Should You Stay Married For Your Children?
- Friday, May 17, 2013
I think so. So does my friend. Over a half-century later, he mourns that day.
A parent contemplating divorce today might shrug off the story, convinced he or she will be much more considerate. However, even if the process follows a kinder route, it still results in a child living with one divorced parent (or neither) and having less access to the other. That experience – just like every other major experience in life – affects the child forever.
As difficult as it is after divorce to balance weekends, summer vacations, and holidays when children are young, it gets tougher when they marry and have their own children.
Even their weddings can be emotional earthquakes. I officiated many weddings where bride and groom struggled with which parent and his or her new spouse would enter when, sit where, and a hundred other “little things” that matter. Even when the parents and their new spouses act civilly, stress abounds. When one or more acts out because he or she feels treated with less honor than their former mate, calamity erupts. Too often, I have consoled a weeping bride on what should have been the happiest day of her life.
In our workshops that help troubled couples salvage their marriages, we hear regularly, “I have so much pain from my parent’s divorce. I’m determined I won’t do that to my children. We will figure how to solve our problems and make our marriage good. I owe that to them.”
Truly Make the Effort Before Divorcing
If your marriage is in trouble, would you for the sake of your children make an effort to save your family? Not just save it, but to make it a good, healthy, loving marriage?
You can find wise and caring people who will help you work on your problems. If you decide to search for one, be sure to ask how strong their values are in helping you save your marriage. Unfortunately, not every counselor or helper believes in saving marriages: Some take the easier route and advise divorce if your situation seems too difficult. Avoid those people. Find people who care and who do not give up if your problems take effort to overcome.
Publication date: May 17, 2013
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