Choosing Love for Our Children: The Rise of Parenting Marriage


Parenting Marriage: A Modern Approach to Co-Parenting

Parenting is a challenging and rewarding journey, and most of us hope to find a life partner to share it with. But what if traditional marriage isn’t the right solution for us?

What if we want to raise children together, but don’t necessarily want a romantic relationship? Enter the parenting marriage – a non-traditional approach to partnership that focuses on co-parenting and the well-being of the children involved.

Reasons for Considering a Parenting Marriage

  • Divorce is never easy, especially when children are involved.
  • The impact of divorce on children can be significant, and single parenting can be a daunting prospect. A parenting marriage offers a practical solution for parents who want to stay together for the sake of their children but no longer want a romantic partnership.
  • It provides a sense of security and stability for children, as they are able to witness their parents working together effectively and respectfully. At the same time, parents get to maintain their own independent lives and pursue romantic relationships with other people without the pressure of a traditional marriage.

What is a Parenting Marriage?

A parenting marriage is a non-romantic union between two adults who are committed to raising children together.

It’s all about forming a partnership for the purpose of co-parenting and providing a stable environment for children to grow and thrive. Unlike a traditional marriage, parenting marriages acknowledge that the romantic relationship between partners may have run its course.

However, the commitment to co-parenting and raising children remains strong, and both partners work together to make sure their children are taken care of and loved.

Differences from a Traditional Marriage

  1. Focus on Co-Parenting: The romantic relationship is no longer the priority – the focus is solely on co-parenting. This means that expectations and responsibilities are clear, and there is no pressure on partners to maintain a romantic connection that may no longer exist.
  2. Independence: Parenting marriages allow for a level of independence that may not be possible in a traditional marriage. Both partners are free to pursue romantic relationships with other people, and there isn’t the expectation of a monogamous partnership to maintain.
  3. Communication and Cooperation: Parenting marriages require a high level of communication and cooperation between partners. Both parties must be committed to working together for the benefit of their children, even if they no longer share a romantic connection.

The Importance of Acknowledging the Situation

One of the most important aspects of creating a successful parenting marriage is acknowledging the end of the romantic love between partners.

It can be challenging to come to terms with the loss of a romantic connection, but accepting it is essential for creating a healthy co-parenting relationship.

  • Focus on the Future: Accepting the end of romantic love allows both partners to focus on their personal lives and freedom without feeling guilty or pressured.
  • Redefining the Relationship: It allows the relationship to be redefined in a way that doesn’t involve romantic expectations or obligations. This can be liberating for both partners and can help to reduce stress and conflict within the family unit.
  • Space for Transition: Temporary separation can be a useful tool in acknowledging the end of romantic love and creating space for a neutral transition. It can offer a chance to grieve, process emotions, and create a new dynamic that is focused solely on co-parenting.

Expectations and Boundaries

To create a successful parenting marriage, it’s essential to establish clear expectations and boundaries from the outset.

This helps to ensure that both partners are on the same page and know what is expected of them in the new partnership.

  • Prioritize Children: The primary purpose of the new marriage must be co-parenting, and it’s essential to keep this in mind throughout the process of creating expectations and boundaries.
  • Open Discussion: Discussion topics should include everything from living arrangements and finances to relationships with other people and the role of the therapist in the co-parenting partnership.
  • Compromise and Understanding: Each topic should be discussed with a willingness to compromise and an understanding that both partners will have different perspectives.

Working on Friendship and Partnership

Creating a successful parenting marriage requires more than simply co-parenting effectively.

It’s essential to work on developing a strong friendship and partnership that will support the challenging and rewarding journey of raising children together.

  • Communication and Interaction: Partners should work on establishing open and honest communication, cultivating positive interactions, and supporting each other emotionally.
  • Teamwork and Respect: This can help to create a sense of teamwork and mutual respect that will carry over into their co-parenting relationship.
  • Strong Foundation: Creating a strong partnership can help partners to feel grounded and supported as they work to raise healthy, happy children.

Informing the Children

One of the most critical aspects of a successful parenting marriage is informing the children of the new dynamic in their parents’ relationship.

It’s important to communicate openly and honestly with children to help them understand and feel secure in the new family structure.

Open and Honest Communication

  • Transparency: It’s important to be transparent about the reasons for the change and to explain the new co-parenting structure in a way that is age-appropriate and understandable for the children.
  • Acknowledge and Address Fears: Children may feel afraid, anxious, or uncertain about the new family structure, and it’s essential to acknowledge and address their fears and anxieties.
  • Reassurance: Parents should explain that although the romantic aspect of their relationship may have ended, their commitment to co-parenting and love for their children has not changed.
  • Time to Adjust: It’s also essential to give children time to adjust to the new family structure and to answer any questions they may have.

Age-Appropriate Communication

  • Younger Children: Younger children may not have a full understanding of romantic love, so it’s important to explain the co-parenting structure in a way that is more focused on their care and safety.
  • Older Children: Older children may have a more in-depth understanding of romantic relationships, and it’s important to acknowledge and explain the end of the romantic aspect of the relationship.

Creating a Safe Space

  • Encourage Expression: It’s critical to create a safe space for children to express their feelings and emotions.
  • Listen with Empathy: Parents should encourage their children to share their fears, anxieties, and concerns, and should listen with empathy and understanding.
  • Validate Emotions: It’s important to validate their emotions and reassure them that their feelings are normal and understandable.


Parenting marriage is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional marriage for those who want to prioritize co-parenting and raising children together without the pressure of maintaining a romantic relationship.

It’s essential to acknowledge the end of romantic love and to establish clear expectations and boundaries to create a healthy co-parenting relationship.

Additionally, communication is key in informing the children of the new dynamic in the family and creating a safe space for them to express their emotions.

Parenting marriage offers a practical solution for parents who want to stay together for the sake of their children, but no longer want a romantic partnership.

By prioritizing co-parenting and creating a supportive, loving environment for children, parents can make the most of this alternative to traditional marriage.

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