“Why do you stay with him?”
“How do you put up with her?”
”You’re more patient than I am, I’d have filed for divorce years ago”
These are things you might hear from friends and family daily if you’re in the middle of a bad or unsatisfying marriage. Chances are, you’ve responded or at least thought, “I’d love to leave, but we are staying together for the kids.”
Suffering through a bad marriage for the kids’ sake is one of the most common mistakes people make. You’ve heard it before: divorces are hard on kids, kids need two parents, and kids need stability. Those thoughts all come from a good place, but they’re either mistaken or misleading. Let’s break them down one by one and get to the heart of the matter.
1. “I can’t get divorced because divorces are hard on kids.”
Divorces can be hard on kids, if the parents use the children as weapons or put them in the middle of things. This doesn’t have to happen, though. If your priority from the outset is to fight “for the kids” instead of “about the kids,” it’s likely that your children will fare much better than you think. A divorce might be upsetting in the short term for your kids but, make no mistake kids, are observant. If you are miserable in your marriage, they know and are already unhappy. Trading short terms unhappiness for long term happiness is always preferable to long term unhappiness.
2. “I can’t get divorced, my kids need two parents.”
Sure, it can be nice for kids to have two parents. But, what is better for kids: two miserable parents who fight all the time living in one house, or two happy and fulfilled parents who happen to live in different houses? A divorce doesn’t mean that your spouse is a bad parent, it just means they were the wrong spouse. When parents are happy and thriving, kids are happy and thriving. Things will certainly be different for the kids, but different doesn’t mean bad. Many people find that being divorced makes them better parents and strengthens the relationships between themselves and their kids.
3. “I can’t get a divorce because my kids need stability.”
Absolutely, kids need stability. Many people confuse stability and consistency. An environment with unhappy, fighting parents is not stable — it’s consistent. It’s also consistently bad. Kids are remarkably adaptable. A parenting plan that splits time between parents is usually a relief to kids. Not only do they know where they will be on what days, they know that mom and dad will be happy while they’re there. Kids also love having two Christmas celebrations, two birthday parties, and two happy fulfilled family lives.
There’s always some element of loss in a divorce. That isn’t a bad thing. If the loss is conflict, sadness, and lack of fulfillment, then there will also be a gain. That gain will be happiness, peace, and fulfillment for you and your kids. Staying together for the kids isn’t the answer. Give us a call to set up a case assessment and let’s see what your new life can look like, if not for your sake then for the kids’ sake.
Call (865) 685-4780 today to schedule a case assessment with a Held Law Firm attorney.