Ending a relationship under any circumstances is difficult, especially if it is a marriage or long-term relationship. However, when children are involved the dissolution of a relationship should be done with tact so that the separating couple does not cause unnecessary trauma for the kids.
Relationships end for a variety of reasons. In fact, some people are just not compatible and may not come to terms with their incompatibility for several years. When they finally recognize that their relationship is ending, the home may become a war zone, with the children unwillingly being placed in the line of fire. The children may end up trying to play peacemakers because the parents may behave more immaturely than the kids. Children should not find themselves in this type of situation.
The parents must take control of their emotions and the situation by dealing with each other in a tactful manner. They can make arrangements to end their relationship in a cordial way by seeking legal counsel if they are married. They may also need to seek legal counsel in regards to child custody, jointly owned property or other issues that may arise. A relationship does not have to end in a bad way with both parties filled with anger and resentment. Such emotions do nothing but exasperate any difficulties and cause unnecessary stress for the children.
It is okay to let children know that relationships, including marriages, do not always last forever. Some couples will suffer through unbearable circumstances because they do not want to let the children or others know that their lives are less than perfect. It is not necessary to remain in a bad relationship for the sake of family or appearances. However, it is best to be honest with children if they are old enough to understand. Sitting down with the children and explaining the situation is better than arguing in front of them or within earshot, and then pretending that everything is fine.
Children are not as naive as parents sometimes assume. The children may be fully aware of the issues between their parents and wait nervously for the next volatile eruption to take place. Children should not live like that and neither should the parents.
Adults should remember that they can make a choice to remain or to leave if they are unhappy in a relationship. However, children do not always have that option. When adults can no longer live together amicably, parting ways may be the best choice. However, it is very important to remember that adult choices affect children; therefore, those decisions need to be weighed carefully and handled with kid gloves.
If you must end your relationship, do so peacefully, and seek legal intervention if you need it. Realize that your actions and choices affect your children as well as yourself. Children shouldn’t have to live with the mistakes of their parents or other adults.