Jada Pinkett says her husband Will Smith asked for a very unusual present for his 50th birthday. She obliged, but will never give him the gift again.
Smith, 50, joined his wife, 47, once again on the talk show she hosts with daughter Willow Smith and mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones.
The two discussed hitting rock bottom in their nearly 21-year union.
“We essentially had to destroy our marriage,” Smith said. “She was like, ‘I can’t do this anymore,’ and to me… it was over, but divorce was never even an option.”
“It never crossed my mind,” Pinkett Smith agreed. While she understands the need for divorce, she said it didn’t feel like the right solution for the couple. “We just needed to get to an agreement between he and I.”
“I was devastated even worse than a divorce,” Smith remembered of their rough patch. “We broke up within our marriage and got back together again and had to rebuild with new rules and something way completely different.”
“You have to go your separate ways and get out of each other’s way to really see yourself,” Pinkett Smith said of their resolution. “I had to go away, gain my strength as Jada again – not Mommy, not wife.”
Smith said their marriage struggles led him to spend a lot of time researching and learning about relationships. After acting in 2008’s “Seven Pounds,” Smith didn’t return to the big screen until “Men in Black 3” in 2012.
“I took off for two years. I’ve worked on myself; I’ve read 50 books on marriage and relationships and behavioral psychology,” he shared. “I was not going to fail in this marriage. But, I shut down for two entire years to see what was I doing wrong.”
“It takes a lot of beating up on each other,” Pinkett Smith advised of overcoming their marital strife. “Because really what you’re breaking down is all the fantasies.”
She also said she and her husband have nixed the idea of being married.
“Will and I have decided to even throw away the concept of marriage,” she shared. “It’s a life partnership in the sense that we created a foundation together that we know is for this lifetime.”
He added, “There’s nothing that could happen that we won’t be together and love each other.”
Before the end of the episode, the “Bright” actor took the time to clear up some rumors. For the record, they’ve never been swingers or Scientolgists.
Smith also laid out on the red table why the two never got a divorce.
” ‘Cause I’ve never met anyone like you, and I knew if I wasn’t with you, I’d be searching in vain for the rest of my life.”
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