Jon and Kate Plus an Astounding Lack of Insight

The crumbling of any marriage is a tragedy, usually played out among a small circle of family and friends. The details, undeniably painful to the children, are not shared with the world at large. Unfortunately for the 8 children of Jon and Kate Gosselin, whose personal lives are routinely exposed for the world to see on the television show Jon and Kate Plus Eight, the dissolution of their parents’ marriage is also a public spectacle.

It didn’t have to be this way, but Kate felt compelled to grant an interview to People Magazine to publicly air “her side.” Rather than making her a sympathetic figure, it demonstrates an extraordinary lack of insight into her own behavior and motivations. By the end of the interview, the reader wonders not why Jon is straying from the marriage, but how he managed to stay with Kate until now.

Only a person with no insight into her own behavior and motivations would do the following:

1. Invite People Magazine to discuss the intimate details of her marriage and its breakdown. It is clear from the outset that Kate is trying to justify her own behavior and has no regard for saving the marriage.

2. Opt for the celebrity glamor look. Kate has undergone an extraordinary transformation in the years since the show started. She has literally become a “cover girl” complete with elaborate cut and colored hair artfully styled for the camera, provocative pose, and excessively airbrushed countenance. That’s fine for someone who aspires to be a celebrity, but hardly reassuring in a woman who claims that her primary interest is supporting her family.

3. Miss Mother’s Day with her children in order to come to New York City to give the celebrity interview.

4.Acknowledge that it is the glare of the public eye that has harmed her marriage and then declare that under no circumstances will she give up the public exposure, insisting:

“… My point is that I could care less if this all died tomorrow, for my sake. It’s for my kids. I feel if we put ourselves out there, it’s got to be worth it, for them.”

Perhaps that might justify the show itself, for which they receive from $25,000 to $50,000 per episode, in addition to the income from the DVDs and the free trips and products. With that level of income, it is difficult to justify the books, book tours and paid speaking engagements that involve Kate alone. As Kate says about Jon:

“He hates to speak, he doesn’t write, he doesn’t do public appearances — all those things I love. And now he’s resenting me for it.”

Yes, he resents you for spending so much time away from him and the children for projects that are all about you when you don’t need the money.

5. Whine about all you’ve done and complain that no one appreciates you.

Kate says she’d been doing her best to support her husband, as he grew disenchanted with their increasingly high-profile life. “I walked through this with him for six months… First he said he’s unhappy, he needs a career. ‘Great’ I said ‘Go get a part-time job… Never happened. So I said, ‘Go back to school! …’ that never happened. Originally, we’d speak together [on tour] on weekends. But then he was saying, ‘I don’t like to speak, you do most of the speaking anyway, so why don’t you just go.’ So I started carving him off engagements so he could stay home with the kids…”

In other words, Jon is floundering in his role as TV dad, without a real career, and doesn’t want to spend his weekends making more money instead of being together as a family.

6. Rule out the one option that might save your marriage and family life:

Of course the one option that hasn’t been tried is walking away from the show. “Everybody says, ‘Oh, quit and go away,'” Kate says. “But I’m hesitant to do that because I don’t think that’ll make Jon happy either. And therefore I step up for the needs of my kids. I have a huge weight on my shoulders. This needs to go on because I need to be able to provide for my kids.”

7. Criticize Jon as if he were a child, not another adult:

“Do I prefer that he was feeding them pizza instead of the organic meals I prepared in advance? No. Do I prefer that these people I do not know are at my house? No. It’s a huge disappointment to me. I’m really suffering…”

Well if you don’t like those things, perhaps you should be there to make sure that the children eat the organic meals that you prefer, and that Jon has the adult companionship that he clearly craves.

8. Be absurdly defensive:

But Kate noticeably bristles at any suggestion that her tightly wound temperament somehow drove Jon to act out. “Oh, it’s still my fault ..,” she says, rolling her eyes … I did not cause this. It’s ridiculous, really, it’s pathetic. Are you kidding me? I drove him to that?”

Jon is responsible for his own actions. No one drove him to make the irresponsible choices he made. However, that does not absolve Kate of blame. Her choices have led to his choices and she needs to own the decisions she has made and the consequences that have resulted.

Her husband has told her that he does not like the way that their family and personal lives have spun out of control. He does not enjoy being a public figure, and he resents giving an ever larger portion of their time to the pursuit of money and fame. And Kate has made it spectacularly and publicly clear that she is not willing to compromise, not even to save her marriage.

The People Magazine interview is a terrible public relations mistake for Kate Gosselin. She reveals herself to be obsessed with celebrity and money, and unwilling to examine her own role in the crumbling of her marriage. I have a suggestion for Kate:

The next time you want to justify your behavior as your marriage crumbles, make an appointment with a therapist, not People Magazine. Talk to someone who can help you understand your own behavior and take responsibility for your actions, not a magazine that will eagerly accept your offer to exploit your personal tragedy. You owe it to Jon, and most of all you owe to those eight children you brought into this world. They didn’t ask for and don’t need celebrity, even if you do; they need a father.

  • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

    Kate might not be the most pleasant of people but at least she’s keeping a roof over her family’s heads. Everyone blames her for “driving” Jon away but it must be extremely stressful to be married to an oversized man-baby who can’t or won’t hold a job and does none of the ‘dirty’ work of childrearing (Jon only ever did ‘fun’ parenting stuff). I especially understand someone being stressed out over 6 kids that probably run up huge medical bills. Srsly, 6 infants in nicu must have cost millions so I can forgive her for doing that stupid tv show to pay for it and their continuing medical care. The doctor who stuffed all those embryos into the uterus of a woman who believes abortion is a sin needs to be formally reprimanded by the state medical licensing board.

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