Parents being separated can really harm a child. Even if they may not show, it will affect them in a very negative way. A child should not have to have the stress of their parents being separated if the parents can work it out. On the other hand, if one of the parents are abusive then they should get a divorce and keep the children away from said parent.
I think that couples should definitely stay married for the kids. I think it is important for couples to realize that when they get married, their lives are no longer about them. It is about their kids. I think too many couples these days are quick to get a divorce without even trying to work on their marriage.
Now this doesn't mean that a person being physically abused by the spouse is selfish for leaving. But let me first explain why it is important to stay together.
Divorce is damaging to the child's sense of self, and leads to a lot of hate and frustration in the kids. I doubt psychiatrists see kids for any reason more than divorce counseling. And studies have shown that children of couples who stay married do better - the are more likely to be happily married, more likely to have stable relationships, more likely to excel academically, and on average live significantly more comfortable lives as adults.
So, back to the parents: to divorce because you no longer have feelings for your spouse is selfish. You should stay together. If you chose not to have kids it'd be different, but you did, and who do you have a higher responsibility to: yourself or your children? What do you REALLY believe is more important, the immediate and long term happiness and success of your children, or your own immediate happiness? ---divorce is selfish---
Now obviously the straw man someone would make against this is that I'm suggesting that it's better to fight, yell, hit, abuse etc. Than to divorce. But i hope that in reading this you've already found that isn't the case. The reason why i say ft you should not divorce is for the children's sake, and it's hardly beneficial to the children to see daddy hit mommy. While divorce is selfish, and I maintain that, it is also selfish to abuse your spouse, verbally or physically. Parents who have the child's best interest in mind won't only stay together after the passion is gone, they'll regulate their sentiments and frustrations and control themselves in relation to their spouse, especially when the children are around. ---abuse is also selfish---
Couples who want to get divorced should never stay married solely for the sake of the kids. When animosity, hatred and resentment build, children are highly affected in negative ways. Parents who remain together for the sake of the children are seemingly doing it so that they don't crush their children's lives, but outcome of living in a home full of tension far outweigh watching two parents get along and cooperate while living apart.
As a person who was raised by parents who did not want to be together, I can say for a fact that this has detrimental effects on the children. They notice that things are wrong, and start to worry when their parents will finally beak up. Not a good situation
While those that are married should consider how a divorce will impact their kids, they should not stay together just because they have them. If you are in a really bad relationship often the tension can be destructive for the kids involved and in many cases it may be better for them if you do get divorced.
Its just as bad staying together and fighting a lot , than having to split your time for him or her-- either way I would try to come down to husband/wife/child's point of view and find in them what first first pushed you to standing by that hospital bed or by that alter.
Saying this I know many friends who have become slightly depressed in either scenario to this day, so if you do decide to split up be sure to tell your child about not just the fights, but the romantic moments you 2 had together