Divorce is a common occurrence these days. Most parents think long and hard before making the decision to split up their family, knowing the turmoil their kids will suffer through as a result of their inability to work things out.
The question "should couples stay married 'for the sake of the kids'?" was posed to members of Parent Soup (http://www.parentsoup.com), one of the largest parenting websites in the U.S., and the answers were as varied as might be expected.
Here's what people had to say about divorce and commitment:
• I wouldn't say that people should "stay together for the kids", but I do think that it would be better for kids if commitment really meant something to people and they thought a little longer and harder about their choice of a life-mate and parent of their child. People tend to have a somewhat unrealistic expectation of what marriage should be and of what they are entitled to from it. Marriage does not mean that you will be blissfully happy forever more. Sometimes love is as much a decision as an emotion. There are valid reasons to divorce, but when you have children I do think that you owe it to them to seriously try to make it work.
• I think staying together does more harm than good. The kids always know what is going on. What a burden to put on your kids! "Gee, Mom and Dad are miserable and its all because of us." As parents, we know that isn't the case, but kids are not looking at things from the same perspective as adults. I agree that spouses should do everything they can to salvage the marriage and that divorce should not be taken lightly, but I truly don't believe that staying together for the sake of "commitment and the children" is modeling ideal behavior to the children.