Trouble in paradise: Does it affect your child?

February 2, 2018

By Areesha Babar

Marriage is the union of two souls as lifetime partners in a personal relationship. We often describe marriage as a commitment. Marriage will not survive if there is no commitment, but I believe marriage requires more than that. Marriage is like an institution, where two people learn and grow together. You learn to let go of your ego for the sake of your relationship, you learn to compromise with each other, you learn to make sacrifices for each other and your relationship, you learn to stick with each other through your thick and thin,  you learn to ‘ignore’ the flaws, and embrace the qualities.

Moreover, you learn the art of ‘giving.’ It is a process of growth where you make mistakes and learn from them. Most of the couples fail to understand this phenomenon. When a deep desire to be “right” often overtakes the conflict, criticism takes a toll, where one partner speaks all the time and the other listens, where only one partner carries too much weight, such as family, work, or domestic responsibilities. When there is physical abuse, infidelity in your relationship or if you honestly don’t respect your partner, contempt is usually felt and can ruin just about any relationship. A failed marriage is stressful and painful for the partners. It creates a toxic or tense environment. A miserable marriage not only damages the peace and harmony of a home, but it also affects your child. A Failed marriage can destroy the mental and physical health of your child. Sometimes it even changes the overall personality of your kid.

Here are some behavioral and psychological effects seen in a child who bears witness to the miserable marriage.

Anxiety Issues:

The constant fights between parents can lead to immense stress and pressure on the young mind, which can have several repercussions like negative thoughts and nightmares. Young children are more prone to it than the older ones since they are heavily dependent on both the parents. The tense environment of home makes the child nervous and anxious. Some children even falsely start considering themselves the reason behind their parents’ conflicts and assume the responsibility to mend the relationship. Studies show that children who witness domestic abuse are at higher risk of anxiety and depression in later life.

Difficulty in building and keeping relationships:

Parents who stay in miserable and unhappy marriages often forget that they are providing their children with an unhealthy example for romantic relationships in the future. They’re teaching them that it’s okay to settle for less than they deserve in a relationship. Children who bear witness to the failed marriages, they start developing doubts at a very young age. They develop doubts about love and harmony in marriage. Such children will start any relationship with a negative mindset. They start losing their trust in relationships. They often find it challenging to handle conflicts and resolve them.

Low school interest and poor academic performance:

A kid whose surrounding is stressful will ultimately lose his interest in studies. Such a kid will show a drastic drop in his school grades. He will find it hard to study in that tense environment of his home. You will observe that such a kid will eventually lose his confidence. He will show less participation and attention in his school and other activities.

Aggressive Behavior:

A kid who isn’t getting a peaceful environment at home, will develop violent and antisocial behavior. He may start losing his temper. He may also show no shame or regret while fighting with someone. Such a kid may display the traits of aggression and disobedience with varying degree of intensity. This kind of behavior is dangerous. In the long run; it may lead to the development of a criminal mindset.

Prone to substance abuse and tobacco:

Drugs can become the avenue for teens to vent out their frustration and anxiety. Long-term substance abuse can have a damaging effect on the well-being of the child. Research has shown a higher incidence of substance abuse in teens who are often neglected by their parents. Most of these parents have a failed marriage.

It may lead to low self-esteem for your child:

A kid who is growing up in an unhealthy environment will gradually observe that his life is different from the other kids. Parents who stay in bad relationships often end up neglecting their kids. This treatment can leave their child feeling uncertain and rejected.

Parents should maintain a good relationship to give their child a healthy environment for growth.