Much has been written about the Tom Cruise Katie Holmes divorce in the past week. I don’t like to speculate about a marriage I know nothing about, but I do believe we can glean some greater concepts about preparing for marriage and choosing the right partner, from an outsider’s perspective. Much has been written about Tom’s controlling nature, the Church of Scientology, and most notably, a long standing rumor that Tom Cruise is gay. Since I don’t want to be in the business of perpetuating rumors, here’s what I can take away from their split:
- Don’t play into the fantasy. Katie Holmes has been quoted as saying that she’s had a crush on Tom Cruise since she was a teenager. When they started dating, it was like a dream come true. It may be fair to say that her adoration of him eventually blinded her. I think many women can relate to falling for men who appear to have the whole package: great looks, money, or a good reputation. They’ve built up an image of this person in their head, and he will inevitably fall short of it. Bottom line: No man is your knight in shining armor.
- Don’t rush into it. Tom and Katie famously dated for two months before getting engaged, and Suri was conceived around that time. They married approximately six months after she was born in a lavish Italian wedding. I don’t care how much you think you are in love, having a child after you know someone for two months is creating your own nightmare. Bottom line: What’s the rush? If you love him after two months, you will love him after two years. Wait at least that long (preferably longer.)
- Share common values. Katie is filing for divorce and seeking sole custody of their daughter Suri. If the divorce was amicable, and both parties respected one another, joint custody would have been a logical outcome. Seeking sole custody indicates something ugly happened, and it’s likely that Katie feels Tom would not be the best influence on their daughter. Many point to Scientology. Others know that the children of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman have allied themselves with Tom and rarely see their mother. Katie is probably scared of this fate for her daughter. Bottom line: Make sure you’re on the same page about the future before you have kids.
The Cruise Holmes divorce is not particularly shocking to most onlookers. But nevertheless I feel sad for all involved, especially their daughter, who will not know what it’s like to have two parents who are married and love one another. If you are contemplating a marriage of your own, take their mistakes to heart. Learning from the pitfalls of others can help you not repeat the mistakes of the past.