- During the latest episode of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Watch series, “Red Table Talk,” she and Will Smith revealed the steps they took to rebuild their relationship after deciding to break up “within our marriage.”
- Divorce “was never an option” for the couple, so Smith had to “let go of the dream” of a perfect family and give his wife space.
- Smith said he took time off from work and read various books, while Pinkett Smith tried to figure out who she was outside of being a wife and mother.
- Now, they don’t call themselves married, have eliminated deal-breakers, and support each other.
During the latest episode of Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Watch series, “Red Table Talk,” titled “Our Unique Union,” the actress sat down with her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris; daughter, Willow Smith; and Will Smith for a candid discussion.
“I had a public perception that I wanted to project of our relationship, of the family, and what my kids are and what my wife is and what we are in the world,” Smith admitted.
To repair their relationship, Will Smith said he had to ‘let go of the dream’ and ‘essentially had to destroy our marriage’
Smith explained that “divorce was never an option” for the pair.
He added: “I was devastated even worse than a divorce. We broke up within our marriage and got back together again and had to rebuild with new rules and something way, completely different.”
“I put in too much, period,” Pinkett Smith chimed in. “What is most important to me is my family.”
Rather than split, the couple chose to give each other space and “get out of each other’s way” to figure things out individually.
“You’ve got to be strong enough and understand clearly what it is you’re in search for – what it is you want, what it is you don’t want – because that whole time when you’re in a union, you’re pointing fingers because you’re thinking it’s your partner,” Pinkett Smith explained.
“I had to go away, gain my strength as Jada again,” she continued. “Not mummy, not wife – Jada.”
Smith, on the other hand, took two years off from work to focus on their family.
“I worked on myself,” he said. “I read 50 books on marriage and relationships and behavioural psychology. I was not going to fail in this marriage. But I shut down for two entire years to see what was I doing wrong.”
The couple also explained that they’d had to break down “fantasies” and understand that “everyone is operating from a place of hurt.”
Smith said he was “broken” and “learned how to look fixed to the world.”
“But deep down inside, I was an insecure little boy that wanted Jada to say I was great,” he added. “And if she didn’t say I was great, the dragon came out.”
Instead of doing things that would impress his wife and the public, Smith said, he told Pinkett Smith he was no longer going to try to make her happy, and encouraged her to leave and come back after finding happiness.
Pinkett Smith added that, because of “childhood traumas,” she “had a lot of emotional maturity to do.”
“If there were a thing that was the most detrimental to our relationship during that time was my unconsciousness,” Smith admitted. “The other side of that is, the key to a relationship is understanding your partner’s plight. There’s nothing greater for a human being than to feel understood.”
The couple have been married for more than 20 years and have come to better understand each other
They openly discuss how they raise their kids and how they have managed to refrain from swearing at each other. And they don’t refer to themselves as married, because they believe that such labels create pressure.
“In my experience, the thing that everybody’s looking for is not found in trapping a person to vows,” Smith said. “Releasing each other from obligations and expectations has made all of the moments blissful.”
Pinkett Smith agreed, saying, “It’s a life partnership in the sense that we’ve created a foundation together that we know is for this lifetime.”
They support each other and don’t have deal-breakers anymore
“I love you, I support you, I’m going to help you be happy no matter what,” Smith told Pinkett Smith during the discussion. “I don’t have to like it. I describe it as the day the deal-breakers are gone. We don’t have any deal-breakers.”
Moreover, they no longer try to live up to each other’s expectations.
“We set each other free, and people really struggle with that,” Smith said. “The things that Jada needs to be happy, I’m not going to agree with them on. I truly have learned the definition of unconditional love.”
The pair value family and friendship and said they don’t experience fights or struggles. Smith also explained why he never contemplated divorcing Pinkett Smith.
“I’ve never met anybody like you, and I knew if I wasn’t with you, I’d be searching in vain for the rest of my life,” Smith said.
He added, “When you go to sleep at night knowing you have an unbreakable love, an unbreakable friendship, an unbreakable connection, that’s how you want to go to sleep every night.”
Watch the full episode of “Red Table Talk” below.
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