Jon & Kate’s Marriage, Can It Be Saved? Expert Weighs In

May 6 2009, Published 8:25 a.m. ET

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John Gosselin hasn’t been the best husband to his wife Kate, the mother of their 8 children, according to reports of his infidelities. Dr. Jamie Turndorf, better known as Dr. Love, a couples therapist who doesn’t work with the Gosselins, tells that John is engaging in warfare with Kate and that the couple shouldn't necessarily work it out.

“When you cheat on a partner it’s a way of saying, basically, screw you.  Screw you. That’s the ultimate way to stick it to somebody,”  Dr. Turndorf told “People when they become angry at a partner engage in open warfare or fight traps, ways of punishing and torturing the other rather than bringing you closer together and this rips you apart.  Cheating is a terrible fight trap. It’s really a way of saying you’re not doing what I want and what I need so screw you. To work it out the couple would have to say that they need to talk and want to stop engaging in this open warfare.”

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But the doctor doesn’t place all the blame on John alone, and says that Kate has to make an effort to keep the marriage happy and healthy too.  “If he was in my office he’d probably say I’m feeling inadequate, threatened by her, and I don’t feel good about myself. So it would be out on the table. We would work on him, helping him feel better about himself, even if his wife is more successful. And then we might also ask her is there something she might be doing without realizing it to rub it in his face, you know, her success? Anything she’s doing that is adding to his feeling of inadequacy? Anything she can do to make him feel more confident with her. “

Why he cheated is another question, and Dr. Love gives a few reasons why he might have strayed: “If he’s feeling competitive with his wife and threatened and inadequate in relationship to her then it would be understandable that he might go to another relationship to boost his ego. You know, a new relationship often makes you feel special, your new partner tells you you’re wonderful, this is a symptom that the man doesn’t have the best self esteem or a lot of confidence if he’s feeling so threatened by his wife’s success.”

Kate Gosselin
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While their parents are busy fighting, Dr. Love warns how the eight children can become the littlest victims in this sad situation, “Kids tend to blame themselves.  Kids, they way their brains work they think they’re the center of the universe, so whatever happens they think is their fault.  If my parents don’t get along they think it’s their fault. They think they’re not good enough kids and they’re not keeping their parents together. It’s irrational but it’s what kids think.” 

But Dr. Love doesn’t agree that staying together for the sake of the kids is the best thing.  “It’s always wonderful if you can work it out for the kids’ sake, but if the relationship is irreconcilable, staying together and fighting is terrible for the kids.”

(Photo: Karen Alquist)



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