If you’re teetering on the brink of divorce, here are a few reasons to stay married. This is not marriage advice for specific situations; it’s just a few things to think about. It may be especially helpful for couples who are looking for reasons to stay married.
“It takes two to destroy a marriage.” – Margaret Trudeau. Does it take two to save a marriage? I believe it does, but I’ve read books about saving your marriage alone and saving your marriage without talking about it. I don’t believe any individual should try to save a marriage alone. I think both partners should work together.
So, perhaps one reason not to stay married is if your partner has given up on the relationship. If your spouse doesn’t want to remain in the marriage, then there might be nothing you can do to save your marriage. If this is you, read How to Deal With Divorce Pain.
6 Reasons to Stay Married
Divorce is hell on the kids. Sure, I’ve read lots of research that says kids bounce back after divorce and that living with parents who don’t get along is worse than divorce. But, what about living with parents who care enough to work out their relationship problems so the kids can grow up in an intact home? What about being the type of person who sincerely puts the kids first, and stays married for the reason that it’s better for kids?
If you’re not sure if you have any reasons to stay married, read Love Must Be Tough: New Hope for Marriages in Crisis.
Divorce is expensive. Today I read this tip about being financially secure when you retire: “Stay married to the same person.” The author went on to describe how expensive divorce is. In fact, it’s the most expensive decision you’ll ever make. Is this a reason to stay married? I guess it depends on how “bad” your marriage is. If money isn’t a good reason for you to stay married, read How to Save Money for a Divorce.
Divorce destroys families. Our family has been working through a divorce for over two years, and it’s dividing the family. Cousins are mad at each other, sisters-in-law not speaking to each other, mothers heartbroken, brothers enraged, in-laws like me caught in the middle. If you value your family, that may be reason enough to stay married.
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Divorce doesn’t teach kids how to resolve conflict. Unless you participate in transformative divorce mediation, you won’t teach your children how to work through and stay committed to long-term relationships. This is similar to my first reason to stay married: I believe it really is better for the kids.
Divorce should be a last resort. What have you tried, in terms of staying married? There are so many options: marriage counseling, workshops, retreats, books, coaching, and spirituality. If you’ve tried everything to stay married, then divorce may be your only option. But it really should be a last resort, not a default position.
Divorce is traumatic. I don’t believe in staying married at all costs. I don’t think we’re meant to stay in unhealthy or abusive relationships. I don’t believe marriage is a union that we can never ever break. But, I do believe in these reasons to stay married. I believe we should work on our marriages, and avoid the trauma and pain that divorce brings.
The best reason to stay married is because you love your spouse and don’t want to split up. You know your relationship better than anyone, and you need to listen to your heart. Maybe try marriage counseling – or go on a marriage retreat without leaving home. My husband and I are taking a marriage course, and I’ve been sharing our insights and observations.
If you’re considering divorce, read Signs You Should Leave Your Husband.
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Why are you staying married? I welcome your thoughts. I don’t judge, and have no opinion on whether or not you should stay in your marriage or if you should get divorce. It’s a highly personal decision that each person must make with care and counsel.