"Toxic" marriages can harm a child's psychological equilibrium more than a divorce

Shirley Marie Bradby

February 09, 2020


A divorce between two parents can be one of the most traumatic events for a child, especially in early childhood.

However, it is equally true that, in the long run, a marriage relationship held together only "for the sake of the children" can also have disastrous side effects.

In fact, for a young child, a family life in which the mother and father often quarrel and do not cultivate a peaceful environment can also harm the growth and development of the child.

via Psychology Today



In fact, a "toxic" marriage is never healthy for a child, for these following reasons:
  • They will grow up and copy the toxic model of their parents: If they grew up in an environment where mom and dad always argued and fought over everything, then when they grow up they will try to involuntarily "copy" this type of toxic and perverse relationship.
  • They will get used to family toxicity: The constant quarrels between the father and mother, in the long run, will generate in the child, low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence and in adults, chronic depression and anxiety.
  • They will be more vulnerable to stressful situations: Since the home is seen by the child as the safest living environment if this place is continuously "bombarded" by loud quarrels and endless conflicts, then for the child, every aspect of daily life in the family, will become a source of anxiety, sadness, and stress that can be the cause of frequent nightmares and mental exhaustion.


  • They will struggle to build healthy relationships: This situation at home could also lead to a general difficulty in the child's ability to build healthy and non-toxic relationships, not only of a sentimental nature but also those of work or friendship when they must interact with the world as an adult.
  • They will try to escape reality: Moreover, to escape from a reality that stresses them and makes them feel particularly vulnerable and insecure, very often young children or adolescents will take refuge in food, video games, or in any temporary activity that disconnects them from the reality they are living in that moment, thus developing bad habits and dependencies over time.
  • They will not be able to express their emotions: In a toxic family environment, children will learn at their own expense that expressing their emotions is not healthy. Therefore, in the long run, they will tend to develop an insecure attitude towards expressing what they actually feel towards others and towards themselves. This results in an emotional closure that in adulthood can, unfortunately, produce some rather negative consequences.

In short, a divorce or a family separation is better than raising a child in a high-conflict environment where constant drama and quarreling is the order of the day. Much better.

In fact, in such a negative family context, it is easy for a child to develop bad habits and dependencies or to close themselves off emotionally and psychologically.