staying for the sake of kids in a stormy relationship

United States
November 17, 2008 9:39pm CST
I just get married barely 6 months ago and still in our honneymoon stage. I have been reading articles and heard stories about stormy relationships in marraige mostly due to cheating, a common cause for broken families. I have friends who actually have this kind of marraiges and I really felt sorry for them. I know some of them are abused not just emotionally but physically but I was wondering why they are still in it. Most of them says its because they have kids......"for the sake of the children" is the common reason I heard frequently from baterred wives. Are children really the reason for their stay? Would you consider kids to be "saviours" for rocky relationships?
3 people like this
19 responses
@myclique (116)
• Philippines
18 Nov 08
if there is abuse in the relationship or both parties are miserable, staying together will just cause more harm to the kids. it's better to separate as friends or at least with some measure of respect with each other. oh, in connection with the abuse, the abuser shouldn't have custody of the kids.
2 people like this
• United States
21 Nov 08
I totally agree w/ you; if there's no more hope for the relationship to be mended up then I guess separation could be the best and last recourse. And yes, the abuser shouldn't have the custody of the kids during the separation.
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
18 Nov 08
Been there, done that. Yea my ex and I tried the staying together for our son thing. It didn't work. We were all miserable and finally went thru with the divorce. Once we did I couldn't believe we had stayed so long (almost 22 years) in such a miserable relationship.
2 people like this
• United States
19 Nov 08
Well at least you did.....so I assume you have more peaceful life by now! I know some people finds more happiness being alone from an exit from an abusive relationship and they are indeed happy. One can expalin things to the kids that they are doing that ( the exit) not only for themselves but also for them....that they don't deserve to grow up in an abusive environment.
1 person likes this
@jpso138 (7860)
• Philippines
18 Nov 08
I am lucky that my relationship with my wife is smooth and well. Thanks God, well, I have also heard a lot of people having trouble with their relationship and usually says that they stay for the benefit of their children. But no matter what, I think this is not helpful and is even bad for the children and of course the parents. It is better to be separated rather than go on with such situation.
• United States
19 Nov 08
I am lucky too....I have a great husband and am feeling happy being married to him. Although am quite new to the marital nest, I wanna know a lot of things that involves marraige issues. The very thing I was throwing as topic here doesn't appy to me yet since we don't have kids but I am aware of thise because I have a lot of friends who are in this kind of marital problems and I am glad w/ the different ideas I got from people here who shared their view point on this.
@Roseo8 (2947)
• India
18 Nov 08
Hi silverjam,most people marry because they want to form a life time bond,being faithful and true to each other ,and to love and to be there for each other for ever.....But some storms in most marriages are common,since two individuals with entirely independent views are living togehter.There may be difference of opinion,tempers out of control and tantrums.But they should try to overcome this as far as possible try to be true and faithful to their marriage. Children are cementing factors in a marriage and they need the love and attention of both the parents for their proper growth....So according to me a couple should try their best to save their marriage,and go for compromises.Only in extreme cases when there is abuse or some unsoluable problems then they should opt for divorce as the last resort...... Anyway silver,you are newly married,good luck to both of you......and god bless for along and happy married life....
• United States
19 Nov 08
Thank you for the wishes Rose08! Yes am just new in the marital nest and really trying to learn a lot. I agree w/ your idea that children, although not to be the reason for couples to stay despite the rocky marraige, still are cementing factors for them to work out and try to at least resolve conflicting issues.
• United States
18 Nov 08
Children are definately not saviours for a relationship like that. They are kids and that's all they should be. They aren't the ones that should be doing the saving and they shouldn't be put in that position. It's the parents' job to protect them-not the other way around. A child sees these things in a relationship. They see things and know things in a good relationship. Our kids know more than we think they know. Those kind of relationships causes a lot of damage to the children involved and they may not ever have a single hair on their head touched but that doesn't mean that they aren't getting hurt. They hurt nor matter what in those situations. No child should ever have to see their mother get hit by their father or the other way around. Couples may not find anything wrong or think that their kids are fine when they are never fine in that situation. I have been through it when I was a kid. My mom had an abusive boyfreind when we were kids. As kids, we always felt pressure because we wanted our mom to be happy and as young kids, we thought that the one she was with is what made her happy. We didn't like him. We saw him hit our mom and call her stupid all the time. We lived with that for almost 2 years without being hit ourselves. It was later that he started in on us. After that, my mom left him. She stayed until after he started on us. I still have no idea why she stayed in the first place. It was always hard on us because if we did something wrong, our mom was the one that got hit. It could be the most simplist thing to get in trouble for too. So kids aren't the reason to stay--never. It is very hurtful and parents have no idea how damaging it really is. If my husband ever did anything like that whether it was emotional or physical, there is no way I would keep our kids in that situation. I could never put them through that. Kids are not pawns and should not be used. They always know.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Nov 08
Sometimes we just can't understand why there are people who just "enjoyed their sufferings". They knew that they'd been hurt so badly but canot make the effort to leave. But I guess its also very true that children are the most common reason for a woman (who's mostly the battered one)to stay in the relationship despite the abuse she has (take the example of your mom). As mothers they may not be able to stand seeing their kids fatherless.....and sometimes it might also be for the financial reasons; that she's not capable of raising them herself. However, it should not be an excuse to stay because of the kids because it would be definitely do more harm than good for them to seesuch kind of situation in a family and this might lead them to some trauma in life later......worst, if this could also be a pattern for them to follow in their soon married lives.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Nov 08
I do agree with what you are saying. Some mothers just really don't know and a lot of times they are made to believe that they need to stay. Some of them need help or maybe a good kick in the you know what---I'm kidding.... I'm just glad that my mom was as strong as she was. Neither my siblings nor I have put up with that in our lives. It didn't follow us like it does to other kids. Our mom figured it out when it became physical with us. This is one of those things that just needs to be made aware to these mothers before it's too late.
• Philippines
21 Nov 08
i don't think kids should be used as saviours for a rocky relationship. i am from a broken family and i look up to my mom who single handedly brought us up with the proper morals and outlook in life. it is indeed the responsibility of parents to give their child a family but what is more important than that is their responsibility to bring up their children with morals and in a happy environment. Most children with uncontrollable attitude is a result of exposure to stormy relationships of their parents. It is through these actions that they express their feelings towards the emotional abuse that they too are experiencing upon seeing abuse in their parents....
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Nov 08
First I'd like to congratlate your mom for doing such a great but tough job in raising kids alone by herself. And moreso, bringing you up with proper morals and positive outlook in life.....I guess not many mothers were able to do that being a single parent. And yes I agree w/ you, kids must not be the saviour of rocky relationships. They should not be witnessing the abusive environment brought about by the constant fights of their parents. I believe too, that having kids grown up in this kind of family relationship might do more harm to them than good and might lead them to be abusive partners as well in their married lives soon.
@cfmedrano (240)
• Philippines
19 Nov 08
Sometimes. But in my parent's case, it was ok for us for them to separate than to see them quarrel everyday. As I am now married, I am very lucky to have a husband who sticks with us through thick and thin. Even as I have tantrums, mood swings, and even to a point of letting him leave us and go back to his parents, he still stays and takes care of us.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
19 Nov 08
me and my husband been 4 years and Im lucky we still together through rain and shine. we do fight sometimes we called misunderstanding but its normal for couples. we open mind most of the time when i have reason to upset on him i tell him directly and he says sorry i never do it again and so i did the same. relation of being a couple must be understanding and honest open to each other thought and everything will be fine. kids is there being happy to see parents happy.
1 person likes this
@manunulat (605)
• Philippines
19 Nov 08
Having a battered wife say that "staying for the sake of the children." is one of the defense mechanism of a a battered-wife syndrome. If you really want to help your friend, you've got to empower her to get out of that kind of relationship because the battering will not stop, it will never will. Women who are into this kind of relationship tend to rationalize about many things, their picture of reality is impaired and this is a worse environment for children to grow and develop. The children exposed to violence in the marriage will have a psychological impact as they grow up. Is that for the sake of children? I don't think so... Children would have an indirect factor in maintaining harmony in the relationship but they should not be the "control", while "marriage counseling" (which is successful in most situations) proposes a significant contribution to re-scripting the relationship, it still entails a deep commitment for the couples to achieve a common goal. However, in a battered-wife situation, the cycle of battery and "honeymoon" will not end... it only does when the woman finally decides to break the relationship. Should there be hope for the couples? I think there are support groups for such.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Nov 08
I hope there are too.....I mean support groups that caters women shelter when they finally decides to exit from aan abusive relationship. One thing I see why they have hard time in doing so is beacuse of financial incapacity.....they cannot raise their kids alone and this is a serious issue. Another might be the fear of having a broken family and fatherless kids. Moral issues involved here, specially in countries where family unity is regarded very important.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
19 Nov 08
I dont think staying in relationship after all this happened. If this happened to me, I will surely give freedom to myself kids will understand someday. staying in the relation with fights and hates then it will lead to younger memory of the children the hatred. its not a good idea or example to the children. Battered wife? yes maybe she can stay because of love and love of children but anywhere in this world is change now and there's no such reason to stay in old documents of life. keep going and be happy as long as you take care of the kids. leave the headache behind or even just a few break up maybe could help to realized each one mistakes.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Nov 08
Yes for me leaving from an abusive relationship could be the best and last option I'll be making either. Like most responses, children might suffer more in life if they are to witness constant fightings and violence in the family. And couple might be better off if they separate ways.
@lisa0502 (1726)
• Canada
18 Nov 08
I do not thin that anyone should stay in a relationship if they are being abused in any way. The reason that they stay for the kids is not a good one in my opinion. I think that they can do more harm to the kids if they do stay and the kids have to watch this going on. It is better to be apart than in something where you are not happy.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Nov 08
Yes I agree w/ you, nobody should stay in a rocky marraige only for the sake of the kids. But since we all don't have the same level of patience or capacity to tolerate certain things, I may not blamed those who opted to stay for a while. They may have some significant reason in doing so....must be for financial aspect, fear of the thought for fatherless kids, or there maybe just people who just "enjoy their sufferings".....and there are still undecissive as to what to do. I just hope those who are opted to stay for their kids would realize that it won't be doing any good for the children to grop up in such kind of family situation....I mean if kids witness abuse frequently.
• Canada
18 Nov 08
I definately dont think they are 'saviors' for rocky relationships, but I definately think that they give you a good reason to try and work things out. I think that too often people just give up without even trying. The people who always suffer the most out of broken marriages are always the children because they never truly understand the reasoning behind it. If it is an abusive relationship then I would never advise anyone to stay because of the children, wrong is wrong, no matter who is involved. I know that here in Canada, the divorce rate is 50%! That is very high, and its because people are finding it easier to just wash their hands of it all instead of actually trying to make it work. And marriages are of course a lot of work, people go into it thinking that the rest of their lives will be like the honeymoon, which is never the case. So I think that children are a good reason to "try" to makes things work, but not the ultimate reason to stay. They are smarter than you think, and they know when their parents are fighting, even if it is done silently. Its something that they never forget.
• United States
19 Nov 08
Yes I agree w/ you.....every stormy marraige definitely needs working out from both couples and that children must always be considered priority. I can see the significance of what you are citing and its both for the benifit of the parents (couples) and their kids.
@cjowen (13)
• United States
18 Nov 08
My Inlaws divorced after 32 years of marriage. Come to find out my MIL was repeatedly abused, both physically and verbally the whole marriage. She claimed when it all finally came out that her reason for staying was her two sons. Who at the time were both in their early 30's. Both of her sons have told her that they suspected something growing up, but didn't know what to do about it and wished she would have divorced their Dad along time ago. I think it was much more hurtful for both of them growing up knowing that something wasn't right and then finding out the truth after so long. My Mother left my abusive Father when I was just a few months old! I'm so thankful she did and that I didn't have to grow up in an environment like my hubby did. I don't think anyone should ever stay in a relationship for the sake of the kids. The kids will get over it and have more respect for their parents in the long run.
@daryljane (3437)
• Philippines
18 Nov 08
I think i made the right decision for staying out of the relationship after holding on to it for quite sometimes. No, were not married, we just decided to elope and see if it works. and it didnt..and yes theres always a theres third party involve..i hold on to the relationship, every year its always the same girl that we argue until i wake up one and thot its enough..so i let go and moved on with my son. i think ive given it enough time make it work but it didnt so i stopped pushing the issue.
@daceyp (327)
18 Nov 08
i did stay in a abuseive relationship for 2 years and had a child with him but 7 months after she was born i saw snse and got out.i didnt want my daughter to grow up thinking it was ok for people to be treated this way.her dad got to drinking alot and one night he tried to pee on her while she was asleep thats what really made me say bye to him.we still dont have any contact with him and havent since the day he left that was 10 1/2 years ago and ive never looked back.i think if it wasnt because of her i would have stayed longer because he made me feel worthless and that i couldnt do it on my own,but when a child is in danger something kicks in and you protect them.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
21 Nov 08
First of all, congratulations on being married. Why would someone who just got married read up or wonder about breaking up or staying only for the sake of the kids? I know that it's a lot harder to stay married nowadays, considering society makes it easier for couples to just call it quits when things get rough. Though unsolicited, I will give you my advise. First, you shouldn't think about such negative things. If it happened t someone you know, it doesn't necesarily mean it will be your destiny. But of course you already know that. Next, you and your spouse are embarking on a very special journey together and I think every couple has that potential to make their union last- with or without children. It all boils down to the choices we make. Right now, and I know you are doing this, you must build a foundation that will not fall easily so that when storms threaten to blow down your relationship, you will not say you are staying because of the kids, but that you are staying because you know it's the right thing to do. Good luck, and I sincerely hope you make it...
• United States
21 Nov 08
Thank you for congratulating me for being married (and for the unsolicited advise tho). As greenhorn in the marital nest I guess there's nothing wrong of being curious in the different aspects of marriage, specially those that entails the problematic sides. I'd like to solicit different ideas and opinions concerning certain causes of broken marraiges, more specifically the issues on domestic violence on women and children. I find it more informative to broaden my horizon through this discussions and at the same time reflect them for my own. I got a lot of different viewpoint from people both single and married ones and it's great.
@Shar1979 (2723)
• United States
21 Nov 08
I will not allow myself to be beaten up by my husband. If he keeps doing this to me, I'll leave him. The problem in Pinas is wives dont have any chance of support even if they're physically or emotionally beaten by their husband. Even when separated, husband doesn't support the kids too.
• United States
21 Nov 08
That's one harsh reality one has to face when being in a country like Philippines; the lack or totally absence of support in some institutions to sheild women who are victims of domestic violence. Plus the strong stereotyping moral standard of family unity which is not bad at all anyway, yet these factors are contributary to most women's ordeal. Well, if the abuse is not reconcilliable, then I guess leaving te partner must be the last resort in order to terminate abuse.
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
19 Nov 08
I am also wondering if that is really their reason of staying with an abusive partner. I have no kids and I can't relate to that problem. I also heard that common reasons from friends who have been experiencing what you call "rocky relationships". But for me, I think the obvious reason is that they don't want to be counted as one of those having broken homes and relationships. They want to keep the family intact in spite of the abused they are experiencing. I think this situation is common in the country where there's no divorce law. And if there's annulment procedures, it needs money and time for the final verdict. So wives, just choose to stay in a hell relationship.
• Philippines
20 Nov 08
I don't think it is right to qualify "commonity" of the situation in countries where there is no law on divorce. Malta, Philippines and Vatican has no divorce law. Yet the situation is not only exclusive to these countries. It does happen regardless of the status of the family... Yet, you are right that couple tend to stay together because certain controls in society dictates it.
• Indonesia
19 Nov 08
yes of course, children comes first coz they not guilty, why should they found out their parents breaking up ? but if the marriage is unsafeable again, then the parents should give an explanation to their childs so they will understand bout the difficult situation. n eventho they will be divorced in the end, the parents should keep trying to keep in touch and taking care of the kids together, so they will still get their love from them coz its the childrens right to get that.
• Nigeria
18 Nov 08
i like this discussion,because for two couple it need patience to be togather,but you must remember that is an institution.thanks