Sometimes it’s easy to write a confession down and share it with you. Afterall, chocolate is something people can relate to. Admitting I’m not over a situation, we’ve all been there, right?

Then there is a confession like today.

Sometimes I get sucked into reality television.

I’m proud to say I’ve never watched a bachelor show or anything about a housewife. I could care less about anything Kardashian and I only watched American Idol when visiting my mom and she was watching.

But, I’ve enjoyed a few episodes of Wahlburgers, the look at life inside those crazy Wahlbergs from New Kids and Marky Mark fame I knew as a teen and have grown up and old with. ¬†Poor Paul can’t catch a break as he runs the restaurant and takes flak from Donnie and Mark. I enjoy seeing fame doesn’t seem to have changed those knucklehead boys, especially Mark, who still has the same friends he did when he was a teen.

I thought that would be the end of it. A safe little reality show about a family I enjoyed as a teen.

But then Donnie fell in love and married Jenny McCarthy.

And now that’s a reality show.

And it was on after Wahlburgers.

And well, I didn’t change the channel.

I was ready to hate it. Afterall, she got her start in Playboy. She caused a lot of controversy talking about autism and vaccinations. She was on The View, the show I titled in 1998, The Only View. I can’t say as a book loving nerd that Jenny’s going to be on my top ten list. Jealous or whatever, she’s just never been.

As the show progresses I realize something.

Image courtesy of Donnie Loves Jenny FB page/A&E
Image courtesy of Donnie Loves Jenny FB page/A&E

This wacky couple is convicting me regarding marriage.

Scripted or not, what I saw on screen was a good lesson to remember.

Although they are newlyweds, their deeds are for all married people, myself included.

Jenny worked late and Donnie wanted to help out by taking her son to school.

He wanted her to have a restful day off. It meant getting up earlier. Fixing a meal he wasn’t perfect at. Taking a boy that isn’t biologically his to school. Then he promises him lunch, which means traveling from his Blue Bloods set to the school and back. Then he picks him up after school.

I don’t know where Jenny’s son is diagnosis wise but if he is on the autism spectrum, I know schedule and routine are imperative. Jenny mentioned it and added something I never thought about. It was just the two of them for over a decade. Every morning she had to get him ready for school and make those eggs just so. It was the two of them working on Science projects and school pick ups. For Donnie to come in and offer to help rattled her. How would the son react? Would the mess her husband make be worth it?

Her dad enters the picture and he sees the conflict. But he reminds her how many nights she prayed for a man to come and help them be a family. Where she could sleep in and her son would have not only a safe place, but a safe person.

With that, she wants to show Donnie how she appreciates his efforts.

She can’t cook, God bless her, but she calls her mom and tries. She puts on a candlelight dinner and dresses down, if you catch my drift, as grandpa takes the boy for ice cream.

Again, I don’t know how much was scripted and if a maid was on hand behind the scenes throwing down some rose petals and candles, but the message still got to me.

When do we stop trying?

I know I have and we’ve been married almost 19 years. Those times when we know they should sleep in, but we don’t want the extra burden. Thanking them with a special dinner? That’s so much work, I say in my whiny voice.

But it’s worth the effort.

That boy ran and gave Donnie a hug. Again, if he’s on the autism spectrum, affection like that is not easy. And if not, he’s a boy entering teen years. Either way, Donnie got a miracle. It spoke volumes to me. He didn’t care that he’s not “the real dad.” He gets they are a family and he wants to be hands on.

She could have done her nails all day long but she went to the store and bought ingredients to make a dinner.

How many times I’ve kept writing when I had a little nudge to do something extra.

My confession isn’t that I enjoyed Donnie loves Jenny.

It’s that they taught me something about marriage. I remember as a newlywed hearing this at a FamilyLife Marriage conference:

“Every day you make one of two choices—isolation or oneness.”

I think those crazy kids have “The Right Stuff,” and for that sweet boy’s sake, I hope they never stop doing those extra things for each other and the son.

And may I never be complacent in my own marriage.

Can you relate?

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