The short answer is: no. The fact of the matter is that if you and your partner have tried every possible way to resolve the issues that lead to a divorce or separation, it recommended pretending to be happy just for your kids. They are smarter than that! Children can pick up on subtle behaviours. They can piece together that something is not right, although they may not know exactly why, they will still be able to understand that their parents are unhappy. For this reason, it is important to evaluate your relationship and from there, decide the best course of action.
You need to figure out the main reasons you want a divorce, and whether they can be resolved. You must be honest with yourself. Forget about what others would think or how they would feel and decide whether you genuinely do not want to be with your partner anymore. There is no such thing as a “good” or “bad” reason to want to leave, if you feel that something is preventing you from staying, that is good enough. You should never feel bad for doing something because you do not believe that you have a “good” enough reason.
Once determined why you want to leave, prepare a list of reasons you want to stay. If you are most worried about the children, you need to pinpoint why. Are you worried stability? Do you worry about how they will be treated at school? As previously mentioned, children pick up on subtle cues; they know when you are upset. It is not worth pretending to be happy in hopes of making your children happy.
We encourage always marriage counselling as a first step. If that is unsuccessful then try to settle your divorce amicably through mediation. Counselling allows you to bring up pressing issues and work through them in a healthy manner. It also provides you with a safe environment to have important conversations outside the presence of your children.
If you decide that there is no way to improve your relationship or to resolve your issues, consider a support system that would allow you and your children to successfully transition through this period in your life. Consider your family, friends, and other sources you can reach out to like a therapist or family counsellor.
The most important thing to remember is that two happy homes are better than one unhappy home. As despairing as it can be in the moment if you choose to proceed with a divorce, think about the positive changes it can make to your life and that of your children in the short term and long term.