The bombshell divorce of Katie Holmes stunned millions and many were amazed with how she masterfully maneuvered it. While revengeful spirits have something to celebrate, that Tom Cruise now tasted his own medicine having had dumped two previous wives Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman, those advocate for successful marriage are dealing with grief. Another broken home.
Divorce settlement is reached, husband and wife are moving on separately in life but for us in the outside who watch, what can we learn from it? Were there ways they could divorce-proof their marriage? There are three important lessons that I learned from Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise´s divorce and I believe they´re worth pondering upon.
1. Equality in Marriage is Important
“Tom Cruise was already Tom Cruise for thirty years …” while Katie Holmes was a sweet girl from the Creek with starstruck admiration to him when the two met and fell in love. Tom was already quite successful and famous while Katie, much younger than him, was yet to curve her own success. But both their age-gap and career-gap shouldn’t give Tom the right to be over-controlling on Katie if they´re to have equal rights in their marriage.
We know that husbands are supposed to be the head of the family, love and nurture his wife and that the wife should respect the husband, but there´s no rule not even in the Bible that gives husbands the right to manipulate or control his wife or not give her a say in decision making. There has to be a mutual agreement and equal rights among couples in making decisions and if the husband respects his wife, she has to have the right to speak out her mind and to be considered.
According to reports, Katie Holmes turned into a robot within her five-year marriage to Tom. Tom was the one who made decisions for her career and their daughter, Suri, and Katie hardly had a say. Any spouse who would be in Katie´s shoe would be utterly unhappy. Unable to have equal rights in marriage especially in making decisions is a serious threat to a successful marriage.
Point to Ponder: How do you and your spouse exercise equality in marriage? Do you have equal rights in making decisions for the family?
2. Commit to Your Spouse First Before You Commit to Others (Except God)
Christians believe that a marriage will be successful if God is the center. It´s God that´s importantly should be in the center, not a religion or organization. The Scientology organization is allegedly the main root of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise´s marriage breakdown. While Katie denounced her Catholic faith in favor of Scientology, she does not share as much commitment as Tom has for the church and does not agree with some of the organization´s principle of child rearing which include brain washing, force labor and stripping ties with parents and family.
This must have worried Katie so much, that she will not matter to Suri as a mother anymore once she is sent to be educated in the Sea Org.
Tom is overly committed to Scientology and prioritized it more than his wife. Except God, your spouse should be the first to you. But this isn´t the case with Tom. If only he was able to consider Katie´s concerns and both arrived with a compromise, the marriage could have been salvaged.
Point to Ponder: How do you make your spouse the number one? How do you solve religious differences?
3. Don´t Allow Problems to Escalate, Sit Down Together and Talk
Katie Holmes was noticeably unhappy on the last part of her marriage to Tom. Photographers noticed her coming out the house looking down and wearing the same jeans all the time, the media portraying her as a sweet girl turned robot. But if there´s anyone who should first notice her unhappiness, it is Tom.
Problems don´t escalate overnight and decisions for divorce, no matter how shocking as Katie´s, don´t come in a snap. It´s a slow process which could have been avoided if early problems were immediately ironed.
See: Is your marriage divorce-proofed? 7 questions to ask about your marriage
Tom was aware that there was problem in their marriage but he never expected her to file for divorce. However, both were spotted in New York weeks before Katie Holmes filed for divorce but they significantly stayed and slept in different places. It makes you think, if only the couple sat and talked about their issues before they escalated, could it save their marriage?
Point to Ponder: Do you allow simple misunderstandings or small problems in marriage to escalate or do you find ways to iron them quick?