Should You Stay in an Unhappy Marriage for the Sake of your Kids?

Years ago, you tied the knot and couldn’t have been happier. A kid or two later, you’re not so happy in your marriage anymore, though.

Maybe life became dull with all the “have tos” instead of things you were excited about. The daily routine just wore you out and put a communication gap between you and your spouse.

Now, you feel like you’re “done” when it comes to your marriage. The problem is, you look into the eyes of your kids and wonder what divorce will do to them.

You’re afraid that divorce will really mess them up. So, you’re wondering if you should stay in your marriage for your kids even though you’re miserable.

Here are some things to consider if that’s the predicament you find yourself in.

If You’re Not Happy, Your Kids Won’t Be Happy

By such a title you may think the piece of advice here will be to go after whatever makes you happy. The problem is, a lot of the things we think will make us happy don’t in the end.

That’s a necessary preface before we dig any deeper.

It’s safe to say if you’re miserable in your marriage, there is a good chance that your spouse is too.

So, you want your kids to be happy even though you’re both unhappy. The problem is that your children almost certainly will mirror how you feel most of the time.

You’re their leaders. You’re who they look up to. If they see you unhappy with adult life, they involuntarily will have to come along on your drudgery trip.

As the famous “Remember the Titans” movie quote goes, “attitude reflects leadership, captain.”

Yes, it does. Unhappiness breeds more unhappiness and it saturates everything. Your children won’t go unscathed if there is a happiness vacuum. But there is a better way.

The Problem is with the Question

To pose the “should we stay together for the kids even though we’re unhappy” question has some major flaws.

First, it assumes that you’ll always be unhappy in your current relationship so you just have to grin and bear it if you stay together. But, happiness constantly ebbs and flows. There are seasons of disappointment and alternately ones of happiness in life.

This would be true no matter who you were with.

So, should you throw away a relationship you’ve invested so heavily in because you’re unhappy?

Unless there is something major going on like you’re being abused or your children are being abused, probably not.

Happiness ultimately comes down to a choice. You can be happy in your relationship if you choose to be.

Yes, that sounds oversimplified and things certainly don’t change like a light switch. However, if you and your spouse learn to take care of each other’s’ needs again, you will regain happiness.

Your kids need you together but they also need to see you happy so they can learn how to be happy themselves.

Still struggling to find happiness in your marriage? Why not schedule an appointment? We can help you to rediscover happiness in your relationship!

If it is time for you to schedule your marriage counseling appointment, you can do so online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 430-7269, or text us.

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