Giada De Laurentiis’ divorce is finally explained.

Giada De Laurentiis’ divorce is finally explained.No one will ever tell you that marriage is simple, yet according to the family law experts at Wilkinson & Finkbeiner, another American couple divorces every 13 seconds.

Furthermore, during 40 years, 67 percent of first marriages will end in divorce, with the typical first marriage lasting only eight years.

So, before we get into why Giada De Laurentiis divorced Todd Thompson, perhaps we should start by congratulating the former couple — they married in 2003 and stayed together until their 2014 separation, which was followed by their divorce in 2015 (via E! News) — on having a marriage that lasted far longer than the American average.

Of course, nothing about Giada De Laurentiis, celebrity chef, author, and television host (and arguably the tiniest woman ever to become a Food Network megastar), the Italian-born granddaughter of legendary movie producer Dino De Laurentiis (and arguably the tiniest woman ever to become a Food Network megastar) is average — and therein lies the rub. Marriage is difficult, but celebrity marriage is considerably more difficult when everything that can go wrong in a traditional marriage is played out in front of the entire world. And, based on all we’ve seen, we can finally say we know why Giada divorced.

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Since De Laurentiis was in college, Todd Thompson and Giada De Laurentiis have been together.

Since De Laurentiis was in college, Todd Thompson and Giada De Laurentiis have been together.

Giada De Laurentiis was a UCLA anthropology major with a different career path in front of her when she met her future husband, Todd Thompson (via Redbook). Thompson, who is over seven years older than De Laurentiis, was already well into his career as a fashion designer (according to Biography). In contrast, De Laurentiis hadn’t yet realized that cooking was her true calling (via Redbook). But she figured it out quickly and went to Paris to train at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu cooking school before returning to Los Angeles to start her culinary career. After that, De Laurentiis didn’t have her first break on television until 2002. (via Food Network).

Giada De Laurentiis’ divorce is finally explained.

As you can see, by the time De Laurentiis and Thompson married in 2003, they had already been together for more than a decade and had faced various challenges, including college exams, a long-distance relationship, professional uncertainties, and one spouse’s surprising success. You’d think that would deepen their bond, but De Laurentiis’ prospects of having a long-term marriage may have been harmed by meeting her husband so young and before her star had risen. It’s also not uncommon for a couple to split when one of the partners becomes famous.

Todd Thompson and Giada De Laurentiis came from diverse backgrounds.

Todd Thompson and Giada De Laurentiis came from diverse backgrounds.
Giada De Laurentiis’ divorce is finally explained.

According to Dr. Amie M. Gordon, relationship success may often be anticipated based on how similar the individuals’ backgrounds are (for example, religion, and social status). In an article for Psychology Today, she wrote, “Couples with more comparable attitudes, values, and backgrounds tend to feel more enduring happiness, companionship, intimacy, and love and are less likely to break up.” However, that didn’t appear to be with Giada De Laurentiis and Todd Thompson.

De Laurentiis was born in Italy and didn’t come to the United States until seven years old. Thompson is from Michigan, and his family isn’t used to Hollywood’s more hedonistic ways. In contrast, De Laurentiis is a descendant of the Hollywood De Laurentiis dynasty, of which De Laurentiis’ grandfather was the patriarch (via Redbook). When De Laurentiis and Thompson first met, Thompson, knew little about cooking and even less about Italian cuisine. In a 2011 interview with Redbook, De Laurentiis said, “He received a lot of grief from my family.” “When he came to my grandfather’s house for supper, he would exclaim to me in Italian, ‘Who is this person murdering his spaghetti with a fork and knife?'”

When she and Todd Thompson divorced, Giada De Laurentiis was away from home.

When she and Todd Thompson divorced, Giada De Laurentiis was away from home.
Giada De Laurentiis’ divorce is finally explained.

It’s easy to believe that the high demands that come with owning a restaurant contributed to the marriage’s breakdown. However, when you add in the fact that the restaurant was in Las Vegas, Nevada — at least a four-hour drive from the couple’s home in Los Angeles — you have a recipe for a marital breakdown, according to Dr. Theresa E. DiDonato, who noted that more than half of all people perceive long-distance relationships as fundamentally less happy and satisfying (via Psychology Today).

Would anyone be shocked if read in one media outlet after another that Thompson’s wife and the mother of his daughter, Jade Thompson, was now “part of the Las Vegas community,” as a press release announcing the restaurant’s debut claimed at the time, was unpleasant for Thompson? The news statement said, “De Laurentiis… wants all guests to feel like they are members of her family.” One can only imagine how this must have irritated De Laurentiis’ husband.

Giada De Laurentiis may have overshadowed Todd Thompson.

Giada De Laurentiis may have overshadowed Todd Thompson.
Giada De Laurentiis’ divorce is finally explained.

The Atlantic concluded that “power couples are a rarity” in investigating why the husbands of so many uber-successful wives prefer to “opt-out” of their careers, sacrificing their ambition for their wives.

That was evident in Giada De Laurentiis and Todd Thompson’s marriage; shortly after the couple announced their engagement, Thompson began devoting more and more time to supporting De Laurentiis’ profession rather than his own. Nevertheless, the designer appeared on his wife’s television shows frequently from 2004 till the couple’s divorce.

“I think it might be difficult for any man to be upstaged by his wife at times,” De Laurentiis admitted in a 2011 interview with Redbook. However, in the case of De Laurentiis and Thompson, upstaging wasn’t just a rare event but a daily reality for the pair — and it didn’t help that De Laurentiis made it all appear so effortless. In a 2016 interview with Food & Wine, the television star stated that she was not “trying to get into television.” Instead, she has essentially been snatched from obscurity thanks to a piece written about her and her enthusiasm for Italian food by someone else.

Giada De Laurentiis’ divorce is finally explained.

The couple’s relationship may have been strained due to Giada De Laurentiis’ career focus.

The couple's relationship may have been strained due to Giada De Laurentiis' career focus.
The couple’s relationship may have been strained due to Giada De Laurentiis’ career focus.

“Detachment from job appears to be crucial to pleasant relationships,” stated Dr. Theresa E. DiDonato in Psychology Today. Dr. DiDonato wrote that healthy relationships require couples to be “present while at home, focusing on their partner and (if they have children) children.” Of course, we have no way of knowing whether or not Giada De Laurentiis was present at home while she wasn’t working during her 11-year marriage. We’re just curious how De Laurentiis managed to spend any time at home at all.

After making her television debut in 2003 (presenting the half-hour culinary show “Everyday Italian”), De Laurentiis created a companion cookbook to the series published in 2005. Two more books, as well as a new television show, “Giada’s Weekend Getaways,” and stints as a mentor on “Food Network Star” and a correspondent for “Today” followed. And that was before De Laurentiis became a mother, which didn’t seem to slow him down. De Laurentiis produced another culinary series with an accompanying cookbook (“Giada at Home”) and a merchandising relationship with Target in 2010 when Jade Thompson was still a toddler.

We have no right to pass judgment on working mothers. We not only admire them, but we are them. We’re only implying that someone with De Laurentiis’ considerable work commitments could find it challenging to be “present” – both physically and metaphorically.

Infidelity suspicions dogged Giada De Laurentiis’ marriage.

Infidelity suspicions dogged Giada De Laurentiis' marriage.
Infidelity suspicions dogged Giada De Laurentiis’ marriage.

The only “poor publicity” is “no publicity,” as the saying goes. However, after becoming the topic of tabloid fodder multiple times regarding suspected marital infidelity, one could wonder if Giada De Laurentiis would agree. De Laurentiis was thought to be romantically involved with Matt Lauer, the anchor of the Today show at the time, on which De Laurentiis had appeared frequently (via Closer Weekly). According to US Weekly, the Lauer allegation resurfaced in 2013, but not before De Laurentiis was said to have hooked up with bad-boy pop sensation John Mayer. Of course, there have been and continue to be rumors about De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay.

Whether true or not, these rumors undoubtedly had an impact on De Laurentiis’ marriage, possibly contributing to her divorce. De Laurentiis acknowledged as much to Us Weekly when she stated that Mayer-related allegations shocked her then-husband, Todd Thompson. Even if we weren’t aware of that difficulty, it’s reasonable to expect that damaging gossip designed to harm one member in a relationship will most certainly harm both partners, if not the partnership itself (via Psychology Today).

Bobby Flay’s connection with Giada De Laurentiis may have unintentionally contributed to her divorce.

Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay, a friend and fellow celebrity chef, aren’t dating, but there are plenty of reasons to believe they are. The pair, who have been friends almost as long as De Laurentiis has been married to Todd Thompson, seems to enjoy teasing the press; consider their entertaining gossip columnists’ claims that they made out like teenage sweethearts and carved their initials into some secret spot at Emilio’s Ballato in New York City (all of which De Laurentiis’ rep denied). While the rest of us were hiding in our houses during the epidemic, Flay and De Laurentiis were working on a new show called “Bobby and Giada in Italy,” which will premiere on Discovery Plus in 2021.

Regardless of what is true or could become true if De Laurentiis lets her guard down (via US Weekly), such a tight relationship between two attractive, heterosexual adults who work together could have strained one or both of their marriages. According to psychiatrist Dr. Jacqueline Olds of Psychology Today, a circumstance like this can cause instability in the primary relationships of “work spouses,” It is also referred to as colleagues who build a specific link and are sometimes problematic.

It’s possible that someone got between Giada De Laurentiis and Todd Thompson.

It's possible that someone got between Giada De Laurentiis and Todd Thompson.
It’s possible that someone got between Giada De Laurentiis and Todd Thompson.

Todd Thompson and Giada De Laurentiis divorced shortly after their separation in July 2014. Although De Laurentiis described the divorce as “amicable,” the reality remains that Thompson filed for divorce after less than six months of separation, citing irreconcilable differences (via E! News). De Laurentiis and her current partner, Shane Farley, met in 2013 while De Laurentiis and Thompson were still married, and Farley was still married to Jennifer Giamo.

De Laurentiis has always claimed that she and Farley didn’t start dating until after her divorce from Thompson was formalized, which she claims happened several months later. Her rep told Page Six that the couple started dating in August 2015. De Laurentiis told People in 2018 that following her divorce, she “spent about a year and a half alone, not dating, just thinking things out,” and that it was only after that that she reconnected with Farley. That would place the beginning of De Laurentiis’ relationship with Farley around October 2016, making us shake our heads and wonder, “huh?”

Whether the claims are genuine or not, the narrative inconsistencies, as well as the question of whether De Laurentiis and Farley were engaged before De Laurentiis and Thompson divorced, are enough to raise suspicions.

Giada De Laurentiis’ marriage may have been strained due to being called a “sex symbol.”

Giada De Laurentiis' marriage may have been strained due to being called a "sex symbol."
Giada De Laurentiis’ marriage may have been strained due to being called a “sex symbol.”

In a 2011 interview with Redbook, Giada De Laurentiis said that she’s accepted and become comfortable with her status as “cooking’s sex symbol.” De Laurentiis even went so far as to claim in a 2014 interview with Elle that she’d learned to rely on her femininity to distinguish herself as a chef. But, De Laurentiis added, “You have to learn how to play the game.” “It’s not a problem! Everyone enjoys it. You have to figure out which movements to make and be willing to walk away.”

De Laurentiis’ reliance on her feminine skills probably strained her relationship with Thompson. For one thing, it’s not hard to believe that De Laurentiis’ participation in “the game” influenced gossip columnists to speculate on the nature of her ties with Matt Lauer and Bobby Flay or that she spent a wild night with John Mayer in a New York City hotel. Is it reasonable? Certainly not. It is, nonetheless, feasible.

Whether or whether the rumors of adultery can be directed back to De Laurentiis’ sex symbol status, the fact remains that couples who play traditional gender roles in their marriages are less fulfilled than those who play more androgynous roles.

Perhaps Giada De Laurentiis isn’t as kind as she would like everyone to believe?

Perhaps Giada De Laurentiis isn't as kind as she would like everyone to believe?
Perhaps Giada De Laurentiis isn’t as kind as she would like everyone to believe?

As Nicki Swift pointed out, not everyone likes Giada De Laurentiis, and we’ve recently come to terms with the notion that she might not be all that “lovely.” On “Ellen,” she talked down to Nicole Kidman (“Nicole, have you ever made meatballs or anything?”). And according to the New York Daily News, De Laurentiis has made it evident that if you visit her restaurant, she does not want you to touch her, even though she has been working her way through the unavoidable but uncomfortable hugs and handshakes. When asked if she liked breakfast in bed, De Laurentiis responded by criticizing her then-husband, Todd Thompson, for bringing her his “scramble surprise,” which she described in less-than-flattering words and stated it “impossible to eat” in bed.

But does being polite have anything to do with De Laurentiis’ divorce?

But does being polite have anything to do with De Laurentiis' divorce?
But does being polite have anything to do with De Laurentiis’ divorce?

According to Dr. Thomas G. Plante of Psychology Today, I am a pleasant matter.

Being “nice,” described as “pleasant, agreeable, lovely, amiably pleasant, [and] kind,” is essential in all human relationships. In an article about the significance of kindness and generosity in long-term partnerships, The Atlantic stated that this is especially true for marriage.

Giada De Laurentiis’ divorce may have been influenced by having a child.

Todd Thompson and Giada De Laurentiis married when De Laurentiis was 33, dating for more than a decade (via People). But, according to People, they didn’t start a family for another four years, and even then, it wasn’t the couple’s “plan.” In 2011, De Laurentiis told Redbook, “Todd and I talked about kids and decided we were fine not having them.” However, de Laurentiis admitted to being “extremely terrified” when she was pregnant, as did Thompson. “What would happen to this life we’d built, where we’d merely leave for the weekend in Santa Barbara?” she thought.

Fortunately for her followers, De Laurentiis found a way to make things work, though not unexpectedly. De Laurentiis’ daughter, Jade Thompson, was born in 2008, and she is currently working hard. Her marriage, on the other hand, was a disaster. According to attorney Edward J. Jennings, this isn’t very shocking. On his website, Jennings stated, “An unplanned pregnancy can wreak devastation on a marriage.” “When a couple discovers that a kid is on the way, even the most secure relationships can suffer a breach or even divorce.” Even though De Laurentiis and Thompson did not divorce until 2015, their gap may have existed for much longer.

Todd Thompson may have been subconsciously pushed away by Giada De Laurentiis.

Todd Thompson may have been subconsciously pushed away by Giada De Laurentiis.
Todd Thompson may have been subconsciously pushed away by Giada De Laurentiis.

Giada De Laurentiis’ younger brother Dino died of cancer during her first year of marriage to Todd Thompson in 2003. In a 2009 interview with Redbook, De Laurentiis said that her brother’s death caused nervousness about relationships and getting close to people. She stated, “I don’t want to have more relationships.” “I don’t want to be that close to anyone.” According to Pyscom, surviving siblings have a sense of loss of familial unity, increased awareness of their own and other people’s mortality, and concern about occurrences beyond their control. These deep mourning sensations might linger for decades and produce a split in existing relationships (via Hey Sigmund). According to Bay View Therapy, a tragedy can test a couple’s bonds at any time, and these sensations can challenge or intensify any existing troubles in a relationship.

Suppose Di Laurentiis never fully accepted her fear of intimacy or forming new (or existing) connections. In that case, she may have created an unseen barrier that stifled any positive progress in her marriage (via Healthline). In addition, Thompson may have given up attempting to provide her with the help she required since he couldn’t communicate. While they had been married for a long time, it’s possible that this anxiety, together with a lack of communication and self-isolation, unwittingly caused a gap in their relationship.

It wasn’t always the celebrity that caused the incapacity to cope with internal stress.

It wasn't always the celebrity that caused the incapacity to cope with internal stress.
It wasn’t always the celebrity that caused the incapacity to cope with internal stress.

According to HelpGuide, stress is best defined as our fight-or-flight response. It can help you rise to meet a challenge, keep you alert and focused, and even save your life in little amounts. Prolonged stress, on the other hand, can have the opposite impact. You can’t be in that fight-or-flight mode all day, every day of the week. According to HelpGuide, chronic stress disrupts every function in your body. If left untreated, it can lead to new health problems and exacerbate existing ones, such as pain, sleep disturbances, mental health issues, and processing and memory problems.

Giada De Laurentiis has become more vocal about her self-care routine and how she has kept herself in check since her divorce. She’s also spoken openly about her struggle to control her stress levels as a teenager. She may appear to be a type-A personality with a work-hard, play-hard attitude, but she is not immune to stress. She implies that she wasn’t looking after herself before her divorce. According to Accord, prevalent stressors and how an individual copes with and handles stress can directly impact a marriage’s functionality. Perhaps, in addition to the pressures of celebrity, De Laurentiis’ divorce was influenced by his lack of stress-coping skills.

The age difference could have played a role.

The age difference could have played a role.
The age difference could have played a role.

While one would like to believe that age is simply a number, as Dr. Randal S. Olson has demonstrated, age matters when it comes to marriage and relationships. According to a study published in the Journal of Popular Economics, partners close in age are more likely to come from the same generation, have similar cultural references, and share life milestones. According to Market Watch, couples with a one-year age gap have a 3% likelihood of divorce. A five-year delay increased the chances of separation to 18%, while a ten-year interval increased the likelihood to 39%.

Giada De Laurentiis and Todd Thompson had an almost seven-year age gap when they started dating when De Laurentiis was barely 19. Thompson would be in his twenties at that age. With such a significant age gap, it’s possible that it contributed to the breakdown of their marriage.

Relationships vary over time, and theirs may have fizzled out.

Relationships vary over time, and theirs may have fizzled out.
Relationships vary over time, and theirs may have fizzled out.

Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, defined existence as Panta Rhei, which means “everything changes” (via World History Encyclopedia). In other words, if you can’t adjust to change, you’re in trouble. So when it comes to Giada De Laurentiis and Todd Thompson’s marriage, perhaps it wasn’t the gossip, traveling, career, or fame that contributed to the breakdown of their relationship.

Psychotherapist Vikki Stark writes for Psychology Today that relationships are never the same as when you first start dating. When a relationship starts to decline, the shift can be so subtle that it is not even noticed at first. According to their timeline, De Laurentiis and Thompson had been married for over 20 years, had a child five years into their marriage, and had known each other for approximately 20 years. Life was in a constant state of upheaval even without all the external influences.

It takes a long time to be in a relationship, for almost two decades. You learn to know your spouse on various levels that change over time. It isn’t easy. “Not only can relationships change with time, but people change, which can alter relationship dynamics,” says therapist Michelle Chalfant to The New York Times. Perhaps it wasn’t one major event, or rather a series of minor events, that contributed to the marriage’s dissolution. Perhaps it was just a case of two people falling out of love.

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