Is it better for a young child to have his parents together irrespective of how unhappy they are? Or, is it in the child’s better interest if his parents split (of course, Both stay involved in the child’s life). Some marriages have been miserable for so long and couples stay together for the sake of the child. Any personal stories to share please?

  • Lynne22

    I totally agree with you sophiem. I only know of a few couples that are truly happy. Most couples we know have settled so to speak and I decided a long time ago that was not something I was willing to do. When I left my first marriage with my 1 1/2 year old (at that time) I was alone, had very low self esteem and was very upset that I was a statistic so to speak. I was totally prepared to spend the rest of my life alone (just me and my daughter) and you know something as time went on it became a lot easier and I actually enjoyed having “me” time. I discovered so many things about myself that I never knew and developed hobbies that I still love to this day. I’m not saying that everyone should just give up. I tried 3 times to seek marriage counselling, long talks with just him and I, role reversal etc. but nothing seemed to work. For anyone thinking about divorcing please talk to people you can trust even if that’s a stranger that has no connection to your family/friends. Sometimes strangers can be the most supportive and helpful people and you’d be surprised to learn how many people are going through the exact same things as you.
    As for why people stay in unhappy marriages or even unhappy relationships, I’m not sure. When I have had the opportunity to ask I have been told many times it’s because of the kids and because of fear of some sort. I guess what it comes down to is how much your willing to sacrifice in life and of yourself.

  • sophiem

    I want to thank you all for sharing your opinions and your personal experiences. Why do people stay in unhappy marriages? Children, money, afraid of change, afraid of being lonely, low self-esteem… It is a tough decision, but I think like most good decisions, it is very tough at first. It’s sad because I know too many people who are unhappy in their relationships, but stay together. Perhaps things will get better, but it is a chance because we can find ourselves a few years from now regretting not having made the decision earlier.

  • Lynne22

    I think it’s better if you divorce. I was married to my first husband and a year and a half into our marriage I decided to separate for many reasons but the most important reason of all….I didn’t want my daughter growing up in a home where mom and dad treated each other with disrespect. Children are very quick to pick up on even the smallest negative signs and with that in mind remember that your teaching your child/children that this type of relationship is acceptable.
    I grew up in a divorced home but I watched my mom fight for a marriage that she was not happy with. At 12 I told her to leave him. What a terrible memory that is but I’m glad she finally did leave him. I knew at a very young age that something was wrong, my mom was unhappy, we had no family time. I often used to think “Is this normal?”. Again, I was far too young to be thinking this but the fact is I was thinking it.
    Going through a divorce was one of the hardest things I have had to endure in my life and trust me when I say it was a battle that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. But I will tell you that my story has the classic happy ending… I met a wonderful man and married him. We have been together for over 7 years now and I love our relationship and the relationship my daughter and him share. Through all the pain, suffering, and emotional mayhem I went through it was worth every second because I can now look at my daughter and know that she has a great dad that loves her as if she was his baby!

  • loonie77

    good morning, I myself was married in 1983 and after having 3 children, 1984, 1985 and 1990 i thought my life was great. Until, I found out my husband was looking elsewhere for companionship. I found out about it, was devestated and thought what am I to do now. Well it all blew up one day when he didnt arrive home, wouldnt answer his phone and had my son’s hockey equipment in the car and he had an important hockey game that day. Well i was lost to what to do, I told my son he would have to miss the game due to no equipment, and he was devastated. Well within a few minutes, didnt my husband show up, like nothing was wrong and I blasted him. Sorry to say this but a big fight erupted, and he threatened me, i ran out of the home, and next thing i know the police were at my door. He was taken away, in front of my children, who were scared and shocked and it was so devestating for me that they saw this. After all that, we split up, sold the family home, and i bought a new home for myself and my children and as i wasnt working at the time, funds were tough. But we survived, and all my children went to college. I believe the best thing was to split up, as we could not live in the same house, since he was always coming and going to be with other women and it was trying on my life and more on the life of my children. They grew up basically without a father, but i kept them involved in all the activities they enjoyed, and he came back in their lives when they got older and they have a good repoire with them now and I will speak to him only when it involves the children but never talk about him in front of my children, because they love us both. Hope this helps in someway but everyone has different scenarios and always do what is best for your children. always…thanku barbara from cambridge, ontario

  • George

    Hi. I am in my second marriage. My first marriage was a disaster. Reason I left my first wife is she would not accept me for who I am. Therefore, I decide to separate and still be involve in my daughter life. (note: i do not use the word ‘our’ but ‘my’)
    My second marriage was fantastic. We have another daughter. My first daughter is much involve in our daughter even though they are approx 8 years apart. Both are very happy girls and enjoying life with the happy parents.
    There are time when my first daughter questions me all the time about her mom. I said, it is your mom and you have to deal with it. I will continue to support you but not to your mom. There are at times when she said she prefer to stay with me for reason I cannot explain here. However, I emphasize one very important thing is that I still love her even though she doesn’t live with me.
    I take her to experience things she never dream of doing if she is with her mom. I even said if we are still married, we probably would not do anything at all. This is not the life I want her to experience.
    Sorry for long posts, but it is proof positive that happy parents breed happy kids. If that means parents have to be divorced, then so be it. Here is the next example of proof.
    I know someone in an unhappy marriage with 2 kids. He tried to leave but said cannot leave the kids behind. 20 years later, two kids are fully grown up but are not model citizen by any means because they continue to be unhappy. So unhappy parent breed unhappy grown up kids.
    Think about those two extremes. I hope this is sufficient comments to tell parents that kids deserve to be happy, one way or another.

  • Amber

    sophiem, I agree with the other advice here. Although the initial period around the separation is hard on everyone, in the long run it is far better as long as both parents always remember that their PRIMARY responsibility is to put the children first. Keep them out of your personal disputes and you will all be happier in the end.

  • Meg

    I agree that being happy makes you a better parent but I think a lot of people give up too easily. If you truly don’t love your partner and are miserable than everyone is better off if you are apart but marriages go through ups and downs so try working on it first because being together and happy is the best arrangement.

  • bad mummy

    I ended my marriage when our daughter was 13 months old. I was unhappy. So unhappy. I knew (and still believe) that I could not be a good mum if I was unhappy.
    I did not want my daughter growing up with an unhappy mother as a role model of what a mum/woman should be. Neither did I want her to be in the position of thinking that her parents’ relationship was the ideal.
    She is 4+ years old now. Since she was 22 months old she has split her time between her two parents/her two homes. As an added bonus, she gets to see her parents step outside those gender stereotypes. When she’s with her dad, she sees him cook, clean and do laundry. And when she’s with me, she gets to see me do minor car repairs, use my power drill and take out the trash.

  • Jen

    Hi Sophie. I am not divorced and my parents never divorced so I am no expert however, I believe that a happy parent is a good parent. If you and your partner are miserable being together not only is this not a positive role model of marriage but it is also a sad environment in which to grow up. In my opinion, being apart but happy is way better. Good luck!

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