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5 Bad Reasons to Stay Married

Updated on December 31, 2009

I could just as easily have titled this Bad Reasons to Stay Together, since the reasons are pretty much the same for both scenarios. These days people seem to be getting divorced at the drop of a hat (or dime) but I think the conservatives are wrong when they cite this a major dilemma which needs to be resolved. On the contrary, there are times when divorce is both necessary and healthy and I've no issue with people seeking one -- you're not a bad person, husband or wife if you ask for one. That's not to say I don't feel that society does have relationship issues which are dragging it down; it's just that I feel those issues stem from marrying for the wrong reasons rather than divorcing for the right ones. The following are five bad reasons to stay married.

1. For the Kids

Having children does not mean you're obligated to suffer miserably in a relationship you don't want to be in. If you've fallen out of love, it's time to fall out of marriage as well. Staying together will only lead to resentment and other types of pain. Children are resourceful and far stronger than parents give them credit for. Will they be upset that mommy and daddy don't want to live together anymore? Probably. Will they get over it? They will if you teach them how to cope with it. Regardless, your kids can sense something is wrong and staying with someone who makes you miserable will only be teaching them that they'd have to do the same thing if they grow up and find themselves in the same situation. Would you want your kids suffering in a loveless marriage (or one that's far worse in other respects?) I didn't think so.

2. Money

If there's so much money that you can't bear to live without it (whether it was yours to begin with or not), that means there's a lot more money than most of us have -- which means you'll eventually be able to cope without the limo, driver and live-in maid. Staying together for money is one of the stupidest things you can do!

3. Guilt

Feeling guilty because you no longer love your spouse? Feeling guilty because you're in love with someone else? Hey, it happens; and it's only human. You're not doing them any favors by keeping them in a relationship with someone who doesn't love them anymore. If you want to feel guilty about something, feel guilty about that. Yes, moving on is painful; it's supposed to be. But recovering can be absolutely fantastic and you can always stay friends if you really want to.

4. Honor

Few people actually possess a sense of honor anymore and it's certainly something to be admired, but it's also something that needs to be moved aside in certain cases. Staying with someone you don't want to be with because it's expected of you, or because you feel obligated to, is not a reason to stay married to someone and these things often lead to various types of hurt eventually. Honor is a respectable quality, but you're not expected to torture yourself.

5. Fear of the unknown

This should probably be higher up on the list, now that I think of it; it's one of the most common reasons people stay married when they ought to divorce. Whether or not a relationship's a pleasant one, they become familiar at some point, and familiarity breeds comfort to some degree. Stepping out of one's comfort zone can be absolutely terrifying, especially if you know your life will have to change substantially if you do. Nevertheless, you cannot let fear keep you in an unhappy marriage as nothing good can come of it.

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