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do some people out there believe in 'making it work' for the 'sake of the kids'? i dont mean suffering through in silence, but really throwing your whole self into making your marriage work, even try to make it great, because you made a commitment and you brought children into this world and want to give them one, healthy, safe, intact nest to grow up in? i'd love to hear from those people, and any tips they might have.
 

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Absolutely! DH and I made a commitment to each other and to our children. I feel like it is my job to be the best wife and mother that I can be. DH believes he is responsible for being the best father and husband he can be. We both believe that an intact family is important for our children.<br><br>
Tips? Communicate, communicate, communicate.
 

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Yes. In our 22 year marriage we've had a couple of tough years. I always find a way to make it work and turn it around because I don't want my kids to have the model of divorce instead of the model of marriage.
 

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My parents would probably consider themselves in thie category.<br><br>
But being their child was hell because they sure didn't fool me, and the only reason why they didn't divorce (and are still together) is fear of social sanction. They can pull it together for company, but if you are around them long enough, you can see the frayed edges, and they're pretty abusive (emotionally and verbally) to each other and always have been.<br><br>
If people genuninely are able to set aside being with someone that they love truly, and make an amicable partnership, that's great--I'm sure that it's possible. But I think that the people who are *truly* able to stare the reality that they will be with this person that they are not attracted to for the rest of their lives without becoming bitter, martyred, or strained are pretty rare.<br><br>
If by your question you are looking for folks that work to preserve a good, loving marriage that they already have going, or to weather the storms with this person that they love instead of cutting loose at the first signs of trouble , ect...then yes, DH and I work on that mindfully. But if we really were at the stage where we disliked each other and something had happened that made it clear that we could not get back into the saddle eventually...I guess I'm not a fan of faking it for the kids, because nobody fakes as good as they THINK that they do. And that's a long time to pretend. KWIM?
 

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I do to a certain degree. If the two people just don't get along the undertones of the relationship come out to the children. I dealt with that as a child. My parents separated when I was 4 for a few months, then tried to make it work for my 2 year old brother and me. Those next 6 months were miserable. I don't remember yelling or bad mouthing but I remember the whole mood of the house being tense and I would cry easily. I missed my father after he left for good and would cry at night for weeks wanting him there to cuddle every night, but the mood lightened and my mom set such an awesome example as mother in general. Now as a parent and being a partner in a rocky marriage I have so much respect for her and what she went through to do the best by my brother and me and how normal life felt with just the 3 of us.<br><br>
I would never throw in the towel as easily as I would without children involved. Not even close- there's someone else's well being to think of. Someone YOU brought into the world to raise and protect.
 

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i am not in love with dp. but i love him. we don't communicate well — he is highly defensive and a tad narcissistic, and i have a tendency to just shut down and turn inward — but we are on the same page 100% when it comes to our daughter, and we can talk about her openly, honestly, and with kindness. i do worry that a loveless relationship won't be sustainable for me... i crave passion and connection. but in those moments where we're sitting down to dinner as a family, or i catch dd napping on dp's chest on the couch, i feel blessed to be a family, that he didn't throw up his hands and walk away and leave me no choice but to do it by myself. i was raised by a single mother — she made it work, but the absence of my father in my life has always been very hard, very saddening. life with dp may not be what i would have chosen for myself, but it's not just me anymore, and the alternatives aren't acceptable. so i make it work. and i try to make it great by really embracing the great moments, even if they're often outnumbered by the doubtful moments.
 

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I have soldiered on through some rough times for the sake of my kids. But I wouldn't remain in a persistantly bad marriage for the sake of my kids.
 

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Like a few other PPs have said, yes . .. sort of . .. I think it really really depends on what you mean by "making it work for the sake of the kids."<br><br>
Like Tigerchild, my parents *said* they stayed together for my sister and me. What a load of guilt to lay on us! But, anyway, my dad was too lazy and unmotivated and basically inert to try to get a divorce and my mother was too afraid of admitting she made a mistake in marrying my father in the first place, and also terrified of being poor. So they stayed together til my sister and I were in our 20s. We used to beg our mother to leave our father because he was so angry and mean and unpleasant (partly his personality; partly the stress of being in an unhappy marriage day in and day out). They did not model a healthy or happy relationship for us and we still bear the scars of that. But they thought they were saints because the sacrificed themselves for our well-being. They hardly fought and there was no real abuse. They just grew to despise each other.<br><br>
On the other hand, my DH and I (married 10 years this fall) have weathered some very hard times, including infidelity. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> At one point, the only thing keeping me from leaving was the desire to be able to look at my DS (who was only a toddler at the time) and be able to say that I did everything I could do, while still maintaining my own integrity, to make sure he had both parents. We went to pretty intensive counseling and really worked on our marriage. And we're a happy family now.<br><br>
All this to say, if you mean really trying to make it work, but thinking about your boundaries and your personal integrity, then yeah. If you are thinking about sacrificing your personal happiness, your integrity, and just plodding along, trust me . . . . your kids won't thank you in the end.
 

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My husband and I have had a very rough year, including separating last December. But we have recently decided that we both want to make it work. I think that for both of us, a driving factor is our son. We both feel that he deserves for us to do everything possible to save our marriage. BUT, we also both still love eachother and we want to actually work on our relationship - not just live together and coparent. There was definitely a time when we were at our worst (around when we separated) that, had we not had our DS, it would have been easy to just walk away and move on. But I'm glad that didn't happen.
 

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Yep.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Absolutely! DH and I made a commitment to each other and to our children. I feel like it is my job to be the best wife and mother that I can be. DH believes he is responsible for being the best father and husband he can be. We both believe that an intact family is important for our children.</td>
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This.<br><br>
Both of us have had times when we wondered what on earth we were thinking when we picked our spouse. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> Especially in our early years, we had a terrible relationship.<br><br>
I'm so very, very glad we stuck it out through that hell.<br><br>
The reason it worked though, was that neither of us was interested in it remaining hellish. We both decided to work on ourselves and treat the other nicely, and we gradually began to figure each other out and learn to live in peace. We love each other, but now when we hit a rough spot we know we can come back from that, and that makes it easier to bear.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Proud2BeAnAmerican</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15425313"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Absolutely! DH and I made a commitment to each other and to our children. I feel like it is my job to be the best wife and mother that I can be. DH believes he is responsible for being the best father and husband he can be. We both believe that an intact family is important for our children.<br><br>
Tips? Communicate, communicate, communicate.</div>
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That. But I say that as someone who is in a wonderfully happy marriage.<br><br>
My parents divorced. And I really wish they had attempted to stay together for our sake. Well, my mom did but my dad wasn't interested. I can't even imagine the relationship I'd have with my dad at this point if he'd stayed the same person he was.<br><br>
While I do think kids can suffer from parents who probably should divorce and don't, being a child of divorce, I really wish my parents had given us that chance. I hate that they split up. I hate explaining to my child why Grandma lives here and Papa lives here when they think parents live together.
 

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What Tigerchild said. My wife comes from a family where her parents stayed together "for the kids" and then split soon after the last one went to college. They weren't even trying to fool anybody and it screwed everybody up. Really, really nasty home environment.
 

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Another kind of ambivalent answer here. We're trying to give our sons a home in which something awful one of us does isn't necessarily the end of things . . . but that has to mean everyone concerned steps up and works to make it good.<br><br>
Staying together in misery for their sake? No, that doesn't do them any favors. Overcoming misery, if it's possible, for their sake? Absolutely, in a heartbeat. We started doing that as a gift to our children, and it ended up being a great gift to ourselves as well.
 

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I think there is a huge difference between "making it work for the kids" and "staying together for the kids". The former can work if the adults involved are responsible, well-behaved and realistic. The latter is a recipe for hell.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MariaMadly</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15430614"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Another kind of ambivalent answer here. We're trying to give our sons a home in which something awful one of us does isn't necessarily the end of things . . . but that has to mean everyone concerned steps up and works to make it good.<br><br>
Staying together in misery for their sake? No, that doesn't do them any favors. Overcoming misery, if it's possible, for their sake? Absolutely, in a heartbeat. We started doing that as a gift to our children, and it ended up being a great gift to ourselves as well.</div>
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Thanks for articulating really well what I was trying to say up-thread.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hibana</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15430886"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think there is a huge difference between "making it work for the kids" and "staying together for the kids". The former can work if the adults involved are responsible, well-behaved and realistic. The latter is a recipe for hell.</div>
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What a great distinction. Thanks! My DH and I tried to make it work for the sake of the kid but didn't stay together for his sake.
 

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I'd hope most people at least can try to make friendship and partnership in parenting work even if the romance is dead.<br><br>
I'm not married to my partner. Our son was not planned and initially she terminated our relationship rather than tell me she was pregnant. Eventually I was told, but our relationship was rather icy for some time. As hormones chilled out and we could start speaking amicably toward each other she was able to understand I really did want to be a supportive partner and a good father and I wanted to be a full time part of my child's life. We've been working to make this happen, so far pretty well.<br><br>
Currently we have two apartments in the same building. Sometimes we cohabitate, other times we keep our spaces separate. Either way I get to see my son every day. I'm the only one working; even if they sleep in her unit, I have the key and she welcomes me in the morning so I can change his diaper and get some hugs and smiles from him before I leave for work. This is usually the best part of my day, it makes cramming into a crowded commuter train tolerable, I just think of his smile and the world just seems better. In the evening I either take him for several hours while she does something by herself, or I'll make dinner for us and we'll spend the evening together as three. We also do things together on the weekends as three: walking through the park by Lake Merritt, shopping trips with the car (she doesn't have a car nor valid license) going to events like a baby fair we attended last sunday, things like that. Weekdays there have been lately far fewer together nights and I brought this up, we had an amicable and good discussion. I told her I felt almost like I was becoming a babysitter instead of a father, and she understood my point and we could talk through that. I also told her I value her friendship and miss her companionship. It's lonely for both of us, and there's a lot to sort out and work out. We recently talked civilly about reaching an agreement in writing with attorneys perhaps, but as friends, working it out formally, legally but outside of courts.<br><br>
We're new parents. I don't know if this can work long term, and I don't know how our feelings about each other will change as time goes on. We're both trying to try, I think that's about the best I can hope for right now. It makes me feel good that we can still talk candidly.<br><br>
It would break my heart if I couldn't see my son on a regular basis. It's killing me financially to support her and myself parallel as we are, I wish we could consolidate more expenses but money is a small price to pay for what I get: my son's love. Priceless.
 

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Definitely would give it my all to really make it work for the kids. We're in an incredibly happy marriage as well though, and its hard to imagine anything being unresolvable with time and two motivated people so I would hope never to give up.<br>
On the other hand, I grew up with a father with a drinking problem and if I was married to someone who had addiction issues or consistent bad behaviour then I would consider it a kindness to the children to set a firm boundary and step away until/unless they were willing to solve that issue. Thats not the same to me though as walking away and giving up, if you make it clear that the door is open for reconciliation if and when they are willing to really start to work on it.
 

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I guess it depends on what it is. My H wanted to split up five months ago but keep living together for our children for the next however many years but only in a partnership, not a loving, close marriage. He also wanted to see another woman on the side. He wanted his cake and eat it too and I was having nothing to do with it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"> I guess it depends on the situation but in my case there is another woman involved so there's no way in h#ll I'd stay together for my kids. They will be better off seeing me with a man who truly loves me and sees me happy in front of them in a relationship. Kids see everything and know more than you know. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod">: So be careful staying together just for them.
 

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It depends so much on the dynamics of the relationship. There is more to it than just giving kids the model of marriage and the model of divorce(I'm referring to a post above). If the relationship is emotionally abusive it's going to be a losing battle in the end and you may see your kids carry on the pattern in their relationships. It's just unrealistic for some to make it work because they made a vow and promised for better or for worse. Funny that there is nothing in those vows about abuse or narcissism or personality disorders, etc.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hibana</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15430886"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think there is a huge difference between "making it work for the kids" and "staying together for the kids". The former can work if the adults involved are responsible, well-behaved and realistic. The latter is a recipe for hell.</div>
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This. Exactly. My parents talked about, and nearly got divorced several times growing up. They finally split when I was 15, what the straw was that finally broke, I have no idea. But in many ways, I wish they'd have done it a lot sooner. I have a craptastic relationship with my mother, which I blame largely on her attitude during and immediatly after the divorce. I think everyone would have been much happier, had they split when I was in 3rd grade (which they told us they were going to), than waiting another six years.
 
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