Jada Pinkett Smith finds only being recognised as Will Smith’s wife “annoying.”
The 52-year-old actress – who tied the knot with the ‘King Richard’ actor in 1997 but recently revealed they had secretly separated seven years ago – has found it frustrating that their relationship has overshadowed her own professional achievements and her identity got lost in her association to the Oscar-wining star.
Speaking to Red magazine, she said: “It [being only known as Will’s wife] was more annoying than anything else … I had so much going on in regards to so many other emotional difficulties, it was kind of down on the list.”
The ‘Girls Trip’ star – who has insisted she and Smith are trying to repair the issues in their relationship – doesn’t like to describe their relationship as a “marriage” because she doesn’t abide by traditions or convention.
She said: “I try to stay away from conventional terms like ‘marriage’ because people have a very specific idea of it and I’m not in the business of trying to change that. I like spending time with me and I like spending time with my family and that’s it. I have no desire to do anything else but that.”
And she and Smith – who have children Jada and Willow together, while the ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ actor is also dad to son Trey from his marriage to Sheree Zampino – always vowed to be “honest” with one another, particularly in the face of “temptation”.
She said: “I wasn’t going to go into a marriage in my early 20s, in Tinseltown – Will being one of the most sought-after actors in the world – thinking we were exempt from having to confront inevitable temptations… I didn’t want to play that game, so I was just like, ‘This is where we have to have a level of friendship; this is where we have to be honest with one another.’
“That friendship has been the core of what’s helped us get through some of the most difficult times.
“Us pulling at each other to love each other so that we could feel a certain way about ourselves, to then separate and find our emotional independence, to then meet each other in the middle. Learning how to show up for ourselves is showing up for the other person. It’s been a deep learning process in how to love.”
Pinkett Smith then emphasised that she had to take a step back to find what her priorities were, and that she concluded that that was her family.
She explained: “I had to get really solid on what my priority was. At the end of the day, that was my family. That doesn’t fit into what makes a powerful, independent woman? Leave a woman to decide for herself what is important to her.
“It’s a lot of personal reconciling that helps us get that balance – recognising that we’re not here to be everything to everybody, and that’s okay.”