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Staying for the children....


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  #1  
July 6th, 2008, 03:59 PM
MissTorrieIfYou'reNasty's Avatar Co-Host of Heated Debates
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OK, so I have a pretty good handle how to help deal with that particular situation I outlined in the other thread. But as a general rule, how do you feel about this?

In gathering opinions on behalf of my friends, I spoke to adults whose parents were still together, adults whose parents stayed together until they were grown even though it was obvious there was no love there, and adults whose parents divorced. I got many interesting responses and was greatful for all of them. But the most surprising to me was the responses I got from people in the second catagory.

Overwhelmingly, they told me that they were shocked and outraged when the parents finally divorced, as though their whole childhood had been a lie. Some reported feeling like terrible burdens. One woman told me the guilt was almost too much to bear when she thought about her mother being unhappy all those years. Another man told me he believes he is incapable of having a marriage and family of his own because now he doesn't know how to love. The people who were supposed to teach him didn't. His parents were not antagonistic, but cold. He knows no other way to be other than cold. That made me sad.

So assuming the relationship has gone through all the standard procedures one goes through when one's marriage is crumbling, is simply having very little feeling towards one another reason enough to divorce? Or should the parents suck it up for the sake of the children? Is there a total group of people I am missing? Does anyone know of anyone who knows that thier parents, despite not loving each other, stayed together and are greatful for it? I searched but couldn't find them. I am curious to know what everyone's thoughts are on the subject.
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  #2  
July 6th, 2008, 04:16 PM
aprilmomto3's Avatar Veteran
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I have to think on this and ask around, it is a hard call to make.
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  #3  
July 6th, 2008, 04:19 PM
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My belief is that its better children come from a broken home then live in a broken home. I feel parents should not stay together for the sake of the children, though I think they should stay CIVIL for the sake of the children. Divorce will be hard on the child, but if the parents are willing to work together in the parenting department and be kind to one another (which they would have done if they stayed married for the child anyway) then I think that is the best case scenario and the child will do well in childhood and adulthood. Of course its great to try to work things out first, but if you determine you CANT work things out and the ONLY reason you are staying together is for the child I feel that would do more harm then good.
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  #4  
July 6th, 2008, 07:25 PM
Fluffy Baby's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Growing up in a home where the parents should have been divorced but stay "for the children", I will have to say it is not wise to stay just for the children. I resent my parents for fighting as much as they did. I had to deal with one or the other routinely dissappearing. They were so worried about themselves, I was left to raise my sister. I won't put my kids thru that.
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  #5  
July 6th, 2008, 07:42 PM
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I grew up in a situation where my parents stayed together for us kids. I hated it. Our entire lives were fake. My parents acted like they cared about each other when others were around. Only my sister and I saw the truth. Our mother would sit on the computer for hours and cry because she was depressed that she was lonely. My dad worked as many hours as he could so he didn't have to come home...although he was there for the two of us for every special occasion. I was relieved when they decided to get a divorce. They didn't belong together. It was obvious that they were both unhappy. Plus, it was hard to be in the middle of two parents who barely acted civil to each other. I have a much better relationship with both parents now that their unhappiness is not in the way. Staying for the kids is a bad idea. I will never do that to my son. I don't think you can take care of your children if you are not taking care of yourself. I think that includes your emotional well being. Plus, kids can always sense things. There is no keeping it a secret, which makes things much harder.
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  #6  
July 6th, 2008, 08:27 PM
beck12's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I think staying together for the sake of the kids is a cop-out. You should WORK things out for the sake of the kids...not stay for them. I have known plenty of scenarios in my life, both in growing up & through now being on the adult end of things & watching what happens in relationships around me. My own parents went through a lot of years where they were both very unhappy. They stayed together not for us but because they are both devoutly Catholic & don't believe in divorce. When I was young I used to wish they would get divorced sometimes, but not most of the time. As I have gotten older I have realized they taught me an invaluable lesson. They are still together now & have been married for 45 years. I am now almost 34. I see they are happy together & happy with the life they have built. I see the value of believing in the commitment you have made & fighting to keep it together. I also know I will not spend the years they did unhappy without trying harder to resolve it quicker. But I am thankful to them, I truly am. I think it is by their example alone that I have faith that I have what it takes to make it work no matter what. I am not at all bothered that they stayed together even though they weren't happy - that was their decision & I really respect that they didn't do what was easier - but what they thought was right. My one sister has been divorced (an abusive relationship) but other than that the other 4 kids have all been married & are in good relationships. In all of my mom's family my sister is the only one that has been divorced & one my dad's side it's my sis & 2 cousins. I do think that a family history of working through your problems actually creates an environment for children to build good relationships & be less prone to divorce themselves. I don't think you should stay if you are being cheated on repeatedly or if there is abuse, but anything short of that you should work your hardest to find happiness. Butterflies don't last forever, but you can find a flame & work to keep it going.
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  #7  
July 6th, 2008, 09:28 PM
aprilmomto3's Avatar Veteran
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Quote:
I think staying together for the sake of the kids is a cop-out. You should WORK things out for the sake of the kids...not stay for them. I have known plenty of scenarios in my life, both in growing up & through now being on the adult end of things & watching what happens in relationships around me. My own parents went through a lot of years where they were both very unhappy. They stayed together not for us but because they are both devoutly Catholic & don't believe in divorce. When I was young I used to wish they would get divorced sometimes, but not most of the time. As I have gotten older I have realized they taught me an invaluable lesson. They are still together now & have been married for 45 years. I am now almost 34. I see they are happy together & happy with the life they have built. I see the value of believing in the commitment you have made & fighting to keep it together. I also know I will not spend the years they did unhappy without trying harder to resolve it quicker. But I am thankful to them, I truly am. I think it is by their example alone that I have faith that I have what it takes to make it work no matter what. I am not at all bothered that they stayed together even though they weren't happy - that was their decision & I really respect that they didn't do what was easier - but what they thought was right. My one sister has been divorced (an abusive relationship) but other than that the other 4 kids have all been married & are in good relationships. In all of my mom's family my sister is the only one that has been divorced & one my dad's side it's my sis & 2 cousins. I do think that a family history of working through your problems actually creates an environment for children to build good relationships & be less prone to divorce themselves. I don't think you should stay if you are being cheated on repeatedly or if there is abuse, but anything short of that you should work your hardest to find happiness. Butterflies don't last forever, but you can find a flame & work to keep it going.[/b]
I totally agree with this!!!!
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  #8  
July 6th, 2008, 09:47 PM
glasscandie's Avatar What I make is what I am
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I think it really depends on how much the parents are fighting vs not fighting plus what can be resolved vs not resolved. My parents split when I was in 8th grade, and I honestly preferred the broken home and single-parent circumstances than living with 2 unhappy parents. Most of my memories of my parents are unhappy ones. And to be honest - I don't think there's some divine rule that says parents should stay together. More and more research is indicating that single parent households do just as well as dual family households. I don't think everyone with problems should break up, but I don't think the extreme of staying "just" for the kid should be seen either.
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  #9  
July 6th, 2008, 09:56 PM
Just Nana's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Since I was in one of those marriages that stayed together for the sake of the children it was the biggest mistake I ever made I should have left years before I did. When I finally left my daughter point blank asked me why did you wait so long to try and be happy. Oh I did everything the counseling the whole bit but it takes two to make a marriage and I was the only one trying.

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  #10  
July 7th, 2008, 10:43 AM
Chunky Monkey's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I don't agree with staying for the sake of the children. In the end, everyone including the kids are unhappy.
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  #11  
July 7th, 2008, 11:00 AM
Mountain~Mama's Avatar ThePastHasNoPowerOverMe
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I think the parents should do whatever it takes to be the best parent possible. If working out the problems is possible then that's what should happen if not then they should spilt. If they do spilt though they are still parents to the children and need to keep that as the first priority not going out dating and enjoying single life at the expence of the children.
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  #12  
July 7th, 2008, 07:41 PM
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I would never "Stick it out for the kids". I was in an abusive relationship with DD's father. I tried to stick it out. I became emotionally/mentally drained. Yes, there was abuse, so that isn't the same, but I can also say the same for a loveless relationship. It still isn't a "Healthy" relationship. Both parents are probably miserable. They are both probably snappy with each other,etc. I can't see that being a good place for a child to be raised, and if I were in that situation as a child, and my parents go divorced, I too would think the same about my childhood being a lie. I think if you are unhappy, you might as well go. As much as broken families suck, living a lie is just as bad. A child may get hurt if their parents divorce, but when they see true love, when they are older they may be more able to distinguish between a healthy vs unhealthy relationship. I say if you can stick it out, re-fall in love, rekindle, and live a loving life with your spouse, do it. I think you should exhaust EVERY resource before deciding to split. I think also if you do split you make it as civil as possible, as well as not involving the children either directly, or indirectly.

The worst thing you can do is bash mom or dad. I was brought up in that kind of environment, and I was always SO torn. My mom tried to tell me my Dad was never around, and didn't do anythign for us, while my Dad later as an adult told me the opposite. It is never good to show, or express hostility towards an ex spouse. I mean as much as I hate what my ex did to me, and how frustrated I get inside becuase of the damage still done, I will never bad mouth her Dad to her. I will always be friendly with him when I see him,etc. We are in a custody battle right now, and I will never ever let my DD know about the details. She is still young fortunately, but I will never involve her, or make her feel obligated to feel bad thoughts about her Father. What happened between him and I, is between him and I. That is still my DD Father, and she loves him.

So anyways, my answer is exhaust every resource, but don't live a loveless life. Life is too short.
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  #13  
July 8th, 2008, 05:21 AM
MissTorrieIfYou'reNasty's Avatar Co-Host of Heated Debates
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Quote:
I think staying together for the sake of the kids is a cop-out.[/b]
What do you mean by "cop-out"? I'm a bit confused by the wording.

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  #14  
July 8th, 2008, 05:49 AM
beck12's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Quote:
I think staying together for the sake of the kids is a cop-out.[/b]
What do you mean by "cop-out"? I'm a bit confused by the wording.
[/b]
I mean if you are simply biding your time & saying you are staying for their sake...it is a cop-out on life. If you are going to stay then you need to work your butt of to make the relationship good & FIX it. From what I have personally seen when people stay for the kids, they literally appear to be just "staying" for the sake of the kids, not "working it out" for the sake of the kids...if that makes better sense. I also know that isn't everyone's case....but that is what I have seen & what comes to mind when I hear the statement "staying for the sake of the children".
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We've begun to raise daughters more like sons... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters. ~Gloria Steinem

If a man has been his mother's undisputed darling he retains throughout life the triumphant feeling, the confidence in success, which not seldom brings actual success along with it. ~Sigmund Freud
My mom is a neverending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune. ~Graycie Harmon
Don't wait to make your son a great man - make him a great boy. ~Author Unknown
You don't raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes. ~Walter M. Schirra, Sr.
A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest. ~Irish Proverb
Mother's love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. ~Erich Fromm
Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it. - Harold Hulbert
Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children. ~William Makepeace Thackeray
God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers. ~Jewish Proverb
The best conversations with mothers always take place in silence, when only the heart speaks. ~Carrie Latet




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  #15  
July 8th, 2008, 05:11 PM
TheOtherMichelle's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I can't say from direct experience because my parents have a great relationship, but I've known people who said they were happier when their parents finally divorced.

I think there are many cases where couples can rekindle a romance and make their marriage work. No relationship is going to be roses and sparkles 100% of the time and it's unrealistic to expect that. However, I truly do think that there are some couples who are not compatible enough to maintain a harmonious relationship and never should have been together, much less have children. I don't even think it's all about falling in love. Even in cases of arranged marriages, from what I have read about them in modern day, factors of compatibility are taken into consideration by the partners and their elders.

Happy parents make happy children, IMO, no matter what the living arrangements.
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  #16  
July 8th, 2008, 06:03 PM
MissTorrieIfYou'reNasty's Avatar Co-Host of Heated Debates
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Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
I think staying together for the sake of the kids is a cop-out.[/b]
What do you mean by "cop-out"? I'm a bit confused by the wording.
[/b]
I mean if you are simply biding your time & saying you are staying for their sake...it is a cop-out on life. If you are going to stay then you need to work your butt of to make the relationship good & FIX it. From what I have personally seen when people stay for the kids, they literally appear to be just "staying" for the sake of the kids, not "working it out" for the sake of the kids...if that makes better sense. I also know that isn't everyone's case....but that is what I have seen & what comes to mind when I hear the statement "staying for the sake of the children".
[/b]
Ah, that makes sense, thank you. I would tend to agree, but like Mystaya, I think that sometimes compatibility factors come into play which render the relationship impossible to save. Even for couples that were compatible in the beginning. People change and evolve and so do their wants and needs. Sometimes they can evolve to the point that people who were once good choices for each other are no longer. I know I am a completley different person than I was 20. When I think back on the person I was with at 20, I could never tolerate that person now.

So I don't think it's as simple as "Stay and work it out and if you try hard enough your relationship will be great!" I do think more people could benefit from trying harder before throwing in the towel, but there are a lot of cases in which the whole family is better off as well.
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