There is no doubt that situations like divorce and sharing custody have the potential to take a significant toll on kids. After all, they are major changes that require considerable adjustment.
It is only natural for parents to want to avoid these areas of complication and shield children from difficult situations. However, if you think that staying in an unhappy and high-conflict marriage is accomplishing these things, you may want to reconsider.
According to a recent study, children of parents who stay in high-conflict marriages are more likely to get divorced when they grow up. The study was conducted by researchers who found that staying in an unhappy marriage can ultimately do more harm than good for children.
This might seem surprising, but when you take a step back and consider the situation from a child's perspective, it makes more sense.
Children who grow up exposed to constant fighting, unresolved conflicts and potential abuse may not be able to build healthy conflict-resolution skills. They might not see frequent arguing as a warning of more trouble to come or develop the tools necessary to make compromises. These elements make it more likely for that child to get divorced when they are older.
But when parents do get divorced and end an unhappy marriage, their children have about the same likelihood of divorce as children of parents who were happily married.
It must be noted that there are no ways to guarantee your child will grow up to have happy relationships. Countless other elements, experiences and traits play a role in forming adult relationships as well.
However, studies like this one can give parents some insight into how their decisions affect children. This can be especially valuable when there is widespread belief that supports an alternative mindset.
If you are avoiding divorce because you think you are protecting your kids, you may find it helpful to reassess your decision in light of these types of studies. With legal support and a continued focus on your children's well-being, you can get the divorce you want while also helping your child adjust to a shared parenting situation and transition into a lifestyle that could be best for everyone.