Should you stay in a bad marriage for the kids?

That’s a heavy question. Should you stay for the kids? I’m not sure there is any one answer to that question, or if there is a right or wrong answer. It depends. It depends on the nature and gravity of your circumstances.
For sure there are worse reasons to stay in a “bad” marriage than just so the kids can have a “stable” home.I truly believe that some marriages can be worked out. Divorce is not the solution for everybody who’s having a tough patch. And children no doubt complicate the landscape quite a bit. A traditionalist myself, I’ve always believed that whenever possible, a child should grow up in a household with two parents – a mother and a father.
But there are all these different constellations of families these days and there are all these reasons why staying in a marriage is probably physically or emotionally unhealthy – whether there are kids or not – and then there are all these other situations where it is imperative that you leave, and so, it’s hard to have a blanket answer to the question.
If there is domestic violence, I don’t think the marriage is sustainable unless the other person seeks help and is actually cured. And the curing can’t be done by continuing to slap and kick the other spouse around and saying “sorry, I’m working on it.” I mean, the curing has to be that when the other spouse feels rage, they punch a bag and work on it with their therapist the rest of the time. If not, if you are their punching “bag” then I don’t think staying makes any sense whether kids are in the picture or not. I mean, that’s just my view. You may see it differently.
If it’s not domestic violence, then I think almost any other problem can be worked out. And from what I have personally observed from people who have been married a long time, marriage is a really tough thing to pull off. It ebbs and flows. It is bad, but it gets better and back to bad, and back to better. So what you think is a bad marriage today, may not be so bad six months from now. But it could be worse too. I don’t know. That is why I say there is no right or wrong answer.
The only person who can answer whether he or she should stay for the kids, is you. No, really. Don’t cavil because I am convinced I am right about this. Only you know if the marriage is THAT bad. And if it is, the kids would probably be best served if you are out of there.
If it isn’t, try giving it some more time. I mean, why not? What have you to lose?