Can We Stop With All The BS About "Staying for the Kids???"

Right, because kids really thrive in an atmosphere of tension, resentment, and anger.

Nothing better for kids than watching one parent covertly abuse the other. It's like vitamins!

A sexless marriage is the perfect relationship! And you are its proudest example. Hopefully your kids will follow your lead and enjoy the same pleasurable future.

Money and material wealth is more important than a happy family.

Unhappy parents make the best role models.

All kids from single-parent homes wind up dead, on drugs, or in prison. You know, like the President.

You should always use your kids as an excuse for your inability to do what it takes to be happy. And they love being responsible for keeping you in a dysfunctional relationship. It's particularly good for guilt-free self-esteem. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stop kidding yourself, grow up, and be happy. Your kids will one day thank you.

PS: My parents split when I was 4 and a half, and I've thanked god every single day of my life I didn't have to grow up with the two of them in one house.
nyartgal nyartgal
36-40, F
24 Responses Aug 15, 2012

I agree with parts of this but its hard. Our child is our first and only and I feel like I deserve appreciation because for the last year I've been the only one working.

"You should always use your kids as an excuse for your inability to do what it takes to be happy."
Excellent point. How are we going to teach them to stand up for themselves, if we don't stand up for ourselves. I cannot thank you enough for this illuminating post.

My problem is that my h is a terrific dad and a lousy companion. So to me it's not an excuse. I don't want to make my son's life miserable by forcing him to live in a physical gap.

How do you know that he'd be less miserable than being trapped in his parent's bad marriage? You don't think that will affect him negatively? Kids are sponges. They figure out everything, and what they don't other people will tell them. You are modeling what a relationship is supposed to be for him. Is this what you want your son to base his life choices on?

Yea girl I has a sexless boyfriend his name uncle Tyrone he be very nice keys a want a pudding pop but he never Evan taac about havin da sexy times with me... Idk what to do but I think I need to ask for his to break up with aunt shaniqua... She a ***** girl nd she ugllllllly Mmmmmm btw I love beyonce she throng and indapendant

You are so right I have been holding onto my marriage thinking my kids would be devastated I just now realize I was wrong. My husbandis always snapping at them and sometimes hitting them. There is so much anger and resentment in my house I want to vomit. I have just come to terms with the realization that I don't trust him and never will. He has done some pretty hurtful things I have never proved that he has cheated but I don't believe he hasn't. This fall will be our 10th anniversary and our kids are 7 & 4. I always tried to convince myself that he is a good man which he is however I have not had any love and affection from him in years. I have realized I can not live without someone telling me they think I am beautiful or that they love me. And I don't want my kids thinking this is a way a relationship should be. I have distanced myself from him and we have barely spoken over the last month. I am just having a really hard time finding the right time or words to tell him I want to leave. I think he has wanted the same for a while too but is ashamed of what his family will think. How do I approach him? What do I tell the kids about why daddy is not going to live with us anymore??? I am afraid he will refuse he has said before if I walk away I loose the kids. I feel he will make me loose my mind he is very good at making people crazy.I was once a very strong person and he has totally broken me.

I am a product of a dysfuctional family. I have seen my mother walk out from her husband because she can longer tolerate him. My father has more capable of raising children (financially) so, I together with my sisters were left. As mum decided to leave for good.<br />
I tried to be brave and said it is okey, she can go away, far away. <br />
So I was left to take care of my sisters. Every night I cried to my sleep. Of anxiety, loneliness, afraid if I can do responsiblity to take care of the house and sisters, as I go to school and get home to cook as early as possible for everyone for dinner.<br />
Fortunately my mother came back, saw that everything for us wasn't easy. She dicided to stay, and to take care of us.<br />
Then everything went back to normal for me again. I wake up in the morning, eat breakfast and leave for school. And when I get home, it's either I have my clothes washed clean and fresh, or dinner would be ready for us. <br />
We always talk about her problem with my father, and I felt I become matured, somehow. I told her when we can be ready, she can leave us and not to worry about us. Not to look back and worry if we're eating at the right time, or getting enough nutrition and rest. <br />
And I am greatful for her for staying a bit more for us, while I explore my young/teen age years. Though she was hurting almost everyday, we felt complete somehow since there is one we can call mother whenever we needed something, which we can't tell to our father. <br />
I become strong and learn to see how both of them were wrong, as years passed. <br />
They fought, but perhaps they've noticed we are getting matured in all ways, they (father and mother) gradually lessen their arguments. They both become natural behaved matured people, taking care of us, of our needs.<br />
So I'd say it is not all right and wrong. It's not all black and white. Situations and consequences varies from one home to another. And there could be agreements and stantards under given situations for as long as the need serves it.

Yes. I agree. There are so many different arrangements out there now and becoming more "acceptable". For example, after I move out to live with my boyfriend I will be sharing my time between our house and my STB ex house to care for the kids and still doing laundry cooking etc whatever they need.

*** click " Like " *** ^^

I strongly feel that whether to stay or not for kids is a case by case basis. For example, my boyfriends daughter would definitely suffer if her parents had stayed together. The wife bullied the husband as well as denied him sex and made him feel inadequate. There were constant heated arguments in front of the daughter. There was name calling and so much anger and resentment and tension. The daughter was often put in the middle and often ended up crying. The sooner their house sold and they could move out the better (he felt he had to stay to the end so that his daughter didnt see him as abandoning her). And even separate the wife still berates him and harasses him on a daily basis (I hate cell phones). On the flip side, my marriage never saw a single argument. We never fought. There was no bitterness or resentment or hate and we are able to stay under one roof (separate rooms) for a short term solution to make the transition easier for our young (toddler) kids. We have never yelled at each other or name called and we still show each other friendship and respect. So parents who stay or parents who leave are trying to do what is best for the kids. Hopefully.

Sorry, I've been very busy with work and haven't had time to check in---this is a fascinating conversation and I'm glad people chimed in with their opinions and experience. I'm sorry if anyone was offended by my tone, I was trying to be humorous. <br />
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There probably are cases where it makes sense to stay in a bad marriage---but I'm still not convinced because it's better for the kids. I think if you want to stay together, then stay together. But it's impossible to say definitively that your kids don't pick up on even subtle clues about their parents. Kids are sponges and very smart and actually understand a lot about people on an intuitive level that adults miss. I would not underestimate the effect that an unhappy marriage will have on a child. <br />
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I know there are people here that say their marriage is perfectly fine other than the lack of sex. I guess it comes down to whether or not you believe a marriage can be "perfectly fine" when one partner is unhappy enough to wind up in ILIASM. I think not.<br />
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Re: whether you can know anything about this without having kids, I completely disagree. If you've been a kid, you know what it's like to be a kid. If you've been a kid whose parents had a bad marriage, you know what that's like too. And a lot of people know what that's like, not just me.<br />
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I absolutely am glad my parents did not lie to me or put up a facade of marital happiness for our supposed benefit. Perhaps that works for other kids, but I don't think it would have been good for me or my relationship with my parents, with whom I am very very close, at all. I just don't see how the most important people in your life being dishonest with you over many years is positive. For those who believe this, I'm sorry but we just have to agree to disagree. <br />
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I also am grateful that my parents never used me or my brother as an excuse---whatever disappointments, sadness, regrets, loneliness, pain, etc they had, they never used our existence to justify remaining in situations that made them unhappy. Therefore as an adult I don't have to feel guilty about them staying in an unhappy marriage for my sake. And trust me, there was no money whatsoever and lots of challenges. It was NOT EASY for them. Let's be honest, a lot of people DO use their kids as an excuse for not getting out of a bad marriage. And that's what my post was about---excuses.<br />
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Again, sorry if I offended anyone!

I though your post was hilarious and I totally get the humor and the truth in it. I think about that stuff every night and it is nice to hear it from someone who's parents divorced when you were young. So I'm not going to scare my kid for life and they won't end up in jail. It does sound funny but it's really something that crossed my mind. Crazy, eh? I think it is good that you are here to tell us all that it's not the end of the world and things can and most likely will turn out ok. Thank you.

The only statement you can make flat across the board about every person on this post that has an opinion is that at some point we'll all be dead. Wisdom is often knowing that when it comes to human beings variations are endless and assumptions are a huge waste of time. There is no right or wrong only just and unjust - just is what you can justify and find "right" and that which you can't and find "wrong'

Disagree completely. Every marriage is different. I may have angst and frustration but that does not manifest itself AT ALL in front of my child. And, for the most part, hub and I get on, we're friends, we don't have rip roaring arguments and certainly there is never any tension when our child is around because we love her more than anything and we are great parents.<br />
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I think generally when people say they are staying for their child they are making this choice because they KNOW leaving would cause more harm than staying. I cannot see changing my mind about this unless it came to a point where I could just not cope anymore and my inability to cope was negatively affecting my child. So, in a nutshell, unless I start going mad, I stay put for my child. I'm old enough to find ways to cope with being in a sexless marriage. My child is too young to find ways to cope with having her parents divorced.

"I think generally when people say they are staying for their child they are making this choice because they KNOW leaving would cause more harm than staying" That may be the case in your situation. Some decide that it would be worse because the other partner is f*ing insane and would use the child as a pawn in a chess game. But then the argument becomes "then should the child be exposed to the crazy parent at all? should the stable parent fight for primary custody and leave?" Some people stay for the kids because they are scared to make a change. Staying for the kids is noble. But as any choice there are consequences. Positives and negatives. The assumption that staying for the kids is the right thing to do is what I object to. It is one option. Leaving to protect the kids is another. Both have positives and negatives. Neither are "the right thing" or "the wrong thing" to do. They are just choices and with them come consequences. We should make informed choices, considering as many potential outcomes as possible but in the end... I don't know that there is a right or a wrong. But I do know that I wish my parents had divorced earlier. They both would've told you they were staying for the kid. But the kid wanted them separate and really, they are so much happier now.

I can understand that...I wish my parents had divorced, my childhood was miserable and that was all down to them and their 'mental health' issues and hatred of each other. But this is definitely NOT the case in my marriage.

Whether or not we stay together for the kid, he has little chance of learning about good emotional and physical relationships from either of us. Perhaps if he grew up with both parents replaced, he'd have a chance. So what's the point?

I have learned SO much from watching both my parents when they were together and when they have now found good, stable, loving relationships. Both of them are better people. Sometimes around here we make things seem like it's the refuser who is the problem but in reality the marriage is broken. Both my parents have their faults but they found people who complement their strengths better, work together to overcome their flaws and want the same things in life, now. If they hadn't done that and shown me what loving relationships could be like by marrying my step-parents I would not have known well enough that my marriage was bad to leave it. And they divorced after I was married already. But it still had a huge, lasting impact on my life as an adult and now my breaking free from a sexless, abusive marriage.

If my wife and I separate, it is essentially certain that neither of us will marry again. (I know, some here will read that and chuckle.) I guess there are broken marriages that feel worse to the kids than seeing each parent live alone. We are not nearly there yet, not by a long shot.

Yep. If kids paremts get a divorce before age 6 it is best for the,. I have heard there si nothing more devastating that being an adult and being told your parents are now divorcing now that you all have finalyl left home.

Somethign to think about for sure.

So true alot of of old school folks were taught in home D was a sin and wrong. Well when I noticed my oldest when she was around 5 sit in a corner and suck her thumb and wet the bed when ever her daddy and I were in same room....ENOUGH weather D or not the kids have a momma and a daddy and they just dont live under the same roof.

Let me guess, you don't have kids?

There are lots of people here who do have kids and have realized that it impacted their children a great deal. The OP is being very confrontational in how she addressed the issue... but it has been repeatedly debated again and again. Personally, I think it does not have to do with just children. If you have children but money is 100% not an issue for either of you... does that change things? If you have children but you can agree to co-parent and live near each other and have 50/50 splits with lots of support and flexibility for each other, then what? If you have children but can arrange an upstairs/downstairs deal where you split finances and raise the children together but have relationships with others that are private (as would be relationships in the dating world if you were separated/divorced -- my kids don't know my dating life)... would you do it? If so, then this issue isn't really the kids. It's the other fallout around you. It's the spouse that won't let go and let you lead simultaneous lives under the same roof, a block away or whatever with respect and a common goal of raising the kids together. It can be done. But many people aren't staying for the kids, as much as they are staying because of the mess that would be created with the ex-spouse and the kids exposure to THAT. If it were as simple as "I'm not happy married to you but we are both still dedicated 100% and with our full up front and stated goals of raising these children together" then that could happen. But instead we hear the horror stories of divorce and what happens when things end and how ugly it can get. Yes, it can. But then THAT is the problem and the reason for the staying. "Staying for the kids" almost makes it sound like you expect not to see your kids anymore so you must stay. If that is the case then you are married to someone evil and mean who does NOT have the children's best interest at heart.

First of all, people should not shoot their ******* mouths off when **** does not apply to them PERIOD.
Don't think I don't know who you are btw.

As a person who had parents who died when I was 8 years old, I will tell you it's better than having no parents at all. So it doesn't matter if parents stay together or divorce. The real issue is the children are taken care of and loved. I knew people who were raised by single parents. They did not grow up a drunk or on drugs. One of my friends is now a doctor, another "my cousin" went to college and now works with homeless people. Another is a police officer, and a few others work normal jobs. Actually I don't know anyone who was raised by a single parent who turned out to have a **** life. However I do know a few who were raised by both parents. One parent was a drunk the other didn't pay attention to her children. Those people by far turned out the worst. In and out of jail, drug abuse, and the list goes on. You would have never known how they did their own kids. They lived in a great home new cars. Had money and many of friends and were very well known. So it really depends on who the people are, as no two people are the same. So you can't put a label on people, that's just not realistic. People should be thankful with what they have. Because there is so many of us out here without a family to be close with. And something is better than nothing!

I reckon all the intellectualising about it is a waste of time, all you can do is to play it as it lies.<br />
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I personally have great faith in people's sophistication and complexity (and that includes the kids), and I think we are equipped to make appropriate (even if wrong!) choices at any point. Because there is no right answer, that's one of the joys of life.<br />
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Of course, a lot of this is harm minimisation rather than getting good things - yet even there, good things happen anyway.<br />
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The other aspect is that, whatever you rationalise about all this, the truth is that our emotions do the business - we find that we have no choice, we are desperate, we can do no other. Or else that applies to the spouse, again, no choice. Or that we find a way of making it sufficiently harmonious that the college plan works to an extent.<br />
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I've experienced both. I have left than returned. Both sides have their ups and downs. Whilst i was happier while away from the missus you cant always control what happens and the bad influeneces they might experience if one parent is a cement head when it is not your turn to have them.<br />
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When i came back i had my 5 year old tell me i'm so glad your back now i have my daddy back as a family.<br />
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I guess it really depends what age group they are.<br />
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Stay Strong & Good Luck

As it happens, I am on the same page as you in regard to this matter.<br />
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However, that does not invalidate the view(s) of people who DO "stay for the kids" rationally making their case as to why this is right for them. Thing is, that a lot of people hide behind it. It is NOT a reasoned rational decision. It is an excuse to do nothing, in many cases.<br />
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It is the most vexatious topic in this group, and is ceaselessly debated - as it should be.<br />
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Tread your own path.

Staying for the kids was not an option for me because my refuser-wife announced that she was planning to leave me anyways.

So true. You can plan to stay for the kids, but they have their own plans too.

I've experienced both.<br />
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My parents were very unhappy. So were the kids.<br />
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My father left us for a year when I was 7. It was tough, but my mom made a life for us. It was the best year of my life.<br />
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My father came back when I was 8. And my mom took him back, "for the kids." It was never the same.<br />
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One parent in a poor, struggling but happy and supportive family beats two parents in a materially better off but tense household. In my experience.

yep kids can feel the emotional atmosphere as if it was loud music. and dont bullshit me about ""they dont know" they do. And it can wreck the hell out of their future choices in relationships 10 20 and 30 years down the line.

Not done that myself, but seen and read enough to know.

Nah, family situations are never as black and white as you paint them. I was on the “college plan” for many years and looking back, with the plan completed, I have absolutely no regrets. I did the right thing in my situation. Did it cost me? Sure it did, enormous emotional pain … however I am strong and resilient … my (adopted) baby girl, not so much at the time due to traumatic early life experience.<br />
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Put away the black and white paint; the world is full of colour.

Very true k9. Sure I have my thoughts on various situations we are in however I know enough to direct then at the ones here who belong to that "group." In aome situations the kids WILL suffer worse or some people are here to sort things out bc they want what's best for their kids. It sounds as if you never had a complicated relationship that also involved children where you've had to make such tough decisions. You may raise a good question however how you've chosen to get people's attention is with mostly bogus talk. Most here are not staying bc they fear their kid will end up dead if they go. And what ever other crazy things you said. Im divorced and remarried. My parents divorced when I was 3. I've been there and around. It's waaaay more comple than you speak of.

I believe people like you who stayed for the kids deserve gold medals. You really are the heroes in our club.

I really wanted to stay for the kids but I honestly could not physically do it. I was crumbling.

The thing that I find somewhat puzzling, to put it mildly, when so-called experts assert that breaking up a marriage harms kids how do they know that staying together in each individual case would not be even worse? How CAN they EVER know? It is either one or t'other. It isn't something that you can conduct a before and after test for.<br />
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The thing that really ****** me off, well two things actually. One, their assertion is ba<x>sed on statistical analysis and like all such analyses only have to true in a MAJORITY of instances for them to be presented as true in ALL cases, which is just downright outrageously disengenuous. In other words there is never any value given to the exceptions to the so-called 'rule'. The second thing is that this assertion is just bluntly put usually with no reasoning given. It's like saying "thou shalt not kill", oh, except when you are, say, a policeman and you have to kill someone to prevent them slaughtering another half-dozen innocent people. It's too simple, it's too black-and-white and it's way too patronizing.<br />
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The one thing I will say is that if you decide that you must divorce your partner and they declare war on you by using your kids as a weapon against you it is going to make things mighty bloody difficult for you to try and manage the situation for the kids' sake in any sane and acceptable manner.

High five, sister. My parents stayed together for my sake. My dad openly cheated on my mom...they argued incessantly...I dreaded any time I had to spend at home.

This is one of those things that you can not really make a blanket statement about - it's a personal choice and varies wildly from person to person. My kids are thankful that we were a family when they were growing up and ready for me to leave - seriously - and I don't think it was a bad choice for ME. It worked out money wise - resource wise, special needs child wise, - it worked on a ton of different levels - as far as the no sex thing - my kids don't "witness" that - and they don't know about it because I don't tell them about it. I'm glad it worked out for your childhood, and I'm sure there are plenty others, but it's not always that black and white.

I completely agree with you. Although this poster's life was in one of contentiousness and hostile home environment not everyone has been exposed to this. There are, thankfully, many thinking adults who have accommodated and sacrificed while maintaining the charade of a contented marriage solely for the children.

Actually, my home environment was perfectly fine---because my parents were NOT "maintaining the charade of a contented marriage solely for the children." I mean, do you even realize how screwed up that sounds? Why is lying to your kids their entire lives better for them than being honest? The betrayal they will feel when they inevitably find out will most likely be far worse than dealing with reality in the present. Yikes. I'm glad my parents treated me with respect and honesty and not a bunch of bullshit pretending and lies.

I think I love you....