I hear this question consistently from clients and there really is no right or wrong answer, however there are some important issues to consider when making this very challenging decision. There are many men and women that will endure and submit to an abusive partner with their kids’ “best interest” in mind and while that kind of sacrifice appears endearing, there comes a point when you must look at your situation objectively and ask yourself “is this really what my kids deserve”? Some parents dismiss and minimize the horrific circumstances they are in because they truly feel that their own happiness is just not as pertinent as the stability of their family, when in actuality our personal sense of happiness is not only contagious, but also directly related to the psychological development of our children.
Much of the fear behind leaving an abusive partner, whether it be emotional, verbal, physical, financial or other forms abuse is not knowing how the child or children will react to the separation. It is important, however, to keep in mind that Co-Parenting is not only possible but can be a much healthier alternative to a child watching their parents suffer in an unfulfilling and toxic relationship. Often times when kids grow up learning that their parents stayed together only for the sake of their children, they feel cheated as they reflect on the front their parents projected for so many years. On the other hand, children of divorce may grow up fearing long-term relationships and anticipate an unsuccessful result in their own marriage. The most important aspect of acting on your pursuit to stay or go is your safety and the safety of your child/children.
If the relationship you’re in is abusive in any way, shape or form it may be time to seriously evaluate your situation. Sometimes a partner can be a great parent but an absolutely awful mate, in this case Co-parenting is a very plausible option. Although choosing to leave an abusive relationship for the sake of your own sanity, health and children’s wellbeing seems like the best possible solution, it is not as easy as seems. There are so many factors involved in making this kind of decision that many couples feel the obstacles are just not worth the possible outcome. Here are some helpful tips when considering this life altering decision
If you’re still unsure whether or not staying or leaving a toxic relationship is best for you and your children, consider trying out our unique coaching and educational approach to wellness by signing up for a FREE account today at www.elttila.com.
Written by Michelle Meyers, MS, NCC.