Everything Will and Jada Pinkett Smith Have Said About Their Unconventional 20-Year Marriage
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“We don’t even say we’re married anymore," he said. "We refer to ourselves as life partners. Where you get into that space where you realize you are literally with somebody for the rest of your life. There’s no deal breakers. There’s nothing she could do — ever. Nothing that would break our relationship. She has my support till death, you know what I mean, and it feels so good to get to that space where you’re not complaining, and worrying, and demanding that a person be a certain thing.”
One month earlier, Pinkett Smith confirmed that "divorce" was not in their vocabulary. "Here is the thing about Will and I, we are family, that is never going down. It’s just not,” she said on SiriusXM show Sway's Universe. "We are family. Take out all that whole marriage, relationship crap, at the end of the day, Will and I are family. I am going to hold him down, doesn’t matter. All that relationship and what people think ideas of a husband, partner and all that, man, whatever. At the end of the day, that's a man that can rely on me for the rest of his life, period.”
A Unique Partnership
The actress admits that her marriage to Smith isn't exactly conventional. “We have a very, very, very, unique partnership and it’s really great because when you get to a place where you can love someone and allow them to be exactly who they are,” she told NBC’s Megyn Kelly on TODAY in June. “Through my journey, [I have] learned to love him in the most pure way and love everything that comes with that and he’s learning to do the same."
In over two decades of marriage, the Hollywood power couple has faced constant rumors abour their relationship, and Smith shut them down when he released "To the Clique" in May. "Twenty years of swag y'all just witnessed, stop the divorce rumors and mind your damn business," Smith raps in the song.
Just the Two of Them
The Girls Trip star put to rest an ongoing rumor that she and her husband are swingers during a July 2017 appearance on Watch What Happens Live. Pinkett Smith jokingly brushed off the claims, saying, "I’m like, ‘Yo, I wish. I wish!’ "
Putting Themselves First
Speaking to PeopleTV in July 2017, the actress explained that people shouldn't rely on a spouse to bring them joy.
"You can't expect your partner to make you happy, and that's across the board," she said. "You can't expect your partner to make you feel beautiful, make you feel intelligent. All these expectations we have in these partnerships I think is what's deteriorating our partnerships. Ultimately, what I've realized is being married is the hardest thing you'll ever do. I realized that when I would just go to the side and deal with my stuff. All my childhood trauma, all my daddy issues that I was trying to bring into this marriage cause he's not my father, he's not meant to do that work, he is not meant to buoy me in a way that I can't for myself. And he had to go and do the same and when two people can come back together in their own happiness and just add to that happiness..."
Smith echoed his wife's sentiment that happiness starts within while speaking to Entertainment Tonight in 2015. "At the end of the day it's just not quitting," he said of the secret to a long-lasting marriage. "You can't expect it to be easy. Like our marriage was the most difficult, grueling, excruciating thing that we've ever taken on in our lives. We're just not quitters and by the same token, we're not apathetic. We're not going to sit here and let it be painful. We're going to keep working and if there is a secret it's that we never went into working on our relationship. We only ever worked on ourselves individually."
Taking Their Owns Paths
Smith even made it clear to the Red Table Talk host that he wasn't going to try to please her anymore.
"I remember the day I retired," he told Instagram followers in February. "I said to Jada, 'I retire, I retire from trying to make you happy. I need you to go make yourself happy and just prove to me that it's even possible.' After we cracked the hell up, we started talking about it and we came into this false romantic concept that somehow when we got married, we would become one. We realized that we were two completely separate people on two completely separate, individual journeys and that we were choosing to walk separate journeys, together."
Celebrating All Year Round!
Along with no longer trying to make each other happy, the pair have stopped exchanging gifts on holidays. "What we did probably about eight years ago is we stopped giving gifts on holidays because people expect them," the Bright actor told E! in December. "So we surprise each other in the middle of the year. We'll just say, it's October 11 and she'll just come home and I'll say, 'Hey baby, it's Valentine's Day.' And then the surprise of it is what gives the energy back, whereas if you're waiting for a gift on Christmas to top what you did last year, you really can't do it."
Defending Their Love
In 2015, the Gotham star took an initial stab at cheating rumors with Howard Stern on his Sirius XM show.
"You've gotta trust who you're with," she said. "And at the end of the day, right, I'm not here to be anybody's watcher. I'm not his watcher. He's a grown man."
Pinkett Smith continued, "Here's what I trust: The man that Will is… is a man of integrity. He's got all the freedom in the world. As long as Will can look himself the mirror and be okay? I'm good.
Balancing Each Other Out
Pinkett Smith hasn't shied away from discussing how she and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air vet keep their romance alive. "Last week we were stressed out, so I packed a picnic and took Will to a place we hiked to on one of our first dates," she told Shape in 2009. "We sat and reminisced on that time in our life. Then we went home and made love. Thank God Will has simple tastes. Even the littlest thing for him is like, ‘Wow!'"
She added to the magazine, "Will and I are yin and yang. He's all sky, vast and bright and soaring, and I'm all earth. I'm here to ground him, and he's here to help me fly."