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I consider myself an optimistic person. When I married my husband, I vowed to honor and love him through sickness and in health. The last thing I would ever imagine is us ever breaking up. Even through our disagreements, the "D" word has never been uttered. But, I can't say the same for those closest to us. I've seen my parents' and friends' marriages crumble, and it makes me wonder, should you stay in a marriage for the sake of the kids?
My parents were young when they tied the knot. My father in his teens, and my mom in her early 20s. We came to the United States from Jamaica when I was just 6 years old. I'm one of four siblings, so you can imagine how difficult it is to relocate an entire family to a whole new country. Despite the economic hardship we faced, we stuck together through thick and thin.
However, eventually things began to change. Throughout junior high and high school, I could tell the strong foundation my parents built as a couple was slowly deteriorating. It became clear that they were unhappy.
I'd hear people say that it's best to stay in a marriage for the sake of the kids. But I never quite understood the reasoning behind that statement. My parents were clearly miserable, and their unhappiness affected us.
The day they finally parted ways was the happiest day of my life. ... I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.
I began feeling mixed emotions—one day angry, then the next day sad. Back then I couldn't understand the reason behind these feelings. But in retrospect, I can honestly say that the demise of my parents' relationship weighed heavily on me and there was nothing I could do.
The day they finally parted ways was the happiest day of my life. I know it may sound insensitive to some people, but I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Now that I see my friends going through a divorce, I am taken back to the days when my parents were so unhappy.
Some folks advised, "Stay together for the sake of your four kids!"
I, on the other hand, say, "Do whatever makes you happy, whether it's working things out or splitting up."
My mother-in-law and father-in-law got a divorce when my husband was a child. They ended up remarrying years later and were happy in love until the death of my father-in-law a few years ago. Their situation was a true testament to the old saying, "If it's meant to be, then it will be." The time apart made their union so much stronger.
Love and happiness are key to the survival of any relationship. What's the point of being miserable? Believe me, you are not doing your kids a favor by staying in a loveless marriage.
I see how my friend's divorce is affecting her children and it's a tough situation. Now that my parents are no longer together, my mom is so much happier. Our relationship is stronger. As far as my father is concerned, he has also moved on with his life and has started another family. And I wish him nothing but the best.
Should you stay in a marriage for the sake of the kids?