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'We see many couples in relationships where they aren’t happy, or don’t really want to be in, but who stick together for the sake of their children.The study of 2,000 married parents found four in ten are currently in a marriage they aren’t completely happy with, with more than a third saying they have too much to lose to get divorced.
While it is an understandable reaction for parents to feel that it would be better to stay together to avoid the impact of a relationship breakdown on the children, in some cases doing so may only serve to increase the long term adverse effects on them.
Children can often pick up on things and regardless of how much of a united front you put on, youngsters, particularly older ones, can sometimes see through it. In some cases, children feel ‘cheated’ if, when they get older, they realise their parents were putting on a ‘front’ during their childhoods.
There is help available to parents to work together to ensure that their children are affected as little as possible by a break-up, allowing all to be happier in the longer term. If you are in an unhappy relationship, and if a divorce or separation is handled sensitively by both parents, children can and do prosper more than they might have done, had their parents stuck together, but in an unhappy household.'
'Bringing a relationship to an end is a difficult decision and not one to be rushed. We worked with many parents, all of who want to minimise the impact of divorce or separation on their children.Top ten reasons for staying in an unhappy marriage
For some, this might result in their delaying a date for separation. For others, working closely with professionals, including mediators, counsellors and therapists, can help the family to address arrangements constructively and positively. There is a wealth of information available to parents – and children (in an age-appropriate way) – to help them come to terms with a huge change and move forward to the next chapter of their lives.
There are many ways that an amicable separation can be achieved to have a minimal impact on any children involved. The most important thing is that both parties are prepared to put their kids first during the process and avoid fighting over issues, as involving children in a tug of love can be extremely upsetting and harmful for them.
Studies have shown that if parents are not happy their feelings will inevitably affect the whole family no matter how hard they try to hide it. Parents may be worried about the stigma of divorce or the financial implications, but ultimately people in this situation need to seek specialist advice and endeavour to ensure that what they do is best for everyone involved.'
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