jon and kate disintegrate

I’m about to write something that may seem a little radical to many I know.   So consider yourself warned.

On the one hand, the whole world has Jon & Kate + 8 fever, and it seems that their big announcement tonight is that they’re getting divorced, as People Magazine reports that papers have already been filed in Pennsylvania.  I firmly believe that being on TV is not a good thing for families, but I don’t think it’s just the quest for the spotlight that doomed this family.  Even from early episodes, it was apparent from the way they spoke to each other that Jon and Kate did not respect each other.  And though Kate often goes on church speaking tours, I did not see a lot of Christian love and grace between them.  Of course I’m just an armchair quarterback, but I calls ’em like I sees ’em.

And so, I’m faced with a sort of bipolar response to this, as a committed, happily married woman, and also as a child of divorce.  You see, I believe that divorce is sad and tragic and to be avoided whenever possible.  MY Jon and I both  agree that it is simply not on the table for us.  Based on the experiences of family and friends, I do believe that any marriage can be healed with love and grace by the power of God.

But.

On the other hand, I am a child of divorce.  And honestly?  I’m GLAD my parents split up.  Instead of growing up in a home where both parties existed in a kind of Cold War tolerance if not out and out warfare, I grew up for the most part with my dad and my stepmom, who had a great relationship (well, except for some minor communication issues that I’ve chosen to learn from), and who loved each other, and my sister and me, to death.  I had the hope of actually seeing a functioning, loving relationship rather than growing up with the idea that marriage looks, at best, like detente. And I am almost certain that if my parents had not gotten divorced and my stepmom not come into my life, I would not be the person I am today.  For one thing, the divorce, yes, it forced me to grow up faster than I might have otherwise, but I also became resilient and independent, skills which have served me well these past two years living at least 1,000 miles from everyone I love.

But more than mere independence, I know I would not know God the way I do today had my dad not married my stepmom, who insisted that we grow up in church.  THIS, I believe, is proof that God takes broken things, even marriages, and uses them for his purposes.  I do not take this to mean that God intends the original brokenness, that God wills divorce, or welcomes it at all, but I do believe that God can work anything that we make of our lives, even a colossal mess, even a divorce, into something beautiful.

And so, while I hope and pray that Jon and Kate can be reconciled, I also know that if they aren’t, all is not lost for their family.  Good things can still come out of brokenness.  And a lot of commentary I see on divorce, particularly among my Christian brethren, fails to take that into account.  In my case, my parents’ divorce has made me strong, has made me a woman of faith, and has made me determined to do any work necessary to keep my marriage from getting to the brink.  I just hope that in the wake of whatever comes of this show (I don’t have cable and though I have watched lots of J&K+8 in the past, am not watching tonight and am blogging based solely on the articles I’ve read ABOUT the show), that the kids will be better for it, that they will not doubt that they are loved, and that their parents can at least put aside their differences enough to raise them in some sort of cordial custody arrangement if their marriage doesn’t make it.

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6 thoughts on “jon and kate disintegrate

  1. Divorce, like life itself takes many individual paths. In some instances the split takes place, common sense is used, ethics observed, and the children’s good made paramount. Unfortunately, often the children are pawns, to be used as weapons against the waring spouses. Worse still lawyers, the slime of the earth, frequently use them as meal tickets to keep the battle stoked. The answer is better judgment before a marriage not in ending it. How do we get to that–this is the hard part– we need to make it much more difficult to get divorced. Many folks get married with the attitude they’ll just split if things don’t work out. With that attitude they seldom do.

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  2. My parents divorce when I was 5 was the single best and worst thing to happen to me. Bad, because it deprived me of a solid male role-model growing up; good, because my parents couldn’t stand each other and growing up in that atmosphere would have been horrendous.

    Like handguns, they should mandate a waiting period to get married. You apply for a permit and then they make you wait. I think people have to learn as much as they can about each other before they commit to a long-term relationship. Too much of love is ruled by passion, and passion can be fleeting. Love requires deeper, stronger commitment, because you will not always be in the situation in which you met, footloose and fancy-free. With marriage will come a home, children, careers, crises, and two people must be able to weather those things in order for a marriage to remain strong.

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  3. What ticks me off about the situation is that they can agree to divorce but not to turn the stinkin’ cameras off and try to live like normal people. They claim they are divorcing because it’s what is best for their kids, yet they are going to continue with the filming of the show. There’s something that’s just not right about that.

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    • I totally agree, Misty! Seems like the first step should be getting the cameras out of their house, second step counseling, third step…. whatever happens after counseling.

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  4. I think they both have a very unrealistic view of the cameras and the people running them. Neither of them thinks the children are being exploited, and more importantly, neither of them can see their behavior in the footage. Kate doesn’t get that she’s a controlling shrew sometimes, and Jon doesn’t get the idea that he’s a brat most of the time. Frankly, when they are apart, they operate more normally, and I suspect that even if there had been no show and no sextuplets, it would have come to this eventually. If there is love there, or if there ever was, you really just never see it.

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  5. regarding filming – i read an article last night that the show will be on hiatus until august 3rd.

    http://tv.yahoo.com/jon-kate-plus-8/show/42651/news/urn:newsml:tv.tvguide.com:20090623:1007197__ER:1

    there’s also some stories stating that they genuinely intended it to be solely a separation announcement but then kate decided after some events that transpired over the weekend to go ahead & file for divorce.

    the entire situation is sad. like many have said, the show was not the cause for this. it may have been an aggravator, but not a cause for it. there were clearly some issues in their relationship before the multiples & before the show. small cracks turn into big fissures if there’s enough pressure applied.

    i wonder if they’ve done counseling at all. i wish they’d at least give that a shot to identify the issues & attempt to resolve them. it’s a shame to bring kids into this world when you have a shaky marriage already. it’s even more shaming to go to the extent that they went to bring children into that relationship & then call it quits.

    regardless it seems that both parents love the children endlessly. i hope they will continuet o do their best to maintain good relationships with the kids & refrain from disparaging the other parent to the kids.

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