Unhappy Marriage with Kids: Does Staying Together For the Kids Work

We live in an age when love, sex and intimacy seem to be many people's epitome of happiness. Yes, we seek other ways to find happiness and fulfillment, but the rate of divorce and the percentage of single parent families compared with two-parent families tells me that parenting is either of less importance to parents than marriage or that they are uninformed about the effects of divorce on their children. Parents who leave an unhappy marriage for the sake of their children are not in possession of all the facts or are misguided in their belief that divorce is in the best interest of the children. The best wisdom out there says that children of divorce suffer more than children of unhappy marriages.

Here are 7 reasons why parents should put parenting before marriage.

1. Children need two parents more than they need a perfect home

The influence of both a male and female parent on a child's development cannot be understated. A good mother, on balance brings a nurturing, protecting and comforting aspect to a child's life, while a good father brings his child stability, security and strength. Mothers tend to be more emotional, fathers more rational. Mothers tend to be more understanding, fathers more decisive. A good mother may offer her child a shoulder to cry on while a good father may show his child how to get up and move on.

Of course, a good parent possesses all these qualities and shares the responsibility for providing their child with all their needs. But it is in the nature of a male parent to provide a child with answers and solutions and direction while it is more inherent in a female parent to be protective of a child's emotional well-being and to be a good listener without feeling the need to give her child a logical solution to their problem.

Having both a male and female parent present in the home teaches a child how to explore and develop both the masculine and feminine aspects of their own character. In balanced adults there is a healthy presence of both male and female characteristics. In women, the balance will tend to be more feminine and in men, more masculine. If a child is to have the best chance to develop emotional stability then two parents are needed on a daily basis. Even the slightest change in the balance will have an adverse effect on a child's emotional and intellectual development.

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2. A child has a right to be brought up by two parents

Marriage is a choice that two people make for themselves. It is rarely a selfless or altruistic act. People marry because they find someone who brings them happiness and fulfilment in life. Of course, there is also the promise to live to make the other person happy. Even though the phrase "for better or for worse" is still often said in the marriage vows, more and more this promise is being broken as married couples find it's a promise they are unable or unwilling to keep.

However, when a child is born into the marriage, it has rights which far outweigh the needs of the parents. Even though a couple desire to be fulfilled in their personal relationship with each other, a child has the right to be brought up by two loving, caring, selfless parents: parents who put their child's interests before their own.

Parents rarely make a commitment to their children when they are born, but children ought to expect that their parents will do whatever it takes to give them a stable, loving home in which to grow and develop. In a good parent, the rights and needs of their child will always come before their own, whatever the cost to themselves.

3. To be a parent is a moral obligation - not a choice

There is never a time as long as a parent and a child are living when they will not be connected. Even if estranged, a parent will always be the parent to their child. There is no divorcing a child. There is no saying to a child 'I'm sorry, I don't love you anymore, this simply isn't going to work'. But when two parents say that to each other, they are in some measure saying it to their child. Parents may put a spin on divorce by saying to the child 'it's better for you in the long run' but the truth is - it isn't. A child's perspective will be 'you don't love me enough to stay together and make your marriage work' - even if only subconsciously. While some may say 'I'm glad my parents split up - I couldn't stand the shouting', what would they have said if their parents had found a way to make the marriage work in order to keep the family home together? Or are they even aware of the effects that growing up in a broken home has had on them?

The love between a husband and wife can wane or even be extinguished, but the love of a good parent is unconditional and unmovable. A marriage can breakdown and be dissolved, but the love that a good parent has for their child can never be diminished and their commitment to their child can never be undermined or broken. The commitment that a parent has to their child is not one based on choice, it's one based on moral obligation. It would be even better if it were based on unconditional love. What lengths would a good parent go to to provide their child with the very best upbringing they could if they truly loved them more than themselves?

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4. A child deserves and expects it

During their formative years, children depend upon both parents to show that they are committed to them. They need to see that they are loved and to know that their home is stable and secure. They need to know that no matter what storms the family has to face together, the foundations of the family home cannot be shaken. Children need the certainty that the love their parents have for them comes above their own personal happiness - that it indeed comes before their love for each other. When a parent puts a child's interests second to their own it will make their child feel unloved and second-rate. The child will begin to doubt their own worth and their value to the parent. After all, what kind of love puts someone else second?

If a child doesn't deserve a parent's unconditional and undying love then who does? Children are vulnerable and need protecting. Parents have a responsibility to give their child the best parenting they possibly can whatever the cost to themselves. A child has no reserves on which to draw to cover the emotional shortfall which results from growing up in a broken home. Parents, on the other hand should be prepared to go into emotional debt if they have to in order to make sure their child does not grow up emotionally poor or crippled.

5. Spouses can expect too much from each other, but children never expect too much from their parents.

Marriages are not perfect, neither are parent-child relationships. But a child deserves understanding, provision, support, affection, and security moreso than a spouse. After all, when two people get married, they make an agreement to love each other and provide for each other's needs. When a child is born, no such agreement takes place. A child simply grows up expecting all that's coming to them. When one person in a marriage fails to uphold their part of the agreement, the other has every right to withdraw their own part of the agreement. So often, when the love that one has for the other depends on what they 'get' out of the relationship, if they ain't 'getting' then the love dies. But this only works one way with a child-parent relationship.

When a child fails to be a perfect child, a parent cannot abandon them or withdraw their love from them. The child still has the right to expect to be loved unconditionally. Children owe nothing to their parents, but parents owe everything to their children. If a child fails to love a parent as they would like to be loved, the parent must go on loving their child nonetheless. The child has no debt of love to pay to the parent. But if a parent loves their child unconditionally, that child will grow up to love their parent too. If a parent fails to love their child more than themselves, the child will withdraw from the parent to a greater or lesser degree.

Even though good parents will fail their child in some measure, a child's expectations of the parents are always right - even if unrealistic. Good parents will always understand that they are not married to their child - they are inextricably connected and committed to their child and that a child has a birthright to expect unreserved love and commitment from their parents regardless of how much a child returns their parents' affections or lives up to their expectations.

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6. A broken home results in a broken child

Somewhere along the way, when a child is brought up by one parent or by two parents who live apart, something in the child is lost or broken. Having two parents who could not find it in themselves to stay together to give them a stable home will have a detrimental effect on a child. It may not emerge till later in life, but a person from a broken home may find it difficult to make strong emotional connections with others. Statistics show that people from single-parent homes are less successful in life - even years afterwards - than those from two-parent families.

While parents may argue that they split up for the child's sake, in actuality, it's rare that divorce ever benefits a child. Growing up in a home even where parents are disconnected or in constant disagreement gives a child more stability and normality than growing up where they have to deal with the loss of the two-parent home. A child growing up in a broken home grows up grieving for the intact home where two parents are available on a daily basis to provide them with the moral, emotional and intellectual support essential to their development and nourishment. The best parenting cannot be done over the telephone or on weekends. The best parenting is done on a daily basis and in partnership with the other parent. No matter how parents try to justify divorce, it will nearly always result in a broken child.

7. Putting parenting first may save a marriage

Children should never be used as an excuse not to leave a marriage, but they can be the reason why a parent would stay in a marriage. The difference is that if a parent knows that to provide their child with a stable, loving and peaceful home in which to grow up will give them the best possible start in life, it may give them the resolve they need to work harder at their marriage than if they had not been a parent. Whereas, not leaving a marriage for the sake of a child is a mindset which can result in a parent putting too much responsibility on their child to bring them personal happiness.

If parents can proactively take steps to make a marriage workable so that their child has the home they deserve, they may find that their marriage becomes less of a disappointment. Focusing on the needs of their child and resolving to work at their relationship for the sake of their child doesn't necessarily mean that the marriage is false or a sham. It merely shifts the priorities of the marriage. Nor does it mean that the child carries the burden of keeping the marriage together. It merely requires a level of giving to the child that supercedes the parents' desire to take from each other. Providing a child with a good home is one of the best reasons two people can stay together.

Who said that romance or sex or a great social life are the only reasons to be married? Surely, providing a child with a loving home is as good, if not, a better reason for working at a marriage than all the others put together? The result of working at the marriage wouldn't be to prevent the pain of separation for the parents, it would be the enduring and immeasurable investment that they make in the well-being and personal development of their child. If parents can keep their child the focus of their ambitions and desires, they can find ways they otherwise wouldn't have done to make their marriage workable and as enjoyable as possible and thus provide their child with the parents and the home they deserve.

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What do you do if you have an unhappy marriage?

It is common for couples these days to resolve their unhappiness by seeking a divorce. However, things do not have to end up that way. Here are 4 tips to help you end the unhappiness in a marriage without going through the divorce procedures.

1. Resolve problems together
First of all, you have to remember that there are no perfect marriages. Every couple faces problems and arguments but the key issue is how these are resolved. When you are faced with financial, health or even emotional problems, do not dwell on the issues or find faults with each other. That is not going to solve your problems. Instead, take these difficulties as challenges and solve them together. Staying positive will help to make you grow stronger both as an individual and as a couple and thus help to bond your marriage closer.

2. Rekindle the passion

A lot of married couples tend to forget why and how they fell in love with each other in the first place. These days, most couples are very busy with their careers and family so they forgot to appreciate each other's company. Over time, they feel that they have landed themselves in an unhappy marriage and start to consider a divorce. Sadly, they feel that a breakup is the only way to end their unhappiness. There is really no need for things to get to that extent, unless you are in an abusive relationship.

You should rekindle that passion that had caused both of you to fall madly in love during the good old days. You can look through the old photographs together or even revisit the places where you used to frequent during your courtship days. Make it a point to spend time alone together each day or at least once a week. You can show your love for each other by buying or making little gifts to give to each other. You can also plan for getaway trips occasionally or have a quiet dinner at a restaurant, away from the kids. This will help to fire up that old flame you have for each other again.

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3. Maintain an open communication
Maintaining an open communication is important in order to let your spouse know what you are thinking and feeling. Your wants and needs can then be made known to each other, otherwise, the danger of drifting apart is high.

4. Seek professional help
This is my last point because many couples prefer to use this only as a last resort. Usually it is because they feel awkward with a third party intruding in their private lives. Many might not be prepared to be honest with each other and with themselves, especially not in front of an outsider.

However, this marriage counselor will be a great help to you if you have tried many other methods but nothing seems to work. Being a professional, the counselor will be able to lead both of you to find out what had really gone wrong in your marriage and how you can remediate the issues without having to file for a divorce.

In fact, if things cannot be resolved on your own and you feel shy about seeing your local marriage counselor, you might want to consider consulting an online marriage counselor instead. This expert will be able to help you resolve your differences but you do not have to meet the counselor to get help. Alternatively, you can also get additional help from sources such as ebooks, which would give you step-by-step guideline on what you can do to save marriage.

The above are just 4 tips which you could use to help you end an unhappy marriage. Regardless of which method you try, you will be able to see some results. Staying positive in your thinking and being able to understand, forgive and have patience is vital to your success at saving your marriage.

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If you have been married for many years, or even for decades, you may come to a point some day when you feel that the spark between both of you seem to be missing. This is because both of you have gotten too comfortable with each other and a routine has been set. You may find that you are spending less time with each other as both of you get busy with your own personal schedule. This is one of the signs that your marriage is on rocks and you need to get some save marriage advice to rebuild your relationship if you still love your spouse.

Do not be mistaken that there must be a third party involved because very often life just gets in the way for the couple and in the midst of their career or business building, they forgot about their other half. You will find less time for each other if there are children in the picture. You will start to wonder what has happened to the honeymoon period.

It is still not too late to rekindle the flame within your relationship, so long as you still love your spouse. However, you have to take the initiative to make changes to bring that spark back into your relationship. There is no way your problem can be solved without any actions taken. Both of you have to find a way to reconnect with each other if you want to save the marriage. Knowing that a problem exist but nobody wants to do anything about is only waiting for the relationship to end and that is very sad. So what is the first thing you can do to rekindle that passion?

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Make time for your partner
Yes, spending time alone with your spouse is vital to get a relationship to work. Regardless of how long you have been married to your spouse, you still need to go on single dates with him or her. Spending time alone with your partner will ensure that there is nothing else on your mind so you can focus on your spouse. This will help you to understand each other better and can help greatly towards improving your relationship.

If you can afford the time and finances to go for a weekend getaway, that will be ideal because there is no way you can return to work and family when you are away from home. However, if that is not possible, going on dinner dates once a month or once a fortnight will also help in improving the marriage. Just make sure that you make arrangement for babysitting so that you do not have to worry about your children when you are on your date.

Alternatively, you can also make it a point to go for a leisurely stroll in the park every evening when the kids are sleeping. That is a very romantic and inexpensive activity which can help to make a tremendous difference in your relationship.
There are many things you can do to rekindle the passion in your love but it is up to you whether you take the effort to make your relationship work. Nothing will change if you go on the dates only once or twice and return to your usual routine again. No amount of save marriage advice can help you if you do not make an attempt to stick through with changes.

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It is not uncommon to hear wives asking how to win their husbands back even after they have already filed for divorce. Are you in that shoe? If so, before you make a decision to reconcile with your husband, you should first consider how things were between both of you back when you were still together or before you started to drift apart.

Think about why the two of you broke up in the first place if you are serious on wanting to save marriage. Did the problem lie with him, you or both of you? To make it easier for you, you may want to write down all the things that might have caused the break up. It does not matter whether it was a trivial matter or a major one which was the triggering factor, just write it down on a piece of paper so that you can see the big picture.

As an outsider, my question would be "were you having an affair outside?" Chances of your reconciliation with your husband will be very much higher if there is no third party involved in the picture.

On the other hand, it does not mean that you cannot win him back if you had been caught having an affair behind him. It will just require more hard work on your part but both of you will have to want to save the marriage. Things will not work out if there is only one willing party.

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First things first, have you told him how you feel about your relationship with him? For all you know, he might not even feel that there is anything wrong with the marriage! However, there is also a chance that he might be having second thoughts about the relationship.

It may sound bad but you can still try to work things out without having to end the marriage. He might be feeling that something is just not right but both of you can still work together to fix it. However, the most important thing to do is to be very honest with each other. Tell him how you feel and listen to what he has to say.

You can listen to CDs on how to improve your marriage or read books on advice for marriage. It will be even more effective if both of you are able to read them together. In that way, you can discuss the issues with each and talk about how you can enhance your relationship.

If he is not keen on reading books or listening to CDs, your next alternative is to attend marriage counselling together. Nevertheless, there is also a chance that he might not want to go too. In that case, you can still attend counselling on your own. You can learn the techniques of how to communicate with him and apply them in your own marriage life. When he sees you doing it, he will very likely follow suit.
The key point is not to give up if you really love your husband and want to win him back. Learning the various techniques either from books, CDs or marriage counselling will help you to gain back control of your life and relationship.

Saying or doing the wrong thing can actually cause your spouse to feel even more distant from you. You can make your spouse fall back in love with you, all over again.

You don't have to worry about whether your spouse is on the brink of asking you for a divorce. You can control the situation and use specific techniques to naturally make them fall hopelessly in love with you.

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