Having Kids Won't Kill Your Marriage, But It Makes Divorce Very Hard

divorceThere are a lot of wonderful things that happen after you get married. Sometimes there's a honeymoon, maybe some nesting, a new kind of closeness, bonding in a different way now that you are hitched. It's usually all beautiful. Just like the months experienced after you have a baby. Sure there is insomnia and moments you are terrified and wonder how in the world are you going to keep this baby alive, but it's all quickly replaced by the wonderment of parenthood and that sweet look on baby's face.

Then you learn about couples having trouble and getting divorced after having a baby. Maybe it's happening to you. It tears the whole first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage fairy tale to shreds. There is pain and hurt and so many whys and why nots and a sadness almost too strong to bear. But it happens. And we learn to deal ... just like this celebrity couple divorcing just seven months after they welcomed a baby.


The Trophy Wife actress Malin Akerman has been married to Roberto Zincone since 2007. They had a baby this April and Akerman gushed about her son Sebastian and husband saying, "[Motherhood is] amazing, the biggest love you have ever felt in your life. I go to my husband, 'I still love you, just this little one a little more.'" Now, they are getting divorced just months after welcoming a son.

It's heartbreaking to know these two have ended their relationship. Those words, they just hang there. They once meant so much. Now they are just a reminder of that love that is no longer there. Kind of like the wedding ring. The wedding dress. The wedding album. The photos of the two of you smiling at your kid's birthday. The photos from when you first brought baby home from the hospital. They are all there -- these reminders of a love that is no longer there in the same way that it once was. I'm living this now. Learning how to be with my ex and co-parent with him. A new normal forms. Divorce isn't easy -- it's harder than marriage.

So many people have guessed that having kids is one of the reasons my ex and I couldn't make it as a couple. Having kids isn't an easy thing -- we have twins who are nearly 4. But I just cannot blame parenthood on my divorce. It's like blaming my children and they are most certainly not responsible. So many couples make it work even after kids -- it's a whole different thing, with different responsibilities, but kids don't kill a marriage. If the marriage ends, it clearly wasn't strong enough to survive the ups and downs and all the challenges. And that's why it's so hard to go through divorce when you have children. There are these living reminders of incredible times in your life, when you were happy, when you were excited about the future, when you were thinking about the forever. And divorcing can almost feel like you are letting your children down. The words you hear from others "I feel so sad for the kids" hurt more than you ever thought possible. You feel this deep pain that because your marriage didn't work out, you are hurting your children. No parent wants that.

Divorce, whether you have kids or not, is hard, it's painful, it's so difficult. But the more intertwined you are with your spouse -- either by owning a pet together, a home, length of marriage, amount of years together, or having children together -- all of that adds so much more to the complexity of the relationship ending. Divorce when you have kids is hard -- your ex will always remain in your life, you will see him, have to talk to him about money, perhaps even spend holidays together. And maybe all of that no matter how challenging it can be in the beginning is a good thing. You don't get married only to divorce and never see that person again -- that person you thought was your forever. My ex will always be my forever because we had kids together. We are eternally tied, organically, spiritually, through our incredible children. And I'm thankful for that. My marriage wasn't a waste of time -- we had amazing times together before and after children. And now, divorced, we will continue to do so as parents. Just in a new way. Getting along is hard sometimes, but worth it. Things that come easy in life are sometimes taken for granted. Hard work gives you strength, perspective, and even happiness. It's not only worth it to get along for the kids, but for yourselves.

How have you survived divorce? Does it hurt when people 'blame the kids' on your divorce?


Image via lee wakeo/Flickr

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