The most commonly used reason from abstaining or postponing a divorce is to protect the children. Statistics reveal that 1 in 4 couples are only together for the benefit of their children and even further almost 40% of couples have considered discussing divorce with their partner but refuse to do so out of fear of how it will affect their children. However, psychologists and research has found that this commonly held belief, that remaining married to your child’s parent is beneficial to the child, may not in fact be true, as remaining in an unhealthy or unhappy marriage may hurt your children more in the long run.
A child’s first glimpse into relationships and love is displayed by their parents in their relationship with each other and their relationship with the child. Therefore, if you are remaining in an unhappy or unhealthy relationship your child is learning on a daily basis, that these actions are normal behaviors in relationships. They may learn that in marriages, loud arguments occur and are a normal and repetitive occurrences. They may see that conflict may only be resolved in unhealthy manners, or many conflicts may be left unresolved. Your child may see that ignoring a relationship or not providing an individual with affection is ok, when in fact to retain a healthy marriage you must put in effort and daily consideration. Overall, you may be displaying a type of love that you do not wish your child to have later on in their life. You may be teaching them to resent the idea of marriage as they see how it can tear two people apart and this allows them the opportunity to greatly misunderstand the idea of love. These actions are typically mirrored in their future romantic relationships or even interpersonal ones. After learning negative conflict resolution habits and not being provided with proper guidance, the child will only be able to navigate these interpersonal relationships through trial and error, instead of having a proper illustration to learn from.
Although in short term studies, children did fare worse than their counterparts who had two married parents. The children in these studies reported displaying feelings of anxiety, fear, guilt, disruptive behaviors, academic downfalls, or emotional distress. These feelings are normal for children going through any uncertain and unsettling time. However, the research did find that after a year or two, the children’s previous behaviors became nonexistent. They became accustomed to their new normal and were resilient and became more well-rounded adults. Further, a study surveying children of divorced or separated parents found that over 80% of the children preferred their parents split rather than remain together in an unhappy marriage.
If you have found yourself in a marriage where you are staying together for the benefit of your children, understand the benefits and drawbacks of this situation. Perform your own research and discover how such action may affect your children. If you find divorce is your best option, discuss with your Florida Divorce Attorney how best to support and how to ensure your children will be protected during this process.
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