John and Kate plus 8, minus commitment, minus priorities

After years of marriage and gentle prodding and hinting, my wife finally did something in the bedroom that she swore she would never do. It took a while and some cajoling on my part, but in the end, it was well worth it. About two months ago, my wife allowed me to get a TV and put it in the bedroom. It was a glorious day for husbands everywhere. One small victory for mankind, one huge testosterone rush for Bill. With the victory though came concessions. TV was limited to viewing either TIVO programs or the focus of this article, John and Kate plus 8, plus his girlfriend, plus her boyfriend, plus the paparazzi, plus….you get the picture. 

I’m a Memphis Divorce Attorney. It’s what I do for a living. Check me out here. I’ve been doing it long enough to know that if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and Ernie sings about it in the bathtub, its a duck. When the first accusations came forth I predicted that a divorce in this case would be filed by November of this year. It seems I may have given the Goslin’s too much credit.

 According to sources, Kate is now contemplating pulling the cord. I hate to hear that, I truly do. They have children, and lots of them. I know that child support in this case will be a huge ordeal, as will dividing the marital assets and alimony. But the first question we need to tackle is why did this happen? Why the stepping out? In “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, Dr. Chapman speaks of the fact that after the infatuation period ends (some 6 months-4 years) you have to make a conscious decision each morning to say “I’m am going to choose to love you today, in spite of my true feelings for you”. It’s not near as cold as it sounds. It means that you are going to choose to love your spouse, despite the fact that they snore, or leave the toilet seat up (sorry honey), or come home with an inordinate amount of Kate Spade purses. Some days this is easy to do. Some days the mission impossible theme should be playing.

 I personally believe that Kate and John made two mistakes here. The first was that they failed to make this decision to love each other daily. The second seems to be that they put the needs of their children in front of their own needs. The way this whole marriage thing works is that you make each other your number one priority, not the kids, not a book tour, not your bar life, not work; but you make each other el numero uno. When you do this, you then in turn as a group make your kids el numero uno. Your on the same page. If you truly belief in the bonds of matrimony, then you make God the center, then each other, then the “chillins”. Its the plan, its how this is all suppose to work.

 It’s apparent to me from watching the show, and I love the show, that these folks have made the kids #1. I know its easy for me to sit and preach since I only have two little dependent people (aka kids) and they have eight, but the formula is still the same. Kids leave, kids grow up, they have lives and family and dreams and goals of their own. A solid marriage keeps this in mind. Once the kids turn 18 and you lovingly kick them to the curb, your stuck with each other and you need to nurture that relationship until such time. If you base your marriage on your kids, then once the kids are gone, you have nothing in common. It would appear, from the show, that John and Kate fell into this trap. When they did, the decision to love each other each day got a little bit harder.

 You can talk about Kate being rude or John being too laid back, but that is neither here nor there. Priorities got out of whack. If you don’t agree, then ask your significant other if you can either: A: be pictured with a bodyguard going cross-country while being touchy feely; or B: hang out at a bar at 2:00 am, sans wedding ring with a female that wants to go for a ride in your new ride. Let me know how that works out.

 If you think that you are headed down the same path, then get your priorities straight before it’s too late. If it is too late then try counselling, if your in Memphis, try these folks. If it is past that point, then you may want to come into my office for a consult, just know that if you have eight children, my retainer will be a tad bit higher.


One Response to “John and Kate plus 8, minus commitment, minus priorities”

  1. Barbara Says:

    Well, after the 3rd divorce in my family in 6 months, I am beginning to wonder what is in the water?
    I will say I think watching what is going on around us has brought my husband and I closer, and made us realize that there is so much anger and bitterness around us and is it worth it? NO
    The divorce that bothers me the most is my son and his wife, because they have two young children. My son wanted nothing more than to work it out , but his spouse was not willing in any way shape or form of doing so. She seems to be consumed in herself and her carreer at the grocery store.
    He is heartbroken and she enraged with anger. Whichdoes nothing for the relationship, and has made it much harder on their children. By the way they live in Lancaster County PA too. Maybe it is the water?
    The children have been subject to Mom’s anger and vulgar name calling of Daddy in front of them. I find that so damaging. Daddy has been home with the children in the evenings while Mom is either out working or out with her friends not telling any one in the house where or who she is going out with, this became overnighters after a while. Mommy would return home at 6 AM, and sleep when she was home. She was very detached from the children when she was home, they became very upset that she didn’t want to spend any time at home with them. But they did come to realize that Daddy was there for him, and they could depend on him being home. Mom had left in early Dec staying with a friend. Dad begging her not to do so at Christmas time, he knowing it would be a bad memory for the rest of their lives, something they will never forget. Three days before Christmas she decided she would come back on the evening that we would arrive for the holiday, this had been planned for some time and with our son so upset over her behavior we decided to go and spend the holiday with him. We found Mom to be very detached from the children, very quiet and sleeping most of the time, made NO preperations for Christmas Dinner at all, We went out to by Christmas Dinner and I was the one to prepare dinner, she slept all afternoon. Yet came up and ate dinner and never even bothered to say Thank You. I kept myself busy, and ended up staying another week, Mom had made no provisions for child care between Christmas and New Years. She had said when she started her full time position she would take care of the child care, of which she did nothing. She never bothered to help pay for any of the after school day care , she took it out of a savings account our son had from doing side work, and cleaned the account out, all of her earnings went into her own bank account.
    Mom went as far as to take the taxes to be prepared and signed our son’s name to the taxes and mailed it then told him the tax preparer said that she could do that. Of which we all knew was just another lie. She made it a habit to continously lie about everything and wanted to take none of the blame for any of their problems. Now we all know it takes two and somewhere in their marriage they both were at fault somewhere.
    Our son ended up getting laid off just before Mommy moved out the day after Easter, now she has managed to ruing not one holiday but two. She blames daddy for her being out of the house, yet takes no responsibility for all those nights she was spending out all night with no explanaton, or lieing saying she was going to a friends to watch a movie.
    Our son was laid off about the time she was moving out. She had promised that she would help with 1/2 of the mortgate payment and a second mortgage. She gives him nothing, and nothing for the support of the children. I have talked myself blue in the face trying to get him to contact a lawyer, offering to help him if he needs some money. If nothing more than to get temporary primary custody, for the time being. I think he is afraid she is going to take him for everything she can, he has already split the savings accout with her, of which there wasn’t much to split. yet she didn’t or wouldn’t split her savings with him. She has now announced that she wants to take them out of state to MA to visit her parents the 14th of June. I am afraid her parents will keep the kids and he will have a hard time getting them back. It is obvious to me that she doesn’t want them , as she is far too involved to want to spend time with them only taking them a couple of overnights a week. 3 PM- 6 AM. Our son doesn’t mind the children living with him. He feels Mom has some issues that she will not seek help for. He found pot in her glove box of the car, she hit the neighbors mail box broke the mirror on her car and lied about it. never reported it to the neighbor, he was out fixing the mail box she damaged. She forged the income tax papers. I worry with the kids over there and the young adults she is hanging around with they being in their early 20’s and she is 31. She entertains these young men and women while she has the children overnight, the few hours she has them a week. the children give her a hard time about going to visit her, she is constantly bad mouthing their dad. Dad does not do the same about her to them, he realizes just how damagng this all is to the children, they both would rather just stay with dad and not have to go to Mom’s. She even sent the 9 year old in to take the beach towles this past week, he told her no. It was like stealing from Daddy. That is as bad as her taking all of the pots and pans with her, and leaving him with a couple of small frying pans and one pot a cookie sheet and an 8X8 baking pan. Yet he is trying to feed the children and keep a roof over their head on unemployment. With No help from Mommy.
    My son has sought out counseling for himself and the 9 year old, I feel the 7 year old need it also. She is a special needs child and has been having terrible temper tantrums after coming back from Mom’s visits.
    I am so very concerned for my grandchildren. I have told her I had better not find out that she has called their father a Pussy in front of them again.
    Mom in NH too far away

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