There is no doubt that when we take our marriage vows we expect to be together in that relationship until ‘death do us part’.

However, life never lives up to the majority of our expectation and that is the reason that we end up with so many divorces.  But it is not the divorce that becomes the problem is what we do as adults when our relationship comes to a premature end.

Children are often seen as the completing aspect of a family and therefore when we get married or even have out of wedlock relationship we strive to have children because it is perceived that a childless relation is lacking a fundamental part of our lives.

Yet after we make the decision to have children in the relationship the minute that something goes wrong the children are then used as bargaining chips.

According to popular believe infidelity is the number one factor that destroys a marriage, be it the wife or husband that has the affair neither party, in most cases can come to terms with that kind of betrayal and that is when we believe we should use our children as bargaining chips.

When we use children as bargaining chips putting them in the middle of adult affair we do more damage to the child or children than we can ever imagine.  If you start using the child or children to take sides by putting negative ideas about either parent, you are robbing that child of their formative years when they should just be children, forcing them to grow-up before they are ready and causing them to choose between either parent.

It would be naïve to think that there are not some circumstances whereby the situation is such that isolating the child from one parent is in the best interest of the child, but in my opinion that is normally  rare.

So, if for any reason a marriage or a relationship comes to a halt as parents we should strive to:

  1. Keep children out of adult confrontation
  2. Let them know, if they are old enough to understand that both parents love them
  3. Tell them it is not their fault that the relationship break down
  4. Strive to ensure that both parents have an effective say in how the child/children is raised
  5. Never allow them to play one off against the other
  6. Keep animosity away from them
  7. Do not take your frustration out on them
  8. Do not speak about either parent in a counterproductive manner
  9. Let children be children
  10. Do not rob them of their childhood because of your insecurities.

I know this works because I happen to raise my children when my relationship with their father came to a halt and I ensure that we both have a say in the way they were raised and never let them see that there was any problems between us and because of that they became productive adults and they are able to understand that although a relationship may not last there is no reason to use them as bargaining chips.

By Sandrea: My Opinion

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