I was recently asked if I thought Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden had a chance for a good marriage because, well, they seem so different. The follow-up question was: Do I think women marry men who are different than they are and if so, why?
When I think about my past husbands (and I’ve had a few), they all had completely different appearances. Since I didn't choose men based on their looks or style alone, I'm not sure I have a clear-cut answer about choosing someone who looks very different from me. I never said, "I’m looking for a tall blonde guy with an athletic build." That guy would have been different from me, indeed! Nor did I say, "I’m looking for a man of average-height, with dark brown hair and my avocado green eyes, so we will be a matched set." Thank goodness! How boring that would have been!
If we are going by looks and the free-spirit vibe, that could be exemplified by the (now-defunct) marriage of Sandra Bullock and Jesse James. Sandra, like Cameron, was somewhat traditional in her style while Jesse (like Benji) was...well, covered with body art and had his own gig going on . Perhaps both Sandra and Cameron saw past the tattoos and found other qualities and assets attractive. On the other hand, maybe the gals found their guys’ branding appealing, but just didn't go for excessive inking themselves. I do think Sandra tried to be a square peg in a round hole, because I don't believe Jesse's lifestyle was really her choice...tattoos or no tattoos. Jesse was superficial, had a completely different circle of friends from Sandra, and had an agenda from the start. Had Sandra conducted a thorough reference check prior to marriage, she might have picked up on red flags, but that could have prevented her paying the piper later. Oh well…
Outside of physical appearance, let’s look at what seems to be consistent in Cameron’s coupling choices. Although she has dated about eight men with differing personalities over the years, she always seems to have gravitated toward guys who love music, acting and sports. So, there is a common thread in the men she dates in terms of their interests and what they bring to the party. Think fun, excitement, and creativity. Her choice of Benji is no exception.
Another theme I see in Cameron's relationships is that her guys have all been with very "public figures" like herself, not ordinary people. So Cameron and her past loves have had to deal with the pressures and scrutiny that come with being celebrity figures, grueling work and travel schedules, figuring out how to prioritize the relationship and let's not overlook...yes...the ego or power struggle that can enter into the equation. Again, it will be no different with Benji, as they are both in the public eye and will need to deal with the baggage that comes with being famous. Now that they are married, there should be that extra incentive to focus on creating some semblance of life balance and making their relationship a priority while maintaining their own personal identities and managing their career ambitions.
The jury is still out as to whether this ultra-short romance, split-second engagement and “surprise” marriage can sustain itself over the long haul. What were the motives for tying the knot so quickly? Was it a truly equal and enthusiastic decision or one in which one of the partners was in Command and Control and influenced the other? Is there a hidden timeline (i.e., starting a family) that was the deciding factor? Also, with the relatively short courtship, did Cameron and Benji have the time to "vet" one another properly, which includes observing the other partner in a variety of situations to be able to "road-test" the relationship before it goes "live" on the big screen with a marriage contract?
If their love is to extend beyond the exciting eros type found in brand-new relationships, when they refer to "love" and talk about "being comfortable with the other" they must include trust, compassion, involvement and shared values in the mix, if this first marriage is to be both lasting and their last marriage.
Despite the fact that this is both Cameron’s and Benji’s first marriage, Cameron needs to ask herself, Am I aware of and have I corrected all of my mistakes from my string of previous relationship failures? Am I committed to doing something very different this time around to ensure that our marriage works? If she can do some soul-searching and answer these questions in the affirmative and Benji can do the same, they may become long-term soul mates.
More than based on looks and physical style, their values and their emotions will determine if Cameron and Benji will be the right fit for the future. Will she be that square peg trying to fit in the round hole lifestyle or will it be the other way around? What if they both smooth their rough edges to fit comfortably into marriage? We’ll see. For right now, it’s anyone’s guess, but we’re all still hoping for the very best. Hey, that rhymes!