There’s no stopping Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade’s love. It’s the real deal. The couple, who met while co-hosting a SuperBowl party in 2007, have had to endure constant public and media scrutiny of their relationship, law suits and allegations from Wade’s ex-wife, and blogosphere rumors calling Union a “homewrecker,” since day one. Yet the ESSENCE magazine February cover stars’ love has still come out on top. They tell us they prefer to take the high road, even when it hurts the most, and keeping a positive outlook on life is how they make their love work.

“We realized there’s a void in images of Black love – and let’s be really real – that has a lot of melanin,” says Union. “When it kept coming up on Twitter, we started thinking, wow, this is a little bigger than us and maybe we have more of a responsibility than just enjoying each other. Maybe it’s okay to share a little of ourselves.”

Hence, the usually private pair’s willingness to give us a peek into their blended family — which for now, will remain happily unmarried, just the way they like it.

“We’re not rushing it,” says Wade. “ Both of us have been married before, and we understand that if we choose to marry again, we want it to be right. We both took failing at marriage hard. The next time it’s gotta be forever.”

Wade was awarded sole custody of his two sons, Zaire, 9, and Zion, 3, in early 2011, and in he and Union’s household, the children always come first.

“You see a lot of people tap out when it gets tough,” says Union. “He’s a selfless father.”

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