There is no question that the breakup of a family can be tumultuous for the children. When their world suddenly becomes filled with uncertainty, it can be confusing and upsetting. For this reason, many parents opt to remain in unhappy marriages thinking this will protect the children from these traumatic events. Though divorce can certainly be upsetting, some children find it equally as traumatic to watch their parents trudge through miserable marriages. So is it better to stay together for the sake of the kids?
An unhappy household
It is certainly a noble sacrifice when parents stay married to protect their children from the trauma of divorce. However, some parenting advocates suggest that postponing divorce is not always ideal for the children. Kids are often savvy enough to recognize when their parents are not getting along, especially if there is persistent conflict or anger in the home. The long-term consequences for children in this situation may include:
- Low self-esteem
- Difficulty forming and sustaining relationships as adults
- Emotional immaturity
- Struggles succeeding in adulthood
- Difficulty trusting others
In extreme cases, parents who are distracted by their own unhappiness may neglect their parental duties. In fact, some children who grow up in unhappy homes are relieved to learn their parents are divorcing. Many find their relationships with their parents blossom when there is no longer so much tension in the home.
What’s the right answer?
Parents facing this decision should take an objective look at the atmosphere in the home, especially in front of the kids. Ultimately, the decision to divorce or remain together is deeply personal, and each family’s unique situation will determine what is best for all involved. However, having trustworthy information about Florida divorce laws and what to expect from the process often helps parents make a more knowledgeable decision.