It is conventional wisdom that if a married couple isn’t happy then the children suffer. However, in the U.S. it used to be, before the Baby Boomer generation and the liberalizing of divorce in the 1970’s, that people stayed together in a loveless marriage for the sake of the children. But which is true? Certainly the conservative-liberal split and the politicizing of every aspect of life today, including marriage and divorce, have made the answer unclear. If we strip away partiality, we find that it depends upon the situation.
Research suggests that low conflict marriages, though unhappy, may be better for children than divorce (http://www.divorcesource.com/ds/considering/high-conflict-versus-low-conflict-divorce-482.shtml). Children of divorce earn typically less money, have more psychological problems, are more likely to experience substance abuse, have lower academic achievement, and are more likely to endure some type of abuse (physical, sexual, or even both). Children of divorce are also more likely to get divorced themselves and have children out of wedlock. The exception to this however, is a high conflict marriage. High conflict marriages where yelling and physical altercations occur are not healthy environments for children. In this type of situation, where the conflicts are inevitable and counseling has failed to solve the issue, divorce may be best, along with psychological counseling for one or more of the parents involved. Remember, children should always come first for parents making any life changing decisions. Talk to your children and your spouse openly, honestly and constructively. Most importantly, seek out a reputable marriage counselor, psychologist or mental health professional.