Splitsville: Divorce Is Not A Cause For Celebration – Not Even Tom & Katie’s

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Tom Cruise and Katie HolmesWelcome to Splitsville. This weekly column will focus on parenting after a divorce, break-up or one-night stand that didn’t end like a Katherine Heigl movie.

By now, we’re all aware that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are getting a divorce. We all know because the media has been joyfully covering this event since the minute it got announced on Friday afternoon.

The New York Daily News says, “Katie Holmes emerged from seclusion Monday, shedding remnants of her life with Tom Cruise — including her wedding ring.”

MTV lets you know that this is a whole new life for Holmes. “Katie is making other careers moves in the wake of her post-Cruise life. She announced that she is not only splitting with the A-list actor, but also with her publicist.”

The Herald Sun describes the actress as shedding off her unhappy marriage. I’m surprised they didn’t liken her to a butterfly. “The 33-year-old actress, who has looked decidedly tense and unkempt in recent weeks, cut a stylish and serene figure as she headed to film a guest spot on Project Runway: All Stars in New York today.”

You would think that this woman just beat a life-threatening disease. That’s how the coverage of her divorce sounds.

And maybe I’m crazy, maybe I’m naive, but I just hate seeing the way that people seem to be celebrating this divorce. Lest we’ve all forgotten, this couple has a child, one who is going through a really difficult and emotional experience. There’s a little girl who is probably very upset about all those “remnants” that everyone is shedding.

Splitting up from the mother or father of your child is not an easy decision, it doesn’t matter what the impetus is. Looking back, I know that I made the right choice when I ended my relationship with my daughter’s father. I think we’re both happier and both better able to be the parents we want to be. But at the time, it was gut-wrenching. It was a huge and important moment in my personal life. It wasn’t just another decision you make throughout the course of your day. It was a decision about my commitment to my family and my child.

A divorce is not something to be celebrated, especially by those who aren’t involved in the decision at all. And our apparent glee at Tom Cruise’s comeuppance seems to completely overshadow the fact that this a family who will be going through an extremely difficult and public transition.

Whether it’s because of our collective suspicion of Scientology, our collective disdain for people who jump on couches or our collective need for schadenfreude, the world seems more excited about this divorce than they have been about a million weddings. And to me, that’s sad. That’s a sad statement about our values and our lack of regard for a small child caught in the mix of a lot of adult nonsense.

I realize that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are celebrities, so this goes against our cultural nature, but maybe we could try to exercise just a little bit of restraint. Maybe we could attempt a little respect. Divorce is difficult enough, we don’t need to all revel in someone else’s emotional journey, especially not that of a six-year-old child.

(Photo: Brian To/