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Is It a Good Idea to Stay For the Sake of the Kids?

Kids play a major role in relationships, but as we all know, not all marriages last forever. And though some couples march to the beat of their own drum, I'm not so sure I agree with the notion of staying together for the sake of the kids. Speculation of another celebrity couple, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, splitting hit the wire last week. Although this rumor is not yet confirmed, sources say that they aren't in love anymore but are trying to make it work for their son James Wilkie. While I completely understand the importance of kids growing up with two parents, sometimes divorce really is the better option — going through the motions can make it far too easy for kids to get the wrong message.

I feel lucky to have married parents that are truly in love, so I can only make an assumption as to what's best. What do you think? Is it a good idea for parents to stay in an unhappy relationship for the sake of the kids?

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Berlin Berlin 9 years
Very stupid...I had this, my mom "stayed for the kids" when all she really did was teach us to stay in a loveless marriage and sacrifice yourself and your own happiness, and just staying together for the sake of staying together! It didn't make our family any better, and I resent my father to this day and hate that she stayed as long as she did. You get in counseling if the child is young so that they know it isn't their fault, but you DON'T stay married just to placate a chid. Teaches the wrong message.
a-nonny-mouse a-nonny-mouse 9 years
Remaining together for the sake of the children generally does not end well, in my narrow experience. Try to work it out; if you cannot, end it. Easier recovery for everyone involved. Just focus on being an awesome parent.
Lelee Lelee 9 years
good question. i believe it comes down to the people involved. what one person wont put up with another might. it depends what the persons involved consider a "deal breaker" if theres no coming back from it then split up. alot of couples tend to ignore underlying issues rather than deal with them just to keep the family together. but sooner or later... they split up. see when u stay together for someone else's sake u put ur own feelings aside... and that doesnt last. then before u kno it there's some affair in the kids early teens. because the feelings & needs dont go away they always resurface probably much stronger. so u should break up for the right reasons instead of putting it off...eventually there will be a split.
Clarby Clarby 9 years
There was a question about divorce a few weeks back and I do believe in the sanctity of marriage, but that is my personal view. I will not judge someone who doesn't. Martini I like what you have to say. Also statistics are very misleading. The divorce rate may be 50% but there are a lot of couples that shouldn't get married and do and then they bring children into it or they got married because of the children. I just don't agree with that.
ajennilynrushhh ajennilynrushhh 9 years
I agree with Clarby and everyone else above me who disagree.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
and if someone is's not like there is much of a notion to pretend otherwise. and what about people who are not getting married these days?? they just pop kids? you know what happens when it doesn't work out? someone just moves out. what about those people???
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
Married or split...i think the main thing is for the parents to not fight in front of the kids or say mean things about the other parent. I think each situation is different. Yeah, don't throw in the towel so easily, but who is to say what is easy or hard? Everyone takes things differently. Sometimes when we are in courtship, we are in love. maybe the couple does take their time, but may overlook some things. or they change dramatically once married/baby is born. I understand when someone was saying how sticking out the marriage teaches the kids lessons about following through...but not every parent is equip to teach that lesson. What if the mother stays because she's submissive? that teaches little Katie to let people walk all over her in life because mom jut smiled and baked a pie. or it can teach them to tolerate chaos. or what about the couples who stay together until the kids go off to college? I personally feel that divorcing when the kid is a young adult will f*ck them up more so than if they were 8. why? Because the child is still impressionable. If the parents remain loving and involved with the child (and not say things like, "your daddy is a sack of Sh*t) then the child can grow up to be okay. but play pretend for you kids. then BOOM. get a divorce. the adult kid finds out that it was all a lie. and their perception of love and marriage is in ruins. they start second guessing crap. that's why i say it depends on the couple and the situation. Either way, it's going to have an impact.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
Clarby, I think that staying together and attempting to work on it will teach your children that we should not take marriage vows lightly and that sometimes things in life are hard, but we shouldn't just give up and move on because it is hard. I don't advocate staying together in a miserable existence solely because you have children - that doesn't help anyone. But, I know lots of people that claim "they tried to work on their marriage", but really did nothing other than complain about their partner and fight with them. I say, give it your best efforts, really try. Go to counseling, several times if you have to. If, after your best efforts, the relationship isn't salvagable, then get a divorce. And do everything in your power to make sure it is as amicable as possible and that you make sure your kids know that you both love them and that you will both always be in their lives even if you aren't living in the same house anymore.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
so why do you have to see her miserable? the choice isn't, 1) be miserable and stay married or, 2) divorce and be blissfully happy. your mother has control over the way she expresses her emotions. if she's showing she's miserable she's bringing you into her marriage. telling you that she's staying for you is bringing you into her marriage. marriage is between the 2 people involved and it's up to them to find a way to make it work. confiding in the minor children does not help that along. and no it's not "if it doesn't work out it doesn't work out". it's "till death do us part, in good times and bad", the divorce rate is 50% people! wake up, think before you marry. and btw, if your mom and dad divorce there will be 2 households to support with the same amount of money. you think a smile on moms face is going to make you forget you no longer go to private school, have a cell phone, car, go to summer camp, etc.? when you are married and have kids it will be your turn to suck it up; now it's your mom's turn and YOU are being jipped out of it by her burdening you with her personal issues.
ajennilynrushhh ajennilynrushhh 9 years
Yeah, I don't agree either. If they can't work it out, then it doesn't work out. My mom wants a divorce, but she's staying with my dad for the sake of my brothers and me. But my brothers and I hate seeing her miserable, we want to see her happy. So I don't agree this.
Clarby Clarby 9 years
I don't see what staying together shows the children? And I am really curious because I try to see both sides and here I just don't. What about children born out of wedlock? Should those parents marry? The point about God I see and that is for them to deal with when the time comes.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
pony up and do it for the kids. it's not about YOU and YOUR happiness anymore. you stood up in front of god and country and said "FOREVER". guess what you got your wish! in the absence of abuse, or some serious issue YOU STAY and you MAKE IT WORK. you don't get to walk around pouting and "woe is me" either. lifes isn't a fairy tale, sometimes we are unhappy and had to work harder to ake things "okay".
Clarby Clarby 9 years
I disagree with the they should try extra hard because a child is involved. I honestly believe this is the worst thing a couple can do. I've witnessed it so many times. Part ways and get your lives together. While doing this also focus on being the best parent they can be to the child/children. Accept that the other should always be in the child's life but control what you can control. Cherish the time you have with your child when you have it. It is not an easy situation but make the best of it. Resenting one another while you are together or once you break up will only make it worse. Odds are that things will not be instantly better once you part ways but some things should indeed get better. Children notice a lot more than they are given credit for. Parents who truly love their children will find a way to show their love regardless of if they stay together or not. I am willing to bet that children would rather see their parents happy apart than miserable together.
lms lms 9 years
I don't think they should. My mother divorced my Dad and struggled to make a good life for us. I respect her for having the guts to do it. I do have a friend that stays in a marriage b/c of his kids. He grew up with a teen mom whose older dad didn't want anything to do with her/him. He was eventually raised by his stepdad who he didn't care for, and didn't meet his dad until he was in his early 20's. As a result of this he is totally into his kids(I would say more than others). However, he is not into the mother and he cheats on her. She knows but stays. Supposedly the only way he would leave is if she left. I could tell that my parents weren't happy and I actually thought it was better that they divorced. However, not all kids feel this way.
skigurl skigurl 9 years
my friend has parents who dont get along at all but stay together because divorce isn't an option and it ends up wearing on the kids....she is in her 20s and her parents baby her and smother her and control her more than mine ever have even when i was's ridiculous but they throw their energy into her life because they hate their own...and if she ever moves out, they'll have to face the fact that they don't love each other or even like each other...and that's scary, so they guilt her into staying...sad
kiwitwist kiwitwist 9 years
I agree with MartiniLush. But if you cannot work it out, I do not think you should stay for the sake of the kids. The children are not stupid and they need a loving home. Whether that is two seperate homes or one.
MisterPinkNoTip MisterPinkNoTip 9 years
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 9 years
I think you should try to work it out as best as you can for the sake of the kids. For example my dad cheated on my mom and she filed for divorce, i guess after she cooled down she realized she couldn't do it on her own. So they got back together. My parents don't hate each other, so it worked out pretty good.
bbkf bbkf 9 years
In my experience, no, they should not. My parents hated each other but stayed married for 18 years. It would have been a tremendously better environment for my sister and me if they had split when we were kids (we were both out of the house before they divorced).
Marni7 Marni7 9 years
No, I dont think its a good idea. I agree that people should try EXTRA hard to make things work when kids are involved for their sake but at the same time I dont agree that staying in an unhappy situation for the kids is necessarily good for them in the long run. I have a friend who is an unhappy marriage, and has been for YEARS but stays in it for her is sad to see her so unhappy, I feel like everyone deserves to be happy. Kids are also smarter than we give them credit for, they can sense when something is off or some cases it is doing them a disservice to stay in an unhappy marriage because they may be unhappy to see their parents so unhappy. well i have no kiddies yet, nor a husband and my opinion may change if and when i do but thats just my opinion as of this stage in my life.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
Agreed,popgoestheworld! (Love your emoticon, btw - so cute!) I think that many times we have this notion that our SO is supposed to fill our every need and that when we wake up one day and things are just "ordinary", well that means our relationship is over. Live isn't a Hollywood husband and I have been married for over 10 years, and some of that time was really rough and I thought for sure divorce was on the horizon. But we stuck at it and have pulled through the rough times and I am sooooo happy that we did. :-) I also think that by working at it, we can teach our children a valuable lesson - that marriage is a serious commitment and that in life things aren't always easy an will require hard work and sacrifice.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
Being "in love" your whole life... well, maybe that's not what we should be aiming for. When in society has that ever been the case, and why start now? If I get married, I will marry someone who is my best friend and my partner, not someone who I expect I'll feel madly in love with my whole life. And then I won't be disappointed when I wake up 5 years into the relationship and freak out that the magic just isn't there anymore.
bluestar bluestar 9 years
No, it's not a good idea to stay for the kids. Kids are not stupid, they know when it's not working out.
sourcherry sourcherry 9 years
Kids know when their parents are not happy, and it's devastating to live in that kind of environment. As difficult as divorce is, they must rather see their parents go their separate ways, than see them be miserable together, every single day. What I think is crucial is doing your best to have an amicable divorce. And even when things didn't end well, people should pull their act together and keep a good relationship with the ex, for the kids' sake.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I think that in any marriage, regardless of whether you have children or not, you should try to work it out rather than just throwing in the towel. I especially think that if you have children you should at least try counseling, even if one partner cheats. That being said, you do have to know when to cut your losses; sometimes staying together can make it worse.
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