A sentiment people often express when considering divorce is that they don’t want to split up for the sake of their children. They believe that it’s best for children to have two married parents. They decide to stay together for the kids, even though they’re unhappy in their relationship.
But is this actually better? Should parents stay together for the kids or just do what they would prefer and get a divorce? It all depends on the nature of the relationship.
What researchers have found is that it’s often not better if the parents are in a high-conflict relationship. This can be very stressful for children. They may be exposed to constant arguments or even abuse. When two parents are highly unhappy and having consistent conflict, it may be better for children if the parents opt to get divorced and work together as co-parents.
One reason for this is that children learn from the parenting style of their own parents. If this is dysfunctional due to the high-conflict marriage, children could take that parenting style and use it on their own children. They can also incur other psychological and emotional issues from growing up in a stressful home.
Having two ever-present parents
If you’re considering divorce, the thing to remember is that it is likely important for children to have relationships with both of their parents. This is often why people decide not to get divorced. Children with two parents tend to develop better socially, do better in school and have more successful careers, at least, when both parents are fit and remain eager to remain in their child’s life.
Don’t assume that you have to be married in order to give your child access to this relationship. You can still be involved as a co-parent. Your child can still be a priority, which is really what helps them with social development, grades and much more. You may even be happier if you’ve exit a high-conflict marriage – which could be better for both you and your children. Well-adjusted co-parents can demonstrate excellent parenting and give children a low-stress environment in which to thrive.
Moving toward divorce
It’s understandable that you would be concerned about this if you’re getting closer to a divorce. Just know that the children can still come first. As soon as you can, seek legal guidance to be sure that you understand all of your parental rights and custody options.