4 Questions To Ask Yourself If You're Only Staying Married 'For The Kids'

Divorce might actually be a better option.

November 8, 2017

When you’re on the brink of divorce, the question of “Should I stay or should I go?” can get really complicated, really quickly—especially if there are kids involved. For many women, staying in a marriage just for the kids—or at least until they reach a certain age—might seem like the best strategy. But if kids are the only reason you’re not headed to the courthouse, you might not be making the healthiest choice for you or for them, says Rebecca Hendrix, L.M.F.T., a marriage and family therapist in New York. “Staying together for the kids can sometimes be worse for them than divorcing,” she says. Vikki Ziegler, Esq., a divorce lawyer in New Jersey, agrees. “In my experience in 20 years of divorcing people—and helping people stay happily married—the children have never been served by the parents staying together for that reason. Ultimately you just prolong the agony of divorce.” Of course, there are exceptions. “If getting your basic needs met—losing access to money, food or shelter—would be a problem if you divorce, and if you can maintain a healthy friendship with your ex while waiting for one of these to improve, then it might be healthy to stick it out for the change to occur,” says Hendrix. Continue reading