By Shreya Badola
It may sound like a classroom debate if or rather how much issues pertaining to religious beliefs affects a couple’s compatibility quotient. However, the most recent high profiled celebrity break-up of actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, apparently based solely on Tom’s firm faith in scientology, makes it very much believable.
Psychologist and relationship therapist Seema Hingoranny shares her insight. “Of course, different beliefs — be it political or religious — serve as major benchmarks to determine whether or not a couple is well-matched,” says Seema, as she continues:
“The more interests and ideas you have in common with your partner, the stronger your relationship is likely to be.” However, she underlines that it is not always a thumb rule. She adds: “If you can respect your partner’s different believes, and if you’re okay to put in efforts to make it work, you can manage to have a strong relationship. But if you talk about the Tom-Katie issue, it is essential to keep in mind that after a point of time, it is possible that the couples may have their resources (their efforts to keep the marriage going) exhausted. And at that point separation is inevitable.”
Psychiatrist Hemant Mittal scrutinizes this faith conflict. “Religion is a major element of one’s personality, it gives you a sense of belonging,” Hemant emphasises, as he further delves into it.
“When you adopt another faith after marriage for whatever reasons, there is a re-learning process involved — which requires a lot of determination and will power,” he says and continues, “If you talk about the Tom-Katie issue, Tom is fanatic about scientology and even though Katie had converted from her faith, it doesn’t necessarily mean she had embraced it and started believing in it herself.” Hemant further adds, “Look at the successfully married couple — Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan. Both of them are still going strong despite the different faiths because they have accommodated each other’s believe without being fanatical about their beliefs.”