How Well-Meaning Parents Harm Their Kids By Staying in a Bad Marriage

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Divorce isn’t the worst thing that parents can do to kids. Fighting terribly and subjecting them to your vitriolic hatred toward each other is the worst. Staying married in such a state is actually worse for kids than if you actually got divorced.

I’ve seen many people divorce and, because they handled their emotions well, the children also did well.  On the contrary, I’ve also witnessed couples do significant damage to their kids by staying in an unhealthy relationship and trying to “make it work.”

But, because it is also true that a two-parent households typically have some significant advantages over separate, single-parent homes, it’s worth asking: What if you could stay for the kids and lead your own life—possibly even having outside romantic relationships?

I know what you’re thinking: People do this already; it’s called an affair. I’m well aware that romantic affairs go on illicitly, but what I’m suggesting is that this can also happen in an above-board, respectful kind of way.

It’s called a Parenting Marriage and more and more couples are turning to this option as a way to “stay for the kids” without staying stuck in a bad relationship. As spouses, you basically change your job description from lover, best friend, and co-parent to co-parent first and foremost, friends maybe, and lovers no longer.

During the past six years, I’ve helped dozens of couples across the U.S. transition from their traditional marriage to this non-traditional variation on the theme. Many find it surprisingly workable. Of course, it’s complicated and each couple must have clear agreements in place, but it can be done if you follow a few simple guidelines.

Want to know more?  Check out my 3-Part Series on How to Create Your Own Parenting Marriage or contact me directly .

It’s OK to Stay for the Kids

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If you are one of the many thousands who are unhappily married and you really don’t want to get divorced because you have children, here’s something you should know: There’s another option worth looking into and this one may be one that can help you stay “for the kids,” but have a separate life too. It’s called a Parenting Marriage and it’s all about staying married to raise kids together.

Terminating the family unit when the love is gone can be likened to selling your house after an earthquake puts a crack in the foundation. You can do away with the problem and start over in a different place, or you can reconstruct.

A ParentingMarriage takes away the parts of the relationship that no longer work (most often this is the sexual aspect, but it could be social and financial aspects as well), and keeps the parts that are working and builds on those.

Want to know more? Check out my 3-Part Series on How to Create Your Own Parenting Marriage or contact me directly .