I was so hoping that they would be the couple to really make it, but now they're disintegration in public. What would you offer them?
the first thing I'd want to offer Jon and Kate is a way to hear each other without blame or judgment, and that is asking a lot given the power struggle they're in - and it can be facilitated... I think there is more and more evidence that being public puts a terrible strain (as if there isn't enough already with ANY marriage and with 8 kids???) on any relationship. The notion that we (the public) actually "know" the people who show up on so called reality TV is in my view a distortion, although an entertaining one! So, since the evidence is in that Jon and Kate aren't recognizing the damage the public exposure can do, I would offer them a gifted facilitator who would guide them in how to walk through what's next with a balance of personal authenticity, and a way to hear the other with maximum understanding and benefit of the doubt. A saying in Imago is, "You can be right, or in a relationship...You choose" So, nobody needs to be made "wrong"...and they can each hear and be heard IF they get some support. I doubt they can achieve that on their own. I'm at a disadvantage since I don't watch the show!
Unfortunately so-called "good television" ISN'T what is best for Jon and Kate. I know of someone who tested for a reality show and what the producers were looking for was a maximum of drama, crisis and chaos which, of course, is more available in dysfunction, dis-harmony, and all of the things we couples therapists are striving to help our couples diminish!
Sadly, I fear the producers are going to all they can to fuel the least healthy end to this relationship, if that is , indeed, where it's heading.
The choice in a relatiolnship involving two people, is: to be invested in proving oneself as the one who is correct, in control and has the answers; OR to make space for TWO people which OFTEN (not always) involes two opinions, and always two perspectives. "You and I are one!...and I"M the ONE" says, you must agree with my perspective (and it is the right way), rather than I can see your viewpoint even though it is different from mine and we can agree to disagree and still care, still connect, still respect.