Why Being Stuck in a Toxic Marriage Is More Painful for a Child Than Divorce


Divorce is rarely painless in any family. Although, for the sake of children’s well-being, it’s sometimes better to make the decision to have a smooth break up rather than maintain a difficult marriage. If handled correctly, parental separation can bring a happier future to children, while staying in an unhappy relationship can make everyone in the family suffer — especially the kids.

Bright Side has listed 6 reasons why a difficult marriage can have a worse outcome for children than divorce.

They’ll mirror the unhealthy model of their parents’ relationship.


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Children absorb relationships patterns that surround them like sponges. When they see endlessly arguing parents, they do it too. Kids start to think it’s fair to settle for an unhappy marriage and will become doubtful about their ability to develop a healthy and loving relationship.

Being jealous, getting angry easily, not talking to their spouse, and being domineering and critical are all parental behaviors that tend to lead to problematic marriages in the lives of children with toxic parents.

They’ll probably never “get used” to their parents’ fighting.

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Children detect negative emotions pretty easily and they’re super sensitive to destructive family conflict. With parents often showing disrespect for each other, their kids’ social and emotional well-being is not safe.

The tension between parents can threaten a child’s sense of security, making them feel rejected, uncertain, and guilty. And instead of putting up with it, they may eventually grow into adults with low self-esteem, trust issues, and the feeling of unworthiness.


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