Out in the Open

Staying together for the kids? Try a parenting marriage instead

Therapist Susan Pease Gadoua says this alternative to divorce is easier for both parents and children.
Susan Pease Gadoua is a therapist who coined the term "parenting marriage."

In 2007, therapist Susan Pease Gadoua was working with a couple who couldn't decide if they should break up or not, because they didn't want to harm their children. So Gadoua suggested they try staying in the same house and parenting together, but leading separate lives.

The new approach stuck and Gadoua continued to suggest it to couples she thought it would work for. She coined the term "parenting marriage" to describe this new way of being together.

"There are many cultures throughout history and across the world that do marriage differently. We made it up a long time ago — we can make it up again now."