Staying married for the kids, that is what 1/3 of couples do. Isn’t that sad? Sure, although a sampling, a pretty 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. It’s remains to be seen how my kids will turn out
To stay married for the kids played on my heart for nearly a year after they were born, about the same time it took for the marital dynamics of my marriage 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 her inability to experience a normal pregnancy or childbirth, quote possibly sent her into shock 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.
- How does adult break away from childhood ways when all they know is easy or served on a platter for their choosing?
- How does an adult change what they naturally are when words of wise counsel fall on deaf ears?
- How does an adult begin to care for another when they do not care for themselves?
- How does an adult take up their role as an “adult” and learn to become what their child needs them to be?
I saw the effects of “staying for the kids” in my inlaws and it was not something I wanted 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 that’s exactly how I felt.
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. My kids brought me overwhelming joy and happiness, still do, so why not man up and make it work? They filled one side of my soul, while the other side grew dormant and cold.
Children will require parental guidance for a certain length of time, and they will leave the nest in a blink of an eye. Who is left to spend the rest of life with? Not our children. Sure, 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, maintaining a marriage that it is. If one party gives and gives and gives, it is a matter of time before the other person will break.
Religious or should I say “believers of a higher power” people may stay in an marriage regardless of individual happiness and love because it is Godly. I commend those people. I just know that time will surely tell the true colors of marriage and those that inhabit such a union.