The "manacled To A Toxic Marriage By Kids" DebateThose of us looking for the courage to find a way out of a bad relationship seem to have a heated debate over children. It's just as heated and defiant of a real, consensual standard as most others, such as capital punishment, abortion, euthanasia or any of the other arguments human beings get so silly and overheated by.
I look at debates like this as being truly absurd. Arguing over a dilemma that has no correct answer is folly, and those who really feel they know the difference between right and wrong by taking a stand either way are fooling themselves and upsetting others, nothing more.
I MEAN NO DISRESPECT HERE. Not to anyone who feels either way. I happen to be in the "stay for the sake of them" camp, because of my individual situation. My daughter means everything to me, I would lay down my life for her - not that anyone whole *would* leave in my situation would feel any different.
But in MY case, here are the facts:
1. I was an only child of a broken home. It happened when I was three. I felt the pull of wanting two parents - MY parents in a family again, all under the same roof. Both of mine bluntly and sometimes rudely made it clear that is NEVER going to happen. It was a sore spot of sadness that will never resolve in my life.
2. My daughter is not stupid, she's been witnessing the death of a marriage from within the family dynamic for some time. She feels great sadness over it, and it breaks my heart to see her feeling so helpless. I know this is a strong argument for opponents of staying, but keep in mind: leaving or staying has NO effect on this sadness in a child's life. And as parents we are failures for not providing the loving home all children deserve already.
3. Financially, it takes both of us, my wife and I - to keep the family and home from being lost forever. Should I cut loose and run for the hills, the collateral damage will begin with my daughter losing the only home she's ever known. My wife won't be able to afford keeping it and they would be just as destitute as I.
4. This point does NOT apply to me, but I've heard it and it is DEFINITELY valid: "I don't have a way to generate the income needed to become my child(ren)'s provider on the other side of the door. It would take time or is impossible. That would leave me with abandoning his/her/their fate to being raised by The Evil One."
I'm not so bad off that I would worry that my wife would ruin my daughter's life without me, so this one isn't holding me back. My wife and I did love each other once, and I do see the good in her and know she's an excellent mother. So I'm not worried about this. I do know however that some of us are really concerned about it - in some cases it's a very real threat that must be avoided, in others it's the fear left behind by a broken heart and nothing more. No offense, and I don't need to be told how wrong I am. I know that I'm right about this only in some cases and have no desire to lecture or be lectured about The Evil One and his or her Evil Ways and why I should validate. Just assume that in my case it's not true and in yours, if you read this - I validate you. Looking at your case ob
Now, an open comment to those of you who oppose my view: I appreciate your words. They are wise and valid. Please take no offense. Feel free to discuss!
I would like to see this story as an invitation for open, respectful debate over the issue. There will be no resolution. But I would like to see us all walk away from this debate with a much more open mind about it. We are all here to give and receive support together, and I don't want to see any more hurt feelings or judging over the children issue. Let's talk it out, together! Nobody knows better than us what's right and wrong about staying in a toxic marriage for the sake of children - or not.
TheVerticalMan 41-45, M 2 Responses 2 Nov 19, 2012