How Do Unhappy Marriages Affect Children?
Whether your marriage is happy or unhappy, there will likely be a positive impact on your children. But there are also negative effects of divorce on children. The good news is that divorce and unhappy marriages are both detrimental to children, and it is possible to avoid the negative effects of an unhappy marriage by staying together for your children. Read on to learn how unhappy marriages affect your children. You may be surprised to learn just how detrimental it can be.
Children who grow up in an unhappy household do not establish a sense of stability in their environment. The chronic tension of a divorced household creates an environment where children may internalize conflict, which can affect their sense of self and their behavior. It can cause moodiness and distrust. Children in a dysfunctional marriage will develop negative attitudes toward their parents and may be less likely to trust others. Children can also feel the strain of parental separation on their minds and hearts.
Children are extremely perceptive. They can sense marital tensions and stress and begin to worry about the future. They don't trust parents who pretend everything is fine. Often times, children will even feel relieved when the parents divorce. The child will be able to have a happier life with their parents than with their dysfunctional parents. In fact, this can lead to codependent behavior later in life. Even if children don't know the cause of the unhappy marriage, they may develop codependence in the future.
Unhappily married couples are often afraid of their children. This fear can lead to social and emotional ailments. Children may begin socially isolating themselves to avoid the underlying stress of a marriage. Even children who have great talents can give up on them because they are afraid of being rejected and abused. In addition, a marriage that is filled with arguing and a constant battle may be unhealthy for their children.
While divorce is often a stressful situation for everyone involved, children do have a unique set of emotions. Children who witness their parents' discord may become emotionally burned out and find it difficult to switch between modes. Children may be forced to play favorites and feel like they have to choose sides. These children will often repeat negative behaviors that they see in their parents' relationship. Children will become adults who repeat these unhealthy behaviors and will continue to do so.
Many studies show that the quality of a marriage is directly related to how much life satisfaction the people involved have after the divorce. Those who were not poor before the marriage breakup end up higher on life satisfaction than those who stayed in an unhappy marriage. For instance, those who divorced recently had a household income of under $25,000. Even more shocking, children of divorced parents are far more likely to fall under the poverty line than those from happy marriages.