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Since divorce can be so traumatic on children, many couples try to do anything they can to shield their children from this fate. When examining the aspects of whether a couple should or should not divorce, it is important to take into account various data points regarding each particular family.

There are many reasons that some couples decide to stay together. One may be that they are able to maintain normal family relations regardless of their martial state. In this instance, the parents might believe that since their issues are not harming their children, they will continue to maintain the family dynamic until they are no longer able to do so. These particular parents have made the decision to suppress their own needs until the children are older and out of the home so there will be less traumatic events for the children.

Monetary issues also play a role in whether couples stay together. If the couple deems that by separating they will be in great financial distress, they may wait until both parents will be stable enough on their own. These couples know that if they had to separate, both the parents and children would suffer due to the monetary loss. For example, a mother who had originally stayed at home might have to return to work. In turn, younger children might be forced into a childcare situation which would be a big change for them. Other issues would affect the children if there were monetary strains from a divorce, from large changes such as a loss of their home to even small changes such as not being able to purchase extra items such as toys.

There are, of course, instances when staying together is not the best option, regardless of stress or financial situations. Issues such as domestic violence, abuse, neglect and severe parental fighting are instances when it would be more beneficial for a child to go through the divorce.

Anytime there is abuse in a home, it is immediate grounds to vacate the home or displace the abuser. In instances of abuse, both parents should set aside their marital needs and immediately find a safe and secure place for the children. There are some marriages and families that can survive abuse; however, while it is occurring a change needs to be made immediately to assure the safety of the children.

In a situation of domestic violence, it is also better for a child to be separated from the original family unit. Seeing domestic violence occur, to either parent, can be a very traumatic and dangerous situation for any child. In these cases the victim and her children need to receive great support (if it is available to them) and seek a place of refuge and safety.

Last, if the home is very volatile or filled with neglect, it might be better for a couple to separate than stay together. Children need and deserve a safe and calm environment in which they can flourish. If the couple's home is becoming filled with angry parental fighting, this can be very traumatic for their children. In these cases, the parents should separate to create a sense of calm for the family. In this separation they can take the space needed to regain stability in their household and also asses their family's future needs.

There are many arguments to whether it is better for a couple to divorce or remain together. Each family should carefully weigh the positives and negative outcomes that might arise from each decision. As noted, if violence is ever a part of the equation, it is always better to separate the children and assure their safety regardless of their age. During a time of separation or divorce, children need to feel supported, and it is the parents' job to create an atmosphere most conducive to their prosperity. Finding support for both parents and children will assure a smoother outcome in either situation. 

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  • Comment Link curtis Thursday, 24 October 2013 02:46 posted by curtis

    I believe you should always follow your heart and gut feeling and be happy. If you feel you can make some adjustments and make it work go ahead. If there is abuse leave as soon as you can children should not be around negative behavior.

  • Comment Link Jade Saturday, 27 April 2013 23:49 posted by Jade

    My STBX was caught by the other woman's husband, who informed me about the affair. While we were supposed to be "working on the marriage," he became increasingly angry and verbally abusive toward the kids. That's why we left, but sadly, it took me two years to develop the courage and find the financial means to do so. I heard this "stay together for the sake of the kids" stuff from a lot of people. But my husband wasn't sorry about the affair, lied so that he could continue to see the woman, and blamed me. Is that a marriage? When we would go to public places with happy families I would become very depressed--how is it healthy for a family to live a lie? Unless the parents are willing to work on the marriage, "staying together for the sake of the kids" is just that--a dysfunctional lie.

  • Comment Link Guest Tuesday, 05 June 2012 03:22 posted by Guest

    Child of divorce: My parents fought like cats and dogs during their marriage. As a child, there were times I wished they would divorce but when it finally happened it was quite devastating. We sold our nice house, had to give away our family dog, switch schools, my dad went into a depression, my mother remarried a jerk, and my teenage brother turned to drugs. My entire life was turned upside down. I remember feeling scared, alone, and isolated. We were a financially sound family but the divorce shattered that feeling of security as well. On top of it all, my parents refused to speak to each other. It was a nasty divorce and till this day it still has a negative effect on me. I hate living in the past but my parents divorce is still a dark cloud over my life. I have a family of my own and regretfully my marriage is not healthy. I am quite miserable but refuse to exit the marriage until my children are grown. 7 years and counting till I can start my new life without him. I am sticking it out for as long as I can for my children.

  • Comment Link Guest Thursday, 31 May 2012 07:36 posted by Guest

    Would love to hear from adult: Would love to hear from adult children whose parent left family to be with someone else. How was your life affected? Was the home lost? Did you get to participate in activities? IE sports, camp, college? Which parent made out better financially? Did the parent with the higher income have a higher standard of living? Did your parents treat one another with respect?(In the marriage, during separation, and divorce?) Did one parent dissipate assets? Destroy property? Leave everybody behind?