I don’t like to see exes slamming each other publicly–I think it’s bad for the kids. I also oppose the idea that because you’re no longer in a relationship with someone, they must be despised and denigrated.
Additionally, I’m skeptical of claims of “emotional abuse.” While I know that emotional abuse can be damaging and harmful, there are too many false claims and too often it’s a way to wrap a DV rap around a man who did nothing wrong. It’s also sometimes a deceptive and manipulative way of saying “my ex-husband (or ex-wife) did something I didn’t like.”
That being said, I do think there’s some value in Jon Gosselin’s latest comments about his ex Kate. Remember that when their marriage broke up and Jon began dating, he was widely vilified. This is a common sport in our society–whenever a high-profile marriage breaks up, much of the media and public chop 50 points off their IQs and engage in the ludicrous delusion that if they broke up, it must be all his fault. Gosselin has the right to defend himself.
Also remember that Kate has slammed him publicly, too, previous (I think) to Jon’s public statements about her. And Jon’s version of events is plausible–it’s certainly something I hear quite often: Wife mistreats husband but is shocked when husband eventually leaves, then leads the vilification of the ex-husband when he finds someone new. Is that what happened with Jon & Kate? Perhaps.
From “I Don’t Trust Her Anymore” (US Magazine, 9/7/09):
In a second except of his Good Morning America interview, Jon Gosselin slams estranged wife Kate once again, claiming that her “constant verbal “abuse” caused strife in their 10-year-marriage.
“Our relationship will never be fixed,” he tells ABC News’ Chris Cuomo. “… I don’t trust her anymore. I was abused … I was beaten down … I’m not going back to that life style.”
Jon, 32, also slams Kate, 34 – whom he says ended their marriage – for spinning a different story to the media about the collapse of their marriage.
“She knows the truth,” he says. “I wish to God, she would speak from emotions … She’s not speaking from the heart. Please — the stuff you tell me in private should be the stuff you tell me on TV.”
Jon says their marriage reached a breaking point when he “stood up to Kate” for the first time, telling her that he wanted to go out with his friends.
“In 10 years, I’ve never gone out … When she said, ‘I don’t want you going out,’ I … I used to say, ‘OK, I’m not going to go out.’ I was very passive. This is the first time I said, ‘You know what? I want to see my friends. I’m going out,'” he says. “That was the first time in my life I ever stood up to Kate … I just felt like I had to take back some time in my life, and I did it. And I felt really good. I made my own decision … I was beaten down for so long, I couldn’t even make my own decision. And when I did, I was like, holy cow! You know? Yeah, what’s she gonna do? Divorce me? All right. Obviously. You know.”
Being married to Kate changed who he was, Jon says.
“My mom and my brothers, they say to me, ‘It’s so good to have the real Jon back. It’s so good to have the warm, loving, kind, caring person that we knew you when you were … before you got married,'” he says. “I’ve changed for her. Because I loved her … But don’t forget who you are. That’s what happened to me.”
Jon says he even tried therapy to make their marriage work, but Kate refused to go.
“I learned about myself. If she’s not going to therapy, she’s not going to fix herself, then it’s not going to work. It takes two people,” he says. “I have a $22,000 therapy bill. I mean, I tried to have marriage counseling. I did it myself. She refused to go.”
Reflecting on his failed marriage, Jon says, “I felt maybe I was too passive. Maybe I didn’t stand my ground 10 years ago — even to stick up for my kids. But it’s gone. I can’t get that back.”
“I don’t cry, I cried at my dad’s funeral. That’s it,” he says, “but like, I’ve cried more now in the last, like, eight months than … my whole entire life.”
What does Jon want to say to viewers?
“I just want to let the world know that I’m a real person with feelings,” he says. “OK, I’ve made mistakes. Maybe it wasn’t the best idea to go out to the clubs. But we all learn from mistakes, except mine are public.”