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Relationship Coaches Answer: Stay For The Kids Or Time To Let Go?
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Pormezz
  • A couple who gets married likely dreams of enjoying a long, happy union. But those in long-term relationships know that a successful marriage takes commitment and hard work.

    Our parenting community, Smart Parenting Village, has become a safe space for parents who want to share their thoughts without fear of judgment. This includes telling us their #SPConfession — anonymous stories about the challenges they face as a parent and spouse.

    One confession that caught our eye was a mom who posed a difficult question: “What is your take on staying together for the kids? What made you decide to stay or to leave your marriage?

    “I know for my sanity that I should leave. But at the same time, I’ve been told to stay so my child will not be “malas,” because our falling apart happened around his birth.”

    The mom adds, “We are at a point where there are multiple complications already and it is hard to save our marriage. I suggested counseling, but my husband refuses it.”

    How to know if a marriage is worth saving

    Deciding on whether or not to end a marriage becomes tougher when there are children involved. For relationship coaches and husband and wife Dreus and Love Cosio, the ultimate sign of letting go is when you realize that you need to protect not only yourself but also your children from the pain.

    “I think walang tao na gustong magpakasal para lang maghiwalay in the end,” explains Love in one of our Smart Parenting live sessions on the Calamansi app. “We always dream of a happy ever after sa ating kasama sa buhay.”

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    She adds, “That’s why we get married, that’s why we want to build our family. Walang kahit sino man ang gustong magpalaki ng anak sa isang broken family.”

    Couples are encouraged to communicate and seek help before making the final call. But if one party is hesitant to repair the relationship, then it gets harder.

    “The last straw is when you feel like it’s just you [who is] fighting for the family,” says Dreus. “Usually the answer is pag-usapan ninyo, mag-communicate ka. Pero sabi niya, ‘we tried counseling, but the guy doesn’t want it.’ So, it’s really a problem.”

    “Kung hindi talaga kakayanin, you have to protect yourself and you have to protect your child as well. ‘Pag nakita mong the other party is damaging already and [show] no signs of helping, no participation,” he adds.

    Love explains that there are so many things to consider in a marriage, which is why separation is always the last resort. “But the signs that we feel na [it’s time to let go] is una, sinubukan mong kausapin ang asawa mo, ayaw. Sinubukan mong humingi ng tulong sa mga tao who want to see you both win… ‘yung nag-counsel, pero wala talaga.”

    “Lagi naman sinasabi seek for communication, seek for help especially if there’s abuse or anything that’s damaging sa mental or emotional health ng both parties. Pero kung ni-re-refuse ng husband then it’s really a matter of self-worth,” Love says.

    “Ang hirap ‘pag parang Great Wall of China ‘yung partner mo. You’re trying to penetrate, you’re trying to reach out pero wala na talaga. And so, for us, ‘yun ‘yung signs that you really have to let go. And I think, that's the perfect time for you to start moving on when it comes to the process of healing, both for you and for the child,” she adds.

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    A broken marriage doesn’t mean you’ve become a failure. Nor does it mean that your child will grow up unlucky.

    “We are pro-marriage, but we are also pro-mental health of people,” Love says. “Hindi kasalanan ng anak mo na nagkahiwalay kayo or that you are falling apart when it comes to your marriage.”

    “Pwedeng nagkaroon ng broken relationship but you don’t have to be broken when facing it,” explains Dreus. “Pwede mong buuin ulit [ang sarili mo] as an individual. You don’t have to lose yourself.”

    Dreus and Love Cosio have been married for seven years and are parents to a lovely daughter with another one on the way. They are the authors of Love Connect: The Couple’s Love Language To A Happy Marriage. Follow them on Facebook, YouTube, and Tiktok @thecoshowph.

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