Doing it for the kids: One in 10 married couples stay together for the children and plan to split when they are grown up

Doing it for the kids: One in 10 married couples stay together for the children and plan to split when they are grown up

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UPDATED:

16:25 GMT, 11 September 2012

One in ten married couples are staying
together ‘just for the kids’ – and plan to split when the children are
old enough, a study revealed today.

Financial, emotional and physical
pressures of modern life, which place a huge strain on relationships,
are believed to be behind the worryingly high figure.

The shocking statistic emerged in a report
which also found millions of parents will now resume battle after six
weeks of playing happy families during the ‘summer ceasefire’.

For better or worse Couples who stay together 'for the kids' may create an unhealthy atmosphere at home (posed by models)

For better or worse Couples who stay together 'for the kids' may create an unhealthy atmosphere at home (posed by models)

It means heartache lies ahead for tens of thousands of children and young adults.

The survey results come at a time when
the number of couples filing for divorce rises as tensions escalate
after a strife filled summer when feuding families were forced to spend
time together.

Break-up and bereavement support
website HealBee commissioned the study after experiencing a 40 per cent
rise in the number of visitors.

A spokesman said: 'What we are most
surprised at is that it would seem that many parents feel compelled to
stick together with a disregard for their own happiness, or without
fully considering the effect on children growing up in a household where
there is animosity.

'Aside from the very real possibility
of children blaming themselves for their parents’ unhappiness should
they choose to stay together, but then separate when they’re older,
these children might also follow their parents’ patterns in their own
relationships.

'If you grow up in an environment
where everyone around you speaks with a certain accent you simply don’t
notice it until you are outside of that environment.

'Children are both highly receptive
to their role models’ actions, but also perceptive to any changes such
as increased tension within the household.'

The detailed study carried out among
2,000 couples found that while 83 per cent of couples felt they ‘made
more effort’ with each other while the kids were home only five per cent
said that they had now resolved their issues.

Pressure: The number of divorces spikes after the Summer holidays when many couples felt forced to play happy families (posed by models)

Pressure: The number of divorces spikes after the Summer holidays when
many couples feel forced to play happy families (posed by models)

Another one in three said they had
made their friends or family aware of the fact they weren’t planning to
stay together forever.

An astonishing 72 per cent of those
who said they were still living together and simply acting as a couple
in front of the kids said they in truth considered themselves
‘separated’.

Even those who have been able to
afford some time away from the family home found the whole experience
considerably less relaxing than it should have been, according to the
report.

Many of the couples who separate will do so knowing Christmas may prove a bridge too far for their frayed tempers.

One third of troubled couples
questioned had now discussed ending the relationship with their partner,
one in four said they had decided themselves to end the relationship
but had yet to inform their other half.

It also emerged six out of ten of
those who are staying together because of the children want to wait
until their kids are at least 18 years of age, often preferring to wait
until their child is settled at university, before planning for life
apart.

Chad Schofield, from HealBee, added:
'We were not really surprised that there is a sharp spike in divorces in
September and October after troubled couples have played happy
families, or cracks in the relationship were exacerbated while spending
more time together over the summer holidays.

'Our research has shown that of those
parents who had separated, 75 per cent said that they now regretted
staying in their relationship for their children and that nearly 90 per
cent of separated parents now admitted that they would have left earlier
if they received more support.'