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Marital Discord

Marital Discord



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Introduction

Family is considered the societal backbone and pivotal for the holistic development of a child. A congenial environment at home, well-placed harmony among the family members, (especially between the parents) helps a child to have a fulfilling, and development-friendly childhood. On the other hand, a distressing environment at home can be highly toxic for the child, and in most scenarios have a spill-over effect on the child. There is a high chance that the child grows up to be socially withdrawn, has difficulty in establishing interpersonal relationships, may even exude abusive behavioral patterns.

It is evident that marital discord must be efficiently and on-time addressed. However, the question remains the same – how. There are very few marriages, where the couples claim to never have a fight. While these mere and chance fights are quite common throughout the married life, toxic fights that comprise violence and abusive behavior are detrimental not only for the couples, but for their family members as well. Additionally, children in the family end up bearing the brunt of it all. To keep this scenario at bay, we will have to identify and understand some of the key causes of marital discord.

Causes of Marital Discord

Just like every individual, every marriage is unique. Each couple has its own set of fundamental principles, and perspectives about their relationship, and how they plan to get older together. Though this is an ideal expectation, things do not pan out as planned at times.

Here are some of the common causes of marital discord

  •       The differing opinion between the partners on a particular aspect
  •       The lack of sensitivity to understand each other’s perspective
  •       The lack of empathy about the other’s emotions, situations, and other critical aspects
  •       Different views on family management, child-rearing, household responsibility distribution
  •       The failure to take responsibility for one’s actions and blaming the other person
  •       The lack of fidelity and emotional empathy in relationship
  •       Financial obligations and challenges

Effects of Marital Discord on Children

Family is supposed to be the strength and the rock for children. However, a distressed family environment, especially with troubled parental relationships makes the children most vulnerable. They are highly susceptible to intense physical, social, and emotional changes; such parental discord may shape up their entire future irrevocably.

Children with dysfunctional family history often tend to be skittish at relationships during their adult life. The faulty patterns imbibed from their childhood may make them exhibit such behaviors and actions in the future also, which again leads to marital discord. Children with intense parental discord may even drop out of formal education, have fewer employment opportunities, may engage in criminal actions. In the worst-case scenarios, they may have acute mental health-related challenges.

Psychotherapeutic Services for Children

Having a quarreling parent at home can be quite toxic, and traumatic for the children. Children come with infinite possibilities and talents that may go unnoticed, or unattended in the cases of marital dysfunction. Cadabams believes that every child has the right to lead a good quality, happy, healthy, and productive life. The highly coveted team of psychiatrists, psychologists, and behavioral physiotherapists at Cadabams go the extra mile to ensure that every child has a safe, and nurturing childhood.

They work towards bringing joy back in the life of children who are exposed to parental disharmony at home with a wide range of therapeutic interventions. Some of the key ones are CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Play Therapy, Family Therapy, etc.

With CBT, the team at Cadabams ensures that proper behavioral patterns, positive thinking, a productive perspective on life are instilled in children. With cognitive training, they are convinced that they are not responsible for their parents’ fall-out, and despite all this, they can have a happy relationship with their parents as individuals, if not as a family.

Family therapy techniques go a long way in ensuring better harmony among the parents, and the child. These help them to come together, resolve disagreements, speak up their mind, put forth their opinion, etc.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do’s

Here are some of the key aspects to be ensured to avoid marital, and parental discord.

  •       Each child must be communicated and convinced that he or she is not responsible for the separation and that both parents will always love them irrespective of the circumstances
  •       Need to be positive about the child’s relationship with the new parent and support the same
  •       Children must be allowed to meet their absent parent on a regular basis
  •       A sense of confidence should be instilled among the children that despite separation they can always depend on their parents
  •       Children must be prohibited/avoided during legal consultations
  •       Need to behave rationally and reasonably to convey the message to the child that decision to separate is well thought out and carefully taken
  •       Need to set up a room for the child with exclusive cupboards or drawers to keep their toys, clothes, books, etc. at visiting parent’s home
  •       Need to maintain regular telephone contact with the child
  •       Need to be at home to have the child ready on time for visitation
  •       Need to be present on time at the point of visitation to receive the child

Don’ts

  •       Parents must avoid getting into an argument in front of the child
  •       Avoid making derogatory remarks about each other in the child’s presence
  •       Never force the child to give out information about the other parent
  •       Never use the child to carry angry messages, back and forth
  •       Never ask the child to choose between the parents
  •       Never ask the child to keep a secret from the other parent
  •       Never show a sad face when the child leaves to see the other parent. In fact, it should be encouraged
  •       Never introduce your child to your new partner until the child has adjusted to your separation
  •       Never bring the child to legal proceedings

FAQs

What are some of the common causes of marital discord?

Some of the common causes of marital discord are financial issues, lack of intimacy, uneven familial responsibility distribution, poor communication between the partners, infidelity, inconsistent religious beliefs, trauma, etc.

At what age does marital discord impact the child the most?

Irrespective of the age, marital discord has lasting negative implications for the child’s overall growth, and development. To be specific, children between the age of 5 to 12 are highly impressionable, and during this period any marital disharmony between the parents have negative influences. The child may get confused, may even blame himself for the issues at home, may feel responsible, may be forced to choose between the parents, etc.