The Chaser: Declining Family Values?

Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore

     The moral decline of America has been a subject that I’ve hinted at here and there, an inkwell that I’ve dipped my pen into at times, in the process of penning other articles. I’ve never really dove headlong into this pool…until now.

     I just read an article by one Nicole Fabian-Weber on “The Stir” at Cafe Moms, regarding the much-publicised split between Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. It seems that the former’s three daughters have come up with (what Ms. Fabian-Weber seems to think is) a “hilarious new nickname” for the actor with whom they have otherwise had an amicable family relationship these past years. This hilarious new nickname? “Major Offensive Di%^head.” (The acronym “MOD” had been previously attributed to Kutcher by the girls, as short for “my other dad.”)(1)

     Now folks, there is some solid justification for the angst felt by the girls. It seems that when they confronted Kutcher regarding his marital infidelity, he purposefully lied to them and denied that he had engaged in such behaviour. Now that the truth has been exposed, the girls want nothing to do with him, despite numerous attempts by Kutcher to contact them. In short, the whole thing is just tragic.

     (SOAPBOX=ON) In all actuality, I had already stepped up on the soapbox with that last sentence there, hadn’t I? What really bugs me about the whole thing is not so much that the Ashton Kutcher / Demi Moore marriage is failing, or that the kids are caught up inside the swirling vortex. While these things are quite tragic to be sure, the worst thing in this particular situation is people like Nicole Fabian-Weber, sitting on the sidelines while encouraging the spectacle. According to her on-line author’s bio, Ms. Fabian-Weber does not have children of her own.(2) (A quick perusal of her past “Stir” articles however, yielded one in which she claims to have become pregnant in August of this year. Hopefully, her progeny never have to go through this stuff!) To me, this is somewhat like a Monday morning quarterback, commenting on the offense while having never laid hands on the pigskin themselves. Personally, I find nothing “hilarious” about either the repurposed acronym, or the situation that brought about its usage. Forgiveness and healing may come in time, however in my own not-so-humble opinion, nothing about columns and stories such as Nicole Fabian-Weber’s serves to foster healing or forgiveness by any measure. At the tail-end of her article, Ms. Fabian-Weber does present the questions; “Do you feel bad for Demi’s kids? Do you find this nickname amusing?” My answers to both are emphatically yes, I do feel bad for the kids, and no I do not find this amusing in any way, shape or form.

     I personally know a couple that has been married for over twenty years, with three wonderful children. Two of the three children, both boys, were born within the first two and a half years of the relationship. In the first eight years of their marriage, the husband had numerous extramarital affairs, twelve in total. These affairs caused an immeasurable strain on the marriage and family, but there were also a few factors present in this marriage that apparently were not present in the Kutcher / Moore marriage: honesty, forgiveness and a willingness to communicate meaningfully. Due to these things, the marriage withstood the storms and, in the course of time and healing, another child, this one a baby girl, was born into the family. Now, had this family disolved earlier on due to issues of infidelity and communication failures, this bright and beautiful girl’s life may never have become a reality. This family is one of simple means, but is highly functional and loving. The family of which I speak…is my own.

     We can look around and see a society where strong and lengthy marriages are all but overlooked, while all of the emphasis and attention are given to failed relationships such as the Kutcher / Moore situation. We vicariously revel in the dysfunctional lives of people like the Kardashians, where the concept of “marriage” is reduced to a seventy-two-day farcical thing, while giving no credit to those whose lives and relationships embody true strengths. As a result, our society languishes. The masses continuously covet horseapples, while leaving the gemstones in the rivers of life. This is the saddest part of it all.

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