7 Ways Staying In A Toxic Marriage Is Worse Than Divorce For Your Children

Relationships, including marriages can be tricky because one person cannot on their own, all by themselves determine its outcome, especially if the other person won’t put in some work. As much as the aim is for an happily-ever-after, you need to understand when it’s no longer working and is getting increasingly toxic.

Many mums consider it a sacrifice to remain in toxic relationships or marriages for the sake of their child but psychologists do not share the sentiment. Here’s at least seven ways, staying in a toxic marriage is worse than divorce for your children according to lifestyle blogger, Asmita.

1   Children Might Feel Uneasy At Home

Children need a safe and happy space to thrive. If they have to constantly navigate between the landmines that you and your partner have become then your child is uncomfortable at home. They are also likely uncomfortable with you and your partner because they don’t want to increase the amount of conflict. They would find it difficult to express themselves freely by constantly being vigilant about the emotions of the adults in the house.

“Kids don’t know what to expect in this situation. They walk on eggshells, never knowing where or when the next land mine will explode,”

said Deborah Mecklinger, a mediator and therapist based in Toronto, Ontario, to Huffpost.

“Divorce, when done right, diminishes the conflict. Children have the opportunity to learn about respect, real cooperation and communication.”

2. They Might Develop Fear Of Intimacy

The children who are raised by parents constantly at odds with each other would find it difficult to get close to people, and this can carry later into adulthood too.

For them, intimacy is deeply connected to trauma since they witnessed their parent’s dysfunctional marriage. For them, keeping distance means avoiding getting hurt in the future. Even later, when they do become a part of an intimate relationship they are closed off to a great degree. In times of conflict in their intimate relationships, they could end up avoiding it entirely or copy how their parent reacted, according to Psychology Today.

3.Their Self-Esteem Suffers

A therapist, Terry Gaspard, specializing in divorce and the author of Daughters of Divorce, told Huffpost that there are studies which show that children born in high-conflict homes can end up with feelings of low self-esteem and unworthiness.

“Children are like sponges and they will absorb negative emotions and internalize their anger and shame,

“If they’re exposed to parents who are chronically unhappy, kids will grow into adults who have low self-esteem and trust issues.

An important question to ask yourself is, would the well-being of the children be enhanced by a move to a divorced, single-parent family? If the answer is yes, then a divorce can be advantageous.”

READ ALSO: Rapper T.I And Wife, Tiny Reveal Why They Called Off Their Divorce

4. If You’re Unhappy, You’re unavailable For Your Child

If your home is full of conflict, then not just your children, you too are likely to be uneasy at home. So, you’re not really excited to go home and are seeking escapes to stay out longer. In this tussle, the children have less and less of your time, which affects them.

“Usually, spouses look to ‘escape’ unhappy marriages and avoid being at home in order to avoid their partners,”

she said.

“They may work longer hours, spend more time with friends or use alcohol to avoid being present. Sometimes as a result of divorce, kids gain a parent.”

5. They Could Have Mood Problems

An unhappy home can lead to children with serious mood problems, such as dysthymia or persistent depressive disorder.  When mental health is not addressed in these cases, it can lead to personality disorders or substance abuse in the future. According to Psychology Today, with an unhappy background, children lose hope early in life and always expect the worst.

6. Kids Feel Responsible For Your Unhappiness

It is not possible to mask away the deep unhappiness within you and the lack of love between you and your partner. Children will pick up on it, said Betsy Ross, a Massachusetts-based psychotherapist, to Huffpost.

“Even the youngest children can sense that you’re suffering and that things are not right. Since children are naturally ego-centered and generally have the idea that they are more powerful than they really are, they are likely to think they’ve somehow caused your unhappiness and that it’s really about them.”

Even though you don’t want your child to think that as a parent, you have to accept the fact that your child might believe they are the cause of your pain.

7. They Believe Relationships Are Dysfunctional

Since children model their lives, to a great extent, after their parents’ what they believe to be true when they see unhappy romantic relationships is that their future is going to be similar.

“You’re teaching them that it’s OK to settle for less than they deserve in relationships,”

Terry said.

“Children who observe their parents settling for a miserable marriage might become passive, depressed or pessimistic about their ability to love and be loved in a healthy intimate relationship.”

Once you stop believing that staying in a bad marriage is helping your family, and get divorced, it is possible that you find your co-parenting magic. Also when you choose your happiness, you are teaching your children to do the same as well. They will grow up respecting themselves and expecting that they deserve better than to just settle, said Brette Sember to Huffpost.

Source: Women Working

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