I admit it, I actually love this show. It's one of the things I miss about not having cable. I used to watch the show after putting the kids to bed when I lived in California. I would watch it while folding laundry before going to bed alone while Mike was away for work. And I would enjoy watching the couple work through the episode and realize they were imperfect just like every other couple. And that's what I enjoyed about it. It was real. They were real. I shut the television off at night, missing Mike and even appreciating our own imperfections as a couple and the challange to work through those times when they would arise.
You know, kids changes a lot of things in a marraige. 8 kids that fast added into a marriage must change it so far beyond what the rest of us could imagine. In fabulous and challanging ways.
I haven't seen the show in a long time, so I don't know the current story or any details about what's going on that has caused her to file for divorce. But have you ever had a disagreement with your spouse in front of someone else? Or brought someone else in on the two sides of the story when you're at odds? It gets handled a little differntly, doesn't it? When there is an audience, we tend to beat our chest a little more and have a stronger desire to 'win' because now we have to save face. And that desire sometimes grows greater than the actual circumstance and greater good of the situation at hand. I can't imagine what bringing in a national audience and media reports does. It must amplify and confuse those feelings like 1,000 times more.
The fact is, every marriage has components that wouldn't make sense to an outsider. Every couple has individuals in it with quirks the other person learns to live with because they know and love this other person infinitely. And over time we come to understand and appreciate each other even with our weaknesses. And we are human, so we all at times don't handle situations perfectly well or treat the other like the king or queen we ought to treat them as. And we are human so we love and forgive and move on. Only...... if there is an audience telling us we should care more about those quirks, we would start to see them differently. We would start to feel like a fool or like we ought to battle every imperfection as if it were a mountain when in reality, we would normally accept it as a mole hill. Or a non-issue altogether.
I think these are the reasons reailty couples struggle so much and crumble. Because they are trying to please each other AND the general public. Few marraiges could handle that kind of pressure.
photo from cnn.