When you hear the phrase “broken home” divorce is usually the direction the conversation is going. If someone refers to children from a broken home, it if assumed the parents no longer live together.
Broken homes comes long before the divorce. Children with two parents can also come from a broken home.
What does broken mean?
The word broken as an adjective means the following:
- having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order
- (of a person) having given up all hope; despairing.
- having breaks or gaps in continuity.
- having an uneven and rough surface.
Applying these definitions to a relationship can be eye opening. When parents (married or unmarried) stay together “for the children” but are unhappy, this simply doesn’t work. When a relationship is fractured or damaged and no longer in working order, there has to be a decision. Ask yourself, can this be fixed?
In relationships you can’t just put a band-aid on it. BOTH parties have to be willing to put in the work to fix what is not working.
FIX IT, FAKE IT OR FORGET It
Admitting that something is broken in your relationship is the first step toward repair. Determine what is the main issue. It is usually one of two things: communication or finances. Unfortunately, sometimes it is both.
The next step is to find out is both parties are willing to work toward a resolution. While the children are important, they cannot be the driving factor. When the children are grown and gone, there are two people still left. You want to strengthen the relationship as couple, not as parents.
If you can’t come together to work through your issues, sure you can fake it “for the kids”. Many couples do. Children see through this. As parents, it is important to model good relationships for your children. You CAN have a good relationship with your co-parent and not live together or be married. You simply have to treat each other with respect. That will go farther than just simply existing in the same household together .
Sadly, there comes a time where you have to say, forget it. It’s not working. We’ve tried, gave it our best efforts, but no one is truly happy. At this point, you start looking at what will work best for the kids. How can you be civil towards one another? What is the best way to co-parent.
Don’t wait until things are so far gone that there is hatred between you. This is what causes the brokenness.
Divorce is not a bad word
When I was growing up, divorce was not something I knew much about. I went to Christian school and attended church regularly. Divorce just wasn’t a topic of discussion. However, I knew lots of children who had parents that didn’t seem to like each other. Their kids were so unhappy, didn’t want to be at home and often acted out.
Why have we been taught to stay together, unhappy, just so kids have a “two parents home”? Kids would rather come from two different homes with two happy parents than one home with two unhappy parents.
Sometimes marriages just don’t work. Yes, you should put the work into them. You shouldn’t treat divorce as an easy fix. People that chose divorce shouldn’t be looked at as failures. Yes, the marriage didn’t work out, but they chose to create a better life for their family. They realized it wasn’t working, things were broken and the only fix was to create two separate homes.
I’m certainly not encouraging divorce. I think there are steps that should be taken to work through the hard times and make things work. But there are just times it clearly isn’t going to.
Don’t let your children come from a two parent broken home. Let them come from two happy parents, together or separate.
That’s how you do things “for the kids”.