A somewhat common misconception is that children are better off, in the long-haul when their parents stay married or together. However, that concept may only apply to a happy healthy union. Parents that stick together fighting through a bad marriage may do more harm than good and here’s a few reasons why:
- Parents who are in constant conflict can create a negative atmosphere for their children. Rather than focusing on allowing their children to grow and feel safe at home, arguing parents can cause an air of tension to arise. While the cause of that negativity may not be fully understood by a child, the lingering gray cloud it manifests may make their home a place which he/she wishes to avoid, rather than the comforting landmark one hopes it to be.
- Poor Example: By maintaining a failing relationship parents could provide a bad example of the qualities one should attribute to marriage/ a relationship etc. This example could shape the habits and attributes which children seek out in their adult lives. By persisting in a negative situation instead of recognizing its faults and moving forward by moving on, parents could be attributing positive attributes to negative actions.
- Speaking of attribution, children often find it difficult to see the world as unrelated to themselves. This egocentric scenario may lead a child to associate a parent’s bad mood as their fault. Furthermore if a parent seeks refuge, away from the home to avoid their spouse, a child may inadvertently think that he/she is the one being avoided.
Fighting through a bad relationship for one’s children may sound like a noble cause. The reality however may be that a couple could set a better example and establish a healthier more nurturing environment by admitting their shortcomings and moving on separately.