Better For Parents To Divorce Than For Kids To Witness Fighting? Lessons from Unhappy Marriages


You’ve seen the argument many times: better for parents to divorce than for the children to keep seeing them fighting.

Just to be clear from the outset, physical abuse of any kind should not be tolerated. If a spouse and/or children are being abused, they need to remove themselves/be removed from the situation ASAP.

But what about marriages where parents simply aren’t getting along and are constantly fighting? We talked to those who grew up in these environments and asked them to share their thoughts.

I grew up seeing my parents fight all the time but I did not wish for them to separate. Seeing either of my parents with other partners would have been more painful para sakin bilang anak.
— Lori

Napansin ko maraming mali the way they were fighting.

1. Tuloy pa din nagsasalita in the heat of the moment. Why not allow yourselves to calm down bago magharap? We are all human. Nag-iinit ang ulo natin and during that time we tend to say things we don’t mean. Tapos both parties take it personally kahit na dala lang ng galit yung nabitawang salita.

2. When the anger fades, they won’t talk about it and that pain will stay there until…

3. They have to bring up previously unresolved conflicts in the next fight.

Domino effect eh. Marriage needs open communication and patience.

— Maricris

It’s not the conflict itself that’s bad for the children to witness, but the inability to RESOLVE the conflict, therefore what’s needed are better communication skills, anger management training, etc.

— Cherry

Dapat kasi magpakumbaba and matutong mag-sorry, tapos pagusapan muna nang masinsinan kung paano mareresolve ang problema, bago pagusapan ang hiwalayan.
– Leo

We wanted to them to be legally separated just to mull things over and have a little peace, but I think seeing them separated and remarried would’ve broken our hearts even more. At least lang yung magkasama sila, knowing that they were trying to stay together para sa mga anak nila, even if they were evidently miserable (their fault though), it was enough for me to believe as an adult that the future and happiness of any marriage depends on the choices of the couple. Learning from their mistakes, I figured that a marriage can be happy if you both want to make it work, with the thinking na habangbuhay na kasi kayo magkasama. If may divorce, people will marry thinking that they have more freedom to get separated and marry another if it fails anyway. More couples would be in a marriage prepared/primed for failure.
– Romer

Actually yung mga parents ko, ngayon na mukhang natauhan na sila, they acknowledge that they made a mistake getting married without really getting to know each other, and not really being prepared for marriage. So tinuturo nila samin ngayon, need ng good foundation. Get to know each other more bago magasawa.

— Jaymie

I went through the same thing. I didn’t know my husband very well. All the negative traits I saw later on na, and I wanted na magkahiwalay kami at first. But I realized I can’t hate him for it. If I hated him and thought about nothing else but to separate, he won’t feel loved. If he doesn’t feel loved, he won’t strive to change. Chain reaction din eh.
— Joanna

I saw it with my mom. She hated my father more each day. They don’t talk about it pero lagi na she wishes ill of him every time they fight. Lalo na nung mga bata pa kami. Then they won’t talk for 3 days or so. Tapos when they talk na it’s like nothing happened. And then they will fight again and bring up lahat ng napagawayan dati. My mom became a nagger because nagbi-build up lagi yung anger nya and my father became more impatient due to the nagging, to the point that he doesn’t care what my mom thinks anymore, he started to become unfaithful, etc. They became less and less expressive of how they felt for each other. That’s the problem pag hindi naguusap and hindi natututo mag-forgive maraming nags-stem na problema.
— Leslie

Lots of lessons to learn from unhappy marriages which can be resolved naman sana. Karamihan talaga ng marital problems stem from communication. But at least I was able to learn from where my parents made a mistake. Definitely, if we can talk and pinpoint kung san may problema pwedeng iresolve. Kung away lang ng away ang usapan, may rason naman bakit laging nagaaway… but not enough reason to divorce someone.
— Stella

It’s not good for kids to hear their parents fighting, but at the same time isa lang ang gusto ng mga anak pag nagaaway ang magulang: “magbati na kayo” hindi “maghiwalay na kayo”. Narinig ko na din yan sa 5 yr old ko na anak and it gave me a flashback. They would want their parents to patch it up.
— Mark

I know someone who got annulled within a year lang.. 150k ang nagastos nila over psychological incapacitance and adultery yata.. their marriage began to crumble when they started to fight over petty things like not squeezing the toothpaste tube properly, not putting down the toilet seat, not helping with the dishes. Mga ganyan… and the wife looked so pleased that they got annulled kasi those were the things she hated about her husband… tumatawa lang kami ng husband ko listening to her kasi sobrang petty talaga. Ang dami ngayon ang bababaw na. — Jess

Kahit worst na situation, kahit nun time na malala talaga nangyayari, parang mas di ko kaya na hiwalay sila. Mas masakit sa akin kung naghiwalay tapos nagkaron pa ng bagong asawa/kabit. Ang bata kasi ang gusto magkasundo ang magulang, hindi magkahiwalay. Kahit bata ako nun, tingin ko may dapat gawin para maayos. — Shine

Nung tumanda ako lalo ko narealize may mali pareho. Nanay ko marami din pagkukulang kaya nagkaganon tatay ko. Tatay ko meron pagkukulang pero pareho sila. At yun ang iniiwasan ko na maulit sa min. Super-rare yung isa lang talaga ang may kasalanan tapos yung isa sobrang bait. Both sides yan.
— Maysie

Dito kasi napaka rampant nung mga sinasabi na pag may anak na sasabihin ng babae na bahala na asawa ko malaki na yun. Basta anak ko lang tututukan ko, basta umuwi sya. Tapos pinaparinig pa sa ibang tao. Hindi puedeng pabayaan ang relationship ng mag-asawa.

— Nikki

If that’s the reasoning (i.e. divorce instead of constant fighting), then they are teaching their children that it is better to quit/give up than to continue struggling or fighting for something worthwhile.

— Leah






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