I may have heard someone say "I just stay in the marriage because of the kids". They explain that, although neither they nor their spouse are happy in their relationship, they try to bury their feelings of discontent, and concentrate on trying to make their children happy.
If I'm doing the same thing. am I really doing my children any favors? Maybe I forget that children learn by example much more than I realize. If I accept this, it's time to take a close look at what I'm unwittingly teaching them:
My example shows them: hide your true feelings; live to make others happy, not yourself; settle for less than you feel you deserve; others need to change for you to be happy; hide things from others when the truth seems too difficult.
If I had a crystal ball, it would be easier to see whether my efforts to "shield" my children helped them, or hurt them. But I don't. If I think back to how I learned my ways of handling difficulties though, I'll likely see that my parents gave me many of the same examples. If they didn't help me become happy, why would I expect my similar examples to do anything different for our children?
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