Admittedly, I hadn't ever watched an entire episode of Jon & Kate Plus 8. But I couldn't help but be intrigued by the setting: A 30-something couple with eight children (Twins born in 2001 and sextuplets born in 2004) having their lives broadcast on television. Certainly it would make for some interesting viewing, to say nothing of a lucrative business venture ($75,000 per episode for the family plus a palatial home).
On the few occasions I'd seen excerpts of the Gosselins interviewed in an episode, there was no shortage of tension between the couple. It now would seem that said interviews were just a preview of things to come.
A little TLC did not go a long way for Jon and Kate Gosselin.
The reality-TV stars, long rumored to be on the rocks after 10 years of marriage, filed divorce papers Monday afternoon in Reading, Pa.
"Parents of multiples have triple the divorce rate," Kate said during the record-setting season premiere. "I was thinking we were going to beat that. I don't know if I can say that anymore."
The news comes several days after Jon was spotted apartment hunting in New York. He and Kate have been spending the majority of their time apart over the past month, with Jon sticking closer to their suburban Pennsylvania home while Kate took the kids on vacation in North Carolina, after which each continued to play single-ish parent in front of the cameras.
When watching Jon & Kate interact I couldn't help but recall a seminar my wife and I attended 3 1/2 years ago. The Love and Respect conference introduced solid biblical techniques to enhance effective communication amongst married couples.
Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, the founder of these conferences, boils it down to one verse in the Bible. Ephesians 5:33 says However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
You may remember how the Beatles sang, 'All you need is love.' I absolutely disagree with that conclusion. Five out of ten marriages today are ending in divorce because love alone is not enough. Yes, love is vital, especially for the wife, but what we have missed is the husband's need for respect. This Love and Respect message is about how the wife can fulfill her need to be loved by giving her husband what he needs -- respect. And the husband can fulfill his need to be respected by giving his wife what she needs -- love. Does this always work? No. But if one is married to a person of good will, I would bet the farm that it would work!
The fact that Kate constantly belittled Jon during their interviews? A woeful lack of respect. So how did Jon react? One activity was allegedly cavorting with another woman. And that is a classic example of what is known as the "Crazy Cycle". Without love, she reacts without respect. Without respect, he reacts without love. And so on and so on.....
Marriage is enough work even without eight kids to raise in full view of millions of TV viewers. But it most certainly can be a labor of love to those who are committed to making things work.
My understanding is that TLC has suspended production of the reality series until later this year. My hope is that time can be used by the Gosselins to make an amenable family arrangement.