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The Tough Times in Will & Jada Pinkett Smith's 21-Year Marriage That Left Her 'Depleted'

Aby Rivas
Jun 27, 2019
04:19 P.M.
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Jada Pinkett Smith and her husband of 21 years, Will Smith, have been open about the struggles they have faced in their long-lasting marriage and how they managed to work through it. Now, the “Red Table Talk” host gets real about reaching a breaking point in their relationship.


Jada Pinkett Smith is gracing the cover of People magazine this month alongside her “Red Table Talk” co-stars, her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and her daughter Willow Smith.


In an exclusive interview with the magazine, Jada recalled the toughest time in her relationship with actor and comedian Will Smith, whom she married in 1999.


“I was at a loss,” Pinkett Smith confessed, noting that her breaking point came soon after their 10th wedding anniversary and close to her 40th birthday, right before she hit a midlife crisis.

“There was too much concentration on what was happening externally, and the family unit itself wasn’t getting the attention and care that I felt we needed,” Jada said.


At the time, the Smiths were the picture-perfect family that filled all the expectations from the audience. Jada, Will and their two kids, Willow and Jaden, were all working in front of the cameras and trying to juggle their career with their personal lives as a family, but Jada hit a wall.

“The journey between Will and me… we have come to such a beautiful place.”


“Will’s like, ‘We just came from Oslo, going to the [2009] Nobel Peace Prize ceremony [for Barack Obama] as a family, you’ve got a big house with a lake – isn’t this amazing?!’ And I’m like, ‘No,'” Jada recalled of the moment she decided to pull the breaks.

Pinket Smith, who admits she had suicidal thoughts at one point, claims she felt so “depleted” that her first thought was “I can’t do it anymore.”



It was then that she realized the need to take a step back and re-discover herself.

“I had to really take time out for me and figure out what I wanted for myself,” she said. “I had to kind of put everyone aside and ask, ‘What would I do every day if it was just Jada?’ I literally had no idea.”

And even though her marriage was the trigger for her crisis, it was also a catalyst for a much-needed change.


She never doubted of the love and respect she shared with Will and trusted they could be able to sort out their issues and come out victorious on the other side with a healthier outlook on their marriage and their family as a whole, as she said:

“I am kind of a ride-or-die chick. I just knew with the kind of love that Will and I share — which is beyond romantic love — that we could transform our union and figure out how to re-create what we had.”


Rebuilding her identity was an excruciating process. But once Jada was able to be content within herself, she feels “the relationship got redefined.”

“The journey between Will and me… we have come to such a beautiful place,” she said. “I feel like we have a stronger bond than we even had in the beginning.”



Last October, Will Smith sat at the red table to discuss his relationship with Jada in front of the cameras.

At the time, the “Bad Boys” actor revealed that they reached a point in their lives when he officially “retired” from trying to make Jada happy. And it was a process that went both ways.


“Personally, in my journey, what I had to realize was that I had to find all the peace, love and joy within my heart in order to bring it to the table to share,” Jada said in a different episode of the show. “Will had to go away and find the peace, love, and joy in his heart to share.”

Instead of sharing childhood traumas, insecurities, and fears, which are usually the things couples bring to the table, Will and Jada opted to share the brightest sides of themselves.

These days, they don’t even call themselves “married,” as Smith explained, they’re the best of friends and life partners who have each other’s backs through thick and thin.