Jada Pinkett Smith goes deep on another episode of her hit Facebook talk show, Red Table Talk.
In Monday’s episode, the actress took viewers inside her Hollywood marriage and revealed the some of the challenges that she and Will Smith faced as she tried to break free and live her best life independently.
Pinkett Smith spoke intimately about her journey to navigate her own wants and needs in her life aside from her marriage to her mega-star husband with a conversation with world-renowned therapist Esther Perel, PEOPLE reports.
“Specifically for me, in regards to redefining my marriage as a life partnership was the necessity of autonomy for myself and for Will,” Pinkett Smith said. “And finding the core of us that wanted to be together outside of the constraints of the traditional ideas of marriage because they weren’t working for us.”
She explained: “We went on that journey to find that autonomy and to find the true authentic bond outside of obligation. I don’t want you to be obligated.”
Pinkett Smith spoke candidly about the hard-fought road to help her husband understand that each of them had their own vision of life.
Pinkett Smith said she felt the pressure of trying to fit in his box.
“You have to be the perfect wife, you have to be the source that supports his dreams, no matter what it is, whatever he wants to build you’re there to support that,” Pinkett Smith said.
She added, “Our whole life looked like his dream. I’m his energy source. That’s great, but I’ve got to create part of this life that is designed and looks like me.”
And when Jada started to tell her husband about her dreams and desires, she admits it wasn’t easy for him to accept.
“He felt abandoned at first, he felt really abandoned,” she said. “You never want to hurt the person that you love. You never want to create instability that way.”
“It has been one of the most excruciating processes of my life,” Pinkett Smith said. “I’ve wanted to personally break out of Will needing to be something for me because I felt like that was so unfair. And a lot of it had to do with my father issues. I just realized one day, ‘This man is not your father!’”
Perel chimed in: “Or he’s not meant to be everything your father was not.”
“That was the thing, I was like, ‘[Jada], you gotta grow up. You gotta be a woman. That little girl trauma does not work here.’ That was the work I had to do.”
And while Pinkett Smith said that she and her husband haven’t faced any issues of infidelity in their relationship, the actress said she’s been cheated on and been the one to step out on her own partner in the past.
“I had a really interesting experience when I was younger. I had two relationships before Will that were kind of serious to me, where I got cheated on,” Pinkett Smith recalled. “[It] really broke my heart.”
“And then I cheated on somebody I really cared about and let me tell you, me cheating on someone was more devastating than being cheated on,” ahe added. “It actually taught me to forgive when I got cheated on because I understood.”
According to Pinkett Smith, what she learned from the experience is when she was the one getting cheated on, it wasn’t because of anything she’s done or anything wrong with her.
“When I had to look at myself and why I did it, I realized it had nothing to do with my partner, at all,” she explained.
Pinkett Smith and Perel also talked about the different kinds of betrayal that can jeopardize a marriage, including “contempt, neglect and violence and indifference,” according to the renowned therapist.
“I’m asked a lot about, ‘Is there infidelity in your relationship with Will?’ And it’s like, ‘No, but there have been other betrayals of the heart that have been far bigger than I could even think in regards to an infidelity situation,'” Pinkett Smith shared. “When you talk about contempt, resentment, neglect, it can just tear your world apart.”
Red Table Talk airs Mondays on Facebook Watch.