We are all familiar with the idea of an unhappily married couple “staying together for the kids.” If you know someone living such a reality, you may come away from interactions with that person or couple shaking your head wistfully, looking forward to the day when your friend can be happy again. If, however, this describes your own marriage, you should know that, in many cases, living with two parents in a bad relationship can actually be worse for your children than dealing with their parents’ divorce. It might be hard to believe, but, depending on your situation, you may need to consider divorcing “for the kids.”
Divorce has long been linked with a variety of health effects. Increased stress and anxiety, for example, are common during and immediately following the divorce process, which, in some cases, can evolve into full-blown depression. In other situations, a divorce offers an escape from a bad marriage, allowing a once-trapped spouse to experience a renewed sense of freedom and hope—resulting in overall better personal health. It turns out, however, that divorce could be affecting women differently than it does men, at least in terms of heart health. According to a recent study, women who were divorced had a higher risk of suffering from heart attacks than divorced men, who had to go through a second divorce before their heart attack risk increases.
As a divorced parent, you have probably had to work through a number of uncomfortable conversations with your child. You may have been the one to break the news of your divorce to him or her and, in the time since, you may have answered dozens—if not hundreds—of questions about the future. Now, as you consider getting remarried, you will need to address difficult topics with your child once again.
It is no secret that a divorce can be an incredibly stressful time for families. While a couple may have to deal with the grief and sadness of a failed relationship—not to mention the challenges of the divorce process itself—those with children must also manage the transition into a new familial structure.