Pros and Cons of Staying Together for Your Child’s Sake

Photo: Lone by Saneej Kallingal

Relationships often go through peaks and valleys. But sometimes people grow apart and forever remain in the valley. Some unhappy couples choose to remain together since they have children. These couples believe their children will suffer irreparable harm if they separate. However, your commitment to a loveless, unhealthy relationship might cause your children just as much harm. Here are some pros and cons of staying together for the sake of the children.


  1. Financial stability. Divorce can be expensive especially if children are involved or it is contentious. It might be unaffordable or an overly burdensome expense to you and your spouse. Staying with your significant other may provide your family with the financial stability that it needs.
  2. Children from two-parent households have fewer issues as adults. Research suggests that the optimal situation for kids is a two-parent household. If you and your spouse/partner can co-parent effectively, then staying together may have positive effects on your children. These lasting effects could extend well into your children’s adulthood.
  3. Staying together may lead to reconciliation. For some couples, the collapse of their relationship has been rooted in a specific act or circumstance. Choosing to stay together may allow for forgiveness and eventual reconciliation that may not have happened if you had separated.
  4. Children from intact families have fewer behavioral issues. Divorce can often be a traumatic experience for children. That trauma can also lead to behavioral issues in kids. Staying together may spare your children the trauma. It may allow them to develop free of the stress and anxiety that separation may cause.
  5. It may strengthen the bond that you have with your children. Getting a divorce often means less time that you will be able to spend with your children because you will now have to share them with your spouse. You may no longer be able to see them whenever you would like. Choosing to remain in the relationship may allow you to develop a much stronger bond and relationship with your children than you could achieve if you leave.


  1. It may set a bad example. Children are perceptive. They may notice your and your spouse’s unhappiness and it may affect their view of what a healthy relationship consists of. This may have negative effects on your children’s future relationships.
  2. Unhappiness. For many people, the goal in life is happiness. Choosing to live your life while forgoing what many people find to be essential may manifest itself in unhealthy ways.
  3. It could lead to a contentious divorce. The unhappiness and dissatisfaction caused by a loveless marriage can result in a contentious divorce that could have been prevented by simply separating from each other before you reached that point.
  4. It could be worse for the children than separation. While it is true that children benefit from two-parent households, that only tells part of the story. Children do best in two-parent households that love them and each other. If there is constant bickering or negative energy in your home, any benefits gained by remaining together might be negated by the anger and contempt between two parents who no longer love each other.
  5. It may simply delay the inevitable. Putting off your separation out of fear does not guarantee that you will spare your children from harm: it might only delay this harm. For this reason, you may want to separate while your children are still young so that they have time to adapt. If you wait, the harm might be intensified because they might grow more accustomed to having both parents together.

There is no magic formula that can predict how your decision to remain in or dissolve a relationship will affect your children. Some children adapt better than others for reasons that are outside of your control. Before you decide, you should talk with someone who you trust that has your best interests at heart. If you have not already tried family counseling, then this is something that you should consider.

Oklahoma Family Law Attorneys

Of course, if you decide to end your marriage, then consulting with an experienced family law attorney will allow you to explore your options and to select a path forward that best suits your and your family’s needs. Naidu Law is a premier family law firm that has helped countless clients with matters including divorce, child custody, child support, and more. Backed by more than four decades of experience, Naidu Law has been recognized as one of the best divorce law firms in Oklahoma. The firm strives to obtain the best results for clients and to provide quality services at a reasonable cost. Contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Naidu Law by calling (405) 792-2400 or by contacting us online.