When Is Divorce Better For Kids?

Greg is in an abusive relationship and has a 16-month-old daughter. At what point does a relationship become so bad that it’s better to get out?

QUESTION: Greg is in an abusive relationship and has a 16-month-old daughter. At what point does a relationship become so bad that it’s better to get out? Hear the answer from Dave's guest, Dr. Meg Meeker.

ANSWER: Remember that the pain you feel in the relationship is different from what your daughter feels. You really have to have an extreme situation of abuse from one spouse to another in order for things to be worse than if you were to divorce. Divorce is very painful for kids. Your daughter is young enough to adapt to a new situation if things are really that bad. Sometimes, we use our kids as an excuse and say that we don’t want them growing up in this sort of environment, when really it doesn’t bother the kids nearly as much as you think it does. Kids are self-centered. They just want Mom and Dad to be present and under the same roof that they are.

The best thing for the daughter is for you to stick it out. If you’re going to break it, the sooner the better. It’s easier on a child when you divorce when she’s a year and a half instead of when she’s five. Get some marriage counseling and dig that out. Be sure that you’re sure about this.

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