Should People Stay in Marriage for Kids?

Should People Stay in Marriage for Kids?

As a teacher of grade 5, I come across children who are ten and eleven year old, on the borders of adulthood and struggling to find an  identify for themselves. Last week, I noticed a boy who had suddenly started misbehaving with the teachers and other students as well. Continuous complaints of abusing and hitting other children left me baffled as I had not had any such problem with him for the first seven months of the school year!

I sat him down and talked to him one day alone after the class, and asked him on a polite note what was troubling him? After looking at me for a few seconds, he suddenly burst into tears, and told me that his mother was in hospital because his father had treated her rougher than a punching bag. His two younger brothers and him were now living at his maternal aunt’s home. He went on to say, ‘Ma’am it is the seventh time that she has gone there and I really miss her’.  I was shocked and did not know how to handle it. I simply told him that I was sure his mother missed him too and she wouldn’t like to see him behave bad with others.

The behavioral problem disappeared within a few days day. The common concept in the Pakistani community is that of praising the
husband and wife who stayed in a marriage long after they stopped liking each other only for the sake of the children. It is considered
a great sacrifice, and even greater title of being happy and married, the couple is proud of themselves, and expect their children to be more caring than others because ‘I gave up the best years of my life because I didn’t want you to grow up with a broken home’. Nobody bothers to ask the how kids feel, for whom all this sacrifice has been made, to ask them if they would have preferred the fighting parents to living parents separately , or to judge what effect it had on the children (especially young ones), or if they appreciated the parents who are stuck with the partner they have no feelings for and if any, were on the cusp of hatred and strangeness.



The child mentioned earlier is under a father who has never moved a finger to hit him, but constantly hits the mother whom he loves
unconditionally, is the mother right to stay in the marriage? Is a man who doesn’t like his wife because of his querulous nature, because
of her lifestyle, because of her laziness or for any other reason right to stay in a marriage only because he has a child with her? For
me, the answer is a definite NO.



Many couples believe that the children do not notice the tension between their parents, they do not see that they haven’t laughed
together as a family in years and that they look at each other with contempt. It is the biggest misconception in our society. Children are
the best observers and they store everything in their subconscious, to be used later in life. In case of the child mentioned above, the
research says that as he has observed his violent father at home, there are more chances of him having a dysfunctional relationship with women and to become a physical abuser himself. The question which needs to be answered is…is the mother right to stay with the father or should she leave? (Considering that she has the financial resources to cover the expenses of the children herself)

contributes for The News Blog

  • Janet

    There are only those two alternatives, stay and be abused, or go? Does not your faith offer help in this instance? Are there no ideals of love to appeal to? Are there no paths to renewal? My faith has the sacraments, rivers of grace to help the otherwise almost impossibly difficult vocation of marriage. There is besides a priesthood which can bring pressure on an abusive husband. I do not understand.

  • M.Saeed

    To Janet and others in quest for Janat:

    In Muslim faith, children are the “idols” of love to their parents.

    To tell you a simple fact: Islam declares educating and training their children to be leaders of a new generation emanating from each child, as the best form of Jihad for their parents?

    It is a pity that, world has painted Jihad with terrorist blood!
    Jihad literally means “Noble Struggle in Humanity”.

  • Anonymous

    Spouses who can consider staying together solely in the interests of the children would surely be able to resolve many other differences and build upon the single premise of children only. However, divorce is sometime the only sensible options when all other neans for reconciliation are exhausted – certainly it may even be beneficial for te children not having to see their parents fighting – though both parents should still to be involved with the children.

  • Anonymous

    @ Janet

    Quran covers divorce and marriage comprehensively and pragmatically (taking human nature in to account). Divorce is the least liked concession allowed in Islam but is allowed when dispute resolution fails. The role of arbiters from both sides (usually family elders) is there if husband and wife fail to resolve issues between themselves. If all else fails, divorce is an option with obligation of each party towards the children for example.

    It may sound perverse but divorce in Islam did provide an early wriiten form of emancipation for women where they were more than just chattel. Trouble is Arabic is not the first langauage of majority of muslims (imagine Latin mass and ability of masses to comprehend). Hence local cultural values pervail instead of Quranic injunctions in many rural areas and women suffer in violent marriages with misplaced concept of honour. The urban liberal elite rests the blame on religion unfairly.

    In many Muslim majority countries society itself has changed with onset of nuclear families (out goes the role of family elders!) and rise of divorce rate amongst urban middle class.

    You may find An-Nisa (ch. 4 verses 1 onwards), Ar Rum (ch 30 verses 1 onwards) and At Talaq ( ch 65) of interest in the Quran. Incidentally, whilst te reality may be different, there is no professional priestly position in the Islamic doctrine – the mullahs you see and hear of ar all self-appointed and not sanctioned by the Quran.

  • Guest

    meaning that the “joy” of the mariage only lasts nine months for 99.9% parents in Pakistan????

  • neeum khan

    the chidren will always suffer once u r together r alone,so why nt try finding the ways to resolve FOR THE CHILDREN specially,coz once the child z born to us he is d most precious thing that v hav,i know in eurpe r america the systems where they take th children away from you,wt do u think d chidren wont suffer in that way,they suffer a lot more,all their capacities are dimmed in those circumstances.mentally,physically,educationally in any way this worst for a child,wt i mean to say is our family system is the best in the world,n most of all our religion,we need education n dis d responsibility of the mothers specially to educate their children,tell them how to think possitive and to b calm n patient,once v start doing this v will find the change in our society gradually!