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MARRIAGE (PART 4): MAKING THE CHOICE TO SEPARATE AND/OR DIVORCE

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SISTAH POWER

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The decision to separate/divorce, especially when children are involved, is one of the most difficult choices a person can face.  Divorce is not pretty.  It adds stress to the lives of each spouse, their families, friends and their children.  Unfortunately, divorce tends to bring out the worst in people.  Hurt feelings and anger often take precedence over doing what is truly best for the kids.  Because of this, caring couples should do everything they can to work on their issues and challenge themselves to repair their marriages before choosing divorce.  Go to counseling.  Read books.  Talk with friends and loved ones.  Work at it.  When a marriage is healthy and the parents are working together towards the long-term health and happiness of the marriage and the family, it is always better for the kids. However, there is no reason to believe that staying together, at any cost, is better for children than divorcing.  In fact, when parents who are unhappy together and engage in unhealthy relationship habits stay together "for the kids" it can often do more harm than good.  The behaviors you display in your home will set the stage for how your children will behave as adults.  They learn what it means to be married, how to be a husband or wife and how to effectively (or ineffectively) deal with conflict in a relationship.  People often say things like, "But we don't do it in front of them," or "They don't really see what's going on." But these people are mistaken. Kids often hear and misunderstand far more than we realize. Join us as we continue our month-long discussion on the realities and illusions of marriage.   

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