A quarter of married couples are only together for the kids… Is this right?

18 Dec A quarter of married couples are only together for the kids… Is this right?

New research shows that one quarter of married couples say they are only staying together for the kids. As soon as they grow up they plan to divorce.

Many people are asking me what I think of this research. My opinion is that is does vary depending on your situation as with all couples and marriages no one story is the same. There are advantages and disadvantages to both and you need to take them all into consideration.

There are advantages of staying together for the kids although this only works in the children’s best interests if you remain amicable and the home environment is healthy and non-toxic. Positives are:

  • Continuity for your kids of having one home
  • You can share parenting responsibilities which can be useful if you are juggling child care with careers
  • You both maintain the lifestyle you are accustomed to as there is no division of wealth
  • You avoid the pain of the divorce process for yourself and the kids
  • Financially it may mean better education or opportunities for your children.

However there are some major disadvantages to staying together for the kids. Whilst you may be staying together to protect them be aware that you may be unconsciously teaching them lessons they will carry forward into heir relationships

  • Remember that your children will learn from your actions. By staying together when you are unhappy you are teaching them that if you are unhappy with a relationship it is OK to stay in it. This will have major repercussions especially if your relationship is abusive and you choose to stay.
  • Kids are very perceptive at a young age. They will pick up on the fact that your relationship is unhealthy even if you hide it. They may learn that best way to cope with a bad relationship is to stuff down your emotions and accept it. They may grow up to expect the same from their partners.
  • If you are unhappy you cannot be the best parent to your child. If you are happy you can give a lot more emotionally to them.
  • Living in a toxic and unhealthy environment for the sake is not good for kids. Even if it means a smaller home they would be better off in a happier home with a healthy environment than a big one.
  • Divorce doesn’t have to be damaging for kids if handled well by the parents. Children are very resilient.
  • Waiting til your kids are grown up could sacrifice your chances of finding a new partner who you could be happier with. Don’t leave it too late.

However love is the most important gift you can give a child. Remember what is important in life and make the right decision for your situation.

Sara Davison
Sara@saradavison.com