Advice From Ann Landers


Should I stay or should I go?”- The Clash

“In the final analysis it is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.”- Ann Landers

So the real question when it comes to divorce is, “is it better for children to grow up in an intact home with marital discord and emotional stress or in homes where their parents live separately?”  Will it cause greater psychological harm to your children if you get
divorced or stay unhappily married?  Before you can answer that you need to know that you tried to resolve the intense marital discord.  It will relieve you of any remorse you may feel about the impact of your decision on your kids, if you know you went to
a competent marriage therapist and tried.  At Westfield Mediation, LLC, we have a list of local therapists that can help couples try to reconcile, if they so desire.  It can be possible to turn around a bad relationship with improved communication skills, newfound common joy, interests and goals.  You can start a new era and put the bad years behind you.  

However, if you and your spouse have given it your all and you are still in a bad marriage, then you must answer The Clash’s question while considering Ann Landers advice. What are you teaching your children to do for themselves if you continue to stay in a bad marriage?  What decision would you want your children to make about their own problematic marriage for the sake of your grandchildren? Should they stay or should they go?

If you choose to get divorced, the long-term effects on your children will be influenced by how you and your spouse conduct yourselves during the divorce and beyond.  Divorce Mediation can help spouses become ex-spouses in a collaborative manner.  Divorce Mediation helps foster future communication, minimize animosity, and improve follow-through with agreements.  People are more likely to follow through with an agreement that they helped create, rather than one that is imposed upon them. If you are cooperative and collaborative in your post-divorce relationship, your children will have a much greater chance to adjust and heal from the initial trauma of divorce and grow to be well-adjusted adults.  So, you can teach your children to expect a healthy marital relationship by getting out of an unhealthy one. If you do divorce, you have to do it in such a way that instills in your children how
to treat others in the face of adversity. Divorce Mediation can help you do that. 

For more information about divorce mediation contact Randi M. Albert, JD, or Michelle Weinberg, LMFT, at Westfield Mediation, LLC, at 908.913.0373.  View our website at  or email us at


Westfield Mediation, LLC, is located in the Westfield, NJ area.  The principals include Randi M. Albert, JD, and Michelle Weinberg, LMFT, both members of the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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