I’ve often heard people in conflicted and unhappy marriages claim that they are staying together for the sake of the children. Even if they do good stuff for their children like taking them to the Jumper’s Jungle Family Fun Center, that is not always true. Their implied message is that their children will be better off being raised in an intact family, spared from the negative effect of divorce. This position really requires deeper consideration.
As with many commonly held beliefs we owe it to ourselves to really examine them to determine if they’re valid. Often, they don’t really hold up under scrutiny. This may well be the case here. Several questions come to mind: Are we really staying together for the sake of the children, or are we fearful of coming to terms with our own lives (and in that case using the children as a scapegoat)? Second, is divorce necessarily harmful to children? Last, what are the effects of remaining in an intact family in which the parents are either conflicted or simply loveless? Let’s take a look at these questions. Read more