What’s Better for the Kids: a Bad Marriage or a Good Divorce?
Divorce used to be taboo, but now times have changed. Nowadays almost half of the marriages in America end with a divorce. Sometimes, no matter the best efforts to maintain a happy marriage, it just ends.
And no matter all the positive intentions for happily ever after, the union might reach a specific harmful state.
This state might go all the way to becoming a marriage that’s not good for the kids which can later in life make them emotionally unavailable. So, it turns out whether divorce helps or hurts the kids depends on the way the parents are handling it.
However, sometimes being part of a bad, toxic marriage might lead to more bad than good when it comes to the kids.
Children that are forced to endure marriages without love and tolerate emotional tension daily bear the brunt of the dysfunctional relationship of their parents.
Kids intuitively feel the unhappiness of their parents and notice the lack of intimacy and coldness. Eventually, kids blame themselves, believing that is their fault. In such cases, there is no point in staying together for the kids since it only harms them.
Kids can suffer when they are part of a bad marriage. How? Read on to find out more.
Ways Children Suffer During a Bad Marriage
#1 Mood Issues
Parents with lousy marriages make kids who struggle with severe mood issues, like dysthymia. If left untreated these issues might lead to substance abuse or personality disorders. The root here is the profound lack of hope.
These kids learn at an early age to expect the worse and never have hope. The sad part is that, bad marriage makes the kids involved to mature too fast and as a consequence lose their childhood.
#2 Kids of Bad Marriage End Up Having a Fear of Intimacy
Some kids who are raised by battling parents might find it hard to get close to other people later in life. Intimacy activates traumas they have suffered while kids, so these kids later in life avoid closeness in order not to get hurt.
In case they are part of an intimate relationship, they always stay guarded and cautious. Moreover, in cases of conflict, they might reenact the battles of their parents with their partners.
#3 Chronic Tension
The truth is that no matter whether good or bad the relationship of our parents leaves an emotional imprint no matter whether we like it or not. This is an imprint that never fades.
An utterly normal part of the development of kids is internalizing both parents. And in a bad marriage, instead of feeling comfortable, these kids feel tense around their parents.
Such tension can eventually lead to severe physical, emotional, and social ailments like chronic fatigue, depression, and hopelessness.
#4 Unstable Sense of Self
The war between parents takes root inside the minds of kids. As a result, they are left with small internal peace and at odds with their impulses.
For instance, these kids long to be adored and loved, but at the same time, they reject closeness. They want to have friends, but at the same time, they choose to be alone.
These kids have amazingly creative and intellectual capabilities, yet they seem to sabotage their efforts. The conflict between the parents with time becomes an internal battle among the kids.
What this battle does is that it obstructs their emotional development and complicates their life.
These statements above might apply only to some kids. Every marriage is different, and different individuals experience it differently. But when an unhappy marriage there are only 2 options: to stay and work on the marriage or get a divorce.
Before You Consider Divorce
You should know that ending a marriage should be done only after all other ways and efforts have been exhausted. Don’t call your lawyer right away. Instead, ask for help. There are a few things you can do that might help save your marriage.
Try to do:
- Individual therapy
- Couples counseling
- Support groups
If you are the kid of such a marriage and you feel that your parents’ marriage has left you with some scars, don’t hesitate to ask for some help. A specialist can help you learn how to forgive your parents, forgive yourself and move on.
Let go of your past and embrace life.