- Deseret News - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Will Smith has admitted that his marriage has died.

In a recent interview with The Sun, Mr. Smith explained, “Whatever you have is gonna die and you are gonna have to rebirth something new. You have to be willing to ride the waves. There’s gonna be some flat days and some stormy days, and that has to be OK.”

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have been married for 18 years and had been seen as the strong, rock-solid couple in Hollywood. That makes Mr. Smith’s admission both surprising and surprisingly refreshing, as he admits to having to really focus on and work on their relationship.

“If you don’t have a goal, if you don’t have a purpose for your relationship … you can really get lost in the murk of the journey,” Mr. Smith told Oprah Winfrey in an interview in 2010.

“So why … why are we together? I mean you fine, you fine,” he joked, nudging his wife. “But as an answer for why two spirits would join together and decide to travel this perilous journey of life together, ‘Fine, you can cook,’ or ‘you can keep the house protected.’ That’s really not enough. There’s so much more that you have to be dedicated to.”

Since that time, the couple has been under fire for having what some would describe as an “open” relationship. Both husband and wife have big careers and have not been ashamed to take on what some would say are rather scandalous roles as actors.

But Mrs. Pinkett Smith recently posted on Facebook that that’s certainly not the case.

“Should we be married to individuals who can not be responsible for themselves and their families within their freedom?” she posed. “Should we be in relationships with individuals who we can not entrust to their own values, integrity, and LOVE … for us??? Here is how I will change my statement … Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want, because we TRUST each other to do so. This does NOT mean we have an open relationship … this means we have a GROWN one.”

I very much respect the Smiths for choosing to stick it out, and for their trust and mutual respect for one another. However, I disagree with Mrs. Pinkett Smith’s comments about being able to do “whatever we want” because they “trust” each other.

I agree there has to be an incredible amount of trust for each other in a solid marriage. But for me, that trust doesn’t give either my husband or me permission to do anything we please. Even in the best of circumstances, the strongest of couples can be slowly pushed apart by focusing on what they want individually instead of what is best for the couple.

For example, a few years ago I auditioned for and got the lead role in a play that involved kissing another actor. Because I’ve been in the entertainment business for so long and have been in my fair share of stage productions, TV shows, movies and the like, I know that acting “attracted” to a person of the opposite sex in a play is just that: acting.

However, after discussing it with my husband and after receiving some great advice from a trusted friend, we both felt that I should resign from the role.

I know some would say that was a major overreaction. Maybe so. But for us, it’s what we both felt good about.

It wasn’t at all that my husband didn’t trust me enough or that our relationship wasn’t “mature.” It was because of our trust and mutual respect for one another that we felt comfortable enough sharing our feelings and coming up with a solution as a couple. While we both want each other to follow our dreams and are supportive of one another, I believe that setting and agreeing upon certain boundaries is what keeps us so tightly bound to one another.

I love what Mrs. Pinkett Smith had to say about her husband in The Sun interview:

Will, to me, encompasses everything. It’s almost as if calling him ‘my husband’ is too small of a word for what he means in my life.”

That is how I feel about my Brad. While I don’t share the same feelings as Smith about a marriage dying and then having to be reborn, I do agree that with different milestones and challenges in life, a marriage will sometimes be re-shaped, brought to the brink, fought for and then made stronger than ever.

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