Not every child of divorce ends up an addict, or homeless, or a problem child with behavioral issues. Sometimes, remaining in a broken relationship is more likely to cause these types of psychological issues.
When the day came that my dad asked my mom for divorce, I was 10-years-old. When he informed me of the news, I was upset, but at the same time not surprised, and maybe even mildly relieved. Even at such a young age, I knew my parents’ marriage wasn’t working, and I knew my dad was miserable.
Looking back now, I can say with certainty that my dad’s decision to leave my mom not only saved himself but my sister and I as well. Had he stayed with my mom, I don’t know how I would’ve turned out. I am not the typical “child of divorce,” which every divorce article ends up traumatized, unsuccessful, burdened with trust issues, etc.
How do you know it wouldn’t be the same for your own children? While what I’m about to go into is based on my personal experience, take a moment to consider for yourself if any equally dangerous red flags exist in your marriage, as well as others that might leave a lasting, negative impact on your children.
Below are three reasons divorce would be good for your kids
1. The Parent is Ambitionless
For children and young teens, in particular, it’s so important for them to have a good role model in their lives when it comes to not only goal setting, but also goal-reaching. When a child witnesses a parent working hard to accomplish their goals, they too will be instilled with the same desire. Whether it be in emulation, respect, or the desire to make a parent proud, the child will learn from an early age to make goals for themselves and then strive to meet them.
On the flip side of this, when a parent lacks the ambition to do even something as simple as work, better themselves and their family’s situation, those habits may be learned by the child. Not only will this affect their daily lives, but also their chances of being successful in school, in future careers, and even future relationships.
2. A Parent is an Addict
Addicts are not evil people, and they are not destined for lifelong failure but it is still important to keep their lifestyles in mind while also trying to raise kids. If the addict is aware of their disease, and actively attempting to remedy it, then there are so many open doors to teaching your children about forgiveness, love, and understanding.
However, if the addict refuses to face their issues, and puts the family’s wellbeing at risk by feeding into their addictive tendencies, it might be best to remove your children from the situation until their parent/your spouse is able to gain control over their illness. Not only does having addictive substances in the household (narcotics, legal or illegal; alcohol, if left uncontrolled or unsupervised) present a possible danger, but it also places an irresponsible idea into a child’s head of how such “grown up” things should be handled.
For example, if your spouse gets drunk every night, your children might learn that such a thing is completely normal, and that alcohol is the go-to solution for a bad day. When instead, you’d rather be teaching them that while, yes, alcohol is not inherently an evil thing, it’s also not something to be toyed with.
3.Not Setting a Loving Example for the Children
Two parents don’t have to be involved in screaming matches every night for a child to witness an unhealthy relationship. In fact, if you and your spouse are not on speaking terms at all, the effects could be just as negatively dramatic as if the child were hearing loud arguments.
Imagine a child growing up in a household where the two parents are no longer even amicable with one another. Whether that be due to disagreements, a history of arguments or cheating, or simply one parent refuses to make nice any longer. That world and that relationship are where a child is going to learn what to expect from their own future spouses, as the negativity will be normalized, and they will never know that things are supposed to be different.
So, when the child grows up, they might find it hard to date and enter into a healthy relationship with another person, because they never actually learned what relationships were supposed to be like. All they know is the relationship they saw from their dysfunctional parents, thinking that is what’s considered “normal” or even “healthy.”
This unfortunate mindset might even extend past the dating world and into friendships, and possibly even into the way they treat animals or pets. All of this, because they simply never learned how to be affectionate and physically caring.
If any of these examples ring true in your relationship, or if they bring up thoughts of other potential red-flag behavior, don’t believe everything every divorce article tells you. Not every child of divorce ends up an addict, or homeless, or a problem child with behavioral issues. Sometimes, remaining in a broken relationship is more likely to cause these types of psychological issues.
Even if your children don’t understand your leaving their mother or father now, while they’re still young surely, in the future, after they’ve learned what it means to be in a working, healthy relationship, they’ll be able to look back and realize that you leaving their other parent was the best parenting choice you could’ve made for them.