Marriage is hard enough without struggling to maintain an unrealistic façade of perfection. Just ask one of Hollywood’s most beloved couples: Jada Pinkett Smith has revealed why she and Will Smith went public with their marriage problems, and the reason revolves around getting rid of illusions and getting down to real life. As for whether they’re still struggling, Pinkett Smith delivered a decidedly optimistic message.
Pinkett Smith opened up about the pair’s frank revelations on marriage during a visit this week to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. When asked by the host why the longtime couple allowed the cameras in on their marital issues, Pinkett Smith explained that she wanted to reflect the fact that the perfect marriage doesn’t exist. “What was really important about Will and I doing that show together — two things,” she started, continuing, “First of all was really to kind of get rid of the idea that people in the public eye have perfect relationships. We were kind of sick of living up to that. We were real sick of it, and then second of all really having myself and Will come and talk about our relationship — sometimes you see just women do it alone or you just see a guy do it.”
What Pinkett Smith says made a big difference was in having a man as respected in Hollywood as Smith be so vulnerable about his shortcomings. “Us coming together and taking responsibility for both of our parts and also Will being the successful guy that he is and being willing to share what his pitfalls were in the relationship and in his family, you can’t imagine how many other successful men called and said, ‘Wow, my wife has been saying the same thing for years. Because you said it, it opened my eyes and because you said it, I’m willing to listen,’” shared Pinkett Smith.
When successful men allow hubris to keep them from admitting their shortcomings, “you can shut your partner down a little bit,” Pinkett Smith pointed out.
The pair, who got hitched in 1997, sat down together on Pinkett Smith’s Facebook series, Red Table Talk, back in October 2018 to have a very candid convo about the state of their union past and present. During the chat, Smith confessed they’d hit rock bottom in their relationship at one point, saying, “We essentially had to destroy our marriage. She was like, ‘I can’t do this anymore,’ and to me… it was over, but divorce was never even an option.” So, they spent nearly two years “and had to rebuild with new rules and something way completely different.”
Their perseverance apparently paid off, though. Today, Pinkett Smith told Colbert, she’s never been more content. “I think I really thought happiness had a lot to do with pleasure and I realize that happiness is about peace,” she said. “I am the most peaceful I’ve ever been in my life, so I am the happiest.”