If you have children and are contemplating separation or divorce you will think twice about the likely consequences for them. Let’s have a look at some of the questions you need to ask yourself.
Depending on whom you ask, you will get their personal opinion of what they think is right or wrong. Let’s get this straight: there is no right or wrong in this situation. This is a very personal situation and if there was a clear-cut answer I am sure you would know it. Still, it wouldn’t make your case any easier.
- What do I think about separation/divorce?
- What are my past memories relating to this topic?
- Is my concern about what others might think of me?
- What would I think of myself if I were to follow through and separate from my partner, leave the kids ‘behind’?
Children growing up with mum and dad versus single-parent families
Nowadays there are many different kinds of families out there: nuclear families, blended patchwork families, remarried, divorced, and single-parent families. Children will not necessarily grow up to become better equipped just because they have their biological mum and dad around. What is much more important is the quality of family life, the amount of presence of a parent, and the quality of this time spent together that impacts the child.
- What family structure do I regard as ‘the perfect one’?
- What quality of family life am I / are we able to give the children?
- How much quality time am I spending with my child?
- If I were to ask my child, what would they miss or want me to do more often?
As parents, you are your child’s role model. They unconsciously take an imprint of what they see, hear and feel as they grow up and create their beliefs and value system according to this.
- What do I strive for in regards to family and where does this model come from?
- What does my child learn from me or us as parents? What do they see, hear and feel?
- What beliefs and values about relationships and the role of women and men will they form and is that what I want?
Whether you stay together with your partner or not should not only be dependent on having children. Imagine the kind of relationship they get to witness if you do stay and the kind of relationships they might get to witness if you and your partner would be true to yourselves and find a more suitable relationship?
In the end, children are resilient and will learn to deal with new situations. Multiple families can allow a child to become more flexible as long as they feel supported and cared for. This is needed whether you separate or not.
CHattin, single parent says
Deciding to divorce or separate is not something that just happens – it’s a long process, often involving years of doubt and back-and-forthing, and a lot of outside influences come into play. If you’ve got kids, you find yourself arguing both sides of the case – do we split because our constant fighting/disagreements/personality differences/whatever are going to cause trouble for the kids, or do we stay together so that the kids have a whole family? But if we stay together, will we end up negatively influencing the kids anyway? Which is the worst decision to make? At the end of the day, no matter what anybody else says, separated or not, the decision can only be made by the parties involved.
Nathalie Himmelrich says
Thank you Cheryl for your comment.
I fully agree on this being not a simple matter at all and I hope the article didn’t make it sound like that – that wouldn’t be the intention at all.