If you’ve followed the Smiths’ relationship over the years, you would know that their marriage is anything but average, but it works for them.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, Pinkett-Smith, 47, sheds light on her relationship with her husband.
“I knew that I was not built for conventional marriage,” she says. “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!”
She goes on to explain why she is so open to sharing their most, intimate details.
“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,” she explains. “I feel like if we don’t have real understanding about it, I don’t know if interpersonal relationships are possible.”
Another key point Pinkett Smith clarified was that Will was not only her husband but her life partner and there was never a doubt in her mind that she did not want to marry him.
“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 – he and I were talking about this the other day,” she shares. “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. How do we really feel about different, unconventional relationships? How do we really feel about raising children? Honestly.”
She also touches on the importance of self-care and self-identity, two things she admits she almost lost during the early years of their relationship; because she was so focused on putting her family’s needs firsts and forgetting her own.
“I forgot who Jada was,” she says. But when she found herself and redefined herself, their relationship was redefined.
Today, the actress and co-host of Red Table Talk, says their relationship is as strong as ever and it’s not because of the rings and titles, but their mutual respect for one another as human beings.
“The journey between Will and me… we have come to such a beautiful place,” she tells PEOPLE. “I feel like we have a stronger bond than we even had in the beginning.”
So here are a few things we can take away from a non-conventional marriage:
1. The rings don’t define the relationship, you define the ring: Your marriage, your relationship, YOU ALL make the rules that work for YOU!
2. Saying ‘I Do’ doesn’t mean saying goodbye to you: Guys this is one is for you. One word: maturity. (contrary to popular ‘single’ belief, you’re not selling your soul, the idea of sharing your heart with someone is pretty beautiful when you really think about it)
3. Space is golden: Take a girls trip, he takes a guys trip. You watch in the living room, he goes to his man cave. It’s those little moments of distance that could make a BIG difference in a relationship.
4. Take care of your family, take care of your man, BUT also take care of you #selfcare
5. Marriage doesn’t fill in voids that were never there: self-love, self-worth, happiness and peace are self-obtained and self-assured. These are attributes we must find within ourselves, not depend on our partners to find for us. But what our partners can do is acknowledge those weaknesses and be supportive. Rediscovering yourself can rediscover your relationship with one another.
6. Yes, that ‘s hubby but he’s also my homie: the ideal husband (or life partner) should be a provider, a protector and if you’re lucky, your soulmate (believe it or not everyone is married to theirs). But your mate should also be your best friend, someone who wants to see you win just as much as you want to see them win. Our First Lady Michelle Obama said it best at this year’s Essence Festival in New Orleans.
“It’s important to marry somebody who is your equal, and to marry somebody and to be with somebody who wants you to win as much as you want them to win,” Mrs. Obama says. ” My husband is my teammate. If we are going to win this game together, he has to be strong and he has to be okay with me being strong. I do not want a weak player on my team, nor does he. But sometimes, we accept weak in one another because it feels easy. And be cautious of the man or woman who wants just the easy person.”
A working journalist, entrepreneur and founder of RoyalTee Enterprises. Born and raised in Tampa, Fla. The vision of RoyalTee was inspired in 2015 by Alexia’s ambitions to return to her passion for creative writing and publishing and create a platform to showcase the excellence of minority women across the country through professional, personal and social ventures.