John and Jacqueline Kennedy seemed to be the perfect couple, at least when they appeared in front of the camera and other people. However, the reality behind their marriage was much different than expected.
Jacqueline “Jackie” Kennedy always projected the image of a dignified wife and a strong woman, but the truth is that she was taught by her mother, Janet Auchincloss, how to be driven by money.
Auchincloss had a strong influence over her daughter, and that affected pretty much every decision that Jackie made throughout her life, especially regarding her marriage to the late U.S. President.
John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline "Jackie" Kennedy on the White House lawn as they witnessed part of the performance of the Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment in Washington, D.C. | Photo: Getty Images
DRIVEN BY FINANCIAL INTEREST
According to Randy Taraborrelli, the author of “Jackie, Janet, and Lee,” Auchincloss told her daughters in 1951 that “money and power” were the secret to a "Happily Ever After."
The mother-of-two made it very clear that money is crucial when it came to choosing a husband, a lesson that she applied when she married Standard Oil heir Hugh Auchincloss after her first divorce.
John F. Kennedy with Jacqueline "Jackie" Kennedy in the 1950s in Massachusetts | Photo: Popperfoto via Getty Images
MONEY OVER LOVE
Auchincloss made sure Jackie followed in her footsteps, so much that she asked her daughter to leave her then-fiance, stockbroker John Husted Jr., at their engagement party, after learning that he only made $17,000 a year.
Taraborelli wrote that Auchincloss told Jackie that that was less money than her father made when she married him, which led the then future-First Lady to return the ring Husted before leaving him.
Jacqueline "Jackie" Kennedy posing for a photograph while holding a gift in 1961 at the White House in Washington, D.C. | Photo: Getty Images
It has been reported that Husted, who was left heartbroken, described his former love as being “ice-cold," and that it felt like they really never knew each other while they were together.
Jackie's next choice was Kennedy, whom she met at a dinner party back in 1952, after the two were introduced by a mutual friend. At the time, he was just a congressman.
John F Kennedy and Jacqueline "Jackie" Kennedy after the former took the oath of office as President of the United States in 1961 in Washington, D.C. | Photo: Getty Images
The two hit it off and a few months later, Kennedy managed to win a seat in the Senate and proposed to Jackie with a magnificent 2.88-carat diamond and a 2.84-carat emerald ring set.
The couple tied the knot the following year at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Newport, Rhode Island, in a ceremony that was attended by well over 800 guests.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Jacqueline "Jackie" Kennedy at their wedding in Newport, Rhode Island | Photo: Getty Images
While their union started off well, it didn't take long for the late President to start looking for excitement outside of his marriage, getting involved with other women on several different occasions.
The electroshock therapy was supposed to help her with her depression but only caused her physical pain.
Jackie was well aware that her husband was cheating on her on a daily basis and was close to becoming the first First Lady in history to divorce a sitting President, especially giving birth to stillborn daughter Arabella.
Jacqueline "Jackie" Kennedy at a White House Ceremony in 1962 in Washington, D.C. | Photo: Getty Images
FORCED TO ACCEPT IT
At the time, the politician was aboard a Mediterranean cruise and didn't bother flying back home to be with his wife after the traumatic delivery. When Jackie told her mother and sister that she wanted a divorce, they objected.
Although Auchincloss did not approve of Kennedy's actions she claimed that it was the price to pay for marrying someone with so much money and power. A trade-off. Taraborelli recalled:
“You can tell she wished things could be different with JFK, but she was of a background where she realized that men of power and influence cheat and certainly the Kennedys do.”
Jacqueline "Jackie" Kennedy with John F. Kennedy at the White House in 1961 in Washington, D.C. | Photo: Getty Images
In Danforth Prince and Darwin Porter’s book “Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: A Life Beyond Her Wildest Dreams,” there is a passage about how Kennedy told Jackie that she should have known he would cheat on her when they got married.
According to the book, he told his wife that he wasn't capable of being faithful since he couldn't help himself, describing his numerous affairs with random women, including bombshell Marylin Monroe, a "compulsion."
Late Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe | Photo: Baron/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
GETTING HER REVENGE
Jackie decided that, since she couldn't divorce him, she would play the same game as her husband and started having her own fun with other men. However, that was the beginning of the end.
After suffering miscarriages and being deeply affected by depression, Jackie waited up late for her husband to arrive one night, all while getting severely drunk.
Jacqueline "Jackie" Kennedy during a nationally televised Valentine's Day tour of the White House in 1962 in Washington, D.C. | Photo: Getty Images
The two started fighting and, at one point, Kennedy was forced to chase her down the street. After that, he committed her to Valleyhead Clinic in Carlisle, Massachusetts where she underwent barbaric electroshock treatments.
The electroshock therapy, which was supposed to help her with her depression, did nothing but cause her physical pain and, upon returning home, she considered suicide as a way out of her marriage.
Former First Lady of the United States Jacqueline "Jackie" Kennedy | Photo: David Cairns/Express/Getty Images
Jackie and Kennedy would remain married until he was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald during a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, in 1963, one of the most shocking events in the history of the United States.
But prior to his passing, the Presidential couple welcome daughter Caroline into the world in 1957, as well as a son named John in 1960.
Former First Lady of the United States, Jacqueline "Jackie" Kennedy posing with son John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. and Caroline Bouvier Kennedy in 1961 | Photo: Rolls Press/Popperfoto via Getty Images
Towards the end of 1957, Jackie gave birth to a daughter, Caroline (who is currently 63 years old) followed by a son, John, three years after, who died back in 1999 in a plane crash at age 38.
In 1963, Jackie also gave birth to a premature son, whom they named Patrick. Sadly, the child was not healthy and ended up passing away just 2 days after being born.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.
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