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for children is to see their parents in a happy, stable relationship. Second-best is to see their parents happy, in short-term relationships or on their own. Worst thing is to see their parents in an unhappy, stable relationship.

It's important for children to have a good relationship with both their parents. This is often much easier after a divorce.

The question of step-parents often leads to conflict, but I don't see where it's harmful to children, unless there are problems of fairness (Cinderella style). Character-forming, certainly.

And if children see a parent in a gay relationship, they may be more likely to see gay marriage as a norm, for sure. (Got a problem with that?) But generally, young people are way ahead of their parents on that question, they are much more likely to see gay marriage as normal.

If your implicit question is : if they have gay parents, are they more likely to be gay? : then my opinion is no, and I think the science tends to support this. But if your question is : if a child turns out to be gay, and they see examples of happily-married gay people, are they more likely to form stable relationships? I think the answer is likely to be yes. And that's great.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 05:09:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All true, but something that I feel you miss is that children will find it immensely difficult to feel able to be loved as well.

They see what they think they call love as something painful, so that you live it only because you have to (they will probably like romantic period litterature best -I know I used to).
Then, their parents, constantly bitching at each other or outright fighting (even if just morally) will simply not show them much love, if any. The idea of being loved can become so foreign to them that they may not notice a hint dropped with a ton of bricks when their turn comes.

When parents get divorced they then break that cycle. Which might not mean they give up entirely: I know of several couples who got back together after a couple of decades. But then the children did not face the inferno for very long at all, and at the age when they were ready to start a serious relationship, they had a much more hopeful message.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 05:39:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That contains some very valuable insights for me.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 06:48:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They see what they think they call love as something painful, so that you live it only because you have to (they will probably like romantic period litterature best -I know I used to).
Then, their parents, constantly bitching at each other or outright fighting (even if just morally) will simply not show them much love, if any. The idea of being loved can become so foreign to them that they may not notice a hint dropped with a ton of bricks when their turn comes.  

I can say I agree with this...
But I do not agree with
When parents get divorced they then break that cycle.

They do break cycle but what is alternative? What's there for children to be HAPPY about? Normally even if one parent finds ( or usually already found while being in marriage) someone to form new relationship and feel happy ( at least for a while) the other parent is 100% unhappy and depressed. So there is no chance that child will avoid to see one parent heartbroken. Usually even if that one parent is happy, that parent will be accused for unhappiness of another parent and unhappiness of child. Child will hardly really accept new, third person , partner of a happy parent , even when child is small and can't really understand what's going on. Still child can feel.With older kids it is practically the rule.
I do not say that there are not exceptions but I can say that I haven't seen them.

I know of several couples who got back together after a couple of decades.
 

Again good for them but at that point there is no more benefit for their child.Damage has been already done. Honestly I think that I would hate my parents if they do that to me.
by vbo on Tue Nov 6th, 2012 at 07:50:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow, my experiences and observations have been directly opposite of yours, vbo. My friends whose unhappy parents stayed together were really messed up by it. I know far too many people who were children of divorce and who had good relationships with their parents and their parents' new partners to think that the divorce was harmful.

I think your one large mistake your making is in thinking that ONE of the divorced parents is unhappy. Even when this is so, unhappiness is something a healthy person get over. Personally, my first husband and I were both happier to separate than to stay together and my daughter (who was just a toddler) had and has always had a great relationship with both of us.

Children who are exposed to unhappiness and fighting get damaged. Children who are spared that are much better off. I've seen it too often not to believe it, and as someone who was once in charge of enforcing child support orders for the District Attorney's office, I've seen LOTS of children of divorce.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:35:39 PM EST
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