doing that while you’re staying together. Why?

You’re staying married for the kids is a common answer.

While you think this is a noble deed and you’re putting you kids first, you’re actually not doing them any favors.

You may be making them just plain miserable.

If this is where you are, take a good hard look at your children and see what they’re really going through.

Don’t keep them in the middle.

Before going any further, please understand that I would never attempt to influence anyone to make a final decision to get divorced.

In many cases opening up the lines of communication or possibly seeking the help of a marriage counselor could actually bring you back together.

Only you know in your own mind what the reality is and if there is any way to resolve differences.

 

But if you are absolutely certain that it isn’t working and you think it will be better staying married for your kids in a loveless marriage, you are sadly mistaken.

Children are a very sensitive breed. They easily sense the tension between their parents.

Disagreements and fighting affects them in many ways. It may not be visible, or you may believe it is just their age-appropriate moods.

 

 

Younger Children

Younger children do not understand and may try to make things better between you.

I have seen younger children try to put their parents’ hands together while they are walking.

In many cases when they see no positive changes, they begin to believe they have done something wrong, blame themselves for the friction, and may withdraw.

They may also develop eating or sleep disorders in an attempt to gain control of their lives.

 

Pre-Teen Children

The pre-teen children understand a lot more than the parents realize.

And don’t think you can have private conversations about your marital discord while they are in the house.

They will do whatever it takes to hear their parents’ secrets because they don’t want to be left out.

Not only do they “get it” but it affects them in a different way than the little children.

In many cases they act out and get into trouble in school. Some become angry. Their grades may drop.

They may rebel more and take on friends that you don’t like or actually begin fighting themselves. The possibilities are endless.

Not that divorce is good for children. Although it has become so common that the stigma is no longer attached.

There are many more children of divorced parents.

And contrary to what you might think, there are actually children who beg their parents to split up. They can’t stand the stress and the arguments.

They don’t need the tension in their lives even though they may not prefer one parent over the other.

Teenagers

The teenagers are no different.

They want to have the focus on themselves and don’t react well to tension in the house.

They are trying to grow up and don’t want to be caught in the middle of Mom and Dad’s fights.

Some, having seen and experienced teenage dating break ups and many have the “just get over it and move on” attitude.

And yes, the parenting time with the parent of secondary residence can interfere with their plans, but only if that parent refuses to take them to their scheduled activities.

This group can be even more complex.

 

Draw Your Own Conclusion…

While this is not what some would consider results of a study, it doesn’t take a statistical analysis to report on what has been seen and heard.

Yes, divorce is not great for your kids, but staying together in an unhappy and conflicting relationship when your children are exposed to it and live with it can be much worse.

You need to take a really deep look into your marriage and your home life and make your own best informed decisions.

Keep in mind there are numerous professionals to assist and guide you with any transitions you need to help your children get through.

 

The following two tabs change content below.

Ellen Wanamaker