Think it's noble to stay married for the kids? Think again! I'm going to give you my take on what happens when you sacrifice your own happiness for the kids. Let me tell you that I know, because I did it. In other words, I know you have really good reasons. Staying married for the kids seems like a good idea and I'm confident that your heart is in the right place. You don't want to cause your children unnecessary suffering, you want your children to have an intact family, and you want them to grow up normal. While these are all good reasons, they may backfire. Read on to see the myths behind the beliefs and why the best decision for your kids may be to just be happy.
Myth #1: Your Kids Will Be Different Than the Other Kids
Guess what? According to recent statistics, 40 to 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce. You might be shocked to learn that the divorce rate is higher for second marriages. While your kids may have been outcasts in the fifties, today it's common to be a child of divorce. Whether you stay married or not, your kids will not stand out as being different. Unless of course, you make a big deal of it. Rosalind Sedacca’s book, How to Tell the Kids About Divorce is my personal favorite recommendation because she helps you normalize the experience for your children. Divorce is a part of life — an unplanned part, but a part none-the-less.
Some people will tell their children, "We don't have a family anymore!" That's simply not true! The best gift you can give your children is to help them adjust by holding your divorce as a life transition and teaching them that they do have a family and it just looks different. No right or wrong. No judgment or blame. Just, "This is what we've got! Let's make some lemonade!"
Myth #2: Staying Will Prevent Suffering
Guess again! While I truly believe suffering is optional, circumstances aren't. Your children have just as much potential for suffering when you choose to stay in a marriage as if you leave. What are you teaching your children by staying in a loveless marriage? Are you teaching them commitment? Or are you teaching them to sacrifice their happiness for others? Your children learn from watching you more than what you say. I guarantee that if you stay in a bad relationship, then your children will learn to do the same. Do you really want your children to learn from you how to not be happy?
I'm not saying you shouldn't give your marriage all you've got. You should! If you've tried everything and have resigned yourself to an unhappy relationship, then let me take you through the Spiritual Divorce™ process or join me for a study of Spiritual Divorce and show you, in a last ditch effort, how to make your marriage work or move on with confidence you're doing the right thing for everyone — yourself and your children!
Read the rest over at Your Tango — 3 Reasons Why Staying Married for the Kids May Backfire
More from Your Tango: