Some Thoughts on Marriage

Like millions of other Americans, I tuned in to the “Jon & Kate + 8” season premiere on Monday night.  It’s a show that I’ve watched here and there over the last few years, but not one that I catch every week, nor do I care to.  I live in my own circus, thankyouverymuch.

And over the years, I’ve always given them the benefit of the doubt.  I mean, we don’t know what they’re really like, so I’ll try to keep my opinions on that to a minimum here.  If I were Jon, I’d definitely not enjoy Kate’s nagging/tone of voice.  If I were Kate, I’d be annoyed that my husband, who clearly loves our kids, definitely needs a kick in the pants to get things done sometimes.  I’ve often wondered about their extended family, but since we don’t know what’s up, I thought maybe the reason that they have virtually no contact with them isn’t because of J&K but rather, because all of the rest of their family is mean or crazy (though I always thought Aunt Jodi was a saint and was disturbed last year when she stopped appearing on the show and there was stuff in the media).  It especially annoyed me when people talked about the money they were making because, really, they’re probably just jealous.  I always thought, “good for them – if they can stand to have the people in their home like that, maintain a normal-for-them life, and make enough to support their large family, who the heck cares?”  Taping was kept to a minimum (per J&K), and the parents were around a lot.

It’s no question after watching last night that this show has totally taken its toll on their marriage and family.  The paparazzi follows them everywhere, and it’s quite clear that none of this was happening in seasons past…this is the fallout from Jon’s supposed infidelity (which, really, how can he deny that at this point?).  The kids seemed clingy (especially at the party) – or was that just me, reading into the situation too much?  All in all, it was just incredibly painful to watch, given that I feel like I know them since they’ve been on my television for years. Even seeing them sitting on the couch separately brought tears to my eyes because it was so obvious how troubled their marriage is. And while I KNOW that it takes two to make a marriage work/not work, I couldn’t help but feel really bad for Kate as she tried to maintain some sense of normalcy for the sextuplets’ birthday party (and then during her reflection afterwards, I was really sad for her).

However, watching a marriage disintegrate shouldn’t be for public consumption. Kate needs to put on her big girl panties, stop production of the show (no matter what the cost, because right now, the cost is her marriage and her children’s well-being), and abandon her book tour. Jon needs to check back into reality and commit to making their marriage work…not just for the kids, but because he made a commitment before God to love this woman for better or worse. And unfortunately, some marriages have more “worse” than others. I’d much rather read in 6 months that they’re making things work than see it happen on t.v., or worse than that, see them go through with a divorce.

There’s just been so much media coverage of marriages failing that it’s making me sick. Especially Christian marriages, where one or both spouses are living a lie (case in point that you can’t escape if you live in the STL area: the Coleman triple homicide). People, wake up: love is not the same thing as lust, and being and staying “in love” is so much more than a feeling you have. My friend Hannah had a beautiful post about what love really is in the wake of her grandfather’s death that I highly recommend.

Now that I’ve spit this out and raised my blood pressure significantly, I’ve gotta go get these boys ready for the day. What’s on your mind this morning?

13 responses to “Some Thoughts on Marriage

  1. I didn’t watch the show last night – sort of forgot that it was on, but I have had a really hard time watching over the last year anyway. I got REALLY sick of listening to Kate talk to Jon the way she did. Seriously. During their interviews she would BEG for praise and compliments, but rip Jon apart. It’s funny that you think Jon sometimes needs a kick in the pants. I didn’t see that at all. Kate’s nagging was all I could see. (funny how people view the same thing in a totally different way). I totally agree that J&K need to stand up for their family and take a break from the show.
    This morning on the Today Show they showed clips from last nights show and talked with the editor of People magazine. She said from working with them that Kate LOVES being in the spotlight while Jon DESPISES it – maybe they should focus on getting on the same page.
    I don’t plan on watching it this season – I don’t want to support the show at all. I saw the producer last week doing and interview saying that the conflict is great for ratings. Sad. Really sad.

  2. I agree 100% with everything. I do think they catch Kate snapping at him for nothing, but I also can totally empathize with her frustration when he isn’t the responsible adult in many situations. But he clearly loves his kids! He also has clearly ‘checked out’ of their relationship. But while I don’t think it gives him the right to betray her, it was clear at the end of last season that he wants to be done but she has grow to love either the fame or the money or both too much to walk away.
    I am also sure that the editing is done to play up all the tension as much as possible.
    I do think it would be amazing if they could rebuild their relationship as it would be an awesome testimony to what you can do when you decide to not just walk away. There were previews that showed what looked like some more normal interaction between the two though so who knows.

  3. I was waiting for you to blog about this. I knew you would.
    The show was just sad and I think they need to live their life NOT in front of the TV. They all need counseling. Of course, this could all be enhanced for good ratings too. Stars do it all the time. Have a scandal before their movie opens up and voila, your movie was a hit! Oh well, I”ll definitely tune in next week.

  4. Beautifully put Nicole. I watched too (never miss a show on Mondays) and was left with a feeling of sadness for all. I’m not sure what else there is left to say except that I hope the following shows are more family friendly again because my daughter likes to watch and I didn’t feel like it was appropriate last night. It does seem like Jon has changed but did you also think that if you really loved your husband and wanted the marriage to work you would probably pull out of the show and work on your family instead of the show.

  5. Amen, amen and a resounding amen. Oh how my heart breaks for those children who will look back on those shows and watch their parents marriage fall apart. Kate says the kids are oblivious to what’s going on – I don’t buy it. The fact that the two of them wouldn’t even lookat each other at the party and couldn’t say a decent word to one another is not going unnoticed by their kids. And then little Alexis telling her dad she didn’t want him to leave anymore? Tore my heart out. The whole thing is painfully sad. I find myself praying that the Lord will intervene and really break the two of them over this. I’m with you – I’d rather get an update that they’re mending and healing sometime down the road then watch this awkwardness on a weekly basis. Heartbreaking.

  6. i agree…quit the show/book tour and work on your marriage.
    have you seen the show table for 12? they have 10 kids (sextuplets, twins and either another set of twins or just 2 other children). they are so normal and loving. you can just tell that they really like each other. before, i always thought you would have to be anal, etc. if you had multiples (like kate is) but after watching this family, you really see the opposite side of the spectrum.
    i used to be a big j&k fan but for a while it seemed like it was just about where they could go next and i got bored.
    hopefully they can work everything out. the money would be nice but it wouldn’t be worth having your family torn apart. sad.

  7. It would appear that they are already living separately. Jon asked one of the girls last night “Do you miss me?” Whether Jon cheated or not is between he and his wife – not public consumption. My sister and I go round and round about this, because she says “this is what they signed up for – it’s all a part of the fame machine”. I wholeheartedly disagree. They signed up to show people the trials, tribulations and sheer joy of raising two sets of multiples – the good, the bad and the ugly. I liken the media attention to nosy friends: simply because I allow you into one part of my life, that does not render the other, private parts, fair game. Anyone agree?

    A final thought: at the end of the show, a producer asked “Do you guys know what the future holds?”


  8. i watched it too. it made me so sad, but at the same time it makes me so grateful that i am in a marriage that is built on love first and foremost. i do hope they work it out. not only for the sake of their kids but also for their own happiness.

  9. Agree 100% with so much of what was said by you and your commentors. I season passed it on Tivo, but think I won’t watch. It was depressing. They kept saying “for the kids”…”for the kids.” Let’s not forget that you HAD the kids to begin with because you were in love with each other and were just beginning to build a life-long life together. Newsflash: the “kids” want you to love each other as much as you love them. They DON’T want you to love them DESPITE each other.

  10. For once, I really don’t have anything to add other than to just agree w/ your original post and everyone’s comments. I believe they love their kids (even though I think Kate is so regimented that she comes across as simple “managing” them), but unless they do some very hard work to recommit to each other AND make some hard changes RIGHT NOW, their marriage just won’t make it. God can change their hearts, but they have to honor their promises to Him and to each other.

  11. I didn’t really have any comment when I first read this because I didn’t see the show last night. It was on again tonight. I caught the second half. It made me so sad. Obviously, I think, the older two definitely know what’s going on and at least some of the younger ones do too. I have to agree on what everyone else has already said. Ultimately, they both need to take a step back from the show/ book tours/ speaking engagements and work on their marriage. I’m sure they could always come back to the show and it would still be a hit.

  12. I think, if nothing else, our take away lesson is that marriage is fragile and that if we’re not protecting it, this can happen to ANY of us . . . whether we have zero kids or twelve kids.

    I feel sorry for both of them . . . with his apathy and carelessness and her nagging, self-righteousness, and martyr-syndrome I have to believe that they’re both worn out from just being around each other. I hope they can work through these things.

  13. Hey Nicole! I’m just catching up with the bazillion blog entries I missed while I was gone. Thanks so much for your nice words about my entry on Grandpa.

    While I have no idea what marriage is like, it just seems to me that some people throw in the towel so easily. My grandparents have been the best example otherwise!

    I have not kept up with j&k+8. . . I stopped watching last season when it seemed every episode was a publicity thing, a free trip, etc. . . I just always liked their “real life” shows!

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