Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP
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Staying in an unhappy marriage isn't a sacrifice you have to make

Lying awake waiting for a scared or sick child to fall asleep when a tough day at work had you wanting a bath and a glass of chardonnay. Taking your kids to the park when taking a run would do more for your waistline. Spending hundreds of dollars you saved for airfare and hotels on tutoring to keep them from falling behind.

That's what being a parent is, right? Putting your children's needs and desires above your own. Should you do the same thing when it comes to divorce?

Staying together for the kids? Hindsight is everything

Many parents make the conscious decision to stay together until the children leave the home. It is a sacrifice many parents are willing to make so that their children don't have to live through the turmoil of a divorce. Their decision is driven by that parental instinct and love.

The children in those relationships don't always feel the same way.

Resolution, a family law organization, asked children what they thought about the sacrifice made by parents every day. Their target group was 514 children aged 14-22 whose parents had divorced.

Half of the children surveyed noticed that their parents were putting their needs above their own. Yes, your kids notice the sacrifices you make! The statistic of note was that the large majority of children surveyed (82 percent) were glad their parents had filed for divorce rather than stay together for them.

The children didn't say that the divorce was easy, stress free or unemotional. It requires adaptation and change. It was when they looked back, that they realized it was better than having unhappy parents.

What are some benefits from a parents' perspective?

Children are not the only ones who look back and realize they made the best decision. There are many positive results of a divorce.

Here are a few benefits from another survey that adult individuals didn't see coming in their life post-divorce:

  • Guilt-free alone time: When the other parent has the kids, you don't need to choose between their needs and your needs. You can take that bath or that run.
  • Getting an emotional and mental break: Being a parent is a full-time job, but divorced parents get to decompress during their weekends off.
  • Becoming a better parent: When you are less stressed, you are more patient. It can help you avoid snapping at the kids or getting frustrated when they make a mistake or a bad decision.
  • Developing a positive relationship with the other parent: Some parents find that they like one another more after divorce, becoming good friends and great co-parents when they removed the pressure of the intimate relationship.

There is no doubt that divorce means change, and that can be scary. Don't let the fear of "different" stop you from making a decision that could end up making your life better than it is now.

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