People are aware the impact a messy divorce can have on their children, and there’s been a growing trend in opting for a ‘parenting marriage’ instead of irreparably separating. When the romance has died, but couples still want to provide a stable home life for their kids, they’re turning to this new platonic marriage.
Unlike traditional marriage, which is love-based, a parenting marriage is purpose-driven on raising happy, healthy kids—even if there’s no longer any romantic love between the parents.
When the choices are divorce or remaining unhappily with someone you’re no longer in love with, a compromise like a platonic marriage seems like a breath of fresh air. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, stay or split. We’re allowed to come up with creative solutions that better suit our needs and desires. It’s possible to personalize marriage to fit your needs. One of our contributors, Brandie Weikle, did just that when she and her husband split up but got houses side-by-side so that they could co-parent.
Other couples that have adopted this parenting marriage will still live in the same home, co-parenting their kids, while having the freedom to see other people now that their romantic expectations with each other have dissolved. Some people even form long-term relationships with another person, while maintaining a strong family dynamic within their marriage.
The difference here that separates this from cheating or hurtful liaisons is that both parents are aware of and agree on the situation. They’ve come to agreements over what they’re okay with and how they should move forward separately while still parenting together and possibly living together.
An article by The Guardian explained the plus side to a parenting marriage really well. “To outsiders, they might look like any other couple—they enjoy meals, holidays and adventures as a family. Except they’re not staying together miserably for the sake of their kid, as far too many couples do; they transformed their marriage into a parenting marriage.” This doesn’t have to be the exact picture each couple goes for, some may need more space, but the point is they’ve got options that don’t have to end in painful splits where they barely see or speak to one another.
LGBT couples have been successfully crafting multi-parenting partnerships for years, such as maintaining relationships with the surrogates or biological parents. And it often works really well. So this idea of platonic parenting isn’t all that unusual and may just be the alternative some parents are looking for, allowing a more peaceful transition from lovers and partners, to just parenting partners, who still have a respectful and loving relationship with each other.