Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Gosselins

I admit it. I'm one of those people who watched Jon & Kate Plus Eight. I enjoyed the show, enjoyed the kids...thought it was cute. I even sort of enjoyed the not so friendly byplay between the two of them. Yes, I winced from time to time when she was particularly harsh or he was particularly checked out of their relationship, but I thought it was nice to see that other couples were effected by stress. Too often, we expect that people will be perfect even during extremely stressful times. And no, I don't understand the stress of that many children...but I do know the stress of a chronic illness and too little money.

Their divorce has been tough for me to watch, probably because I'm going through a similar thing. No, there is no divorce, but I don't think the demise of a ten year relationship is that much different.

I always kind of felt sorry for Kate. Which I know puts me in the extreme minority. Everyone felt sorry for Jon because Kate was a complete shrew, which she admittedly is...but Jon was such a non connected lump that I kinda understood her shrewiness. I mean, having one child and being alone in that endeavor, as I have been for the last six months, sometimes drives me to the brink of insanity, I can't even begin to imagine what having eight kids and an emotionally bankrupt partner would be like. I'd be locked up in a loony bin somewhere mumbling lines from Monty Python to myself.

So, yeah...can't say I was terribly surprised when they announced the divorce. But, what they're saying about each other in the press...? It's unbelievable. I mean...I know that when your heart is broken and you have all this hurt and anger you say horrible things, things you mean and things you don't mean. And realistically, while you're trying your damnedest to keep your kids out of the crossfire, sometimes they hear what you've said. And this is both a good and bad thing because while you hate for your kids to hear that sort of thing, it gives you a chance to talk to your kid and explain that you're human and that you make mistakes and that sometimes anger and sadness make you say things you regret. It can be a good moment for you to teach your kid a lesson about life.

But when you go on Larry King and declare that you despise someone...that's not done in the heat of the moment. That's cold calculation. When you give an interview to People magazine saying that the child's other parent doesn't care about them that's calculated as well. And these kids aren't going to have a good teaching moment, because what you say in the heat of the moment you can explain...but what you say in a cold and calculating attempt to hurt someone...you can't explain and you can't expect to be forgiven for. For the rest of their lives, those kids are going to be able to read and hear what their parents did to hurt each other, and that's the kind of pain you can't outgrow...

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