My soapbox: Jon & Kate + 8 = Divorce

photo courtsey of usmagazine.com

During the long weekend of doing nothing, like most of you I got sucked into watching the Jon and Kate Plus 8 marathon on TLC.

I hate television marathons. They ALWAYS suck me in and I’m not sure why. It’s pretty smart of TLC to do it on this long weekend when lots of people are sitting at home doing nothing. Even my best friend who has been laid up after surgery and has never, ever watched the show (or cared to) got sucked into watching the marathon.

So of course I was looking forward to watching the premiere tonight. It’s one of those things that I wasn’t quite sure why I was “looking forward to it.” I just knew that I couldn’t miss it.

It was a train wreck that I couldn’t wait to watch.

Apparently the rest of the world also couldn’t wait to watch either. During the show, Twitter was going nuts on the topic. I looked up the word “Kate” under Trending Topics and every couple of seconds there was a request to refresh for the 11, 14, or 20 new tweets about the show.

It’s quite obvious that there are a lot of us out there that over the weekend became toatlly invested in these people’s lives. I’ll admit it; I was curious to see what would happen. Would they get into it as they finally came face to face on the couch like all of the previews suggested? Would TLC allow us to see/know what the future holds for this family and this couple?

After 1 hour and 13 minutes of watching, here’s what I know: this marriage is in trouble. Big time. If I was a betting woman, I would drive to Vegas right now and put all of our savings on the bet that they will end up in divorce court.

Do I care? No, not really. I’m big on, “Hey your life is your life. You stay out of mine and I’ll stay out of yours.” But there was a moment during the show when I emotionally connected in a weird kind of a way. It freaked me out a little bit.

It was during the party scene. It was one of the 8. I’m not sure which little girl it was (Alexis maybe?) but she was talking to her daddy about her little friend at the party and hugs and kisses and she started to hug and kiss on daddy and before you knew what was coming, she was asking her daddy to please not go away anymore and he gave her a lame ass answer of daddies having to leave for work sometimes.

Yeah, right.
Did that not speak volumes about what has been going on in their house? She’s five. She’s not an idiot. She’s knows her daddy’s not leaving for work. Give the girl a little more credit.

I am a child of divorce. I grew up to be a happy, well-adjusted adult and harbor no ill will towards my parents. (Not about the divorce anyway.) But let me tell you, during the years preceding my parents’ divorce I was totally and completely aware that my parents were having huge issues. There was so much tension and so much arguing. Towards the end, my father moved out for a while. Even though I was only eight at the time (same age as Jon and Kate’s oldest girls) I could sense what was coming.

If you watched the show, did you hear Kate talking about how helpful the older girls had gotten? Those girls know that something is up. They know that there dad is gone when he should be at home. They know that their mom is sad and not acting the same. They notice that their mom and dad don’t hug and kiss as much as they used to, and whether they are doing it consciously or unconsciously, they are stepping in to try to make things better.

This is what breaks my heart. Not Jon and Kate sitting motionless on the couch. Not Kate getting teary at the end. What breaks my heart is knowing that those kids are walking around on egg shells, knowing that at any minute they might be called downstairs to hear the news that they’ve knew all along was coming.

That’s what happened to me anyway.

Did anyone else find it sad that Kate (and Jon too) just kept saying, “It’s all for my kids. It’s all about my kids. I breathe for my kids. I get up for my kids.” Blah, blah, blah.

That’s all well and good, but perhaps that’s what brought you and your husband to this horrible place. Life can’t be all about your kids. There’s is nothing you can do that will benefit your children more than loving your spouse. I wanted her to say something, anything, about her marriage, about wanting things to be better, but she never did. Neither did he.

It can’t all be about your kids. At some point, it needs to be about the two of you and only the two of you.

And if not, get ready to spend some of that TLC money on shrinks for 8 kids.

And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

One Comment

  1. Daniele

    Just stopping by from dawn’s diversions. Great post. I said the same thing to my husband after we watched the show. They never once said anything about loving each other and being there for their marriage. I just couldn’t image doing that to my children.

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