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Thank you kathleenkat for your comment. I think SELFLESS is the answer for this hub, it seems to be the majority answer.
Thank you dashingscorpio. I like your ending - we use the kids as an excuse. and i have always thought (as a product of divorced parents) you can't raise me to be happy if you aren't.
Wow Lisa HW, thank you for your comment/testimony. It is amazing to me what the "outside world" does when they get involved in these situations.
Thank you lburmaster -this is a hard situation for the parents and the children- then the question comes up - should i disregard my happiness so my kids have a 2 parent home which society says is better than single parents raising their kids together
Part of your happiness should be seeing your children grow up in a two parent household. There are ways to work around an unhappy marriage. Try going to a marriage counselor just to see what is wrong in the relationship and work around the problems.
@Renee - yes, you should subjugate your happiness in favor of the kids. You are creating their past. We sacrifice on a daily basis for our kids and our joy and happiness comes from them growing to be well balanced happy adults.
I believe everyone is entitled to have "deal breakers". If your spouse is cheating on you, verbally abusive, or financially irresponsible. The lesson you're teaching your kids by staying isn't a positive one. Parents have to be on the same page.
I agree, dashingscorpio. But if there is no abuse or cheating, then they should stay together for the kids sake. Abuse and cheating are special circumstances.
Thanks for your comment duffsmom. I wonder if it's easier if the parents just stay, whether they are happy or not so that there is less of a struggle for kids to grow up and do well in school and function "normally" because it is the ideal family.