The rumored divorce of the couple has been an issue, but Mrs. Smith says it doesn’t bother her – she says she knows who she’s married to and has no worries.
“Marriages go through shifts,” she tells Us Magazine. “And relationships go through shifts because in life, things shift. So people are automatically like, ‘What’s going on? They must be getting a divorce.’ Well, no. But when people feel those shifts and there’s a mystery, they have to fill it with something.”
Mrs. Smith points out that marriage is a journey, one that takes real work and strength. And that’s where a lot of couples fail – they don’t realize that it’s not always going to be all hearts and flowers. The truth is that sometimes, marriage feels terrible – but if you can get through those tough times, you can come out stronger and happier together.
And Money Isn’t Everything
Mr. Smith says that a lot of people don’t understand that having money doesn’t mean your marriage is perfect. You’ll always have to work at it if you want to remain happy and in love.
“I think a lot of people think that when you have money, that everything gets really easy, hell naw,” he said in an interview with Necole Bitchie. “Jada and I have been together for 17 years. If you look at it like a sports record, we are probably like 15 and 2.”
Keep Working to Deserve Each Other
Mr. Smith says that it’s easy to treat one another with love when you’re first getting started, but you’ve got to keep working on both yourself and your relationship, if you ever want to make it last.
“When we got started, we both truly connected on wanting to be better,” Smith says. “That’s where it all started. There were other people that we were dating and other people that we were attracted to, but there was a commitment to constantly be better that was what we connected on.”
“Our whole world and relationship was that, ‘Hey, I know that I may not be all of that today but what I’m not going to do is lay around and not keep working to be better to deserve you,'” Smith says.
Trust One Another, Even When the World Doubts You
Mrs. Smith adds that, despite the rumors of an affair, she trusts her husband.
“Here’s what I trust: The man that Will is… is a man of integrity. He’s got all the freedom in the world,” the Gotham star told Us Magazine. “As long as Will can look himself the mirror and be okay? I’m good.”
She adds that, while some Hollywood couples aren’t on the same page, she knows that her hubby is always on her side.
“When you can look in your man’s eyes and know that he’s holding you down and that he loves you,” she says. “Here’s what’s real: I’m not the kind of woman that believes a man is not going to be attracted to another woman.”
Commit to Yourself First
“The central idea of love is not even a relationship commitment, the first thing is a personal commitment to be the best version of yourself with or without that person that you’re with. You have to every single day, mind, body, and spirit, wake up with a commitment to be better. Don’t make that same mistake tomorrow that you made today,” says Mr. Smith.
Commit to Allowing and Encouraging Your Partner’s Individual Growth
Room to grow is important in any marriage, and Will Smith says that’s one of the secrets to his and Jada’s 18-year marriage.
“The idea is that you are two people together, but in that process, the marriage cannot be a prison,” he said in his Necole Bitchie interview. “There has to be a freedom that allows a person to grow. A person has to be allowed to make mistakes, and a person has to be allowed to become and grow without the threat of punishment.”
Know Your Deal Breakers
In my marriage, we’ve got three deal breakers – no cheating, no physical violence and no hurting our children.
The Smiths have a different perspective on this, according to Mr. Smith.
“I think that in the concept of our marriages because of our own insecurities, we lay it out in a way like, ‘Hey, that’s a deal breaker,'” Smith says. “I hear people talk about the concept of the deal breakers and it’s really in conflict with loving somebody.”
Divorce Cannot Be an Option
One last hint about successful marriage from Will Smith: if you’re in an otherwise healthy (read: non-abusive) marriage, there is one simple way to stay married.
“What I found is divorce just can’t be an option,” Smith says. “It’s really that simple.”
On Balancing Independence and Marriage
As evidenced by the super-successful and happily married Smiths, it’s clearly possible to strike a blissful balance between your independence and your marriage. You can find a way to make them work together. This will create a stronger relationship that makes both you and your spouse feel fulfilled.
Here are some ideas to get the communication flowing and make the positive changes you need to in your marriage.
Discuss your need for independence. A relationship suffers if one person feels trapped and isn’t able to share ideas. This leads to resentment and anger building up to a dangerous level. You can avoid these issues by talking about your needs with your partner.
It’s important to have an open dialogue about your desire for more independence. First, reassure your partner that you still love them more than ever and want to spend time with them. However, you need space and time to grow as an individual.
- You can share that you need to develop your own hobbies or activities outside of the home and relationship.
- You can still do activities as a couple, but your own interests don’t have to be neglected.
Plan time with your partner. Despite what a lot of people seem to think, marriage doesn’t create the obligation to spend every second with your partner. Plan to spend some time with your partner and other timesfor pursuing your other interests.
This will help you develop your independence and feel freedom without hurting your marriage.
Find time alone. The time you spend alone can help nurture your independence.
Do you crave a few hours with a good book and no distractions? Do you want to take a long hike alone with your thoughts? These types of activities can help you feel free and give you space from your partner.
Find time for friends. Spending time with your friends can be a fun way to find your independence again.
You don’t have to force your partner to attend every chat, meal, or event with your friends. It’s normal to spend some time without your spouse while you visit with your friends.
Give each other room to handle challenges. It may be tempting to act as a savior and try to fix all of the issues in your partner’s life. However, it’s crucial to give each other space to handle difficult situations on your own. Your partner may not want you to interfere. You can still support each other, but you can also give each other room.
Enjoy your own hobbies. You don’t have to share every hobby with your partner. Although you can enjoy hobbies such as skiing or hiking together, you can also find other activities to do on your own.
- Consider the hobbies you liked before marriage. Did you create your own paintings in a small studio at home? Did you take cooking lessons at a local school or learning center? Do you miss the dance class you participated in before you got married?
- You can do hobbies on your own without hurting your partner. First, discuss your need for a solo activity and share why it’s important to you. Then, create a separate list of hobbies you can do as a couple, so your partner doesn’t feel neglected.
You can create a balance between marriage and your desire for independence. It requires time and effort from both sides of the relationship, but that time and effort can actually bring you closer together – just ask Will and Jada Smith.
What are your best tips for a long and happy marriage? Share them with the QB community in the comments section.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.