A Toxic Marriage Causes Children More Damage Than Good
In the past, people used to judge divorced parents. Divorcees were people who were selfish, home-wreckers, unloving, and destroyed the lives of kids. At least, that is how society saw them. There were churches that did not allow them to visit.
Nowadays, everything is different. Almost half of the couples in the USA end up in divorce. How divorce is going to affect a child depends on the parents. However, it is important to note one thing: a toxic marriage causes more damage than good.
Parents who stay in a marriage without love do not do a good thing for their kids. These kids are forced to tolerate emotional tension and dysfunctional relationship with their parents.
They can feel that their parents do not love each other, and they can feel unhappiness and cold. Kids happen to blame themselves for the problems their parents have in many cases. So, how do kids suffer?
1. They Feel Unstable
The war that the two parents are in is rooted in the minds of their kids. So, it makes them feel insecure, without self-confidence, and with only a little internal peace. That is why you may find kids who reject closeness but want to be loved.
Even though they want to have friends, they choose to be alone. They are capable of doing many things, and they are intelligent and creative, but they prevent themselves from being successful.
The battle that their parents are in, becomes a battle for the kids as well. Those conflicts make kids’ lives complicated and keep back their emotional development.
2. Constant Tension
The relationship that parents share leaves an emotional imprint on their children forever. So, instead of feeling calmed and comforted when they are with their parents, these kids feel tense.
All of that tension may lead to social, physical, and emotional problems such as chronic fatigue, depression, and hopelessness.
3. Mood Problems
Parents who are in constant conflict have kids with severe mood problems like dysthymia. If these problems do not get the proper treatment, they may result in substance abuse or fuel personality disorders.
The kids learn at an early age to expect the worst, so they lack hope. Unfortunately, kids in bad marriages become mature very fast, and they miss their childhood.
4. Afraid of Intimacy
Kids of parents who have conflicts all the time find it difficult to get close to other people. They avoid closeness because intimacy reminds them of the traumas they experienced by seeing their parents’ issues. So, they do not like getting close to others in order to keep themselves safe.
Establishing an intimate relationship does not mean that these kids are free of all trauma, but they are still guarded and cautious. When there is conflict in their relationship, they may recreate the conflicts their parents have.
Options You Should Consider
If you are a parent in a bad marriage, consider the following options before getting a divorce.
1. Couples Counseling
If you decide on couples counseling, it can teach you how to work through your problems. Also, it can teach you to work through your differences instead of exposing your children to them.
The aim of couples therapy is to help you improve your communication and intimacy. However, you need to be careful when choosing a therapist because the wrong one may cause more harm.
Take your time, interview several professionals, and make sure you and your partner agree on the therapy session.
2. Individual Therapy
Unresolved childhood issues may cause harm to your marriage. Frequently, people have high expectations of marriages and they get disappointed when they realize that marriages do not work.
So, before blaming your partner, you need to resolve your own issues. A therapist can help you identify your problems.
3. Support Groups
Knowing that you are not alone, and sharing your feelings with others is of big help. Knowing what other people are going through and how they solve their problems can be a relief and an inspiration.
Parents, keep in mind that you are not doing anything good for your child if you stay together but argue all the time. A bad marriage is not healthy either for you or for your children.