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Considering Leaving Your

Are Worries About Your Kids Keeping You in a Loveless Marriage?
By Susie and Otto Collins

Vanessa doesn't know how she can stand another day of being married to Alec. They bicker and argue constantly and Vanessa suspects that
he might even be having an affair.

The worst part is, there seems to be no love left between them.

Vanessa would file for divorce this very minute... except for the fact that she doesn't want to scar their 4 kids for life.

She grew up with divorced parents and having to shuttle back and forth between homes-- that's the last thing that Vanessa wants her children to have
to go through.

Her original plan was to stick it out until all of her kids are older, but she's not sure she can wait that long.

Are you considering divorce but are worried about how your children will handle such a change?

Like Vanessa, you might feel certain that leaving your relationship is the best decision. Even knowing this, you may be hesitant to make such a move because you don't want your kids to have to go through the pain and upheaval.

Make the best decision for all involved-- including you.
We aren't going to pretend that divorce is easy on kids.

It's likely that, depending on your situation and the age and maturity of the kids, there will be a certain amount of confusion, grief, anger and insecurity come up.

It's only natural that, as a parent, you would want to shield your children from all of this.

But if you and your partner are unhappy, tense, resentful or angry with one another, your kids will undoubtedly pick up on it.

Studies have shown that living in a dysfunctional married environment is just as difficult and damaging to kids as it is for them to go through their parents' divorce.

Some of those same studies have shown that it is actually after the divorce that the troubles can begin for children.

It is when kids are put in roles such as negotiators for their sniping parents or
comfort-providers for their newly-single mothers or fathers, that the real damage can occur.

If you are considering leaving your marriage, become very clear about what you want. We encourage you to, for the moment, set aside
your worries about your kids and listen to yourself.

Next, we encourage you to follow through on your decision with a solid plan for how you can ease this transition for your kids as well as for yourself. Be sure to think ahead, if you can, to the time
after your divorce has been finalized.

*If you or your children are being abused, we urge you to get away from your mate and to a place where you and your children can be safe. From that safe space, you can decide what your next step will be and how to help your children heal from what has happened.

Create a support system for yourself and one for your kids.
Support is vital right now. In order to truly "be there" for your kids through the divorce process and afterward, you'll need a reliable support system.

Gather a support system for yourself. This might involve making a list of friends and family members whom you can call or meet with when you just need to vent frustration, you'd like advice or a big hug.

Support for yourself may also mean that you arrange to meet with a trained counselor.

Your kids could use a support system right now too. As a parent, you might feel like it's your job to be the main source of comfort and guidance for your kids.

In reality, this might be what happens and it might not.

During this time, however, it can really make a difference if your children have access to other people upon whom they can rely.

This might be a trusted neighbor, friend or family member that your children can go to with questions or to share feelings.

You could also find a counselor or therapist who is trained to help kids work through their feelings about divorce.

There will be plenty of times when you are the one who is giving the hugs and assurances to your children.

But there will also be times when you are caught up in your own process and can't be as available to them as you'd like to be.

Having a support system for both you and your children will give you all a sense of not being alone as step out into this new life.

Remember, this difficult time will not last forever. Do your best for yourself and your children and know that better times are possible and potentially coming soon.

If you would like more help making the decision about whether or not to leave your marriage,  you'll find many more questions, insights and personal stories in our book Should You Stay or Should You Go? 

You can also sign up for our free mini-course "5 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Considering Whether to Stay In or Leave a Relationship."


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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins, PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling (614) 568-8282.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email.

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