This conversation is closed.

The Modern View on Marriage and Divorce- Single Parenting or Staying Together for the Kids?

Is it better to end a tumultuous marriage and become a single parent, rather than trying to make it work? Having experienced it from the child's point of view- could it work for the sake of maintaining stability in life and holding together hope for future relationships? Do people understand the profound effect it can have; having to watch parents go through numerous relationships, lack of confidence, getting by on one household income? Not only that, but emotions that come with being shared with parents, and feeling second because they need to start their new life from scratch?
Mainly- What is it like when your parents stick to it?

  • thumb
    May 23 2013: It is definitely better to end a tumultuous marriage. It is not better to end a marriage that could work and just lacks certain key elements.

    Let's face it...people get married for the wrong reasons. They also stay married for the wrong reasons. Many get divorced for the wrong reasons. It's impossible to come up with a "one size fits all" answer. Both parties need to look at a couple factors.

    Once you pass a certain line the damage is not repairable. Things will get better before they get worse. I don't think it's ok to stay together thinking the kids will be better off. The kids will not be better off.

    Counseling is a good start if you think your relationship is taking a turn for the worse. It may seem like the situation is moving in the right direction; and then it relapses into chaos. Communication is key. Both people need to be ready for change. It cannot be a one way street.

    Sit down with your partner and communicate openly. Arguing is not communicating. Each side of the conversation needs to be assured that his or her needs are being met. Everybody wants to feel valuable. This is especially true for your companion. If they don't feel valued by you they probably don't value themselves all that much either.

    You need to know when things have gone too far. The kids will be much better off not seeing their parents arguing constantly. You will be programming them to handle communication in the same way. As they say "break the cycle" and be sure not to start the cycle either.
  • thumb
    May 23 2013: Marry to be happy, divorce to be happy.

    You should be happy no matter what.

    Being happy gives you all the strength to look after your child well.
    • thumb
      May 23 2013: Good point Adesh.....if we are content in ourselves, it is more likely that the children will benefit from that.
  • May 25 2013: Not an easy question. In some cases two people stay married for the sake of the kids but if this becomes so abrasive that the children suffer then it becomes self defeating. But, in other cases it is the right thing to do. In other cases the persistent marriage dies a horrible slow death where little remains between the two parents other than habit. This destroys the two lives of the parents while allowing the children to blossom, in that sense it requires self sacrifice. It denies a new life of potential love to those parents.

    Now, is it true to say that a single parent family misses out on something? In some way yes, there is one parent with much more stress and pressure on them and less time for the parent to find love for themselves. This is compensated to some degree by the love of the children and the joy in being a parent. However, it is hard on that one parent and the child misses out on a gender role model, a father or a mother. This will be missed and effects lives for a long time including potential relationships of the single parent children themselves.
  • May 24 2013: I feel like there's a false dilemma here. In other words, I think the two choices you're presenting (break up and be miserable, or stay together and be miserable) are not the only two options. Unhappiness in marriage is not inevitable. But let's say you've got an unhappy couple. They loved each other once, or at least liked each other enough to get married in the first place. Over time they've drifted apart. Most likely, the root cause of this is selfishness in one or both partners. They aren't working for the team anymore, but only themselves. If they choose to change to become unselfish, the marriage can be saved and they can be happy with each other again. That's a hard, long process. There's no magic here, only a lot of hard work. It all depends on the priorities of the people involved, what they want out of life. If all they want is personal pleasure/fulfillment, it's going to be very hard to fix the situation and divorce is probably necessary. Divorce has its place. But I feel if people put their marriage first and themselves second, they would be so much happier.
  • thumb
    May 23 2013: Hi Lydia.
    Well done for airing this thorny issue. I despair at times of modern society's attitude to marriage & children. My generation with the swinging 60's & all that, is largely to blame,& , for what it's worth; I apologise. Personally, I find it incomprehensible that a couple, who allegedly love one another, cannot get their act together for a couple of decades for the sake of giving their children a decent start.
    Part of the problem is our attitude to sex. We all feel we have sex when, & with whom, we chose. That inevitably results in mismatched couples. Sex should be the final cherry on the cake for a couple who have made the ultimate commitment to one another; not some sort of toilet function.
    The other problem is selfishness. Everyone is so concerned with their personal happiness, not that of their partner or offspring. In my personal experience it is usually the man who is at fault, the wife is a chattel; not always, but often. If a couple put the needs of their partner before their own, then they would be so blessed. This is a matter of faith; or taking a chance, & many are in too big a rush for personal satisfaction.
    What is the answer ?
    My wife &' I have been together 40yrs & brought up 2 children. For 25 of these years we have been bible believing Christians. This has helped us see the spiritual dimension to the problem, but we were ok for the first 15 as well. We all have a conscience hard wired, if we obey it then we have a chance; if not forget it. We can sort the problem as individuals, but unless we have a major spiritual awakening; society is goosed.

    Colossians 3:18-19 NIV
    [18] Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. [19] Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

  • May 23 2013: Since marriage seems to have lost most of its motivation and importance in today's society, who cares? :)

    I think we should all care to the point of searching for and finding and developing ways to help and support this most important relationship. A very (most?) important result of marriage is children, which elevates the reason to stay together and do our very best to rebuild the original love and commitment. Even if that means altering our own love for a career, high income and entertainment.

    The more something influences our eternal destination/condition the more important it is.
    The more something influences just our temporal comfort, the less important it is.

    Marriage is, and should be, a commitment between one man and one woman. With the underlying drive to support and accept the other as he or she grows and develops in this life, spiritually.
    The most important aspect, and ideal, of marriage is that it creates one angel. An angel is the spiritual 'team' of husband and wife.
    This is why we were created male and female.

    This book is, I think, the most descriptive presentation of that marriage is all about and also what might hurt it. In fact it is so 'to the point' that originally it was prohibited in Sweden.
  • thumb
    May 23 2013: Hi Lydia,
    Like most experiences in life, perhaps it depends on how the participants handle the situation?

    Kids living in a "tumultuous" family situation is not the best foundation for life. As a child, watching my mother and siblings abused by a violent father was not a very good model for me when it came time to marry and start my own family.

    Sure, there was some security.....we usually had food, shelter, cloths on our back, and we could always depend on our unconditionally loving mother. However, with those securities, came a LOT of fear. Usually, we cannot "make it work" unless both parents are willing to participate.

    People who seperate do not have to "go through numerous relationships"...that is a choice individuals make, and if they are sincerely concerned about the influence on the kids, they will not expose the kids to that.

    There is insecurity and financial challenges. What is better....or worse? Insecurity with financial challenges? Or the insecurity of living in a home where there is always fear?

    Being "shared" with each parent can create all kinds of emotions. I have seen parents use the kids as pawns in the power and anger struggles. I have also seen parents who are lovingly, respectfully caring for their children as a joint effort, even though they are seperated.

    So, again, I feel that the adults have many choices regarding HOW they deal with divorce/seperation and the kids who are involved. Although I have offered information and addressed this challenge with many people (including myself, both as a child with an abusive parent, and as a wife and mother in a marriage that did not work) I do not feel that I have any right whatsoever to tell people how to live their lives.
  • thumb
    May 23 2013: .
    We have to be "Staying Together for the Kids"!

    D. Mechanism
    Marriage woks just as one whole spiritually inseparable biological machine made of two halves-parts.
    a. Husband
    The husband half is biologically assigned in charge of food-seeking, habitat constructing, defending, donating all kinds of co-body-safety messages ceaselessly to his wife (kissing, embracing, and so on) .
    His ability and smartness come mainly from the ceaseless intimate encouragement of the other half of the marriage ---- the wife.
    b. Wife
    The wife is biologically assigned in charge of the child bearing, child bring up, house hold, and etc.
    She transfers all the physical substantial materials from her own body into the baby’s. Also, she exhausts all her spiritual energy to bring up the baby or child ---- the DNA-carrier of both the husband and wife.
    That is where her mother-greatness and beauty come from.
    Her beauty and virtue are support-enhanced by the ceaseless intimate co-body message from the other half of the marriage ---- the husband.

    (From Be Happy Validly!)