Divorce

@SViswan (12096)
India
June 22, 2008 12:26am CST
Okay...I think people who are arguing all the time and giving a negative impression of family life to the kids watching them...are better off separated and there's no point sticking it out for the sake of the kids. It's not really doing them any good. BUT consider the situation where the parents don't get along at all but both of them are fine with the kids...and the kids like both of them. It's the parents that have a problem with each other (that the kids are aware of). In such a situation, the kids would be lost if the parents get a divorce....but they shouldn't be seeing their parents quarelling on a daily basis either. What's the right option here? Personally, I feel the best thing would be for the couple to go in for counselling. But what if that doesn't work?
15 people like this
42 responses
@James72 (26833)
• Australia
23 Jun 08
Based on personal experience it is FAR better for parents that do not get along any more to separate rather than stay together for the sake of the children. Even if they DO manage to keep their arguments or disagreements hidden from the children it is naive to think that kids do not pick up the imbalance regardless. Secondly, the children will grow up with a distorted experience of what marriage and partnership is all about. This surely will create a greater chance of them having possible relationship issues as they get older because they learn from what they see. I have been divorced; and I have two children. My last marriage was NOT healthy so as difficult as it was to leave my children; this is what I have done. The saying goes: "Children would much rather be FROM a broken family than IN one." I could not agree more. And yes, all couples heading down this track should initially seek counselling (Within reason of course; the last thing a battered wife should do is anything but walk away!). Every relationship deserves a fair chance of success when kids are involved and at least seeking help from a neutral source may allow for an improvement prior to the last resort choice of separation.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
25 Jun 08
I'm sorry about your unhealthy marriage...but having been in the situation, you are better able to comment on it. When you separated, were your kids upset and later on realize that was what was best for their mom and dad?
@mimpi1911 (25467)
• India
23 Jun 08
Sandhya, It's a tough situation to be in for anyone but life must go on, as it has always. Everyone one has his/her own justification and I feel each case has been different. We cannot be judgmental as there is nothing called classical case in such regard. Things get more difficult when the kids are into a bad marriage. I think, kids are smart enough to perceive even the subtle negative vibe going on around. In the long run things don't get better and while one try to put up a good show of a perfect relationship the children blame themselves for being the binding factor. Counseling is a good idea and the couple must not let it go just like that. Separation is killing for anyone. However, having said this, I feel, its better to walk out and move having mutually deciding and make the children understand. If they are too small, let them grow a little bit older and i am sure they would understand. And who knows the couples might begin to resolve the differences between them!!
2 people like this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
25 Jun 08
Yes, I agree with you. Maybe explaining to the kids is better than letting them have a say in the matter and totally going by that.
• United States
23 Jun 08
Before I read to the end of your post, I had already settled on the idea of recommending counseling. Often one spouse becomes disallusioned with their role in the marriage and makes it difficult for the other spouse. They might argue lots or make a fuss in front of the children. It's like a cry for help. Only a professional therapist could help sort through the real reasons for such behavior. Good question! I love these thought provoking posts! P.S. Nice to have you back on MyLot for the weekend. Be well.
@SViswan (12096)
• India
25 Jun 08
Thank you. I responded to another post where I said I will choose my happiness and no money over an unhappy marriage with lots of money and luxury. And then I thought about...what about my kids...don't they deserve to be happy too? And then one thought led to another...and then I got so confused with the right and wrong of divorce and if I should do justice to myself or the kids or where my priorities lied...and to cut a long story short...the outcome was this discussion.
@apsara60 (6613)
• Israel
22 Jun 08
Hi SV....nice to see you after such a long time. Hope you are doing fine. This is very sad discussion SV. Some how I always had the opinion that once a couple have children, then they should never think about divorce...Divorce is a bitter fact that leaves permanent scar on hearts and minds of children, which they can never forget and which will effect every action and decision of these children when they will have to make their own choice in life. On the other hand, it is also not pleasant for children to see parents quarreling all the time....I hope there was someone who could give some good advice to these quarreling parents and make them aware how selfish they are being in their own lives, without being even aware of those innocent children who are being victims and being punished for something that they have not even done........ Also I hope time can change things, may be as children will grow up, couple will cool down........somehow,I just don't like this word divorce.......I think both, couple and children should have patience and some day things will work out better and the family will remain together. I don't want any family to break specially after they are blessed by children, the most precious gift of God.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
22 Jun 08
Hi Apsara...I'm good and busy...hope you are fine too. I agree it's sad when couples go in for divorce. I don't know if the parents are really being selfish...esp in a country like India where arranged marriages are the norm...people realize that they are not meant to be together too late.Their tastes are different, their goals are different and sometimes even parenting styles are so different that there's no compromise. But both of them are unique special people and just tend to bring out the worst in each other. In such a case, isn't it better for them to separate than let the kids grow up seeing a family unit this way?Is there any point in such a family remaining together? Wouldn't they be better off happy...separate and the kids get to appreciate the true people the parents really are and not the arguing fools that they see? I was responding to another discussion last week...and I responded without any second thoughts....but then it got me thinking about the other side of a relationship and the little people who are involved. And it got even more confusing in my head and I decided to hear out other opinions.
1 person likes this
@apsara60 (6613)
• Israel
22 Jun 08
I agree with you SV....married couple realises very late that they were not made for each other. But modern world has found out solution to this. Today boys and girls live together jut like married couples. They share everything including common bed. They live in this unknown relationship for quiet sometime and then decide whether they are made for each other or not....and if not ...they happily part from each other and start another search journey till they find their real partner, with whom they can spend rest of the life happily and have kids and family. Now the question is, will ever our Indian society accept this.........I personally like this system and I wish it was there 20 years ago when I was still not married.........what about you SV....tell the truth...............
@cupid74 (11397)
• Pakistan
23 Jun 08
strange
• United States
22 Jun 08
If the couple is really that unhappy in their marriage, then they need to split. Sticking it out for the children is not doing them any favors. I know many people who are divorced and have children and they simply had no choice but to do it or else the children would be in a worse situation than they are now.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
22 Jun 08
Yes, I agree with that part of it. But I was wondering what if the kids don't want to choose between the parents because they have no problems with the parents?
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jun 08
Then the child(ren) have to work out a compromise where they can spend time with both parents. It is not an easy situation. The women in my family have been lucky when it comes to divorce. They get full custody of the children and the men just end up being out of the picture.
@SViswan (12096)
• India
24 Jun 08
hmmm..what if the men want to be part of the picture or the kids want them to be part of the picture?
1 person likes this
@drannhh (14781)
• United States
22 Jun 08
My parents argued all of the time and unfortunately their divorce did not stop their bad behavior. I guess they were just co-dependent in their disrespect of each other. The worst thing is when they try to make the children take sides. If you love me, then you have to hate him or if you love him then you are disrespecting me. A kid cannot win in that situation.
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@SViswan (12096)
• India
22 Jun 08
Yes, I understand that scenario...and it's best for the couple to separate then (I feel) and not make the kids take sides. But what if the disrespect is only towards each other and the kids aren't getting involved there. Is it still a good idea to stick it out for the sake of the kids?
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@drannhh (14781)
• United States
22 Jun 08
That is just it. If the couple cannot get along at all, then there is no way the kids can be kept out of that. I do not think staying together for the sake of the kids works unless the couple can grow up and function as a team.
@SViswan (12096)
• India
22 Jun 08
hmmm...that makes sense.
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
22 Jun 08
There is an easy solution... but nobody wants to hear about it. People are control freaks and want everything their own way. When you get married... you are marrying a stranger with his/her own ideas about how the world goes around. You agree to respect his/her own opinion. You have no right in trying to change your partner to suit your own purpose. Marriage is about listening and compromising so as to respect each other ideas and opinions... even if you don't agree with them. When you refuse to do the above... you get a divorce. If those people are so selfish about getting their own ways... what make you think that they will care about what the children wants? The days of the submissive wife staying in a marriage for the sake of the children are long gone. It's me me me first. The children come second and have to deal with it. Counselling is a waste of time. You pay someone to sit there and listen to your life story. But they give you very little advice on how to fix it. People in the profession of psychology will tell you that they cannot fix anything for you. You have to fix it yourself. Furthermore... most people cannot afford to pay a shrink $100.00 an hour to be told that they have to fix it themselve.
@SViswan (12096)
• India
24 Jun 08
hmmm..I agree with some parts and don't agree with some. I agree about strangers marrying and respecting the other's opinion. And I didn't mean to say that partners are trying to change each other's opinions...but sometimes their opinions affect each other negatively and it might not always be a problem of being a control freak. Even though both of them might be right in their own opinion...maybe their opinions don't match and no compromise on that can be worked on without one of them giving in. If only one partner does the giving in all the time, the other can take advantage of it and resentment will build in the first partner...and then they might not really be happy together and that might affect their relationship with the kids too. It's not always that the kids come second and sometimes one needs to put themselves first and be happy - mentally and emotionally if they want to do justice to their role as parents. And secondly, it's not always the wife who is stubborn and wants to walk out of a marriage. Husbands do it too....sometimes for selfish reasons and sometimes for reasons that make complete sense. Counselling doesn't necessarily have to be from a shrink...it can be from an eldrely relative or friend too. That's where the days of joint families worked well. Sometimes all a wife needed was a shoulder to unburden on and usually, the older co-sister or the mother-in-law would advice her on how to maintain peace...and all was well again. But with the nuclear family, most of the resentment is bottled in and it bursts out one day and then there's no looking back.
• Australia
24 Jun 08
Well... I never said that it is the same person who must do all the compromising. Compromising is about giving something in exchange for something else. I had that discussion before with someone else... and he was adamant that compromising was bad because he did not want to give in into anything. Yes indeed... one of you making a bad decision can affect the both of you. That is when you have to sit down, discuss it and explain why it is wrong. Instead of saying "No! I won't let you do it" You have to explain why... and you also need to listen to him/her for their reason of thinking it is right. Not only should you do that with your partner... but also with your children. When you tell an adult or a child "No" without any explanation... you become a dictator in their eyes... and they will rebel against you. Families cannot really help because they will always take their children side. And you end up with both families fighting each other. The biggest problem with people is that they don't want to listen... and they don't want to talk about it. They lack maturity and most of them act like spoil brats. Everyone should be forced to do a year of studying psychology before turning 21. lol
@SViswan (12096)
• India
25 Jun 08
lol...I agree totally. And the main thing in a marriage...like you said...is RESPECT for the other's opinion as long as it is put across and explained properly. And you rightly said that otherwise it is dictatorship...and kids and adults will take it that way.
@SomeCowgirl (32277)
• United States
22 Jun 08
Yes I would agree with you in saying that counseling would be the best option. Either that or a family vacation, although the relationship may be too far gone for any kind of stress relievers. A child should never have to go through a custody battle, no matter what age. My fiance's brother is going through a custody battle and his child is only a year old. It's sad seeing this happen but My fiance and I pray that the father gets the child. If one of the partners cheats it is not fair for the children if they stay in a relationship. The parent who has been cheated on will most likely feel some kind of hurt because of it, even if the relationship was already going down the drain. Working it out, while keeping both parents in the home, is the best thing for the child. Have a Great day.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
22 Jun 08
working it out is always the best option...what if it has gone beyond that and is irrepairable and they are sticking around for the sake of the child. Won't that affect the child too to hear the constant bickering?
1 person likes this
@SomeCowgirl (32277)
• United States
22 Jun 08
I am a dreamer and a romantic, I would hope that they could work it out where they wouldn't fight. Then again, that would be in a perfect world. So, yes if they were constantly bickering then it would be better, but I would be seeking therapy for the children so that they could have someone to talk to besides the parents. Have a Great day.
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
23 Jun 08
We had family vacations, 6 people cooped-up in a camper that all can't stand each other. We couldn't wait to get home.
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
25 Jun 08
If it doesnt work they get on with the divorce. But let the kids visit each parent the way they want so as tonot get them upset and make sure they know that its not thier fault but the parents just cant live together any more!
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
26 Jun 08
Maybe shuttling between the parents is not something the kids would like to do.
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
29 Jun 08
Some kids are like that and some kids play thier parents againsytone another But they really should be with both wehn possible one at a time that is
@gemini_rose (16208)
23 Jun 08
Seeing parents arguing is sad, as a child mine were always always arguing about something and it was very upsetting to me to see. They are still together now, and their arguments stopped when I left home as I was quite often the cause of them. My hubby and I do not argue much at all, I am not one for shouting I hate it. But any arguements we do have are usually because of the kids. I am not one for all this counselling stuff, if I got to the point where it was just constant falling out all the time then the relationship would probably end if we could not sort it.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
26 Jun 08
It's interesting to note that you were the cause of your parents fighting. Didn't you ever feel guilty about it? Or by the time you realized, it wasn't important? Usually kids feel guilty even when they are not the cause for the parents fighting (they assume they are the reason the parents fight)
@gemini_rose (16208)
26 Jun 08
When I was a kid, I did not care about anyone, but me. Yes it sounds as it was, I was a horrible little brat, by the time I realised that I was the cause of it I had already moved out and they get well together now.
• United States
22 Jun 08
If they are arguing all the time, they should try therapy. But if it doesn't work, then they should separate. In the long run it will be better for the kids and better for the parents.If they stay together, this arguing could get worse.And the kids don't need to see or hear this.Staying for the children is wrong in this case.Being separate from each other sounds like what this couple needs.If the couple is Catholic ,then they should just separate.In the long run, it will be better for the kids.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
22 Jun 08
That's what I felt too...but then I thought of a situation where the parents were good to the kids and they just couldn't get along with each other....which would then reflect on parenting styles. But as parents...the kids loved both of them...then wouldn't it be selfish to separate without keeping the children's interest in mind? I agree that in the long run it is good for the kids not to see their parents fighting....but if the kids loved them for who they are and didn't want to shuttle between both the parents...shouldn't their choice be respected?
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jun 08
If the parents could stop fighting in front of the kids, then why not stay together. In fact I could see where the parents have their own separate lives and still live together with the kids.As long as the kids don't see or hear them argue all the time, then they should stay together. But if they can't stop fighting or live together in peace, then they should separate.
@dpk262006 (48159)
• Delhi, India
22 Jun 08
SV, HI! How are you? You have given a picture of a typical scenario in Indian homes. You have raised questions in your discussion and have given likely answers to those questions. Couples keep on fighting every now and then on trivial issues and then the next day they tend to comprise for the sake of their kids. I think, figting, arguing and letting down each other, between partners, have become norm of the day. Each of the partners feels that he/she is wiser than the other and he/should be listened to everytime and his/her desires and wishes should overrule the other partner's desires/wishes. Each partner thinks - "why cannot the other one compromise? Why everytime it is me, who has to surrender." I think bit of fighting/aruguing is OK, but when it crosses a certain limit, it definitely effects the tender minds of kids. They grow up in a distrubed atmospher and they carry these kind of memories/hanppenings thorough out their life. I agree with you that counselling in this case could be a viable and better option and for the same both the partners are required to approach a counselling centre. If only one partner goes, that is not going to help in any way. I feel that quality counselling by an expert cousellour would surely help the couple to introspect and explore the ways to sort out their differences (provided their are willing and serious). If it fails onces, a second or third try can also be given, no harm in that. Very Good Post!
@SViswan (12096)
• India
22 Jun 08
You agreed with what I said. I hope in such cases counselling works so that the family remains intact. But that's not always the case when egos come into the picture.
1 person likes this
@dpk262006 (48159)
• Delhi, India
22 Jun 08
Yes, I agree, forgetting about our 'egoes' may help. It is also not easy to convince the other partner to go for counselling.
@secretbear (19476)
• Philippines
10 Aug 08
hi sviswan! this is exactly what happened with one of my good friend. she and her husband has two kids and they have had a lot of quarrels and problems for a long time. there were a lot of times when my friend discovered her husband having a fling to other women and they would argue about it and her husband would say its not a big deal since he's a man. (yeah, he really deserves a hard beating for that) i told her before to leave her husband but she always said she can't because of their two kids. they were just three and five then. things went on like that and she even told she had kicked and slapped him a lot of times but still, she couldn't live him. until the final strike. her husband had a girl pregnant. i guess my friend felt it was the final blow. and she finally asked her husband to leave them. but her husband didn't want to. my friend told him to leave the girl. her husband said he couldn't leave her too. why? because he was the first man for the girl, the one who devirginized her. (he and his bloated male ego) and that snapped something in side my friend. she left him and took their children. but she said its not the only problem, her children were starting to notice that their father hasn't been coming home a lot. and that worried my friend. so she finally decided to leave her darn husband. personally i think, what she did is for the best of them all. if things can't work out between a husband and a wife, and if they think they can't be happy together for the rest of their lives, then what's the sense of staying together? when you're not happy with something even if you try to fix it, then leave it. i think it would just be a waste of effort to stick with an un-fixable something. and besides, the children will also be affected if they continue their broken, trust-lacking, honesty-lacking relationship. they would understand everything in the future.
@SViswan (12096)
• India
18 Aug 08
In such a situation, I definitely would have asked for a divorce.
• Australia
9 Jul 08
I think it is better that a relationship that isn't working is cut lose. Our children need to see that even though we cant' get along all the time, we can at least find solutions to problems and still get along away from each other. Too many parents use their kids in custody disputes, and claim they only have the child's best interests at heart. More like they don't want the other person to have the kids because they don't want them to have anything and that is very selfish behaviour. I'd like to think that if my partner and I were to split up, we would walk away as friends and still keep our family going, just from 2 different houses.
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@SViswan (12096)
• India
13 Jul 08
Yes, personally for me...if my husband and I were to split..that would be the ideal way to split and I honestly do not think fighting over child custody is a good idea. The kids don't want to choose and if they had their way they probably would want the parents to be together....unless there was abuse involved.
1 person likes this
@maximax8 (27056)
5 Jul 08
I am a teacher and a parent. I know that many marriages work well but all suffer bad times now and then. I have seen that some marriages fail because couples get on badly or lose interest in one another. I think that marriage guidance is a great help to many couples that are having difficulties. I read that divorce affects children for two years afterwards on average. Children often blame themselves for their parents breaking up and are affected by loud arguments. They might get behind with their school work and have their mind on other things than their studies. If a couple have a child of two years old then it would be alright to separate if they get on really badly. But older children would be more affected so divorce should be a last resort if the counseling doesn't work. One parent took her five year old son out of school and ran away from her violent husband. She and her son then lived a happier life away from the hurt and pain he had caused them. Children are better off in a single parent family than with two parents who fight on a daily basis.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
6 Jul 08
There are couples who do not argue in front of the kids but the kids can feel that there's no love between their parents. The parents might try to do everything right but the kids can sense that they are not happy. But they wouldn't want to be shuttled between the parents either.
@whiteheron (4223)
• United States
28 Jun 08
Counseling might help... especially if it focuses on causing both parties to start praising each other and causes both parties to start trying to compete with each other as to who can show the most kindness and compassion... and most of all to start treating each other as you both did prior to marriage... courting... I have heard the some people benefit from Marriage Encounter and from journaling and writing each other love letters. I know that it is a good idea to remember this: There are no angels and no devils in any relationship meaning that you are both people who are trying to get your needs met... You both need love, understanding, compassion, acceptance,etc. Also it is important to note that it is important for the two of you to start looking at your real needs and start expressing these. These are some examples: Honey, I am really needing a little time to unwind prior to talking with you and the kids. May I have perhaps 15 minutes to shower before being social? I promise that I will come and spend time with you and the kids then. Honey, I have had a tough day at work. I really just need a hug from you and to just talk about it. There isn't anything you can do to fix it... I just want your company, your hug and your support, just you listening will be enough. It also helps if you both learn some basics ....Honey, I have been working hard to lose weight, does this dress fit me any better than it did last week (the obvious answer is "yes") You looked tired so I fixed dinner. The appropriate thing to say is thank you and to praise the effort and the meal. The focus of the communication should be on strengthening the couple bond. If you are thinking that you each need to win in conversations then you have missed the point. The truth is that as you are a couple if one of you wins then both of you lose. From the description of what you say is going on, these things might help you.
@SViswan (12096)
• India
6 Jul 08
It's not for me. I was just wondering after I posted a response to another discussion ( a hypothetical situation) and then got to thinking if my happiness was more important than that of my kids' happiness (in case of a divorce). It personally has nothing to do with me...I know what works in my relationship and what doesn't. I was thinking of the cases where the couple were nice people as individuals but were affecting each other negatively. In that case, it would be better for them to separate. But then the kids wouldn't like that either. As some of the posters pointed out, the negative vibes can be felt by kids even when the parents were not arguing in front of them.
@littleowl (7157)
24 Jun 08
when i got married we were fine for a number of years and i had two lovely children but the marriage got bad and in the end we decided to divorce-yes my children were young (6 and 7) but where my ex and i were quarreling all the time and the atmosphere in the house you could cut with a knife it wasn't good on my children i was going to live elsewhere but my children wanted to stay with their dad so when we divorced thats what happened-to me i think that it isn't good to stay together for the childrends sake-that can have a more detrimental affect on them than if you divorce the main thing here too though is that between the yhe years 0 to10 it is most imortant to always see your children-my children and i are now vwey close-littleowl
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
26 Jun 08
hmmm...I don't know if I would be able to live without my kids if I were in your shoes....I don't think my husband could either. But like you said, it's better to choose what is better for them in the long run.
@Annmac (950)
23 Jun 08
As a child of Divorced Parents I can only answer from my point of view. Things have a way of working out! For us it was the right thing my parents did. We got a Mum who was happier, Grandparents who loved having us and a Father who actually spent time with us. Before the divorce I was already in bed when he came home and at week-ends he was always 'down the pub' or asleep in the chair. They both re-married other divorcees and had long happy relationships and a few more children, and my half sisters & brothers had happy childhoods. I think we've all turned out pretty normal, and all had a realistic outlook on marriage, Apart from my step-brother, all have been married a long time, the shortest is 16 years the longest 43. As there are 10 of us and 6 were affected by the divorces I think that's a good percentage. I think seeing both of our parents happier with other partners was better for us than seeing them unhappy together!
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@SViswan (12096)
• India
26 Jun 08
I guess you are right and maybe in the long run...it's best for the kids and they might see how fortunate they are when their parents are with people they love even though the separation might upset them at first.
@Pose123 (21675)
• Canada
23 Jun 08
Hi SViswan, I've always felt that many marriages could be saved if the couple would take some time to listen to their partner's side of the story than go somewhere and think about if for a while instead of flying off the handle without knowing the whole truth. I don't agree with divorce but I know there are times when it is inevitable. For the record, I don't like to see common law relationships, break out either, especially if there are children involved. The first time a couple starts shouting at each other is the time to start, before too much has been said. In the situation that you mention, the children love both parents, who don't the couple have the children write down the things they love about each of the parents and give it to the other to read. Maybe they would remember why they fell in love in the first place. Anything is worth a try. Blessings.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12096)
• India
26 Jun 08
That sounds like a wonderful idea....getting the child to tell the parents the good they see in them....and then the parents will realize themselves...instead of focussing on the bad qualities of each other. Wow! You should be a psychologist..lol
@suspenseful (40330)
• Canada
23 Jun 08
I do not believe in divorce, unless one spouse is cheating on the other, or one is cruel in that he or she beats up the other and is abusive, but not getting along with each other is not a good reason. I would suggest that they go for counseling and if that marriage counselor does not work, keep going until they find the right one. As for the children, I do not think it helps them if the parents divorce. Certainly not going for a divorce will help the children. There will be no awkward situations when one of them gets married, and there will no desire to 'test the waters' that is live together because the parents did not do before they were married. Or maybe the parents should get a real good talking to so they do not ruin their childrens's lives by all that infighting.
@SViswan (12096)
• India
5 Jul 08
Sometimes things change and the parents affect each other negatively when they are together. This in turn will affect the kids. It's better to be positive individuals separately than live together with a lot of negativity.