At the onset it does seem that splitting up will cause more problems, emotional and financial, than it will solve, but an important factor to consider is that if it reaches a stage where the atmosphere is making the individual too unhappy, or affecting the children, then its time to go emotional wellbeing is the most important thing to consider (Burgin 35). Children are very resilient they will suffer far less from a breakup than you imagine, and your guilt will last a lot longer than their upset they perceive the world as children differently than adults.
On a more personal level, there is of course a reluctance to split up a family and inflict the pain that it will cause on your much-loved children. To them, mum and dad are their world, their security, and they rely on us to always be there for them. By cutting up this safety net, we are depriving them of their security and asking them to grow up in many ways at a young age. On the other hand, though, how good is it for a child or children to be part of a family in conflict?
Where shouting and discord are part and parcel of everyday life? As parent coach Debbie Lewis explains. I believe that it is in everyones best interests to have parents who are happy and fulfilled in their own lives, whether this is together or apart. What we do know very clearly from research is that long-term conflict between parents is damaging to children, their sense of identity and understanding about relationships.
It is not in their best interest for parents to remain together for the sake of their children if this means the children will live in an environment of hostility, regret or conflict. (Wallerstein 256) Relationship counselor and author Suzie Hayman agrees with this but stresses that children might not initially see it this way. Divorce and separation are very adult solutions to an adult problem. However, children will probably think and feel differently.
They might want their parents to stay together, no matter what, and be obviously very hurt and upset by the idea of them splitting up. However, despite this, it is very harmful for children to grow up in a hostile atmosphere, where parents are constantly fighting or, worse, being abusive. (Wallerstein 262) In the end there is really no sure fire way to determine whether or not staying together or getting a divorce will be the best choice to make for the safety and wellbeing of the children.
Like raising children, (deciding whether to heed the cries of an infant or let him cry it out), there is no clear cut method of finding the real answer except to say that it is probably best to think carefully before even getting married and starting a family. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
Burgin, Debbie What Are You Waiting for? Martinis for Everyone! Divorce Advice Center Journal April 2005 2 pages pg 34-36 Wallerstein, Judith. Lewis, Julia and Blakeslee, Sandra The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25-Year Landmark Study. New York: Hyperion, 2005. ISBN 0-7868-6394-3, 352 pages.