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Fail; Staying together for the Sake of the Children

Updated on April 2, 2015

The Sake of the Children

Abe was married three times. His
first wife bore him three children,
and divorced him as soon as she
learned he'd gotten another woman

Abe didn't marry the other woman,
but found another, who also bore
him three children before divorcing
him for the same reason.

Mandy, half his age, bore him five children, and did not divorce him when she learned of his adultery.

Mandy stayed with him for the 'sake' of her children.


Wife One and Two went on with their lives. They had early difficulties but soon surmounted them, married again, and lived normal lives.

Wife Three does not live a normal life, nor do her children.

Wife Three may have claim to 'forgive' Abe, the truth is that she removed her affection.
As Abe had difficulty bonding, (which explains why he can't keep his pants on) he was incapable of saying/doing anything to regain his wife's trust.

As the years passed she liked him less and less, withdrew more and more.
It wasn't a 'forced' detachment, it was a natural process. Having decided to
quash her hurt and continue the marriage for the 'sake' of the children, the
husband was moved to the periphery.

She concentrated on herself, her job, and her children.
In that Order.

The children knew something was wrong. As children, retreated into themselves, adopting silence. They became Zombies. Maybe they were autistic, maybe they had other issues but the fact was that they were quiet, they gave no trouble, and who noticed them?

Their father? Only when he needed someone to run an errand?
Their mother? She created a world outside of the home to preserve her ego.

Wife One and Wife Two's children are normal. They can speak to people, know how to behave in social settings. Wife Three has 'zombies'.

There is no way to really 'forgive' adultery unless one has their own 'dark corner'. In most cases the wife has done nothing wrong, there is no reason for the infidelity, and no synthesis at reconcilliation. One can not 'make believe that part didn't happen'.

One can not 'forget' the feelings, the hurt, the anger. The 'relationship' is over. What might take its place is a new less passionate connection in which the Betrayed creates failsafes so as not to ever put herself back into the same situation again.

The Betrayer who has lost his girlfriend and subsequently the whife he had married, eventually realises he will never regain the love he sacrificed, never be so important to his wife that he can 'destroy her world'. The children are somewhat resented, for the wife stayed with him for them, not for him.

This form of 'jealousy' in relation to a child for the affection of the wife/mother is nothing 'new' as many men do feel that their wives like 'the baby better than me'. In this stage of a relationship where the marriage is maintained for the children's sake, not for the husband's 'proves' the immature but widely held; 'she likes the children better than me.'

The Effect on Children

The effect on children in this kind of 'on paper marriage', even if sexual relations
recommence between the parents, even if there are plateaus of amicability, is

The children learn how to hide their real feelings, how to use silence and
developed a tacit resentment and mistrust which is buried so deeply that they
have difficulty relating to people.

Those who are able to marry often can not sustain a relationship.
This is one of the reasons why children of divorced parents often divorce.
The traits they developed as children in response to their parent's marriage
leads to the end of their own.

Unless the child is old enough, wise enough, they will inculcate the belief
that the relationship between their parents, the dysfunctional relationship
is the norm.

Hence the boy will grow into a man who, depending on how much he hates
his father, will either be his mirror image or forced obverse. The girl will have
an innate distrust of men and marry for money or position.

The new mantra should be that parties separate for the sake of the children.


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    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 5 years ago

      I have been encountering children of these kinds of marriages and many are seriously emotionally handicapped. They are so introspective, if the behaviour of a woman who has quashed her heart is normal.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      This is very interesting, I had never thought of the effect on children when parents don't separate but don't actually love each other any longer. From what you have said here it is better all round to separate and not stay for the sake of the children. It seems everyone will be happier all round if people separate and get on with their lives.