Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Splitting Up for the Kids Sake is a Lie


'John and Kate Plus Eight' are now apparently going to be just 'Kate Plus Eight', with John seeing the kids once in awhile, or taking them every other weekend, or having joint custody, or some other arrangement such as the beginning one where the kids will stay in the house, and John and Kate will take turns living there.

What is not going to happen is having these eight innocent little kids growing up in their home together with two loving parents who also care about one another.

That is not only a shame, but it is also to the little tykes detriment. Problems for the children of broken homes are many and well-documented.

But in their case it is not a detriment, not if you ask John and Kate themselves. In a public statement, they claimed that one of the reasons they are divorcing is actually FOR the kiddies benefit, because it "is not healthy for the kids to grow up around all the fighting and arguing."

This is a very lame argument indeed. Kids have grown up with parents arguing and fighting for millenia. I would bet that Adam and Eve themselves had some real donneybrooks after the whole 'snake and apple' fiasco, and it has been going on ever since.

People need to start returning to our grandparents day, when you married for life, and you toughed out the ups and downs. The bottom line in those relationships was simple: family first.


Did they have problems 'back in the day"? Of course they did. Drinking, gambling, arguing, infidelity, illness, economic difficulties. These are not inventions of the 21st century, nor were they of the 20th. But families stayed together and gutted it out.

Fact is, splitting up for the kids sake is almost always a lie.
John and Kate, just like most other couples who do so, are splitting up because they are selfish and immature. They were unable or unwilling to set aside their egos, give one another a break, and put their kids and their family first.

I know first-hand of what I speak. I went through a divorce myself, with two young daughters affected. I was selfish and immature. I was also the product of a broken home, as was my father before me. The reasons always seem different, but usually come back to the same thing in the end: easing some burden on one or both partners.

I am not proud of my divorce in any way, but I will not allow it to silence me from expressing the knowledge that maturity and a mostly healthy second marriage has brought my way in the ensuing years.

Maybe in the end some number of marriages will always need to end due to out-of-control violence, or incest, or criminality, or some other situation that actually does endanger the welfare of the children. But far too often these days divorce is about ego gratification, and that is a fact.

Splitting up, or running away, when inevitable difficulties arise. These have become the norms in modern society. Somehow, we need to all begin to demand of ourselves things like perseverance, patience, and prioritization of our children over ourselves. Staying and making it work needs to be about us. It needs to be at our core. It needs to be our bottom line, the idea that no matter what, we will not leave.

John and Kate may have each had an affair. Maybe one of them did. Maybe they got a nice home and a bloated bank account and got soft. Maybe they came to believe that they could financially make it without one another. Perhaps they believe they can find newer, more exciting sexual partners, or more compatible lifemates. Whatever the case, it is all about them. Don't make it about somehow benefiting the kids.

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