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 bigshrek
Joined: 11/15/2007
Msg: 4
I Stayed for the ChildrenPage 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
I'm with you there, it's not worth staying with a bi-polar whacko just for the kid's sake.
 daynadaze
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 5
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I Stayed for the Children
Posted: 7/5/2008 8:35:31 PM
Raising children in a home full of resentment is toxic. I also use to wish my parents would divorce and thinking maybe there could be some peace at last. They finally did after 34 years when we were grown and gone. The burden alone of knowing you are the reason is enough to kill your spirit.
 La Gioconda
Joined: 6/27/2008
Msg: 6
I Stayed for the Children
Posted: 7/5/2008 9:12:05 PM
I don't have the history of living in dysfunctional family, although as a child I knew my parents had issues, these were normal issues, just being human and going through life. I was blessed growing up in a loving home.

However, I would like contribute my thoughts to this forum. When People say they stay in a bad, non-loving relationship for children, they are lying to themselves. It is an excuse for not wanting to face the devil. It usually is because of fear of many things, being alone, financial struggle, uncertainty.... and so on.... so they 'choose' to stay and not make any changes, because it takes tremendous amount of courage, bravery and energy, trust and believe in yourself. In some instances the man is the only provider, and women are afraid of not having financial support. These are real reasons why they are afraid of breaking free.

So, they say to themselves they are staying for children, because it is an excuse for not having to make any changes. They do know inside of themselves it is not worth it, but are paralyzed with uncertainty. Many women nowadays makes those positive changes, because there is help available to them in the community, free professional counseling, temporary shelters, and more.
 molly__blooming
Joined: 4/6/2006
Msg: 7
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I Stayed for the Children
Posted: 7/5/2008 10:45:38 PM
The best thing anyone can do for a child is leave a dysfunctional relationship.

It is a lie that parents tell themselves when they say they are staying in an unfulfilling, going no where relationship for the children.

Take it from me -- I grew up in one of those home, and I'm still recovering. As child, I was dying for my parents to break up.


hey ameerra, your question is very clear: why do people stay in bad marriages and use the kids as an excuse for why they stayed?

answer: because they don't have the wherewithal to do the right thing -- for the kids -- and split up. because they are shallow wimps who don't care enough about themselves or each other or their kids to do the right thing and split up.

one of the most important things a child needs is a happy, stable homelife.

one of the most damaging things for kids is a homelife that is a sham, that is unstable or unhappy.

that is why i divorced when my kids were still babies.

now? they are happy, productive, professional adults.

why?

well, for a lot of reasons. but one of the most important of those has got to be that they grew up in a happy home with a happy mommy.

in a word, your point is well taken. and appreciated. it is a point that is often missed or overlooked intentionally by the more conservative among us.

thanks for bringing it up!
 La Gioconda
Joined: 6/27/2008
Msg: 8
I Stayed for the Children
Posted: 7/6/2008 12:31:55 AM
eazak hit the nail:



It's not the opportunity scares them from making a change...it the risk from changing what the know to what they don't know.


It is precisely that, it is about taking risks, tremendous amount of courage and energy to change. What keeps them stuck in the situation? - the fear.... not a conscious decision - "I stayed for the Children" is a phrase they hide behind, but it is far from conscious decision, it is all about not wanting to or not being ready to face the reality.

One of the poster says:


answer: because they don't have the wherewithal to do the right thing -- for the kids -- and split up. because they are shallow wimps who don't care enough about themselves or each other or their kids to do the right thing and split up.


I think the statement is very judgmental, maybe they don't know who to take care of themselves, but would want to if they knew how.
 Lovin life......
Joined: 7/15/2006
Msg: 9
Why do people say they are staying for the children?
Posted: 7/6/2008 2:24:29 AM
I don't know why parents do this!!! It is the worse possible thing you can do to your children. Showing them what a marriage is not!!! The children see fighting, yelling, not talking and other negative things!! This is not what marriage is about!! I just got out of a relationship (he was seperated but stated divorced on his profile) and his marriage was like that. They had filed for divorce and then he went back because of the children. His daughter was not handling it well....So his exact words were"it's what everyone else wanted". To live your life in a miserable relationship, is not living!!!
 WeAre1
Joined: 3/18/2008
Msg: 10
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Why do people say they are staying for the children?
Posted: 7/6/2008 7:57:03 AM
I agree blueshadow. I remember when my husband and I were thinking of splitting up the final time (we had two young children then - 8 and 6 years old), I spoke with a dear friend of ours who was a very good counsellor (in England) and she said it is much better for the children to be in two separate homes that are happy than in one home where the parents are not happy or loving with each other.
She did NOT mean it's better to have the children in two homes with parents who are still unhappy or angry or taking out their bitterness on the other or through the children.
Unlike you, OP, I've heard and found with my own daughter, that young children will often think they are to blame for the break-up (for years to come), so I believe it's a major responsibility of the parents to keep their relationship with each other good, no matter what. It is our duty for getting together and having children to begin with - and if we must split up, keeping things good as much as possible seems vital for the benefit of ALL involved.
Staying together for the sake of the children is only a temporary bandaid and does not really work, imo, unless the parents are incredibly supportive of each other and their childrens' needs too!
But, more commonly, it seems to me, if there is tension and fighting between the parents - whether in the same home or separate ones - it is not a good situation for anybody and all will suffer.
 CompletelyDone
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 12
Why do people say they are staying for the children?
Posted: 7/6/2008 9:11:53 PM

......But dont judge me or your parents for what circustances may have prevented them from leaving......and trust me I would bet for most , if you are in your 40's or 50's now, it was financial.


Beautifully said Pretty Moon! I couldn't agree more... People had bigger families with such inadequate forms of birth control back then and many women felt completely trapped because, they were! I also remember that in the smaller towns I grew up in here in Western Canada, women who were "divorcees" were very much ostracized by the rest of society. It wasn't just about money but it was about being shunned by other people if a woman was suddenly single. Men considered her an easy target because of her "loneliness" and other women, cut her off hoping their own men wouldn't stray. She had valid reasons to believe that she would not only force her children into financial hardship but also into being ostracized in their communities....

And you know, it isn't much better now with all the government cutbacks to daycare and women still holding the lion's share of poorly paid, entry level jobs because of their having children. We have a very long way to go...
 La Gioconda
Joined: 6/27/2008
Msg: 14
Why do people say they are staying for the children?
Posted: 7/6/2008 10:03:13 PM
eazk said:

Reality says....
...Mom is not always the better parent.
...Neither is Dad.
...Children are fragmented...they are already the biological byproduct of 2 people, now we tear them emotionally, and physically we make have 2 different lives, one at mom's, one at dad's...they begin to prefer or disdain at least one.
...These aren't TV actors in a Hollywood sitcom...Money, neighborhoods, friends, discipline, continuity of info flow about school/friends/work/schedules/etc., the other parent and their significant other...THESE ARE ALL ISSUES
...You get tired, Short tempered. Angry at the ex.
...In laws get in the way


that was analysis paralysis, not very helpful in this forum, IMO.

What the member said message #27, WeAre1


``I spoke with a dear friend of ours who was a very good counsellor (in England) and she said it is much better for the children to be in two separate homes that are happy than in one home where the parents are not happy or loving with each other.``

was well understood by many. It is better for children to grow up in happy environment. Now, we are getting into different subject, joint custody... is it in the best interest for children, having too homes... different topic.
 WeAre1
Joined: 3/18/2008
Msg: 15
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Why do people say they are staying for the children?
Posted: 7/7/2008 4:29:31 AM
eazk - my real point of my post was to say it's horrible for the kids and everyone to have two parents fighting - whether in one home or two. if the parents stop fighting by being in two separate homes, then that is what I feel is always best for the children.

no, no divorce is perfect. and in my opinion, no marriage is perfect either.

my post had nothing to do with finding blame for the split - and come on ez - you've read my posts for a while - i am one who always preaches we are each responsible for our actions and reactions and, ultimately, for our lives. so for me, it is always both people who each are responsible for what happens in their marriage and what happens if the marriage should fail and there are children involved....how each deals with the split and each other as being parents for those children for the rest of their lives!

i'm sorry you seem to have completely missed the point of my post....I thought I was trying to say staying together for the sake of the children if the relationship between the parents is not good and not loving and a terrible atmosphere, then that to me is most damaging to the children....and I was trying to say that splitting up and if in two homes the relationship is terrible between the parents still as I have heard so often happens (although i have a very good relationship with my ex, but it took years for true forgiveness on both sides to happen)....BUT if the parents continue to be at odds with each other and are not working together for the children, whether one home or two - the consequences I believe for the children are still devastating (and for the parents too!).

is it possible your post was simply picking up on the next step of mine and saying blaming the other is not the answer? if so, I agree. but your other points seem so absolute and truly do not have any bearing of truth on my divorce, so i'm not sure where you got all that from. your experience?
 WeAre1
Joined: 3/18/2008
Msg: 16
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Why do people say they are staying for the children?
Posted: 7/7/2008 5:15:52 AM
^^ahhh..thank you for sharing this....we all have our paths and no one can say what is right or wrong for another - i really was only talking about myself and why i made my decision to let my marriage dissolve. what is right for each of us only we can truly know and sharing ideas on a forum never can show whole stories, but only glimpses of thoughts, often....and lots of projections and judgements onto others if we are not careful. i feel respect and gratitude for your sharing this.
 bigshrek
Joined: 11/15/2007
Msg: 18
Why do people say they are staying for the children?
Posted: 7/7/2008 10:06:49 AM
My turbo-charged 9-yr old evil monkey told my girlfriend over the weekend that "It would be cool if you & Dad made babies!" While both she & I have that as an AIM for later...it was a bit of a shocker to hear from HIM. Even more so from his mom (my ex-fiance). Me & the ex are like best friends, recently she told me that "If you screw things up with Mary I'm gonna Kick Your Azz!" And they get along amazingly well...kind of frightening, really...

Sometimes relationships just work better as friends...and THAT is why unless there is abuse or theft...you don't have to SLAM the door on a relationship when it's over, you can still be NICE!
 La Gioconda
Joined: 6/27/2008
Msg: 19
Why do people say they are staying for the children?
Posted: 7/7/2008 10:10:34 AM
myblueshadow,

I personally know a number of women who made positive changes by leaving abusive marriage, and now are able to create a loving environment for themselves and their children

your comment:

f you can be grown up enough to have a good divorce, why can’t you be grown up to create a non-conflictual marriage.


It takes two to create a non-conflictual marriage. If one of the spouse is abusive, you can't just create a positive environment, you can't assume responsibility the other crazy partner's action... that's why there is a time when one has to pick up their broken pieces, and flee...

Talk to many women who left abusive relationship, they will tell you, "quiet moments are golden"

How do you work with your partner who is an alcoholic or anger addict, how do you create love and peace with them? They need to do their share of work.
 WeAre1
Joined: 3/18/2008
Msg: 20
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Why do people say they are staying for the children?
Posted: 7/7/2008 3:47:11 PM
mess 40, blueshadow - I do understand your points and, actually, I read your post and after the first sentence my thought was a wish - 'if only'....

If you can be grown up enough to have a good divorce, why can’t you be grown up to create a non-conflictual marriage. Too many people believe that divorce will solve the problem, but often it just creates new ones. What is best for kids is to have 2 loving, devoted, healthy parents who respect and care about one another...."

For me, it was not that my husband and I were in conflict - it was that we were not feeling loved or loving towards each other after 9 years. It felt like it was buried under the practical aspects of keeping our life running and I honestly don't think either of us were really happy, in ourselves, or with each other. Also, for some reason his bond with our children was not as strong - was not the loving strength i found...and that saddened both of us, though we never talked about it. (yes, communication was perhaps a major downfall we both let slide.)
So you say, "What is best for kids is to have 2 loving, devoted, healthy parents who respect and care about one another." And I so agree! It is also, obviously what is best for the parents too.....and again my thoughts are, 'if only'.
But then I think, if there are 2 loving, devoted, healthy parents who respect and care about one another, then it seems there would be no reason for them to split up!
I think you have touched on the essence of why so many relationships with and without children do not make it - because the relationship is not with two loving, devoted and healthy people who respect and care about each other....and I think if even one person is not loving or devoted, etc., the other will feel that lack and not be able to make up for it.
I read over and over again on these forums the fact that many people seem to have lost their ability to be these ideal selves you speak of - for others and also for themselves.
I know for me, why I decided ultimately to let my marriage end (and I had no obvious choice because my husband left), was because I did not want our children growing up thinking that is what a loving relationship is.....because it wasn't....nor did I feel I could stay in a non-loving relationship either.
So no real conflict, but seeming to be lacking in what I believe is the essence of why we get together with others and stay together with others. We are loving beings. When we are not loving beings, we hurt and we suffer and create issues that ultimately lead us eventually to more loving relationships.....starting with our relationship with ourselves.
I do not think divorce is good for everyone, but I also do not think marriage is good for everyone either.......not if it's not a good marriage. And for me, now 18 years later after my divorce - honestly it was a gift and blessing my husband left because we both needed to grow up.
Did my children suffer more because we did not stay together for them? I honestly don't know. I can only pray it was the right and best decision for everybody.
 Gourmetchef50
Joined: 11/24/2007
Msg: 21
Why do people say they are staying for the children?
Posted: 7/7/2008 5:41:03 PM
they stay for the children because thats what they think they are supposed to do..all their focus..energies..etc..are for the children..thats why you see soo many women divorced at the age of 50..when most of their kids are 18+. Also, alot of women are afraid to leave..its a cold, cruel world out there..are they are scared of the 'unknowns".
 verygreeneyez
Joined: 3/15/2006
Msg: 22
Why do people say they are staying for the children?
Posted: 7/7/2008 6:03:25 PM

Why do people say they are staying for the children?

Because they haven't had their child say, "It's so much better now that he/she is gone. I love my Mom/Dad, but I hated being home when he/she was here." That happened to me ~ very eye-opening. Out of the mouths.......so to speak!
 surely im shirley
Joined: 6/14/2008
Msg: 23
Why do people say they are staying for the children?
Posted: 7/7/2008 6:07:16 PM
Why do people say they are staying for the children and then not commit themselves to the family? I have a recent experience. A POF user contacted me and invited me to view his profile. You have to have a picture to contact me. I reviewed his profile, and it was nice, but said he was married...and his profile contained no picture. I thanked him for his nice words, but told him that if the "married" designation was not an error, than it was no go. Anyway...he then explained that he wanted to be upfront and honest with POF users, about his married status, but that they were staying together only for the kids...but he missed the intimacy of a caring relationship. My question to him was why he could tell the truth to strangers on POF and lie to his family. He claimed he had no choice. So...is this man staying for the children?
 smileee4u
Joined: 11/8/2007
Msg: 24
I Stayed for the Children
Posted: 7/7/2008 6:22:20 PM
Your son says at the age of 17, he never wants to get married. Never is a long time, for a seventeen year old. He does not understand the complication of relationships, nor does he realize that you taught him a lot by him observing your own suffering. Children experiencing conflict in life does not ruin them. It makes them aware that there is always conflict in life. They will come to understand they need to learn conflict resolution. What did you want? To raise your kids in a bubble? You are not God. They were born from you and lived through the experinces you taught them...... whether you meant to or not! Life will take them on their journey, through many paths. You cannot control everything! You cannot give them everything, either.
 WeAre1
Joined: 3/18/2008
Msg: 25
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Why do people say they are staying for the children?
Posted: 7/7/2008 7:01:15 PM

I’m guessing that if you had the chance (whatever that entailed for you) to make your relationship the one you wanted, you would have stayed and it would have been the ideal situation for your kids. I guess that was my point. Too many people think that divorce will just solve the problem and use the kids as the excuse for giving up. I think this happens as frequently as the people who stay in relationships for kids.

gosh, i feel like i'm taking this beyond where it needs to go, and yet, it is really on topic - sort of ....
mblueshadow- first, your first sentence above is obvious for everybody (I think) and just sort of silly your writing it - my point of my previous post to you.
and now the more personal stuff - on one level i did not really take your post as being too presumptuos because i knew you can not know what or why i (or my husband) did what we did, and my trying to explain it in a few lines on this forum thread is feeling like it is not doing it justice at all.....nevertheless i did it to try and illustrate my points - why i felt as i did and why i have written what i have on this thread - i was trying to show my opinions have come from my life experience.....my life.
now, for some reason i just looked at your profile because i suddenly got curious to see if you had children because something hit me that you might not....and, lo and behold, you do not, according to your profile.
and so, i now think you really can not possibly know or understand the parenting aspect of this thread, unless you have been a step-parent perhaps.
i do not want to be in an opposing 'position' to you at all, for much of what you said i have agreed with....but i don't think you could have any idea what nine years of marriage could be with children there for 8 of them, or what 18 years of single parenting could be - or what this whole thread is really about if you have never lived it.
being a parent - whether with another, or alone- i believe is thee most challenging (and can be thee most rewarding) part of life and it teaches responsibility like nothing else, as far as I can see. i also have a pet theory that children are about the biggest challenge to the parents' relationship and i've seen many a relationship break down because of the strains of having children on the parents.
so, writing the words is a whole lot different than living life....and projecting one's views onto another when you can not possibly empathize with the other because you have not shared a vital part of your projection is, basically, pretty silly to me.
i have no problem with you, just asking perhaps in the future to be more careful when you are tempted to summarize another's life.
besides, it seems you did not hear what i said - i said my divorce was a gift and a blessing - and what you don't know is i went on to have a third child after my marriage - and to have more blessing and more loving relationships.....which, quite neatly, helped me appreciate the love with my husband and all that my marriage was.
i do not believe there are ever any accidents, or 'bad decisions' - not really....not in the really big scheme of things.
most important to children, EVERYONE says - that they know they are loved. my children know i love them. and they know these days, their father does too. and us splitting up early and not waiting until they were 18 or older meant we got a head start on forgiveness and on healing.....and on learning to be the best people we can be. while we were in our marriage, we seemed unable to do that....and that totally reflected on our parenting.
 WeAre1
Joined: 3/18/2008
Msg: 26
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Why do people say they are staying for the children?
Posted: 7/7/2008 7:34:12 PM
well, mbsh, i certainly seemed to have been wrong in my opinions that you must have not been a parent....
i laughed when i read that point in your post and realized, ooops....i was totally wrong there.
and now i see perhaps why you have the views that you do if you have been doing family and marital counselling for 15 years in this country.....ugh!!!
my marriage and divorce was in England, so it's a little different there, or so it seems to what i hear of so many horror stories here on these forums and from people i have met from dating sites here over the years. oh, and apology accepted!
and lj - la jaconde - i meant to write and say thank you for your beliefs earlier and sort of sticking up for me....it seems this was a really potent topic for the three of us (for some reason) and i hope any negativity that might have come out of it dissipates. i did appreciate your trying to get across your thoughts....it has been tough here - i agree.....
yup, a potent subject - most definitely.
 EdwardPartSix
Joined: 4/6/2007
Msg: 29
Why do people say they are staying for the children?
Posted: 7/8/2008 6:14:38 PM
Why do people try to judge a large number of relationships based on one particular experience?
 BaldyisBeautiful
Joined: 3/28/2008
Msg: 30
Why do people say they are staying for the children?
Posted: 7/8/2008 6:52:58 PM
My parents always said they would have gotten divorced ... but neither one WANTED the kids. (As a side note, I am the youngest of 7 boys and 1 girl -- can you really blame them? Luckily (I hope) they were joking about this.

My own situation of staying married to a woman I didn't love for 14 years had more critical thinking to it. In most states when a man and woman with children divorce 9 out of 10 times the mother gets custody, and I for one would never stand for being relegated to seeing my kids only every other weekend, and them not getting to know their father except as a part-time parent.

From the moment my daughter was born I was scared to death that her mother would pull the same trick that one of my sister-in-laws did to my brother ... after their divorce (in which my brother got full custody) she grabbed the daughter and ran off to another state and my brother didn't get to see his daughter again until the day she turned 18 and her mother finally confessed that "daddy didn't die in the military"!

As it turns out for my own situation, after my kids (and their mother) grew up some, when we finally did divorce it was on excellent terms and we have shared custody, with no child support being paid either way! (turns out teenagers are freaking expensive and I would probably pay less for child support)
 La Gioconda
Joined: 6/27/2008
Msg: 31
Why do people say they are staying for the children?
Posted: 7/8/2008 6:55:13 PM

Why do people try to judge a large number of relationships based on one particular experience?

...because there is commonality in those experiences. You would be surprised to hear women stories who left abusive situations, they understand each other so well, because the dynamics in abusive relationship are the same in each single abusive case. Some superficial things differ, but overall it boils down to the sameness. That's why counselors are trained to help people like this , they understand human mind and behaviour, and the guilt that victims feel that stops them from setting themselves free.

2 cents.
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