As someone who spent her formative years completely obsessed with Dawson's Creek, I was super excited when Tom Cruise jumped up and down on Oprah's couch to proclaim his love for Katie Holmes. Not only was it revealed that Cruise was Holmes' teenage celebrity crush, but they also produced who we now know as one of the most stylish and adorable offspring in the history of kids: Suri. What's not to like here? Well...
A lot. While she was married to Cruise, Holmes' formerly explosive fame fell by the wayside as he influenced her to spend more time converting to Scientology... which, ironically enough, ended up being the root of why their marriage failed. Now, Holmes seems way better off without him. Not only does she actually seem happier, but she's also able to get her career back on track. And according to what she told People when she covered the mag this week? Her life has improved tenfold since splitting with Cruise.
"I don't have any fear now, I don't have a lot of rules for myself, and I don't take myself that seriously," she said. "I don't want that moment in my life to define me, to be who I am. I don't want that to be what I'm known as. I was an actor before, an actor during and an actor now."
Unfortunately, the reality of many celebrity weddings like Holmes and Cruise's is that they just don't last. The upside? In some situations, this is actually not a bad thing. There are a lot of celebs who, like Holmes, are better off now that they've made the split from the former loves of their lives. Who are they?
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt
Surely it couldn’t have been just me who was through the roof pissed when Brad Pitt decided to leave Jennifer Aniston — my personal hero thanks to my practically lifelong Friends obsession —for Angelina Jolie. And even worse for Aniston was the fact that their 2005 divorce was pretty much all anyone would talk about for months.
Now, she and fiance Justin Theroux seem blissfully happy together, and Aniston has since said that the time she was married to Pitt was definitely her “awkward phase.” Now, though? She says her life is “wonderful”. You go, Aniston!
Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore
It came as a shock when the originally kind of odd couple of Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore ended up divorcing in 2011, but it definitely seems like things have improved for both sides of the equation. Kutcher and Mila Kunis are totally meant to be, and now they’re proud parents to Wyatt Isabelle. As for Demi? She certainly seems happier as a single lady.
Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton
Speaking of Jolie, it’s easy to forget that her previous marriage to Billy Bob Thorton was… kind of weird. But now she’s all like, “What blood vial necklaces?” as she kicks ass as a mother to all six of her children, who adorably helped design her wedding dress when she finally married Brad Pitt earlier this year.
Kevin Federline and Britney Spears
Oh, what a train wreck this union was. How can we forget their short-lived, kinda awful 2005 reality show, Chaotic? Although I try not to make it a habit to keep up with K-Fed, Spears will always be my girl, and I must say she’s seeming way happier these days.
”I think I married for all the wrong reasons,” Spears told Rolling Stone in 2008. “Instead of following my heart and, like, doing something that made me really happy … I just did it because … for just, like, the idea of everything.”
Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson
This might have been one of the most heartbreaking celeb splits ever, purely because of the fact that their MTV reality show, Newlyweds, painted them as such an adorably human couple that those who had seen it couldn’t help but root for their relationship. Unfortunately, though, it just wasn’t meant to be — and Simpson and Lachey definitely both seem better for it. Lachey is now expecting his second child with wife Vanessa Minnillo, and Simpson recently wed former NFL star Eric Johnson, the father of her seriously cute tots, Maxwell and Ace.
Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise
Is it just me, or is everyone who was ever married to Tom Cruise happier without him? Many moons ago, he was married to Nicole Kidman, and if they had never divorced, we would never have the beautiful relationship known as Kidman’s marriage to Keith Urban.
“And you know, with no disrespect to what I had with Tom, I’ve met my great love now,” Kidman told Vanity Fair last year. “And I really did not know if that was going to happen. I wanted it, but I didn’t want it for a while, because I didn’t want to jump from one relationship to another. I had a lot of time alone, which was really, really good, because I was a child, really, when I got married. And I needed to grow up.”