“Two questions submitted via Formspring:
I’m stuck in a loveless marriage. We do nothing together but take care of the kids and take care of other things. We are basically just roommates. Our kids are young the youngest is 3. So I’m not waiting until he leaves the house. I need to be happy now.”
“Hi I loved the advice that you gave the other gal -She was asking if she should stay in a loveless marriage, but she is too afraid to leave for financial reasons. Well I have a better excuse! I am also afraid to leave because of a 14 year old daughter.”
The short answer to both questions is the same: leave.
In my Coaching work, I often work with people staying in bad marriages ‘for the kids’, but the problem is: doing that, hurts everybody.
It hurts the husband and wife, since you are standing still while life passes you by; it’s easy to get hung up in ‘someday, maybe’ thinking. Someday it will get better; maybe we’ll get divorced once the kids are out of the house. You are basically signing on to spend years as a prisoner in your own home, and for what?
Ah yes, the kids.
The problem is, coming from a broken home teaches children to grow up and create broken homes. Growing up, we look at our parents to teach us what love looks like, and this is why growing up in emotionally unstable, or even abusive environments is so dangerous. Since, a child won’t look at a situation and say “clearly my parents no longer have feelings for one another, but they have put their own wishes to the side to be physically present for me. When I grow up, I will have a much different dynamic with my own spouse”. They’ll look at it and think parents who don’t communicate, have zero intimacy, possibly yell and scream or just plain don’t like each other is normal.
And when the time comes, they’ll choose the wrong mate and create the same cycle again.
It would be much, much, MUCH better for them to see their parents having healthy relationships with two other people, rather than one twisted relationship with each other.
One other really important thing: try not to argue in front of the kids, or anywhere they can hear it; and never, never, never try and get the kids to turn on a parent. No matter what happens in your relationship, or how you feel about each other, you will always both be their parents; so don’t get the kids stuck in the middle.
You have to find a way to coexist as parents, even if it’s no longer as a couple. Considering you once got along well enough to sleep together, much less got married, finding a way not to hate each other shouldn’t be too hard to do!
You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click ‘share’ up at the top!
B. Dave Walters
Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host
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