Jon and Kate Plus Eight Season Premier

Last night, I watched the season premiere of Jon and Kate Plus 8.  Since then, I have been very reflective on the hurt and anger exhibited by all. And I must say, they have seemed to reach a crossroads in their marriage. I must also say I disagree with Jon about the kids being “fine” if they, Jon and Kate, present themselves as a team and love them. And I also disagree with Kate’s remark, the kids don’t know what is going on (oh, they know!). In my humble opinion, the best thing you can do for your children is love and work through your differences with your spouse. As a child of divorce, it is very seldom that anyone wins or comes out fine. If they really are thinking of the kids, a viable answer here is work on the marriage. And I do speak from experience.

Three years ago, after 17 years of marriage, it appeared ours was headed for destruction. We had reached a point in which Matt wanted no more and I didn’t know what was happening or what to do. Don’t get me wrong here, I too knew there were serious issues, but we had limped and patched along for 17 years so what’s the biggie now? We too were at a crossroads. In a moment of desperation and fear, I threw out “let’s get counseling, if not for us for our kid’s sake”. Matt, thankfully, reluctantly agreed. And what happened then was astonishing.

We learned that the very basis of our problems started with our horrible communication skills. I was able to see how my “parenting” (yuck!) style of communication was belittling and demeaning. I had recognized this in other women, including Kate, but not in myself. I was broken and saddened.

Matt (if I may be so bold) saw how his choice to withdraw and not communicate in these situations did not help but added to the hurt. And it accumulated and accumulated until he was ready to burst and the only way to make it stop, leave. He felt empowered when he found his voice.  This too is common among men. Some, like Jon, find their voice and say “goodbye”. Some, like Matt, find their voice and say how they are feeling and why.

Then we learned the next big lesson, listening. And I had to do a lot of that and try not to be defensive. And we both, had to CHANGE. Because we were living out the definition of insanity in that we had been doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different result.

There is more to this story, of course. I have only addressed the symptoms of the underlying problems here. And these things we have and still are facing and addressing both individually and together. This is important to healing and growing stronger together because without it the above is just bandaids.

Yep, they are at a crossroads. I hope and pray that their desire for their kids is real enough for them to jump off the treadmill their marriage has been on and into help that will prove their actions speak louder than their words.

About the author: By

Julie and Matt have been married for 23+ years and have the belly laughs and wrinkles to prove it! They are also awesome parents to five adopted kiddos and the owner of the How To Fix My Marriage website.

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Disclaimer: We are not psychologists, counselors, or therapists. We are a married couple that has had their share of challenges, and the techniques, tools, and programs we recommend on this site have worked for us on our journey.

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