Jada Pinkett Smith Admits She's 'Not Built for a Conventional Marriage': It Would 'Kill Me'
Jada Pinkett Smith has been married to Will Smith since 1997
The couple, who started dating in 1995 and married in 1997, are frequently candid about their struggles as a couple — especially on Pinkett Smith’s hit Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk, where Smith sat down for an eye-opening talk with his wife.
“I knew that I was not built for conventional marriage,” Pinkett Smith said. “Even the word ‘wife’: it’s a golden cage, swallow the key. Even before I was married, I was like, ‘That’ll kill me.’ And it damn near did! So why wouldn’t you share what you’ve been through, when you see that other people are out there, trying to figure this crap out? We decided to make it public because it’s part of the healing. I feel like if we don’t have real understanding about it, I don’t know if interpersonal relationships are possible.”
Pinkett Smith clarified that it was the institution of marriage as a whole that made her hesitant — not the nature of her relationship with Smith.
“Will is my life partner and I could not ask for a better one. I adore him, I never want people to think it was Will I didn’t want to marry,” she continued. “But I can assure you that some of the most powerful women in the world feel caged and tied, because of the sacrifices they have to make to be in that position. So I wanted to talk about how we really feel about marriage.”
In a recent PEOPLE cover story, Pinkett Smith opened up about feeling “depleted” while going through a tough time both personally and with her husband. But the actress knew they could get back to a good place if they worked together.
“I am kind of a ride-or-die chick,” she told PEOPLE. “I just knew with the kind of love that Will and I share — which is beyond romantic love — that we could transform our union and figure out how to re-create what we had.”
While rebuilding herself was “the most excruciating process” and one that took years, she said, Pinkett Smith felt “by redefining myself, the relationship got redefined.”
Their last few years have been among some of their very best.
“The journey between Will and me… we have come to such a beautiful place,” she said, crediting Red Table for helping her define and share her truth. “I feel like we have a stronger bond than we even had in the beginning.”
Red Table Talk airs Mondays on Facebook Watch.