Jada Pinkett-Smith has spoken about the ‘betrayals’ during her marriage to Will Smith, during an episode of her Red Table Talk series.
The mum-of-three opened up about her relationship with her husband of over twenty years, saying she doesn’t believe divorce should automatically be the solution for relationship hiccups.
‘What are the alternatives to divorce? Everybody thinks as soon as you find out there’s been an affair you have to get a divorce’, Jada asked relationship therapist Esther Perel, who was a guest on the show.
The expert replied: ‘I’m not of that persuasion because I think there are many relational betrayals. Contempt, neglect, and violence and indifference and nobody tells people, “Leave, leave, get the hell out.”
‘And especially on women, it’s the real new pressure. God forbid you still love the person who actually cheated on you. Maybe that person is a lot of things and cheated on you. It’s like the shame of staying, now that you can go you’ve got to get out.’
Jada then opened up about her own marriage, explaining that while there hasn’t been infidelity, there have been other ‘betrayals’.
‘I’m asked a lot about, “Is there infidelity in your relationship with Will?“’, she said.
‘And it’s like, “No, but there’ve been other betrayals of the heart that have been far bigger than I could even think in regards to an infidelity situation.”’
Elaborating on what those ‘betrayals’ were, she said: ‘Our whole life looked like his dream. I’m his energy source. That’s great, but I’ve got to create a part of this life that is designed and looks like me.’
The pair have previously revealed they had to take a break from their marriage so that Jada could work on her emotional independence from her husband – which wasn’t easy.
Jada said: ‘It has been one of the most excruciating processes of my life. I’ve wanted to personally break out of Will needing to be something for me because I felt like that was so unfair.
‘And a lot of it had to do with my father issues. I just realized one day, “This man is not your father!”’
When asked by how Will reacted to the fact that she needed some time off from the relationship, Jada said he felt ‘abandoned’ by her.
‘He felt abandoned at first, he felt really abandoned. You never want to hurt the person that you love. You never want to create instability that way’, she said.
‘That was the thing, I was like, “[Jada], you gotta grow up. You gotta be a woman.” That little girl trauma does not work here.’ That was the work I had to do.’
However the pair have come out on the other side, and call each other ‘life partners’ instead of saying they’re married.
Speaking about the break, Will previously said: ‘I was devastated even worse than a divorce. We broke up within our marriage and got back together again.
‘We had to rebuild with new rules and something way, completely different.’