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In some cases, parents will stay in an unhappy marriage for the sake of their children. Most any parent doesn’t want to put their child through the heartbreak of watching their parents divorce. So they try to suck it up and stick it out, no matter how miserable they both are. But is that really what’s best for the kids? Here’s a few reasons why staying together just for the kids might really not be what’s best after all.

Staying Together for the Kids: Is It Healthy?

Your Kids Know You Can’t Stand Each Other

One of the biggest reasons staying together just for the kids may not be the best thing is because they know you can’t stand one another. Yes, you’ll think you guys are doing a great job hiding it. Yes, you’ll put on a happy face when the kids are around. And yes, they’ll still know you are faking it. Even at early ages, kids have the unique ability to pick up on these things. Which means they can sense the tension between you two and they notice when you avoid each other. So don’t think you are getting away with how unhappy you are–kids will still know.

They Won’t Know What a Healthy Relationship Looks Like

Another reason staying together may not be a good idea is that your kids won’t know what a healthy relationship looks like. If you and your spouse constantly argue and create tension, that’s what your child will associate with marriage and relationships. If you do split, it may be easier to be civil and work together, when you aren’t together. In that case, they can see you working as a team to do what’s best for them.

It Won’t Get Easier When They Grow Up

Staying together through your kid’s childhood won’t necessarily make it easier to stay together when they become an adult. If that’s the only reason for staying together, your marriage will most likely crumble when they leave the house. In that case, you may just be putting off the inevitable. And watching your parents go through a divorce as an adult isn’t always easier. Sometimes, adults take it very hard when their parents split after so many years of marriage.

In short, staying together may not always be the healthiest choice, even for your children. Divorce is always hard– especially on kids. But staying in a bad marriage may not prove to be any easier on them.