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Why Staying In A Bad Marriage Is Worse For Children Than Getting Divorced


Sometimes, regardless of all the best efforts to keep a marriage safe and all the positive intentions to stay happily ever after, a relationship can reach a certain toxic and harmful state.

A certain state that can extend to the point where loveless marriages manage to victimize kids in the worst traumatic way possible which can later give birth to emotionally unavailable individuals. So naturally, divorce is becoming more and more common. The statistics show that 40-50% of American marriages now end in divorce.

However, people are still terribly concerned about the adverse influence divorce has on children. And for their own sake and the sacred institute of family, they still choose to stay together.

Kids are forced to be a part of their parent’s emotional tension and silently suffer hoping that at the end, everything is going to be okay. They are doomed to bear their parent’s dysfunctional behavior on their own shoulders. Considering that children’s pure nature is bound to absorb and easily adopt any kind of behavior, they deeply feel their parent’s depression and lack of intimacy.

So, while there’s no discussion that going through a divorce is hard, especially for the kids, trying to raise your children in a violent, abusive and an angry environment is far more dangerous for them.

You say yes to poisoning and exposing them to infinite negative arguments and possible violence. This will clearly have a huge impact on them. Here are four ways children suffer through despairing and grim marriages:

1. Incessant Tension

Our parent’s relationship leaves a serious emotional influence on us that never fades and gives us the first, primary lessons about our following experiences in life. So naturally, one important part of the children development is incorporating and adopting the behavior of those closest to them.

When a marriage faces the possibility of a potential separation and parents are constantly in conflict, kids tend to internalize their actions. The consequences result in them feeling tenser rather than carefree when they’re with both their parents.

Such continuous tension can be the trigger of severe emotional, social and physical conditions in children, such as depression, anxiety disorder or chronic fatigue.

2. An Unstable, Disturbed Version of Self

Furthermore, this war between parents will eventually root itself inside the children’s mind. It will eat away the children’s confidence, drain their life energy and will eventually leave them with a little to no internal peace at all.

Their need to be loved will be present, but they will reject closeness, and instead of engaging in great intellectual and creative work, they will continue sabotaging their efforts.

3. Fear of Intimacy

The insufferable trauma will eventually prevail and develop emotionally-bruised young individuals who’ll be frightened to get close to people.

Intimacy will trigger all the painful traumas they suffered while witnessing their parent’s dysfunction, so they will try their best to avoid any emotional bond in order to not get hurt again.

4. Mood Troubles

Disastrous marriages produce children who are most likely to struggle with serious mood issues, such as dysthymia (also known as a mild, chronic depression). If these problems are left untreated, they can easily be the trigger to all sorts of personality disorders as well as substance abuse.

Considering that these kids abandon optimism and lack hope at a very early age, some marriages manage to force children into maturing too quickly and lose out on their childhood.

However, before you consider divorce, here are some helpful suggestions you might explore thoroughly:

Couple counseling

It gives the estranged parents a place and a time to work through their differences without exposing their kids to the trauma. The goal of couple’s therapy is finding the key to mutual understanding and improving their intimacy through sincere and heartfelt communication.

But be warned: The wrong therapist can mess up your marriage even worse than it is. Explore your options. And make sure to find a person you both agree on; otherwise, the therapy can have an undesired outcome.

Individual therapy

Oftentimes unresolved childhood issues can be one of the causes of a wrecked marriage. Before you blame it all on your partner, make sure you get yourself checked. A skillful therapist can help you discover some past unsettled issues that are troubling your relationship.

Support groups

Another thing that might help you is sharing your feelings with a group and discovering you are not suffering alone. Listening to people’s struggles, the issues they face and how they decide to manage them can bring you the much-needed hope and inspiration to move on. It will also provide you a new circle of people who can inspire you through different viewpoints of life.