I know what you’re thinking, “Oh my gosh woman-marriage talk again? What the heck is wrong with you?”
It’s John and Kate I tell ya. I NEVER watched them before this month. My sister did and she would always ask if I watched. I would tell her, “I have enough chaos in my own home. Why would I turn on the television to watch someone else’s chaos AFTER my kids are in bed?”
Then I got a pedicure in a salon that had every tabloid cover of John and Kate known to man.
I was intrigued-mostly because it seemed their story (minus the eight kids) is not so different from regular folks that I have known who separate. Then I watched a few episodes, to see for myself and what I saw has gotten me all itchy about the state of marriage in America.
Sure, to our television eyes, Kate is a bit of a shrew. Sure, John has every right to demand she treat him better. No, Kate is in no way the sweet victim she is trying to portray herself as on the air.
BUT. BUT. BUT. BUT darnit!
Was there even any TRYING before he decided to move out? Were there conversations wherein John said, “Hey, Kate-you’re kinda a shrew. Think you could do something about it? ‘Cuz if not I might leave and that would suck since we have eight totally innocent kids who will be hurt by that.”
In John’s defense-maybe there were conversations and Kate wouldn’t change.
BUT. BUT. BUT. BUT DARNIT!
What if there were NO conversations? What if John just woke up and said, “Damn, I’ve spent the last ten years being treated like a total schmuck. I have no control over my life. I have 8 kids and I’m only 32. I have no job. I’m middle-aged pudgy and have plugs that I probably didn’t even want. Man, I need to get the heck out.”
What if the only conversations John had about his marriage were with himself?
I am afraid sometimes we (and by we I mean self-obsessed, Oprah-y in touch with our feeeeelings, instant gratification hog Americans) have all the conversations in our heads. We work all the scenarios around in our mind for weeks, months, years-until we figure ourselves out. Heck, maybe we even talk to other people-gather opinions and advice. Then, by the time we actually confront the other person, the real person involved, we know the outcome (or think we do) and therefore we give them no chance to redeem themselves, or change, or work harder.
That sucks. For John and the rest of us who have been guilty of this before.
I am not defending Kate-she appears to be a shrew. But at one point, he picked her. One day, not so long ago, he thought she’d make a good mother. So, shouldn’t he at least give her a chance to know that what she does is hurting him and then try to make it better?
It seems that is the least he could do- for the Plus 8, if not for Kate.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.
you want some tissues?
So its only one situation – my situation – but it does happen. Yes I was blindsided after 24 years. First time it was ever made known to me in any form of communication that there was unhappiness was four days before the bags were packed!!!! No converstions, at least with me, so disccusions, no arguing just I'm not happy and its over. So yes you may be right in the fact that a lot of people don't see what is right in front of them, but than again, no one should ever generalize or lump everyone in one category! It happens, I know first hand – I have the signed papers to prove it!
my comments was not a direct dig to you CRK, but more of a generalized statement based on what you were saying about jon just up and leaving and a response to some of the comments posted soon there after. i have an extreme issue with people that play the victim in a situation because they were to blind or ignorant to see what was right in front of their face for what seems to be potentially years. i made no mention of children in my postings because to be quite frank with you, being a child of divorce myself… everything was better AFTER the divorce because of the less stress. not worrying about mommy and daddy fighting. yes every case is different but we arent talking extreme cases here.
yes marriage is work. yes it can be hard at times. but the last time i checked anything thats worth anything is worth the fight and the work. my point was simply this.. people need to be a little more aware of whats right in front of them.
Cristie Ritz King says
I wonder if you have children. Because, when you decide to become a parent, you take on new responsibility in your marriage. I don't mean the actual work of raising kids. I mean the responsibility of tending to your relationship, not just for you and your spouse, but for the well-being, and stability of your children-be it one or eight.
I am not saying John didn't try "in his own" way to talk to Kate. I am not saying Kate didn't rebuke his every "little comment". What I am wondering (For I can ONLY wonder-I know no facts to state.) is did John say, "I am so unhappy I think my only choice is to leave?" BEFORE his bags were packed? Perhaps he did. Perhaps Kate refused to take responsibility enough to change. That seems likely given her recent public claims of wide eyed innocence. if that is the case, then run John run. But if he didn't say it,and give her time to adjust, then that is the problem.
What I think is that marriage is work. And when kids are involved it requires everything you have for that work.
You can argue every way to Tuesday that kids are better off with happy seperated parents than unhappy together ones and I will not disagree. However, Happiness is not the human right, the PURSUIT of Happiness is the freedom we're guaranteed in this country. When you choose to have kids, it is your responsibility to PURSUE that happiness with every ounce of strength, compassion and understanding you have- for your sake, and the children's. You must be willing to talk, to listen, to change AND to allow your partner to change-again and again for as long as you both shall live. I am sorry if you still disagree.
Oh, and I checked with my husband-neither of us plan on beeing exes anytime so maybe you weren't even addressing me.
As for righteous-it is usually a title that makes me queasy. But, if questioning the bad things that happen in front of me and wondering if there isn't a different way that would be more beneficial to the world makes me righteous-then I guess I have to take it.
June 25, 2009 6:18 AM
Diane Bruck says
I was once told that marriage is not 50-50. On Monday it is 60-40 and Tuesday it is 90-10, and so on. The point being that this thing, Marriage, is work. It is as much if not more than a desk job type work. And to your point Cristie, one day, not so many years ago, John looked at Kate, and thought, hey, I want to spend the rest of my life with her. And that is exactly what those words in your vows mean, the rest of your life. Not the rest of until I am bored, and need to find myself, not the rest of this week, not the rest of until life gets hard and I can't take it anymore, it means the rest of your life. I think that people today somehow believe that all you have to do is show up, and then you are done. Guess what, you not only need to show up, you need to come to the field with the right uniform on, have your equipment bag on the sidelines, and be shooting the ball toward the right goal. Marriage is about compromise, laughter, communication, arguing, making up, especially making up, forgiveness, and love. Without all the work, time and energy, love can't keep it together.
Methinks I smell an internet blowhard, Mr. Anonymous.
for all you delusional and in denial ex and soon to be ex spouses, every relationship is different and everyone at some point or another chooses to not acknowledge the fact that maybe your husband or wife( cause this goes both ways) maybe they did, in their own way, make comments or have the talk about their shortcomings and or reasons for unhappiness in the marriage. but because you cannot see past the tips of your own nose in your righteousness, refused to see it as that. its never just a big surprise and if you wish to believe that… let me know where you get your crack from because its obviously clouding your ability to see those that are supposed to be closest to you. wake up and furthermore.. get over yourselves. try opening up your ears and your hearts and maybe you might catch a clue.
As I watch this train wreck, I wonder if things have really changed for them at all… or if it's just that by inviting us all in to watch, we started to point out things every couple pretends aren't there. Kate's always been a shrew, and Jon ignored it 'cause he loved her. Until all his new 'friends' started with, "Wow jon… she treats you like crap." "Jon, man up!" "Jon, what's with the screaming at you." "Jon, can't you do anything right?" Until, he couldn't. And didn't. And left.
Cristie Ritz King says
I love this-just keep commenting people!! Thanks Rob-for going public.
I wonder if Puma's ever tried marriage. Also, I wonder if he/you saw that I have the first article he linked to featured in the previous post? I read it too-and still wasn't sold. I check into stuff before I post-just so you know.
Rob Jordan says
Interesting perspective, Cristie. I also think this hits home to many couples because of a very common husband/wife dynamic in which the wife has a social outlet for her frustrations (i.e. friends, sister, or in Kate… Read More’s case, the camera) and the husband is left to stew in his own resentment because guys don’t usually talk about marital issues with each other.
I can tell you from a guy’s perspective (and yes, I’ve had this conversation with some of my male friends) that when we try to bring up how we feel about marital issues, we feel as if we are hit with a litany of “Yes, But…”s from our wives. So what happens? We eventually just shut up and take the path of least resistance. In many cases, you’ll see the husband’s resentment bubble over and manifest itself in behaviors like infidelity, alcoholism and drug addictions, and suicide – all of which are markedly higher in the male population.
So what’s the answer? The hell if I know.
Chronicles of Momnia says
ok, puma, i think i'll throw my hands up now!
you know, it is sad. i used to watch the show when kate was a homely mom struggling, struggling, struggling to keep her head glued on while taking care of eight kids. i loved every second of it because it seemed so honest. having kids — 2 or 8 or 12 — is no walk in the park. and, it effects your marriage. how could it not? you don't always have the time (or energy) to focus on the other person and the two of you as a couple. sometimes you're just surviving. i haven't watched the show in a while — since kate started looking like a cockatoo. but, yeah, it's still sad. they have all this footage of their family — happy and together. hard to imagine that looking at that, you wouldn't be able to find a small grain of something to make you want it to work…
Marriage sucks. Why? Here are two perspectives on it:
How It Sucks from a Woman's Perspective:
How It Sucks from a Man's Perspective:
Whichever way you slice it; it's bad.
pajama mom says
i watch it when i am awake… (read rarely) i caught an episode once that showed some of their pictures and videos when they were dating/newlyweds. such a cute couple! so in love! laughing and smiling and being silly. and her hair was so – long.
and for a while i found myself giving her the benefit of the doubt, because i know tv cameras would catch some crazy sh*t at this house!
in the earlier seasons, i really thought they were perfect for each other BECAUSE of their differences – different personalities, different parenting styles, different interests, etc.
i find it hard to believe that all that went away in 10 years…
i agree with you – did they sit down and talk it out? or just chuck it 'cause it wasn't worth the missed spa time?
You totally read my mind! Who knows what happened, but last nights episode sounded like he basically told her it was over and she wanted to try to make it work, but he said it's too late, and the rest is history. What about the kids? Now they have to suffer! Did they try hard enough? Probably not and it just stinks! What ever happened to the vows for better or for worse? The ironic thing is they just renewed their vows last August! So much for that!
Aunt Julie says
Ok, so are you actually living in my head today?:) Subsitute GP for Jon and that was me a year ago. Its so much easier to have those converstions w yourself – no one to point out you might be wrong:) Also, ask S for the inside scoope she gets from MP about the lovely Kate and her relationship skills or lack there of:)