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For the Sake of Your Children

Make the right decision! But what is the right decision? Do you stay in an abusive relationship for the sake of the children or do you separate for the sake of the children? What is the right thing to do? Those are questions that have baffled many people who are in relationships which are physically or verbally abusive.

The solution is not an easy one to make and one must consider all the negative effects that an abusive relationship will have on a child and also the negative impact that separation or divorce has on the children.

Over the years research has shown that children who are raised by both parents living together having a healthy relationship will become adults who are more responsible and who will have stable relationships.

Happy Family

Happy Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They also found that children who are brought up in a stable family environment are more likely to do better in school, attend college and graduate successfully. They are less likely to be addicted to drug, commit crimes or to be victims of sexual abuse. Overall these children are more likely to gain a profession and be successful in life.

Students working in Classroom

Students working in Classroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the other hand children who are raised by single parent or in a household where they witness their parents being abusive to each other and/or victims of abuse themselves will become adults who are unstable and will more likely find themselves in an abusive relationship. Research also showed that children who are raised in these households will be victims of physical and sexual abuse especially by step parents.

They will also do poorly in school and will less likely to attend college. Most times they become drug addicts and may be involved in crime. They will also demonstrate emotional and psychological disorders such as anxiety, fear, nightmares and insomnia, aggression in school and home, depression and suicidal tendency.

Depression

Depression

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In spite of these negative factors, the decision to divorce or remain in an abusive relationship is difficult to make. Unfortunately many women chose to stay for the sake of the children. The question still remains, what is the right solution to this problem?

Many Councilors will advise the parents to get counseling and try to create a healthy marriage for the sake of their children. However, this is easier said than done because most times one of the spouses (especially men) may refuse counseling because of pride.

My personal experience

For fourteen years I lived in a verbally abusive marriage. There were constant conflicts and arguments between my husband and I. When the children were younger, they did not understand the nature of our conflict but the effects of it were slowly creeping in their personality as they got older.

My son was becoming angrier and my daughter was fearful with low self-esteem. I was concerned about the growing anger in my son because of his heart disease but I could do very little to rectify the situation.

We attended many counseling sessions with our Pastor in Jamaica but we could not find an agreeable solution. Finally we were recommended to a professional councilor who was able to assess the situation and provided the best solution to our problems.

Woman receiving professional counseling by David Castillo Dominici/Freedigitalphotos.net

Woman receiving professional counseling by David Castillo Dominici/Freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the middle of our counseling sessions my husband refused to attend so I was left to attend all sessions alone. I fulfilled my role. My children also received counseling. At the end of our sessions the counselor gave me a summary of her assessment of my marital situation.

She emphasized all the negative impact that the unhealthy marriage was having on the children and she suggested that if we cannot provide a more peaceful and loving environment for our children then an amicable separation is the best solution.

I agreed with her because this was also my belief.  I spoke to my children about my decision and surprisingly they agreed because they were now teenagers and they were absolutely fed up with the endless aggression and conflict in the marriage.

As a matter of fact long before I attended this final counseling, my son (he was ten years old at the time) came to me one day and said to me, “Mummy it is time for a divorce.”

When I asked him why he said this to me he told me that he did not want to live in a house that had so much quarreling and noise. He wanted peace.

Out the mouth of babes and nursing infants you have ordained strength, because of your enemies, that you may silence the enemy and the avenger. (Psalms 8:2).

My decision to separate was made from that simple conversation with my son.

My husband on the other hand was adamantly against separation and he constantly said that the Lord hates separation. This statement is true but I was determined to leave from the marital home for the sake of our children.

So I cried unto God many nights and he heard my prayers and released me from the bondage of my marriage. Note that the Councilor’s advised was, “amicable separation.” This was also God’s intention and he told us to return to him individually so that he could cleanse us and make us whole.

I obeyed the Lord and he healed my broken heart. He delivered me from the bondage of fear and loneliness and he cleansed the bitterness and rage that were in my heart. The Lord not only healed and delivered but he also restored. He restored all the years that the enemy had stolen from me and he also restored my gifts because he had a plan and a purpose for my life.

My children are now doing much better in school. My daughter is gradually coming out of her shell of shyness and low self esteem. This is proven by her posts that she wrote on this blog which you can read here.

The suppress anger that was developing in my son disappeared and is replaced by a constant smile on his face. God has also healed them from the negative effects of my past marital conflicts.

The other important fact that I should mention here is that when I left my marital home I did not run into the arms of another man. I ran into the arms of God. I also made a decision to remain in his loving arms and do not seek another relationship. This decision has a positive effect on my children and they are very comfortable with it.

When I asked the Lord how he felt about separation he told me quite simply that yes, he hates separation but because of the hardness of our hearts in not allowing him to choose our spouse he has to allow it when we chose unwisely and then find ourselves in deep trouble. I was comfortable with his answer and now I am at peace in my heart.

I hope that my personal story can help you to make the right decision if you find yourself in an abusive relationship. You owe it to your children.

Except the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watch man stays awake in vain. (Psalms 127:1)

 

 

 

 

Allow the Lord to build and protect your house.

 

 

Additional references: Malachi 2:16; Matthew 19

Additional reading: A Child Deserve a Mother and a Father; Effects on Children Witnessing Domestic Violence

Images courtesy of Pixabay

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