Actress and author Gabrielle Union and retired 13-time NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade have never been shy about their relationship or the hardships they have gone through together over the years.
Before they tied the knot, the couple had a brief breakup, and during that time, Dwyane Wade got another woman pregnant. They were also open about Gabrielle Union's fertility issues.
The "Deliver Us From Eva" star has always been candid about her marriage and has repeatedly said she would like other couples to stop comparing her as no relationship is perfect.
Union is a Haitian American actress and author. A graduate of sociology, Union, did not have it all easy in life. At 19, she was raped after an attack by a robber at her part-time job with the shoe store Payless.
She successfully sued the company for not warning their staff about the robber as he had robbed other store branches. Union began her acting career playing minor roles in teen movies like "10 Things I Hate About You" and "Love and Basketball."
In 2000, she played Isis in the cheerleader film "Bring it On" and began to gain more exposure. It led to her being cast in the CBS television drama "City of Angels" as Dr. Courtney Ellis.
Her first lead role was in 2003 in the movie "Deliver Us From Eva" with rapper LL Cool J. She has appeared in movies such as Tyler Perry's "Daddy's Little Girls," "Think Like a Man," "Girls Trip," and many other TV shows.
In 2017, she launched a haircare line for textured hair called "Flawless by Gabrielle Union." In addition to being a judge for "America's Got Talent," Union has authored two books and serves as a brand ambassador to different brands.
Wade was considered one of the strongest players of his time. He also came from a troubled childhood in Chicago's South Side ghetto. His mother's dependency on drugs led to his sister having to raise him.
With the encouragement of his coach in school, Wade understood the game of basketball, and in 2003, he skipped his senior year and made the NBA Draft for the Miami Heat as the fifth pick.
The award-winning basketballer played his entire career in the Miami Heat except for a brief spell with the Chicago Bulls in the 2016-17 season and the Cleveland Cavaliers early in the 2017-18 season.
Now retired, the 13-time NBA All-Stars is happy to spend time with his family even as he buys minority ownership stakes at Utah Jazz and is well known for his philanthropic involvements.
WADE AND UNION'S RELATIONSHIP
In 2009, Union and Wade met at a charity event and started dating soon after. The two broke up in 2013 but got back together that same year, and Wade popped the question with an 8.5 carats engagement ring.
On August 30, 2014, they tied the knot at a magnificent moated castle in Miami called Chateau Artisan. She wore a Dennis Basso custom-made strapless dress with a slightly pleated fitted bodice and full skirt for her big day.
Her second dress was a hand-beaded custom dress by the same designer. The pearls and crystals beaded into the dress made it glisten while she still looked chic. A high slit finished off the dress as she showed off her legs.
Wade complimented his wife in an off-white double-breasted shawl collar jacket by Dsquared2 and finished his look with a white bow tie and black trousers. He later changed into a one-button dinner jacket in custom black-and-white jacquard.
Before the couple met, they had both been married to different people. Union was married to former Jacksonville Jaguars running back Chris Howard in 2001. They separated in 2005 and finalized their divorce in 2006.
Wade was married to an American-born public speaker, author, and Christian Counselor, Siohvaughn Funches. She was his high school sweetheart, and their marriage lasted from 2002 to 2007. However, their divorce was finalized in 2010.
Their relationship has not been without its ups and downs. In 2013, distance became a big issue, and this led to their breakup. In that same year, Wade fathered a son with an actress named Aja Metoyer.
For Wade, opening up to Union about the child after they had reconciled was the hardest thing he ever had to do. He couldn't sleep and wasn't eating.
When he eventually told her, she said she was traumatized and devastated. Even though they were broken up and were not in a good place when it happened, she was still hurt, as she explained:
"To say I was devastated is to pick a word on a low shelf for convenience."
UNION ON SURROGACY AND MOTHERHOOD
When they got married, Union became Wade's children's stepmother. Zaire and Zion, now known as Zaya, are from his relationship with his ex-wife, and the youngest son, Xavier, was conceived during his split with Union.
After years of suffering from fertility problems, on November 7, 2018, Union and Wade became parents of little Kaavia James Union Wade, born thanks to a surrogate mother.
The actress revealed in her book "We're Going to Need More Wine," that she had several miscarriages and unsuccessful IVF treatments over nearly five years. She was eventually diagnosed with adenomyosis.
Adenomyosis is a condition that occurs with the female reproductive system. It happens when the tissue that normally covers the uterus begins to grow into the uterus's muscle wall and most often occurs late in childbearing years.
Then in 2016, her doctor told her that surrogacy was her best choice, but she didn't want a baby that way. So she held out for a year and had to listen to her husband after he said,
"You've done enough. We've lost too much [...] for me to be okay with encouraging you to do one more thing to your body and your soul."
She gave in to surrogacy, and even though she was scared, on meeting the surrogates and on the delivery of Kaavia, she knew the journey was worth it.
She has her doubts but has learned that one can be honest and loving simultaneously. When Kaavia arrived, she said,
"I felt such relief. To hear her breathing and crying was a dream. We didn't really allow ourselves to believe it until then."
Even though the journey to having her child was long, Union now understands fully that motherhood comes in different forms. This does not mean that celebrating Mother's Day will be all rosy.
She understands that working motherhood means having your priorities constantly shifting, she's okay with life not being balanced, and she's grateful for it all.