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How can an unhealthy marriage affect children in Missouri?

It is not uncommon to hear of couples in an unhappy marriage staying in a marriage for the sake of the children, but it is becoming more established that simply staying in an unhealthy and unhappy marriage may be doing more harm than good for children in the family. According to one author and parenting coach, divorce may be preferable to years of living in a home where the parents fight and disrespect one another. So how can an unhealthy marriage negatively affect children of the marriage?

Being exposed to a living environment where the parents are fighting may cause emotional and mental pain for children, who are often confused and bothered by the tension between the parents. This may lead to children not only feeling uneasy at home, but may lead to low self-esteem for the children down the line.

According to studies, children who live in high-conflict homes may experience feelings of unworthiness, which may affect them later in life as well. According to a psychotherapist, it's not uncommon for children to also believe that they are to blame for the unhappiness in the family. She said that since children are nationally ego-centered and generally have the idea that they are more powerful than they really are, they are likely to think they've somehow caused their parents' unhappiness and that it's really about them.

A child's well-being is the primary consideration for courts when deciding child custody during a divorce. It is not uncommon for parents in an unhealthy marriage to turn to alcohol, spend more time with friends, or work longer hours to avoid being under the same roof as the spouse. This means that the child ultimately spends less time with the parents well. An unhealthy relationship also gives children a first-hand glimpse how people react with one another, which may lead to emotional scars down the line. Unfortunately, even with the best of intentions, the sad reality is that staying in a relationship for the children may in fact be doing more harm than good.

Source: Huffington Post, "7 Ways You Can Damage Your Kids By Staying In A Bad Marriage," Brittany Wong, May 17, 2016

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