Didn’t we all see it coming for awhile? The communication styles they had, the little teasing stabs, the unhealthy verbal exchanges. The power and control issues were so easy to point out in them while we patted ourselves on our backs for not being like them (but feeling a little guilty we were). Fortunately, we are not talking about you this time—oh, snap…
Now, the nation plays the blame game. Finally, something we can’t blame on the economy or a past president (like the dollar increase in the amount of my haircut). So, we run the episodes through our mind, look at the tabloids, find the dirt, assign the blame, and cast the stones. It is common to villainize one and excuse the other. Depending on your upbringing and views on such things, you may be leaning towards Jon or Kate. I see a lot of blame in the media on Kate and she is winning so far. The controlling wife with no respect for her husband or his feelings, the stereotypical b word—she had it coming, right (kind of like those beauty pageant mothers)? Oh, but Jon, not being assertive, letting his wife push him over, shrinking in her presence, and running to the nearest sorority house—he’s the bad guy. Let’s not forget the tyrant destroyer of all high profile relationships—the media—with its ruthless ability to rip couples apart.
I choose to blame neglect. They neglected their commitment, they stopped trying to improve their relationship, they focused on being mom and dad rather than husband and wife. We knew it was coming and acted surprised when it did. I hear it is hard enough to stay connected when you have one kid. Eight?!? A monumental task for sure.
And they’ll say it in their premier, “We just didn’t take care of our marriage and then it was too late.” “Yeah, of course. Makes perfect sense,” we’ll think, as we are heart-broken, but once again patting ourselves on our backs for not being that foolish (but again feeling that twinge of guilt). With guilty pleasure we will watch a broken family try to pick up the pieces and then analyze the kids behaviors to death as we see them as innocent victims of a neglectful marriage; and maybe, just maybe, we’ll consider extending ourselves that same grace we needed as children. The bravest of us all might even look at our own marriages and think about how it is not the vacations, the children, the stuff, or the money that will keep us together; but for many the pondering will stop, and it will be time to cross another show off the TiVo list.
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