When going through the divorce process, you may be inclined to hold off. The thinking is often that if you hold off as long as you can, you will eventually find your way back together, and the relationship will be automatically better.
There also is a thought process where you try to appease the other person as much as possible, in an effort to avoid separating the family, because you feel that it may be in the best interest of your shared children. You feel that even though you and your ex-spouse may be suffering in an unhappy and dysfunctional relationship, at least your children will be happy.
Both realities are far from the thought processes that incept them.
‘Staying together for the kids’
The Huffington Post recently broke down reasons why married couples put off their divorce. The list of reasons discussed the reasons to mend the marriage and the reasons why not to and broke down why, in the writer’s experience, married couples end up regretting their decision to stay together for the children.
While looking to do what is in the best interest of the your shared children, you may think that you may be able to fix what is broken; that the effort that you put into doing what is best for your children also will be put into the marriage itself, fixing the problem.
It’s important to understand that putting effort into fixing the problems in a relationship is the only thing that will actually fix the relationship, and that is not even guaranteed to work. That is implying that your spouse is interested in fixing what is broken in the relationship, and that may not be the case. They may want out of the marriage entirely.
You can’t fix what is broken in a marriage, if the other person does not want to, as well. It’s similar to climbing a mountain in the middle of an avalanche. At some point, it’s all going to come down, and regardless of how much money you spend on climbing equipment and how much effort you put into the climb itself, it’s just not going to happen.
In the end
As much as you may want to for your children, putting off the act of divorce has a chance of hurting them in the end. Being exposed to parents who are together, but are constantly embattled in intense conflict, is not better than being with two divorced parents who live separate lives. The emotional stability of the environment is worse off for staying together, and children experience less stress and anxiety when they have ended their unhappy marriage.
Children need to feel the stability of their environment, and they cannot do that if their parents are constantly at one another’s throats. According to Divorce Magazine, they need to feel safe, and they cannot do that with the ‘Will they or won’t they get divorced?’ question looming over their heads.
The security of a firm answer will give them the sense of peace that they are looking for. Many children whose parents are fighting all of the time begin to struggle in school or in social situations, because they are paralyzed with the thoughts of their parents’ marital woes.
While all children are different, as is every marriage, they may experience some short term negative consequences to the end of their parents’ marriage, but they are preferable to the long-term damage that can be done while living under the same roof with two adults constantly at each other’s throats.
Financial and emotional health
Not only is it preferable for the long-term wellness of your children, but it also is in your best interests, as well. Given the amount of assets and finances at stake, it is wise to end the relationship before damage can be done to jeopardize the marital property and create future problems in both parties’ finances.
In addition to the financial ramifications of staying together and putting off divorce, there are the emotional one’s as well. As much as you may want to do so for your children, you cannot be the most whole parent possible for them if you are broken by the pain of a broken relationship, forced together even though it has fallen apart.
Your emotional well-being matters. Being in a marriage where you are not treated as an equal or where conflict is the only sentiment swirling around the household is neither healthy nor productive. When it stops being about the love and starts being about the longevity, there is a problem, and while there are many reasons why many would feel that it’s better to preserve the familial nucleus than to end the marriage, the sentiment is jarringly different than the reality.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.