Staying in it for the children

Anonymous:

My parents divorced when I was twelve. We moved from Michigan to Missouri and my mom went wild! My oldest brother went to Memphis for college, my other brother ran away to my dads in Michigan and left me all alone to fend for myself! I feel like if my mom stuck it out until after we all graduated I would have went to college too and had a lot easier life! So now I’m in a verbal and emotional abusive marriage. Most times I’ve become strong enough to not let it bother me because I know it’s from his short comings and not my fault! At the same time I would really love for someone to adore me and love me how I believe I deserve! BUT I know alone I can’t give my kids what they deserve, they love him and he loves them. I really believe it’s in my kids best interest for us to stay together! I laid down with this man and had kids, I should follow through! Am I right or wrong?

Cassandra:

Thank you for writing in to me for advice about this very tricky matter. My parents too divorced when I was in the early stages of high school. Divorced or not, it was still your parents duty to continue to ensure you were cared for and divorce is no excuse to just abandon your responsibilities, for that, I am very sorry that you had this experience. As a parent, under no circumstance can I see what happened to you at such a young age to be okay. However, due to your past, I can see why you feel that staying in this marriage may seem to be what’s best for your family, but in my personal opinion and as an outsider looking in, I have to say I disagree and here’s why:

Your children will think how their mother is being treated is acceptable when in reality it is NOT. Even if you do not fight in front of the children, they’re very intuitive. Your children deserve to live in a home where the adults are respectful towards one another and are able to resolve conflict in a more healthier way. See if he would agree to try couples therapy where both you and him can learn some healthy coping mechianisms. All parties must accept responsibility for their roles otherwise nothing will change. When all else fails, you must have respect for yourself and your needs, enough to walk away. Not just for your sake but also your children’s sake.

Best of luck to you and your family, and remember, everyone deserves to be happy.

Xoxo

Cassandra