MADONNA and Guy Ritchie came from two very different worlds, but they were both on top of their game in their respective fields when they met in 1999.

Less than a decade, and two children later they were living a toxic life. Below is an extract from a new biography Madonna: An Intimate Biography of an Icon at Sixty, detailing just why their marriage unravelled.

***

MAYBE it was inevitable that Madonna’s marriage to Guy Ritchie wouldn’t last. However, its failure most certainly wasn’t for lack of trying on both their parts. Some in their lives felt that, by early 2008, they were such different people than they’d been when they wed that there was simply no way they could stay together.

This isn’t exactly true. In many ways they hadn’t changed at all — and maybe that was the problem. Madonna was still as invested in her career as ever, determined to do her best work at all times, interested in every small detail, and often at the expense of her private life with Guy and the children.

Meanwhile, Guy was just as adamant that he was tired of the pace his wife had been keeping since their marriage began, and he wanted nothing more than for her to take a break, not only for his sake but for the sake of their children.

Madonna had always known how seriously her split focus could affect her marriage. For the last seven years, it had been a difficult tightrope walk for her as she pursued her passion while, at the same time, tried to give her all not only to Guy, but also to Lourdes, now 11; Rocco, 7, and, of course, David 2.

“I was with them one night in London when they were having a very heated argument about the raising of their children and how to square it with Madonna’s career concerns. Guy became so flustered, he accidentally poured his coffee into the creamer, instead of the other way around,” recalled one of their friends. “That’s how upset he was!”

Read full article at News.com.au