Monday, May 25, 2009

John & Kate Plus 8, now divided?

I've started and erased a post about this situation several times over the last couple of weeks.  There is so much here that hits so strongly. 

My husband and I have had our rough patches.  We've hurt each other, sometimes very deeply.  That's not a news flash.  We often do hurt the ones we love and need the most, because we are sure they will always be there for us.  But how long should you go on when that hurt is continuous?  That seems to be the real question for this couple.

I struggle with the comments regarding this family and their situation.  She is mean and walks all over him.  He doesn't stand up for himself.  He's made some iffy decisions, and so has she.  Sitting back, looking in, we can be quick to judge.  It makes us feel better about ourselves to see other people's problems.  Of course we would never choose money over our marital happiness, we would never leave our children to travel all over the world, we would know what our husbands are thinking and doing.  But none of us should truly say that unless we've been there.  No one knows what decisions they might make in a given situation until they've been in that situation.  I would probably never do a reality show, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't subject my children to one either.  But, given the right situation, I might have to agree to do the show.  They had 8 children and very little income.  Doing the show for a few seasons probably didn't seem like such a big deal at the time.  But somehow it became a runaway train. And the microscope of fame has magnified the small problems they had in their relationship.

I once thought that my husband and I were so lucky.  We were so in love, we knew each other.  We were the ones that would be married forever with no real problems.  And then we hit some serious snags.  The pain I felt was so deep and so strong, it truly felt physical.  I didn't know who to talk to, since my best friend was the one that was causing all the pain.  But ultimately, we realized that our relationship was the most important thing to both of us.  We worked on it, struggled and fought for it, and now, almost 12 years later, we are still happily married.  It wasn't easy, and there are times that it still isn't easy.  But the good things in life are worth the work it takes to keep them.

For me, one of the things I learned was to never take anything for granted.  It isn't okay to assume that what I want for our family falls into line with what he wants.  If we both agree that a decision is good for our family, great.  But if not, then we have to find a way to work it out so both of us can be happy.  I don't think that is occuring in Jon and Kate's marriage, and that leads quickly to things going wrong.

Did Jon cheat? I don't know.  Really, at this time, it seems only Jon and the other woman know that for sure.  No matter how unhappy he is with his current relationship, cheating is not the answer.  It sounds trite, but if you aren't happy with yourself and the choices you've made, you won't be happy with someone else.

Ultimately, they both need counselling.  And we all need to remember that these are real people, with real feelings.  They are hurting right now, and hurting with the whole world watching sucks.  Tonight, watching them hurt on television, all I felt was sad.  Sad for a family going through a really tough time, not knowing how to end the runaway train.


1 comment:

MommyWizdom said...

What a beautiful post! I have been struggling with thoughts about J&K+8 too! I don't watch the show anymore, but I used to... and I agree with what you said, just about all of it.

Thanks for such a great piece! It really encompasses what I've been thinking.

I came by to invite you to join us for Fun Monday on June 1st.

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Keep up the great writing!