Every relationship goes through difficult patches; this may be to do with external influences or simply a clash of personalities. It can even be related to the pressures of insufficient time to deal with all the matters which need to be sorted. Unfortunately, sometimes the problems can seem too large and the relationship seems doomed to failure. The options are either divorce or consulting a marriage therapist. This can trigger a huge range of emotions when there are children involved. The traditional line of thought is that if the relationship is not working divorce is the right option; the children will be happier if the parents are happy. However, there is also an argument for remaining together; this can be the right option when you have children for a variety of reasons.
If you want to get married, then get married. But do it for the right reasons in order to stay married for a lifetime, have kids and be happy. In theory, having a family is easy. In practice however, a couple must stick together and learn to forgive and understand each other to live a comfortable, and emotionally fulfilling life.
Learn to have more patience
One of the most difficult things to learn is to be patient with a long term partner. After many years together it is possible that the small things that have always irritated you become impossible to live with. Sticking with the marriage will force you to confront these issues and accept that there are parts of your personality which will irritate your partner. Staying together for your children’s sake will improve your patience and make you a better person, because you will have to deal with these issues.
Learning to love
Staying together when there seems to be no hope is actually simply a case of honoring the vows you took, “until death do us part.” It will not always be easy; marriage is something that needs to be worked at constantly, all relationships have difficult times when divorce seems to be the best option. But sticking to it and working out the issues can often lead to you falling in love again and rekindling you flame, providing a stronger, better relationships and the perfect setting for children to grow up in. Many marriage therapists work to keep couples together, just because the relationship is not working now does not mean that you are doomed to an unhappy life. The things that are affecting you negatively now can become positive in a few months or years.
Your finances will always take a hammering when you divorce. The lawyers will pocket a large chunk of your available funds and the rest will be split. Your dreams and financial plans are likely to be in tatters and this can have a serious effect on your ability to give your children what they need. It can also have a detrimental effect on your ability to undertake everyday activities which were previously normal for you and your children. A further complication often arises as the person with custody struggles to support the children and the ex-partner starts to improve financially. They will be able to spoil the children and this can lead to a range of feelings including inadequacy and a lack of self confidence.
Your children are also likely to experience social disruption; they may need to change schools, leave friends behind and even be open to new influences. Settling into a new school can be very difficult and will often mean that your child spends much of their time on the sidelines. This can affect their ability to relate to others emotionally and lead to problems in later life.
Getting married is easy; staying married is the difficult part
At some point in life everyone wants to get married. The dress, the ceremony, the party, the honeymoon … it’s all fun and engaging. Who doesn’t love that part? But what do you do when all that is over? What’s next? Usually, couples plan on building the family: house, kids, and job. In theory it sounds easy; in practice, not so much. For a marriage to work you must work really hard. Over the years, you must learn to compromise, give up some of your ego, and save more for the stability of your household. It’s tough for people to hold onto a marriage these days. But it will be all worth it in the end.
In truth, staying together for the children actually means staying together for your own happiness. Your kids, your house, your job and your spouse are your life. Why would you throw away all that when you can choose to get over the tough parts and be happy?
Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples in therapy. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is currently associated with Marriage.com, a reliable resource assisting millions of couples to resolve their marital issues. She holds a Master’s Degree in Arts (Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy).