Will Smith Confesses The Real Reason Why His Marriage With Jada Almost Ended: ‘It Was Strangling Us’

While 'suffering the brutal death of our romantic fantasies,' Will Smith reveals he had to make the hard decision to 'free' Jada Pinkett-Smith from their marriage for them both to be happy.

“Our marriage wasn’t working. We could no longer pretend. We were both miserable, and clearly, something had to change,” writes Will Smith about his relationship with Jada Pinkett Smith in his new memoir, Will. In the intimate tell-all, Will, 53, shared how he made a tough decision for the sake of Jada, 50, and his happiness. “‘I retire,’ I said. ‘I retire from trying to make you happy. You are free. You need to go make yourself happy and prove to me that it’s even possible. But I quit—you go do you, and I’m-a go do me.'” Will write how he and his wife were “suffering the brutal death of our romantic fantasies, the burning away of the idealistic illusion of the perfect marriage and the perfect family. Neither of us wanted a divorce; we knew we loved each other, and some aspects of our union were magical. But the structure of the life that we had established was strangling both of us.”

In Will, the Fresh Prince star acknowledges how he and Jada had gotten married too early. Jad and Will tied the knot in their twenties, and now, in their forties, their “unhealed inner children were choking the sh-t out of each other. And that had to stop.” Will writes that he and Jada knew they “both had work to do” and that “this phase would not be together.” Ultimately, he writes, “the painful awakening was to the reality that we were two separate people on two independent, individual journeys. We had simply chosen to walk this portion together. We cried like crazy, hugged, and agreed to let each other go.”

Will and Jada “concluded that no one can make a person happy,” and that realization affected how they would approach married life. “We agreed that Jada’s happiness had to be her responsibility, and my happiness had to be my responsibility. We were going to seek our distinct, innermost personal joys, and then we were going to return and present ourselves to the relationship and to each other already happy—not coming to each other begging with empty cups, demanding the other person fulfill our needs. We felt that this vampiric relational model was unfair, unrealistic, destructive—even abusive. To place the responsibility for your happiness on anybody other than yourself is a recipe for misery.”

Jada and Will (Shutterstock)

The nature of Will and Jada’s marriage has been subject to speculation, innuendo, and rumors for years. Even Oprah Winfrey pressed Will about whether or not he has an open marriage with Jada. Jada famously admitted to having an “entanglement” with R&B singer August Alsina in a July 2020 Red Table Talk episode. Will later explained in a September 2021 interview with GQ that she wasn’t the only one with an “entanglement.”

Will clarified to Oprah that he and Jada have “loving freedom” in their marriage. “I think the difficulty that people have and difficulty in discussing it is people only think in terms of sex,” he said before adding. “Will and Jada are on a spiritual journey to cleanse the poisonous, unloving parts of our hearts. And we’re doing it together in this lifetime, no matter what.”

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