Would you stay in a bad marriage for the sake of your children? We have seen couples choose to stay and we have also seen others leave their marriage to go look for happiness elsewhere. It’s a tough decision to make. Children in most cases will suffer the decisions of their parents which is why you should proceed with caution and seek professional guidance.

After speaking to a marriage and relationship expert Grace Kariuki, she tells us of the many cases she has had to deal with about unhappy couples who are in the dilemma of either staying or leaving. She, however, agrees that it is a tough decision to make given that a child needs both parents for normal social and emotional development.

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Walking out of marriage is not easy

Couple fighting
Couple fighting

With children involved, Grace tells Pulselive that walking out of the marriage is not always as easy as the couple thought it would be.

“Conflicted couples do find that while they are unable to get along with each other, they do make good parents. Their children love them both. The couple can see that breaking up the family will hurt their children more.” Says the therapist.

To stay or to leave?

sad couple(Psychology Today)
sad couple(Psychology Today)

So, at what point should you consider leaving or staying? To make this decision, Grace advises putting into consideration certain factors. According to her, one of the most important things to consider before deciding is the nature of the conflicts you have with your partner.

Because some conflicts might end up damaging the very children you are trying to protect by staying married, Grace urges couples to be very realistic.

“If there is physical, emotional, and verbal abuse, the couple would need to be realistic about what the violence in the home is doing to the emotional health of the children. It is not healthy for children to be subjected to violence towards one, or both of their parents. Parents are supposed to be protectors and if their interactions with each other are harming their children emotionally, then a separation should be pursued.” The expert advises.

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Children’s wellbeing

Happy family enjoying meal(orthobridgeorthopedics)
Happy family enjoying meal(orthobridgeorthopedics)

In cases of physical violence, Grace tells us that it is more damaging to the children than separation. As such, if the couple can manage to solve their issues and stay together in harmony for the sake of their children, the better.

“There are many couples who have stayed for the sake of their children and their children have survived the chaos. However, other children have had to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the chaos at home. Children need to have both parents in the home. Those in such homes tend to be better placed to have a productive life.”