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Staying together for kids?

(41 Posts)
FutureMrsRanj Thu 26-Jan-17 22:53:23

Just wondering, when people stay together for the sake of dcs is it a good thing? If a husband and wife generally get on ok but the spark is just gone is it damaging for the children and should they split up, live in different houses and give each other a chance at finding happiness on their own/with someone else, or, as they aren't unhappy living together, is it better for the children to carry on as a family unit, perhaps sleep in separate bedrooms but generally co exist as before? Asking for a friend obviously.

WouldRatherBeAtHogwarts Fri 27-Jan-17 00:28:12

My parents stayed together for us kids. I remember desperately wishing one would just leave as the atmosphere got worse and worse

fallenempires Fri 27-Jan-17 00:50:50

Despite 'Asking for a friend obviously.'
My reason was/still is that children need to grow in a home where they witness loving adult relationships as this in turn shapes their own future relationships.

Patchouli666 Fri 27-Jan-17 08:38:54

Grew up in that situation and it was shit. My mum had been cheated on my my biological dad so they'd got divorced. I was under one. I was nearly five when she remarried my stepfather. They had my two half brothers. But there was no 'marriage' after that and it was obvious. Used to find it weird going to friends houses where their parents showed affection, cuddled kissed goodbye etc. Not something natural to feel weird about, yes it's a bit cringy when as a teenager you see your parents cuddling and having a quick kiss but it's normal. To be without that is damaging, to their future relationships etc.
I'd move on if I were you. Sorry.

Patchouli666 Fri 27-Jan-17 08:41:06

And my parents did resent each other the longer they stayed together. The bitterness started to come out, sniping etc. So whilst it's ok now, it might not be long term. You both deserve more, after all you're only here the once as far as we know.

Eatingcheeseontoast Fri 27-Jan-17 08:42:56

Depends how long you can live without sex for.

Icancoco Fri 27-Jan-17 08:46:02

I suppose it's doable but my mum and dad did this and by the end they hated each other. By the time us kids had flown the nest, mum was worn out by it all and didn't even leave then! He has passed away now but she is very bitter at a wasted life. They ticked over some times without rowing but I never saw any affection between them at all and it has had a profound effect on me as an adult. Growing up in a cold house is no fun.

WhereTheFuckIsWonderWoman Fri 27-Jan-17 08:50:05

DP did this with his ex and it was awful. His (now grown up) DC don't have any kind of experience of healthy relationships and he and his ex went through a very bitter divorce due to so many years of everything simmering beneath the surface. Really not to be recommended.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 27-Jan-17 08:52:42

Staying for the sake of the children teaches them that their parents marriage was based on a lie and that a loveless marriage is their "norm" too. It places too a terribly heavy burden upon the child, the knowledge that their parents stayed together because of them. Children should not be used as glue to bind two people together.

Icancoco Fri 27-Jan-17 09:12:37

Definitely agree with the last post.

Co-parenting in a healthy way is much better for kids.

Some people just aren't brave enough to do it though.

FoofFighter Fri 27-Jan-17 09:15:29

No.

My mother remarried when I was 3-4yo and it was not a close happy marriage, they rubbed along ok I suppose, both stayed in it for their own benefits, but it wasn't a great role model for marriage for me when they were in separate rooms etc, and never seeing any intimacy or affection.

As a result I guess, I've not settled in any relationship, serial monogamist I think you could call me. Really struggled to find my place. Hopefully there now at 40+!

TaliZorahVasNormandy Fri 27-Jan-17 09:16:30

I've been a child in that situ. I think it fucked up my ability to have good relationships.

FutureMrsRanj Fri 27-Jan-17 09:16:56

Thank you for all the replies. I'm not brave enough right now but can see the point about not teaching dcs what a healthy relationship looks like. Part of the problem is that DH, despite having his own bedroom and having himself effectively checked out of the relationship, seems to be oblivious. I don't miss sex as such but I miss a cuddle on the sofa etc

FutureMrsRanj Fri 27-Jan-17 09:33:06

I don't want to screw the dcs up, but how do you even begin to leave a marriage when I know DH won't agree and I can't cite unreasonable behaviour, we just shouldn't be together. I've suggested things before but he's not interested in going anywhere and can't see the problem

Icancoco Fri 27-Jan-17 09:45:56

You don't need permission to end a marriage and it doesn't have to be a mutual agreement either. What you do tend to need is the ability to be able to look after yourself financially.

I would spell out to him that if things don't improve then you want a divorce and that you are prepared to have one last go to get things back on track if he is prepared to do the same.

If he isn't then however hard it is then you need to do it because you will be affecting your children without you even realising.

FuckTheDailyMail Fri 27-Jan-17 09:47:23

"Irreconcilable differences"? I agree with PP that if you are able to get on okay, then giving your kids a 'good' divorce (amicable, reasoned, mature) is better than them seeing loveless, disengaged co-existence. And you yourself will be happier in the long run.

perfectlybroken Fri 27-Jan-17 09:58:47

Sorry to hear about the difficulties you are having OP. I hope you don't mind me coming onto your thread, but I'm interested in exactly what kind of behaviour the people who are saying they grew up in families like that found damaging? Was it lack of affection? Arguing? Not having a social life as a family? I'm asking as DH and I have quite a difficult marriage at times, although we do have a relationship, and one that we both want to be in. I worry sometimes how our problems impact the children.

WhereTheFuckIsWonderWoman Fri 27-Jan-17 10:04:06

OP when I got divorced I always remember my solicitor telling me that 'unreasonable behaviour' can be cited for anything that you consider to be unreasonable. This could be your husband checking out of the marriage and no longer participating in family life. It might be worth getting some advice on this. Can you get one of those free half an hour appointments?

FutureMrsRanj Fri 27-Jan-17 10:19:55

Perfectly broken, of course I don't mind, I would be equally interested. I just don't understand how ending the relationship would be better.
I am concerned if we split up that he would want to go for joint custody, I don't know if he actually would but he doesn't look after them. He is very short tempered with the oldest and the youngest gets away with murder, I spend a lot of time intervening and taking oldest out for time with just us but when he is left alone with youngest/both of them he will not remember to feed them/give them drinks and he doesn't interact with them so they will be either watching to or handed an iPad. When I complain I am being unreasonable and all I do is 'have a go' so I don't say much very often. I just think that while it's not ideal to stay together, it might be less damaging to stay together to protect them?

AuntieStella Fri 27-Jan-17 10:20:44

Staying for the sake of the kids is a good thing only when both adults attach importance to that and both fully commit to working on their relationship to restore it to healthy. And that's really working on it, so that things change over a period of weeks/months, not months/years/never.

And that doesn't seem to be what's going on for you, ^FutureMrsRanj*

MorrisZapp Fri 27-Jan-17 10:28:52

I don't agree with the MN thinking on this one. I think vast numbers of couples rub along ok for the sake of stability, the family, and sensible financial planning. They could probably find someone else that would relight their spark but have decided, as millions do, that their own sexual fulfillment isn't that big a deal in the big scheme of things.

I would say that within reason, it's absolutely normal. And it's not harmful to the kids unless their is tension or resentment in the home. You don't have sex in front of your kids anyway so how would they even know.

Meanwhile, anyone who meets Mr or Mrs Proper Happiness while still married to Mr or Mrs Fine For Now will be eviscerated on here for tearing apart their children's lives and selfishly wanting a shag.

Makes no sense to me, never has.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 27-Jan-17 10:37:51

"I am concerned if we split up that he would want to go for joint custody, I don't know if he actually would but he doesn't look after them. He is very short tempered with the oldest and the youngest gets away with murder, I spend a lot of time intervening and taking oldest out for time with just us but when he is left alone with youngest/both of them he will not remember to feed them/give them drinks and he doesn't interact with them so they will be either watching to or handed an iPad. When I complain I am being unreasonable and all I do is 'have a go' so I don't say much very often. I just think that while it's not ideal to stay together, it might be less damaging to stay together to protect them?"

Protect them?. You are not able to protect them from him. You cannot fully protect yourself from him.

He might go for joint custody but only out of pure spite; he is not interested in his children is he?. Look at the above examples you have yourself given in how he treats them. What's your eldest going to remember about their childhood?. The fact that dad shouted at him whilst mum sat on her hands and did nothing in that child's eyes?.

Do you really think he wants any sort of custody; such inherently selfish men are only interested in their own selves. He could well use his children as pawns or punishment against you. When he has a go at you passive aggressively you retreat and therefore he's won and also not had to lift a lazy finger in the process. It works for him.

Your children will not say "thanks mum" to you if you were to stay with him; they could call you daft and even worse wonder why you were so weak and put him before them. Children are perceptive; they know and they certainly know that things are not good at home. Its not their fault or yours that their dad/your H has decided to embark on his own private war against you.

FutureMrsRanj Fri 27-Jan-17 10:38:02

I wonder if the answer might be something like couples counselling, not to be back together as such, I don't want to be, but to provide a happy and stable environment for the dcs. I suggested it a couple of years ago when I felt like I wanted things to work but he was obviously losing interest, I just don't understand him, he obviously doesn't want to be with me but has no motivation to leave. I convinced him to sleep in the same bedroom recently, he was very hesitant but did, he lasted about three nights before making various excuses not to for a few nights and is now back in his room. I feel a bit embarrassed about it but he's very open and always telling people how great it is sleeping separately. I don't think he knows it's not normal

FutureMrsRanj Fri 27-Jan-17 10:41:16

Sorry atilla, cross post. Yours really hurts, and I know it's because you're right.

user1485102013 Fri 27-Jan-17 10:44:46

Staying together for the kids is a terrible idea. My parents were basically housemates and it showed. I would have much preferred it if they had gone their separate ways and found happiness. It really is true that happy parents equals happy children.

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