The real reason Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting divorced

It was a marriage that certainly looked good on paper, as anyone who opened a tabloid in 2013 can attest. In September 2013, tennis pro Ryan Sweeting gave The Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco a 2.5 carat diamond engagement ring worth $65,000. On New Year's Eve 2013, the couple tied the knot in a highly publicized ceremony at the Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Santa Susana, Calif. There went Cuoco, swaddled in a custom-made pink Vera Wang wedding gown, complete with sweetheart neckline and hand-appliqué Chantilly lace accents. The wedding cake was shaped in the likeness of an upside-down chandelier. The couple had been dating for only six months.

Unfortunately, the wedding's "Fire and Ice" theme turned out to be grimly apropos. By September 2015, the "Big Bang bombshell" was out of the bag: The couple was splitting up after a mere 21 months of marriage. Proving the internet isn't forever, Cuoco scrubbed her fawning posts about Sweeting off Instagram. A terse statement acknowledged that "Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting have mutually decided to end their marriage. They ask for privacy at this time." 

So what went wrong? Pretty much everything. The whirlwind nature of their romance coupled with their arguably unhealthy lifestyle (which allegedly included an addiction to painkillers and alcohol dependence) culminated in a perfect storm of tabloid fodder. 

Let's break down exactly what made this relationship implode. In fact, let's just break down altogether.

The relationship moved too quickly

When wise men say "only fools rush in," some people simply refuse to listen.

Kaley Cuoco wasn't lying when she told Us Weekly in 2015, "I'm such a fast moving person. Everything I do is fast. I make quick decisions, I don't wait around." The couple got engaged after dating for three months. At the time, Cuoco chalked it all up to capital-F Fate, telling Entertainment Tonight in 2013, "From day one I just knew immediately and it's been magic." She said it felt, well, like she'd known Sweeting her entire life: "I know that it seems a little crazy on paper, but it's what works for us."

The couple gave new meaning to the term "speed dating." In a 2014 interview, Cuoco told David Letterman the lovebirds shacked up right after meeting: "We texted a little bit, dinner was great, and then he moved in the next day." 

That's basically a primer on how not to go about a relationship, and it goes a long way in explaining why Cuoco woke one morning and felt like she'd married a perfect (or not-so perfect) stranger.   

They were simply too different from one another

A lot can change in a year. In January 2014, Cuoco couldn't wait to thank Sweeting at the 40th People's Choice Awards. After winning in the favorite comedic TV actress category, she gushed: "This is the second best thing that's happened to me this year. The first was marrying you, baby. I love you."

Fast-forward to the 41st People's Choice Awards in January 2015: Cuoco won an award in the same category, but conspicuously "forgot" to thank her hubby. Fortunately, her The Big Bang Theory co-star (and ex-boyfriend) Johnny Galecki swooped in to save the day: "Ryan," he said, "you are my heart … and I can't imagine what I'd be without you." Ouch.

By this point in their relationship, the couple was allegedly "miserable" behind the scenes, and the cracks were clearly starting to show. The Mr. and Mrs. reportedly went on numerous dates in a last-ditch attempt to save their relationship, but it didn't work. An insider told People that whenever the couple was seen in public, "the tension was noticeable" and "you could tell the honeymoon phase had ended." 

The reason for all this tension? According to People's source, Cuoco and Sweeting simply had "totally different" personalities. Cuoco was apparently "extremely focused and high energy" while Sweeting was … not.

"He has been struggling with injuries and barely practiced tennis," the source claimed. "He has acted very down."

​He 'completely changed'

Cuoco and Sweeting didn't exactly drift apart. By Cuoco's own account, it's more like Sweeting pulled a full-throttle personality switcheroo on her. Shortly after marrying, the couple purchased Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom's former home in Tarzana, Calif. for a jaunty $5.49 million. They quickly settled into their brand-new love nook, which sprawled across 8,000 square feet and featured seven bedrooms, a sunken swimming pool, an outdoor kitchen (with two refrigerators), a sweeping entrance courtyard, a movie theater, cabanas, and a spa. Nonetheless, Cuoco felt something was missing, and it wasn't a foyer. 

"A little bit after we got married, I started feeling like something was off," she told the New York Post in 2017. Sweeting's personality overhaul was apparently swift, disconcerting, and none-too pleasant to witness: "The person I ended up with was not the person I originally met," she told Cosmopolitan in April 2018. "And that wasn't my fault. That was his."

In the interest of leaving no stone unturned, we should mention the admittedly whackadoo theory that the mansion itself — and, ipso facto, its breezy palm trees and BBQ pit — is completely cursed and hates love. Surely that explains it.

The sweets became a real problem

This was an unhealthy relationship in the most literal sense of the term: Ryan Sweeting's bad dietary habits rubbed off on Cuoco in a very big way. In a 2015 cover story, the actress told Shape that Sweeting had sweet-talked her into a twilight underworld of sugary late-night snacks. They each ingested their fair share of potato chips, sugary soda, and cereal: "We had boxes of stuff that only a 4-year-old would eat," she confessed. There were even drawers overstuffed with gooey candy by their bedside. Cuoco came to realize "it was mindless eating. I was just doing it because he was doing it, and it was adding hundreds of calories I didn't even think about." Those editors at Shape must have been beside themselves.

Clearly Cuoco couldn't have kept it up. After all, this is somebody who claims she dieted exclusively on "egg whites, almonds, air" in order to prepare for that Shape cover. Once coming to grips with the fact that these delectable treats weren't doing her figure any favors, Cuoco took a long hard look at her kitchen and restocked the fridge and pantry with healthier fare. Did the honeymoon period end when the Bit-O-Honeys left the building?

Cuoco must have felt vindicated when, after the divorce, Us Weekly gushed about her "rock hard revenge body."

​He was allegedly addicted to painkillers

Ryan Sweeting was reportedly sober when he and Cuoco tied the knot, but that evidently changed following his 2014 back surgery, after which he allegedly developed a debilitating addiction to painkillers. Insiders claim that his relationship with alcohol made matters even worse. 

Talking to Us Weekly, a source claimed that "[Cuoco] supported him, but she said he couldn't make the commitment to get sober." According to Perez Hilton, Sweeting became depressed and the relationship started deteriorating. As another Us Weekly insider alleged that Sweeting would tell his wife "he was working on [getting sober], and instead go get wasted."

At first, Cuoco apparently thought they were just going through a dark patch. "She couldn't fix him," a source told Us Weekly (per the Daily Mail.) "He wasn't the man she thought he was. She couldn't take his ups and downs. He'd lash out at her."

According to Page Six, Sweeting didn't do himself any favors by allegedly going MIA at a critical time in their relationship. A source claimed Cuoco offered an ultimatum: "If you don't stay sober, then I'm done." Rumor has it, Sweeting couldn't hold up his end of the bargain. After spending some time in rehab, he reportedly disappeared for "like four days" after leaving the center. If true, that could very well have been the last nail in the coffin.

​His rumored drug problem may have gone back years

Sweeting's alleged addiction to painkillers may have developed after he married Cuoco, but his rumored taste for controlled substances supposedly proved troublesome in the past. In 2015, Radar Online reported that Sweeney had "an extensive criminal record" that went as far back as March 2, 2006, when Sweeting's Mazda was reportedly pulled over by police near the University of Florida around 2 a.m. Court documents indicated that he'd been driving around with a .133 blood alcohol level (which is almost twice the legal limit.)

The cops arrested Sweeting for drunk driving, underaged drinking, and a felony charge of "possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell or deliver," reported Radar. The drug turned out to be the powerful stimulant Adderall, usually prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but also abused by college students to cram for exams or, conversely, to keep the party going. 

Sweeting reportedly lost his license for six months, was on probation for a year, and was ordered to perform 50 hours of community service, on top of taking classes about alcohol and its many dangers.

He was allegedly a real 'party pooper'

Sweeting reportedly became an extremely negative force in Cuoco's life. According to a blabbermouth Hollywood Life source, their marital problems had a lot to do with his bad "attitude." For one thing, he was supposedly "home all the time" while "dealing with an injury." Fair enough, but unfortunately, this reportedly turned him into "kind of a party pooper." (Not that people recovering from injuries are traditionally praised for their zany, devil-may-care escapades.) Meanwhile, Cuoco was supposedly super-active, bouncing around with energy, and generally being "a very fun-loving person," the source claimed, claiming that the actress felt "like she was the only one making an effort."

Could this alleged contrast in personalities reflect was was ultimately described as "irreconcilable differences" in divorce court?

After some soul-searching, Cuoco reportedly made a very difficult decision: "It would be better [for her] to move on because things weren't helping to change his attitude," the insider told Hollywood Life.

​Was Cuoco living a double life?

Kaley Cuoco is the first to admit she's a "huge drinker," a fact that's led to some profoundly awkward run-ins with airport security. Is it possible her fondness for bourbon negatively impacted her personal life? 

According to an InTouch source (via OK!), Cuoco has long been "living a double life." In fact, the insider claims the actress would regularly hit the town with a bunch of friends "without her wedding ring and get wasted." During these binges, she'd allegedly finish two bottles of wine by herself. Once properly soused, she'd supposedly call Sweeting and ask him to pick her up and take her home.

This rumored dynamic may have triggered a fair share of fights. During these episodes, Cuoco would allegedly drunk-dial her ex-boyfriend, Johnny Galecki, which would always succeed in making Sweeting jealous. "She'd send him flirty texts and call him at 3 in the morning, asking if she could come over," claims this dirt-dishing InTouch source. The insider also makes one doozy of an accusation: Cuoco is "really good at painting this perfect picture for the public" but in reality, she's "hot-headed and argumentative."

We don't know what to believe. We just know our world is shattered.

Everything just got too 'bizarre'

Sweeting has kept an exceedingly low profile following the divorce, but Cuoco has been quite vocal about what led to the relationship's demise (which can't be sitting too well with him.) During a 2016 taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Cuoco opened up about her emotional turmoil upon realizing she was in a dead-end marriage. "It's been rough," she admitted. "Last year was very bizarre and we all go through really weird ups and downs, and sometimes you're…" She abruptly trailed off and changed tack: "I'm a little bit more 'seen' and everyone goes through that stuff." But she was quick to point out that she's "much better now" and "in a much better place."

Passion certainly drives people to do bizarre things in the heat of the moment … like getting tattoos that you live to regret. Cuoco told DeGeneres she'd had her wedding date tattooed on her back. After she broke up with Sweeting, she had the whole design reworked into a large moth. 

What was this moth supposed to symbolize? Nothing too deep. "The significance is … it was big enough to cover the numbers!" she quipped.

​She thinks he couldn't 'accept love'

It's pretty clear Cuoco deeply loved Sweeting while they were together. Prior to their divorce, her Instagram account was an up-to-the-minute chronicle of her undying devotion to the tennis pro. In fact, she took to the social media channel in April 2015 to confront rumors that their relationship was on the rocks. (Though the rumors turned out to be true, in this case.) "I have never been more proud of anyone on this planet," she gushed (via Us Weekly). "I'm so proud of his passion and his inner strength to fight back, but most of all I am proud to be his wife." 

But love is a two-way street. Cuoco makes a rather damning accusation in an otherwise fluffy New York Post profile from 2017. Buried beneath factoids about her profound love of pantsuits and her ongoing obsession with classic Adidas sneakers, she claims her relationship with Sweeting ultimately failed because he didn't love himself. "You just have to want to help yourself," she said. "You can love someone so much, but if you don't love yourself, it doesn't matter, because you can't accept love."

Deep down, she knew 'the right thing is coming'

Even in the thick of a doomed relationship, Cuoco claims she never lost her romantic streak. As for the souring of her marriage to Sweeting, she told The Talk in 2015 (via People), "I knew even deep down, I know this is just not the right thing. The right thing is coming for me, I knew it, I knew it, I knew it."

Maybe she was right. In March 2018, she announced she was freshly engaged to "hot tech scion" Karl Cook, telling People, "We are the same, our views are the same, our morals are the same, he is my perfect match." They reportedly met at a horse show in Palm Springs, Calif. on Valentine's Day 2016 (naturally), and started dating a few months after her divorce to Sweeting was finalized. She no longer believes opposites attract: "In my situation, us being so similar and liking the same things, it really works for us," she told People.

For now, things are looking up in Cuoco's personal life. "I honestly thought I wouldn't get married again," she told Cosmopolitan in 2018. "My ex ruined that word for me." Evidently not. 

Sounds like she's playing this relationship on the safe side, too. "I'm trying to slow this one down," sheo told the New York Post. "This relationship has lasted longer than my entire courtship and marriage to my ex." 

Here's hoping you won't be reading "The real reasons Kaley Cuoco and Karl Cook divorced" anytime soon.