Are You Really Staying Together For The Kids?

Is It The Kids, Or Is It Something Else?

I believe that couples can work through just about any difference or circumstance thrown their way and encourage people to make up, not break up. But when it comes to reasons why people DO end up staying together, I don’t think that “the kids” is a valid, or truthful, reason, nor is it a healthy one.

Let’s take the relatively recent example of Sen. John Edwards, whose affair was revealed to the public during this election cycle, but had been made known to his wife soon after it happened.

We at least have to give him SOME credit for being honest with her. She said she was (obviously) upset, but decided to stick it out with her husband “for the kids.”

This is something we hear a lot, and something I see a lot when talking to couples who are contemplating divorce or who have gone through an affair situation. The truth is, people rarely stay together just for the kids.

Wanting To Make It Work

People stay with the cheating spouse/partner because deep down they want to make it work and they believe they CAN get to the bottom of the situation, and work through it. These are valuable sentiments to acknowledge and important in beginning to re-build the relationship, if that’s what the couple chooses to do.

The affair usually comes as a wake-up call to both parties involved. It’s a (rather obvious!) sign that they’re struggling with something else, whether it be a fear of loss, as seems to be the situation in the case of the Edwards’, dealing with stress (also a possible factor), or even a means of revenge for something else going on in the relationship.

Whatever the reason, it’s an obvious turning point and one that can be negotiated around when the couple is willing to get to the bottom of their emotions.


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