Marriage impossible: What went wrong with Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise?

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise
STEPHEN LOVEKIN/GETTY IMAGES

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes seemed to have one of Hollywood’s most solid relationships. But on June 29, Holmes filed for divorce after five years of marriage. Are we surprised? Not really.  

The “Dawson’s Creek” actress tactfully deflected questions about her husband when interviewed by Elle magazine before the split, stating, “He has been Tom Cruise for 30 years … I know who I am and where I am and where I want to go. I’m starting to come into my own. It’s like a new phase.” Cracks were beginning to show. But we also weren’t shocked because, well, this was a Hollywood marriage, and so many of them fail. Why?

Romance is addictive

“The parts of the brain that light up when you’re in love are the same that light up when doing cocaine,” says dating coach Evan Marc Katz. “There’s an addictive quality to toxic relationships. People become addicted to the highs and lows.”

“Every second you’re with the wrong person is every second you’re not with the right person,” he adds. “Ending a bad relationship is addition by subtraction.” 

If the relationship is a burden and you no longer feel connected, breaking up is the only way you’ll eventually find the right person. That said, Katz doesn’t rule out the feeling of loss if the relationship filled your time and was bigger than you as an individual.

Hopefully, a couple has done everything in their power to work things out prior to getting a divorce. “With Katie Holmes, I’m sure it was a calculated, thoughtful decision. It’s probably something she agonized about, something they tried to fix. The culmination of years of dissatisfaction.”  

Why Hollywood is addicted

According to Katz, this addictive quality is probably why most Hollywood couples call it quits more often than not.

“It’s not about Tom and Katie — the real problem with Hollywood marriages is that people get caught up in the cult of themselves,” he says. “You have two beautiful people living this high life, with tons of money and who think they can do anything. They are big dreamers driven by passion. They don’t realize that this isn’t what life is about and that marriage, on a day-to-day basis, should be safe and predictable and somewhat mundane. It’s not always going to be exciting.”

Eventually, the passion wears off and all you’re left with is that person, warns Katz. “You need to know each other before making the commitment to spend the rest of your life together.”   

Some solutions

There should be fewer marriages, as people should spend far more time dating, argues Katz. 

“The attraction phase lasts between one and a half to three years. Until that high wears off, you’re blinded by passion and tend to make foolish decisions. So many people get married and pregnant when they’re still in their drug phase. If you waited for the high to wear off, you’d think a lot more clearly about your long-term compatibility.”

So how long should we be “dating” for? 

“Two and a half years,” advises Katz. “What you’re really looking for in a relationship is the state you’re in when the drug wears off. Passion isn’t a great predictor of the future — just a great feeling.”  

His side

Tom Cruise: The cult of ‘HE’

“Tom Cruise doesn’t do things in moderation. He has no limits and isn’t afraid to fail,” says Katz.
But there’s a difference between being a good guy and a good partner. 

“We don’t know why, but he’s failed in marriage three times. If you’re so committed to your work that you’re emotionally unavailable and don’t have time to listen because you’re caught up in the cult of yourself, then you can still be a great guy, just not a great life partner.”

Cruise’s fervent following of his religion, Scientology, is thought to have contributed to the split. “People can agree to disagree about religion, but with anything that someone is extreme on — it makes anybody who isn’t like them intolerable,” says Katz. “The other person would have to be that extreme. If he was so evangelical about it that he was pushing Holmes to be him instead of respecting their differences — that might be the whole story.”

Her side


Katie Holmes: What about “HER”

In her rare post-split appearances, Katie Holmes looked relaxed and meticulously groomed. But don’t try and figure out her life story from a few paparazzi shots, says dating coach Evan Marc Katz. “Since Katie Holmes announced her divorce, she’s been caught on camera smiling and laughing. But we see what people give us. That she’s decided to plaster a smile on her face and stand up straight says very little.”  


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Body of 9-year-old boy found atop scaffolding around…

Police found the body of a 9-year-old boy atop scaffolding at his high-rise apartment building in the Bronx late Wednesday.

Local

Winners of the 2014 #NYCPoetweet contest

Every year, Metro partners with the mayor's office to promote Poem in your Pocket Day with a Twitter contest. Here are the winning entries.

Local

Where to celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day…

Here are some ways you can get poetic today and for the rest of April, National Poetry Month.

International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

Television

Jodie Foster married girlfriend Alexandra Hedison this weekend

No need to rely on cryptic Golden Globe speeches for your movie star sexual orientation questions anymore: Jodie Foster is married to a lady. Foster…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

MLB

Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda ejected for using pine…

Pineda was thrown out of the game against the Red Sox Wednesday for having pine tar on his neck -- for all the world to see.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

NFL

Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.

MLB

Jets 2014 regular season schedule

The Jets will play three prime-time games — against the Bears, Patriots and Dolphins — as well as a CBS national game in Week 2 at Green Bay.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."