One of the most important things you can model for your child is how to have loving & supportive relationships. While this is well-supported by research, many parents worry getting divorced is worse than staying in an unhealthy marriage. Let’s clarify this important topic so you can make wise relationship decisions that will benefit you and your child.
First, about 50% of marriages end in divorce. You are not “bad” for getting a divorce. Sometimes, even with marital counseling, the healthiest option for all parties involved is to separate. As we stated earlier, it is far more important for your child to see you in a healthy relationship than it is to avoid a divorce to keep the status quo.
While surprising to many, conflict can be a good thing. In fact, children should see their parents engage in healthy conflict. They learn how to communicate and be in relationships from watching you, their parents. You want your children to see you communicate in a loving & supportive way. Divorce may be the only way for your children to see you in a healthy relationship, and that is okay!
At the same time, divorce can feel like the world’s end to your child. Children whose families experience divorce have an increased risk of mental health & other struggles. Because of this, we strongly recommend therapy to help them through this process. While divorce is a difficult process for a family, the results truly can be healthier family dynamics and relationships. If you’re going through a divorce, or trying to decide the best next steps for you and your child, please reach out to schedule an appointment. We can help you help your child navigate this difficult time of change.
The National Library of Medicine lists the study: Effects of Family Structure on Mental Health of Children: A Preliminary Study