Staying married for the kids, that is what 1/3 of couples do and it is sad. Sure, it is a sampling but a daunting statistic nonetheless. I was that statistic, thinking me absent of my babies would turn them into children addicted to drugs, lost in societal ways and outright terrible kids. The result of me leaving is yet to be seen.
To stay married for the kids played on my heart nearly a year after they were born, the time it took for the marital dynamics to drastically change. Children are game changers, good and bad. Good because they are the greatest blessing humankind can experience. Bad because, if unprepared, either parent can shove a stake down the middle of the marriage losing themselves in his or her child (ren). I am of the later, as the sudden need to care for children bore from another’s womb paralyzed my then wife. Motherhood was her dream but not experiencing a normal pregnancy or childbirth, sent her into shock and awe when twins entered our lives.
That is how children came to me, through the wonders of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Some say why spend all that time and money to walk away from your wife and kids? Because sometimes change in oneself requires drastic measures.
I saw the effects of “staying for the kids” in my inlaws and it is not something I want for my children or myself. To stay for the kids is the true definition of dying to oneself because death is what the person becomes. Mood changes, lost sense of purpose, frequent questioning of existence, utter disappointment, pent up aggression, the list goes on. How do I know this? Because I was what I describe.
Children are the greatest blessing to mankind. I repeat, no greater blessing in life will find you than a hug, a kiss, a look from your child. NONE. So, if a child brings overwhelming joy and happiness, why not man up and make it work? Because children fill one side of the soul, the other is filled by a soulmate.
Children require parental guidance for a certain length of time, leaving the nest in a blink of an eye. Who is left to spend the rest of your life with? Not your children. Yes, it is a parent’s obligation to raise their child in the manner they see fit, for as a long as they deem necessary. That is parental obligation number one, than what?
Marriage is a two-way street where maturity, communication and selfless acts of love shower one another. It is no easy feat, probably the greatest challenge second to raising a child. If one party gives and gives and gives, it is a matter of time before a breakdown of will occurs. Now, religious people may stay in the marriage regardless of individual happiness and love because that is Godly, and I commend those people. I pray God forgives me. I pray He finds grace for my actions because to stay for the sake of my children would have led to more than spiritual and mental death.
It is NOT, I repeat NOT easy to walk away from a third of life invested in someone, but neither is living in a lie the rest of life.