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"Staying together for the kids"

(10 Posts)
honeyandsalt Sat 06-Aug-11 15:57:14

"I would leave it it weren't for the children" seems to keep coming up again and again and again, ad nauseum.

So I thought I'd ask you all to think back to your childhoods - if your parents had stayed in an abusive, uncaring, or otherwise unwise relationship for your benefit, would you be grateful?

My personal experience is that I rather suspect my mother would have left my father 25 or more years ago if it hadn't been for us. And I wish she had - not that I would never have wanted to see him again, I love my dad, but their toxic marriage poisoned all of our childhoods.

Should couples stay together solely for the kids?

GypsyMoth Sat 06-Aug-11 16:03:43

No way should they! No

WinduhPAYNE Sat 06-Aug-11 16:06:20

Sometimes I think this reason is used as the person lacks the courage/energy/finances to start over.

I agree that staying together for the kids is a poor choice, but relationships can be complicated

Gastonladybird Sat 06-Aug-11 16:07:58

No for reasons you state I'm your op. But agree with winduh it's a reason not to go as people can't face it

honeyandsalt Sat 06-Aug-11 16:28:08

Yeah I think you're right, after all they're still together and we've all left home now!

jamaisjedors Sat 06-Aug-11 16:36:07

Abusive is one thing. Uncaring? Is that enough reason to upturn your DC's lives?

Although I also wished my parents would divorce when I was a child, due to the fighting and the way my dad treated us.

A bit different when your DC idolise their father but you just don't get along anymore?

honeyandsalt Sat 06-Aug-11 19:37:28

But if you "just don't get along anymore" you're not creating a positive home environment, it's nasty to live in no matter how much the kids idolise their parents. Much better to spend quality dedicated time with Dad and co-parent than stay in a miserable, unhappy marriage imho.

create Sat 06-Aug-11 19:47:48

What about if you get along OK, are generally friendly and polite/repectful to each other, care about each other in the way of old friends, but just don't believe you were "meant to be" anymore?

My parents had a spell when they rowed constantly and perhaps if they'd come from different family background (i.e divorce was an option for them) they might have split - I certainly worried that they would. They're still together though and that time passed, as it could for many people if given the chance - afterall that period when you might stay together "for the chiildren" is usually a difficult time, when it's hard to remember who you are as individuals, for everyone.

susiedaisy Sat 06-Aug-11 19:53:14

There was a thread similar to this a year or so ago and the overall opinion was not to stay together for the kids, and some of the posts from adults who's parents did stay in an unhappy/abusive home for the sake of the kids were harrowing to read and had effected every aspect of their adult life, I have recently separated from exH who was abusive and it's the best thing we ever did. It's hard, scary, and time consuming but we are all so much better for it!

confidence Sat 06-Aug-11 21:13:11

My parents stayed in a disastrous and loveless marriage (though not with any kind of physical abuse or violence) and it fucked all of us deeply. I don't remember ever wishing my parents would divorce, and can never know how things would have been if they did, but I remember wondering why they didn't.

I would say however that "staying together for the kids" can mean two very different things. It can mean staying together in a poisonous relationship with no concept that it might be otherwise or intention to change anything, as my parents did. Or it can mean deciding to stay together and try your damnedest to put things right, because you see how important that is for the kids, when you probably wouldn't bother doing so if you didn't have kids.

DW and I did the latter after DS was born. Three years of absolute hell, a year of no sex, several periods of looking seriously at flats for me to move into. Somehow never quite making the jump, hanging on by the barest of threads and eventually, JUST, turning a corner and starting the long road to recovery. I'm sure if you'd asked either of us then why we were flogging such an apparently dead horse rather than doing the "obvious" thing, DS would have been the main answer.

We are now happier together than ever, have a great relationship and a great family. DS is fantastic and I still wake up in the morning and count my lucky stars that I didn't sacrifice being behind him 24/7. His younger sister is fantastic too and, thankfully, never had to experience the kind of emotional insecurity that he did.

If I'd been too quick to see what my parents had done as the only kind of "staying together for the kids", things might have been very different - and not in a good way.

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