Marriage in a Jon-and-Kate America
Marriage in a Jon-and-Kate America
So, last night on Jon & Kate plus 8, the “life-changing” announcement was made: Jon and Kate Gosselin are getting a divorce. No one was surprised. And not many people have even raised an eyebrow. Why should they? It’s just another reality TV couple getting divorced.
But I couldn’t help but thinking… what does this tell us about marriage in today’s Jon-and-Kate America?
First, what about Jon and Kate’s marriage? They’re divorcing despite the fact that they have eight children together. Throughout the series, Kate has garnered a reputation for herself as a bossy, condescending, heartless bitch who walks all over Jon. And now, with Jon’s reported multiple affairs, he’s erased any sympathy he might have had for himself. The TV show has raised concerns by family members and fans alike about the effect it’s having on their children. Is it really a leap to think that perhaps the television show has had a negative effect on their marriage as well?
The concern I have is the apparent ease that Jon and Kate Gosselin ended their marriage with. Sure, things have been quite obviously hard for them lately. “Rocky” might be a nice way of putting things. But their attitude is seemingly one of just quitting rather than doing everything they could to save their marriage. Could they maybe have seen a marriage counselor? Stuck it out for the sake of their children? It seems like the best decision they could’ve made would have been to quit the TLC reality show and taken some time to heal the rift that has opened in their relationship. Certainly, sticking out the marriage would have been harder than just giving up. But instead, they chose to take the easy route, and make a few bucks while they did it — the divorce announcement episode pulled in a record 10.6 million viewers. And as Kate’s brother Kevin Kreider pointed out, they chose to make a decision that would be heartbreaking for their children known on national television. Divorce is life-shattering for the children involved, and Jon and Kate happily used the situation to get more ratings. Were they so concerned about their children’s welfare then? What they’re doing right now is selfish, exploitative, and cowardly. Rather than face the music, they’re hiding behind the cameras.
The thing that really bothers me about Jon and Kate Gosselin’s divorce is that it is all too indicative of the average American divorce. We have been bred to believe that we have the right to be happy no matter what, all the time. And if we aren’t happy, then we should walk away from whatever the situation is. When it comes to marriage, that mindset is especially ironclad. If the other person makes you unhappy, even for a short period of time, then you must leave. If things in your marriage are tough for a few years, then the marriage is a failure and you should get divorced. Thinking long-term is almost never practiced in today’s marriage culture, and Jon and Kate are just another example of that. And staying together for your children? A huge no-no, thanks to feminists.
The fact that Jon and Kate are getting divorced is sad, but what’s even more sad is what it says about the current state of marital affairs in this country. Because really, there are millions of Americans who are just like Jon and Kate Gosselin. And we sympathize. People who divorce shouldn’t shunned, but nor should we continue to think of divorce as the easy out that’s perfectly acceptable. Marriage should not be disposable, but unfortunately, in our Jon-and-Kate America, it is.