That’s often the first tough question you have to ask. For a lot of people, there are many good reasons to stay but do they outweigh the reasons to go?
After working in family law for the last 10 years, I have seen the “knots” you can become tangled in when you aren’t sure what to do. One thing I do know is, once YOU make the choice for YOURSELF, those knots start unravelling.
You might think you should stay for the children’s sake or that things might get better if you give it a little more time but what usually happens is things don’t get better and you end up suffering more.
Whilst it is great for children to have their mum and dad together, it shouldn’t come at the expense of your unhappiness.
It is far better for your children to have a happy parent than live in a household where there is tension and fighting. You are there to set an example for your children – what sort of relationship do you want them to have? Surely it would be a happy one…without fighting, without tension, with love, respect – the list goes on. You deserve that for yourself!
A friend who had been through a divorce once told me “it isn’t the divorce that will ruin your children but rather the way you handle it”. I couldn’t believe how true this was. Just because parents separate doesn’t mean your children will then become unbalanced or suffer – only your actions of how you deal with matters will impact on them.
Children need to stay as children – don’t bring them into the adult issues. Let them continue with life as normal as possible and if you need a time out to seek some help yourself, make sure you ask for it. The most important thing when deciding to separate is to take care of yourself – you need to be okay as the waters can get rocky!
If you do decide to stay, make sure you are staying for YOU and not somebody else. Put a plan in place to set some goal posts – if there are behaviours that need to change, set a timeframe and talk with your spouse. It may be that counselling would go a long way to helping the relationship – this can be in the form of couple counselling or perhaps just for yourself to help you work things through in your head and heart as to how you are feeling.
If you do make the decision to go, it will be hard, you will no doubt feel sad but just know that things will get better – it just takes time.
Krystina Jones – C + K Family Lawyers Pty Ltd
For anyone who is considering separation or has separated and needs advice, please call C + K Family Lawyers on 3161 2762.