You said: My wife and I want to end our relationship but should we just stay together for the sake of our kids?
Response: Staying together for the sake of the children is never the best resolve when your marriage relationship is fractured. Believe me; children are very wise and observant. They know when the relationship between their parents is strained and unnatural. Playing martyr “for the sake of the children” is a lazy way out that keeps you in the house but, it also keeps you miserable.
Personally, I never bought into the “staying together for the sake of the children.” This is the scenario that played in my head:
I picture myself twenty-five years from now laying in the bed next my spouse. The children have grown up and left. Now it’s just us. I look over and realize that I can barely stand the very person I’ve spent most of my life with.
I decided that was not I picture I wanted to paint. You need more than one good reason to stay together. I didn’t want to wind up not loving or even liking the person I was married to and resenting them for what I or we had become. This is the aftermath when you have only one reason to keep you from leaving instead of several to make you want to stay and work things through.
Maybe it’s the sex, maybe it’s the money or an illness, or maybe you’re just not feeling each other anymore and any combination of the above. Sometimes the sex is bad. Not because you’re not good at it, but because a lot of other things can influence the level of sincere participation on both parts. Financial responsibilities can strain any relationship when obligations outweigh resources. An extended illness that is experienced by a marriage partner, child, or a close family member can also cause tension in relationships. Finally, depending upon why the two of you got together, it could just be a case of B. B. King (“The Thrill is Gone”).
You have to honestly look at what caused the thrill to go away in the first place. Even, if it seems unworkable, the two of you must be willing to participate in a non-hostile, non-accusatory dialogue. Sometimes, we become so consumed with being a spouse or pointing out what type of spouse your partner isn’t, we miss one of the integral components of our relationships—friendship. Stop being husband and wife for just a minute and restart by becoming friends again.
If you can’t come to an amicable resolution that is beneficially healthy and well-balanced for all, maybe you should consider seeking counsel from a trained professional. I am not counting out your pastor at your local assembly for much needed spiritual guidance to combat this adversarial attack against you and your wife and your children. However, in addition to spiritual guidance, there are also benefits to consulting a licensed service provider. A trained professional not familiar with your history can provide valuable insight for core issues and offer resources to work toward solutions for challenges to your relationship. It is essential that you discover two things; how the two of you arrived at this point and what preventive maintenance can be incorporated to keep you from progressing to this stalemate in your relationship at a later date. There are no quick fixes for restoration. It is a journey and a process with multiple turns and roadblocks along the way.
Sometimes our priorities are out of order. Things happen and we get off task. God will help you to reset the order to keep God first, family second and the church/ministry third. Your submission to the Father is the caveat for dissipating the chaos in your life. As you seek to serve Him in selflessness, you will serve your family. The example you model in your home will be the quintessence for all you do to serve your local assembly and community. Admit your frustration to God; seek Him for solutions as a man of God, high priest of your home, husband and partner in a covenant relationship, and as a father and steward over the children He has “loaned” you.
Don’t just stay together for the sake of the children rather; get it together for the sake of you and your wife and your family.
Evangelist Lynne C. Parker is an author, freelance writer, columnist and Editor at Large for Brotha Online. She travels extensively on regional assignments as minister, facilitator, and consultant for new and existing ministries.To submit questions or comments email: firstname.lastname@example.org