In a recent Red Table Talk episode, Jada Pinkett Smith got real about infidelity and what it does, not only to the relationship, but to the individual as well. Having been both the cheater and the one who was cheated on in the past, Jada explains how it felt to be on both sides of the betrayal.
“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,” she reveals. “[It] really broke my heart.”
Joined by her mother, Adrienne Banfield Norris, and therapist Esther Perel, Pinkett Smith said she’s also been the one to step out on a relationship. “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. It actually taught me to forgive when I got cheated on because I understood.”
The table then discussed the fact that infidelity isn’t always the worst violation that can happen in a relationship. There are also things like “contempt, neglect and violence and indifference,” according to Perel, that can be equally damaging.
“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 admits. “When you talk about contempt, resentment, neglect, it can just tear your world apart.”
There were also unfair expectations placed on her by their close associates.”[I was told] you have to be a perfect wife, you have to be that source that supports his dream, no matter what it is,” she said. “Whatever he wants to build, you’re there to support that. Our whole life looked like his dream.”
Jada reveals their relationship is now on solid ground because they’ve worked to get it there. “We had to rebuild with new rules and something way, completely different.”