There are many instances where unhappy couples stay together for the sake of the children, only to separate as soon as the child moves out or turns 18.
While divorce is hard on kids studies have shown that not getting a divorce for couples whose relationship has ended can be even more detrimental.
Children learn by example
Kids learn a lot about healthy relationships from their parents. Parents who are unhappy together will inevitably partake in come unhealthy relationship habits which will shape how their children see adult relationships.
A couple who is merely co-existing in a house with their spouse, without affection or interest in the other, is not setting a good example for what a healthy adult relationship should look like.
You want to make sure you are showing your kids examples of happy, healthy relationships and cohabitating lovelessly for years will do exactly the opposite.
Kids are observant
Despite your best efforts your kids will know that you are not happy. Children pick up on a lot and if it is something they don’t understand they might think that they are the ones that are causing the stale air in the house. This can be particularly detrimental if it goes on for months or even years at a time.
Getting a divorce and making sure to let your children know that it is NOT their fault will do a lot less damage than leaving them guessing in an unhappy home.
Fighting does the most damage
Studies have shown that it is the conflict between parents that cause the most damage when it comes to the development of children.
If you are living in a marriage where you are constantly at each other’s throats that is much harder on the children than hearing that you have decided to separate. If the fighting has been going on for a while your kids may even be relieved that you have decided to call it quits.
Of course, this depends on the age of your children but as a general rule if your home has become a war-zone staying together for the kids is never a good idea.
Divorce is often the best option
Parents who divorce in an amicable way set a great example for their children. If you handle your emotions will, generally your children will too. Many couples actually get along much better when they no longer live together. They remain amicable for the kids and are actually showing a great example of how to handle a very tough situation. This scenario is much better than staying in a stale, loveless and possibly hostile relationship “for the kids.”