“You have to trust who you’re with.” These were the powerful yet seemingly obvious words of wisdom from Jada Pinkett Smith in her recent interview on The Howard Stern Show on SiriusXM when talking about her relationship with her husband Will Smith.
Jada is well known for her openness when discussing the relationship between her and her husband. This openness was again brought to the forefront when Howard Stern touched on a comment made by Jada in a previous interview, “If Will wants to go out with another woman, okay go ahead and as long as he can look at himself in the mirror and know that he’s okay” with Howard chiming in that the same deal goes for Jada as well. Jada’s response was, “of course, look, here’s the deal, You gotta trust who you’re with, and at the end of the day, I’m not here to be anybody’s watcher,” Pinkett Smith explained. “I’m not his watcher. He’s a grown man.”
The passion in which she talks about her relationship shows how vital it is to treat your partner as a grown up as she puts it. When we stop viewing our partner as someone who belongs to us, when we give up the concept of ownership and control, we are free to experience the truth of the relationship. I’ve always said I can deal with truth, no matter what that truth is, 100% better than I can a lie, because at least with the truth I can make informed decisions about how to move forward. I think couples do a real disservice to each other when they try to protect themselves from discomfort by insisting their partner live a lie, essentially saying, “I am uncomfortable with some of my fears so much so that I will do whatever it takes to keep from looking at them, even if it requires stunting who my partner is.”
This is what makes Jada and Will’s relationship so intriguing to the general public. It colors outside the lines of what most of us are taught, that the only successful type of relationship is the traditional monogamous style. I love that Jada and Will are confident enough to share with society a relationship style they have found works for them, and to show the world if you are going to take on the responsibility of a relationship, then take the time to make it one you are both comfortable with, whatever form the relationship takes. Because ultimately, as I have said in other blogs, you and your partner get to be 100% responsible for what you want, regardless of what society says. That’s what makes partnerships so amazing, they are tailor made, no two are the same.
Jada Pinkett Smith also talks about how Will is a man of integrity. I know I find that to be true in my relationship with John, because integrity is honesty. When people initially look at an open partnership they think of cheating, dishonesty, and manipulation. That the relationship is skewed in favor of one of the partners, that someone is giving up themselves due to some control inflicted by the “dominant” partner. This view is because the partnership is being looked at from society’s standpoint. What I believe Jada is talking about is she and Will are honest with each other about everything. If Will finds another woman attractive he has the type of relationship with Jada he can share this and vice versa. That my friends is integrity…being honest about who we are and realistic about human nature. Of course John is going to notice and look at other women, just as I am going to notice other men. John may even decide to have sex with another woman, just as I might decide to do the same with another man. To say these actions have anything to do with our love for our partner shows how integrated society has become in defining what a relationship is supposed to be. Again, it is the attitude of, “you can only look at me”, one steeped in ownership and control, and I don’t believe most couples would like to think they are treating their love in such a negative way. It is time we take back our partnerships and defined them by our own standards, not society’s.
Another point Howard Stern brings up in the interview is when talking about how Will must have had great parents to be such a wonderful husband. I think Howard misses out on how vital a role Jada not only plays in the success of the relationship, but in the fact that she and Will are equals in the partnership. Howard Stern at one point in the interview touches on the fact that Will could “play” if he wants and how great Jada is to be open to this. He neglects to point out that Jada is also able to “play”, meaning Will is equally great in wanting his partner to be authentic as well.
Can you imagine if Will, or Jada for that matter, had ended up with partners who didn’t treat them as an adult? Who micro managed their every move, who didn’t let them out of the others sight, who wouldn’t allow them to cultivate friendships with others of the opposite sex for fear of it turning into something deeper? Who went through their emails or texts looking for signs of cheating? Who based the relationship on ownership instead of a partnership? Jada and Will work because they communicated about what they wanted and agreed TOGETHER about the dynamics of their relationship. To see the value of the other through this freedom. To love each other unconditionally.
One of my favorite quotes is from Osho, “Love can never possess. Love is giving freedom to the other. Love is an unconditional gift, it is not a bargain.”
So kudos to Jada and Will for giving society a glimpse into this amazing passionate world of open relationships, and for showing the peace and contentment that follows.
Photo Credit: David Livingston/Getty Images
John and Jackie Melfi are in a consensually non monogamous marriage. They have been featured in ABC News Nightline Special Report “Getting Naughty In N’awlins”, Inside a New Orleans Swingers Convention, and CNN “This Is Life” with Lisa Ling. The Melfis are the force behind the industry famous colette swingers clubs in New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, and Austin. With over 20 years of combined experience, this powerhouse couple coaches thousands of singles and couples through their award winning blog Openlove101.com.