Jacqueline Kennedy: A Privileged yet Lonely Life


Private letters of Jacqueline Kennedy have been found and are scheduled to be sold at auction. The entirety of the letters is forbidden to be released, though their basic content has been revealed. The young bride confided in a priest about the stresses of her married life to former President of the United States John F. Kennedy, highlighting her innermost feelings about infidelity within the marriage. Kennedy lived a high-society life even before marrying into the Kennedy family, allowing her a privileged existence, though was haunted by loneliness and pain throughout much of her marriage.

The newly discovered letters are addressed to an Irish priest and are essentially a diary of Kennedy’s life from the year 1950 to 1964, one year after her husband’s assassination. Her husband, whom she married when he gained a position within the Senate, was unfaithful to her, often openly while he was at events with her, as well as in private. Kennedy led a lonely married life due to her husband’s absence and infidelity, all while remaining in the spotlight because of the President’s political fame. All of her married life with her husband was politically involved and seemingly lonely, except for some years they shared in the White House, which some sources say were the happiest in her entire marriage.

Arguably the most famous affair attached to the Kennedy marriage involved Marilyn Monroe. Kennedy famously told her husband that she would be tolerant of his infidelity, as long as he did not embarrass her publicly or flaunt his promiscuity. Monroe and Kennedy’s relationship was seemingly forced, with the two speaking about the President’s relationship with Monroe and all of his empty promises to the blonde bombshell. Kennedy knew all about her husband’s unfaithful relationships, though turned a blind eye to the occurrences. Kennedy’s reaction to Monroe’s privileged affair with her husband was no different, though many say that Monroe’s relationship with her husband bothered her more than any other affair, causing anger and loneliness to become more prominent.

According to first-hand accounts, Monroe was set on becoming the first lady and was convinced that the President would leave his current marriage in order to engage in a legal bind with her. Though Kennedy believed that no man could be faithful to his wife, she was no less outraged by her husband’s lack of fidelity when she confided in friends or the priest. She was happy for a time in the White House, but was lonely and often felt inadequate in pleasing her famous husband.

Kennedy adored her father and was extremely close with him growing up. However, her father, John Vernou Bouvier, was openly unfaithful to her mother. Kennedy was aware of her father’s infidelity and observed how it wrecked her mother. Many experts believe this is largely the reason that Kennedy was tolerant of her own husband’s affairs, believing that is just how men are and they cannot be changed. Kennedy believed that men only desired the chase, and were soon bored with conquer.

Kennedy’s marriage to the 35th President of the United States was a conglomeration of happiness, misery, stress, sadness and hope. The first lady was a very strong woman who loved her husband and hoped for his happiness, though the way he lived his life held her emotions captive for the majority of their relationship. The Kennedy family is one of the most famous in American history; Mrs. Kennedy’s married life was doomed to be privileged yet extremely lonely.

Opinion by Courtney Heitter

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