Jon & Kate Plus the D-Word

22 Jun
Illustration by Maggie Wong, CNS

Illustration by Maggie Wong, CNS

Until tonight, I never watched a full episode of “Jon & Kate Plus 8.”  Then again, the stakes were never so high.  Would they stay together or not?

Sadly, the answer is no (full story).  After Jon and Kate said they were going to separate, a message appeared on the screen—a last minute edit—notifying viewers that the Gosselins had started legal proceedings for divorce.  Of course, no one actually used the word “divorce.”  That nasty, ugly D-word.

The first half of the episode felt like an infomercial starring the Gosselin kids and their new playhouses, while the last half seemed like I was listening to a conversation that should be taking place in the marriage counselor’s office, not on national television. The Gosselins talked about how the kids come first, how they have to do what’s best, how painful this and that will be, and how they don’t hate one another. Kate bravely shared that she would be strong and she would do what’s best for the kids.  Jon said he might even get a job, but he doesn’t really know what’s going to happen next.

It’ll be hard, but as long as no one uses the D-word, things will be OK.  Unfortunately, reality is much crueler.  The kids will wonder what they did to cause Mommy and Daddy’s marriage to fall apart.  Was it because we weren’t good enough?  Were there too many of us?  Perhaps they’ll become little matchmakers, hoping against hope, that somehow the spark of romance will be rekindled between their parents once again.  They once loved each other, right?  Can love just die?  So many questions will run through their little minds.

Everyone thinks that the younger a child is, the easier a divorce will be for him or her.  I don’t care what “they” say; it’s simply not true.  Divorce hurts kids…a lot.  If her parents couldn’t even stay together—the two most important people in a young child’s life—then what hope can that child have for future relationships?  Every fight with a friend becomes feared abandonment.  Everyone can walk away from a relationship, just like mom and dad walked away from one another.

There’s also the church to consider.  I mean, do these two have biblical grounds for divorce?  Clearly, it’s no one’s business, but that doesn’t mean people won’t ask and condemn.  I remember being asked the question myself when my own parents got divorced.  I mean, who cares whether or not it was biblical—at that moment, I needed someone to listen to my heart, not give me a discourse on marriage and divorce.

Will Kate’s book Multiple Blessings continue to sell?  Will she be asked to speak at church events?  Really, what is her witness as a child of God in these circumstances?  And how will the church react to Kate now that she’s going through the D-word?  Should the show even continue?  Do we really want to see “Jon Plus 8” and “Kate Plus 8”?  Isn’t part of the show watching Jon and Kate raise their kids together?

We probably don’t like to say it—DIVORCE—because it’s ugly.  Legal proceedings, separation, time apart—those sound better; those don’t sound so cold and so final.  My mom once told me that marriage is when two people become one flesh, and when she divorced my father it literally felt as though her flesh was being ripped in two.  That’s the raw, unscripted, unrehearsed truth about the D-word.    Jon and Kate Gosselin are getting a divorce and we are invited to be the voyeurs.  It’s time to turn off the TV and let the Gosselins live their lives—we don’t need to see another American family become a statistic.

Advertisements

No Responses to “Jon & Kate Plus the D-Word”

  1. Jennifer Ballard June 22, 2009 at 11:49 PM #

    Very well written…couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks for sharing your “two cents” worth! You are a good writer, Amy!

  2. The Thief June 23, 2009 at 6:58 AM #

    well said, Amy

  3. MOM June 23, 2009 at 12:50 PM #

    YES, AMY, THIS PIECE WAS WELL WRITTEN FROM YOUR HEART.

    I AM STILL SORROWING OVER THE GOSSELIN’S DIVORCE AND, YES, I DO ADMIT I HAVE WATCHED EVERY EPISODE – MOST MORE THAN ONCE. I FEEL LIKE A PART OF THE FAMILY SINCE WE LIVED IN WYOMISSING AND ATTENDED THE SAME CHURCH WHEN THE 6 BABIES WERE BORN. I HAVE NEVER MET THEM, BUT THEY INVITED ME AND THOUSANDS OF OTHERS INTO THEIR LIVES. THESE KIDS ARE MY PSEUDO-GRANDCHILDREN! I CARE FOR THEM.

    YOU KNOW, IT DID MATTER TO ME THAT MY DIVORCE WAS BIBLICAL. IT REALLY HURT (WHAT A SIMPLE WORD -LIKE I SCRAPED MY KNEE) AND I LIVED WITH THE MESS FOR A YEAR TRYING TO BE AND DO WHAT A CHRISTIAN WIFE WOULD DO. TRUST ME, NOT ALL OF MY ACTIONS WERE CHRISTIAN TOWARD MY HUSBAND – I DID WANT TO KILL HIM AT TIMES! I DID NOT WANT A DIVORCE, BUT IT WAS NECESSARY AND I DO UNDERSTAND KATE IN THAT. KNOWING THAT IT WAS BIBLICAL, GAVE ME SOME COMFORT IN FINDING GOD’S FORGIVENESS AND THE STRENGTH TO GO ON.

    I AM PRAYING FOR THE GOSSELIN FAMILY.

  4. Ginger S. MacDonald June 24, 2009 at 6:45 AM #

    Ya think if the TV show was tearing apart your family, you’d put the big kabosh on the big screen. Fame is our new faith. We idolize celebrity, whether it’s ourself or the pastor of a mega church. Do you really think Jesus would have had a reality show called SURVIVOR: Gethsemane?

  5. Shari June 29, 2009 at 1:17 PM #

    You know I just had to comment on this one….I feel that the divorce was unsettling and it is sad to see. However, seeing as the show is in its 4th year already…there really isn’t much more to say about this family. They did it for their kids, all 8 of them, I can’t say given the same situation that I wouldn’t have taken the same offer to support my family. It clearly is just too much for the family now and there are problems that we don’t really know about. People were talking about it and the tabloids were all over them before the they cleared the record.

    No one really knows the truth about them, their marriage or what goes on when the cameras are off. I think it is better that way. We know enough already, probably too much. The kids will be in school all day in September, so there really is no show now. Who wants to watch Kate minus 8 and Jon minus 8? I don’t really think the show will evolve into Jon and Kate…not now anyway…do you? I think, as well as many, that it is time to turn the cameras off and let the family deal with (the rest of) this in private. The only thing that they and we can do now is pray for them, for guidance, peace and stability.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: