This article is aimed at all adult relationships in which a child is involved. There’s a tendency to forget that this whole thing presents a painful problem even when the couple isn’t married. Even when only one of you is the biological parent of the child, it will still be a horrible process if bonds have been formed between you all.

If you’re parents with a relationship that is having severe trouble, this article may be for you.


When faced with this situation, people often ask themselves if the relationship should be fixed. Indeed, it’s why I chose the question to be the title of this piece! But there’s an inherent problem when the situation is questioned in this way. The question implies that fixing the relationship is possible. And how do we know when a relationship can be fixed? Most of the time, it’s impossible to know.


If both of you have the feeling that the relationship can be fixed, then it probably can be. But if you’re both feeling hopeless about such an outcome, then it may be time to call an end to it. Remember to consider temporary separations. People often see this as a part of the breakup process. But it can actually be a useful tool in strengthening a relationship. Read more at

The best thing to do is keep unhappiness at bay

This may seem like an odd piece of advice. Obviously, in such a scenario, unhappiness can’t be kept completely at bay. But you should definitely aim to reduce the amount of unhappiness of everyone involved to the best of your ability. Any action that is going to perpetuate unhappiness among all of you should be avoided – even if that action is “staying together”.

When the end is unavoidable

I’m going to give you some brief and simple advice. Don’t stay together for the kids. People will often try to tell you to do the opposite. Terms like “broken home” are used to demonize the idea of being a single parent. But you shouldn’t let these views stop you from doing something you need to do.


You may have noticed that I’ve avoided using the term “marriage” or “divorce” so far in this article. That’s because more and more couples have children outside of marriage. People are simply being put off of the traditional way of doing things. This, of course, is great in its own way. Unfortunately, it can create further complications in this area. See for more information.

Marriage often provides couples with an added incentive to stick together. Of course, that’s not to suggest that marriage should be used as an excuse to force you to stay together if you’re both unhappy. If it has been going on for too long and the love simply hasn’t been there for an extended period of time? Then you shouldn’t let the fact that you’re married stop you.


A divorce puts enormous strain on everyone involved. As anyone who has even ended a relationship knows, breaking up with someone can be an immensely painful experience. That entire process is drawn out when the end of the relationship requires a divorce. Knowing this causes much hesitation in making such a decision. But if it has to happen, it has to happen. This is why it’s important you both get strong legal help that will aid the process. See for more details regarding family law.

Remember the pain your child will feel… but don’t overestimate it

You should remember that the pain your child feels probably isn’t going to be as lasting as your own. Divorce does have a profound effect on children, but emotional pain simply doesn’t affect children in the same way it affects adults. It may sound like an unusual piece of advice, but it’s worth considering your own feelings over that of your child.


A break-up is going to cause a few months of unhappiness for the child. It may even last a year or more. But children generally get over it. They understand eventually. Many parents think that a break-up would have a much more psychologically devastating effect on the child that it actually will.

One thing you should bear in mind is that kids tend to know more than adults give them credit for. Many couples in this scenario find themselves surprised to learn that their kids actually saw the split coming. Children over the ages of eight, and maybe even younger, will probably be familiar with the concept of a relationship ending. If they’ve seen trouble in the relationship (you probably haven’t hidden it as well as you thought), then they may predict this outcome. Seek advice for having this talk with your child at

Keep it as amicable as possible

Do not put your children in the middle of a war zone. In the vast majority of cases, it doesn’t matter what has actually caused the split. An emotionally-toxic split is something you should take every pain to avoid. If you need advice in this area, visit

Everyone should be considered equally

Many people will tell you that the number one priority in these kinds of situations is the children. It is, of course, extremely important that you think of your child. These sorts of mindsets can really help you force both of you to consider the child’s perspective.


But as important as this focus can be, it’s not the only thing you should be paying attention to. Everyone in this family should be considered equally. It really boils down to the fact that staying in an unhappy relationship is the worst thing for everyone involved. A child raised with unhappy, bickering guardians will be much worse off than a child raised by two parents who have amicably divorced.

A final and important note

A relationship should be about love, cooperation, understanding, help, and happiness. There are, of course, many other things that a relationship should consist of. But most importantly, a relationship shouldn’t be treated as an institution with various duties. You don’t want to teach your children that complying with such a thing is more important than any of the previous qualities.


If a relationship has to end, it has to end, regardless of the presence of children. But remember that there’s a difference between a romantic relationship and a friendly one. If possible, you should do your best to keep things friendly.