Will & Jada’s Episode of Red Table Talk is the Conversation Starter You’ve Been Waiting For

I can't go anywhere without hearing about Jada Pinkett Smith’s new show, Red Table Talk. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when the show first came about, I thought it would solely centered around Jada’s relationship with her mother and daughter but it’s so much more than that. These three black women in completely different phases in their lives somehow weekly come together and tackle issues such as sexuality, grief and loss, blended families, true women empowerment, forgiveness, infidelity, I honestly thought we had explored it all. 

In hindsight I shouldn’t have been surprised that Will Smith’s episode was a game changer. Just this weekend I was home watching their hit show from the early 2000’s All of Us centered around a blended family and I thought, wow they have been pushing the culture forward for decades. They have challenged the narrative of love/family and communication for years, so ultimately we should expect nothing less from their conversation at the red table. Here are the key points discussed during the two-part discussion. 

Marriage Isn’t for Everyone. 

I loved Jada’s transparency when she expressed that she never saw herself as a wife, and that the glamorous wedding she had, she didn’t even want. We assume every girl dreams of her wedding day, but the truth is that’s a lie. Marriage isn’t for everyone and the rules that abide under the social construct that we believe should take place after I do can change things for the worst, even between people who love each other and desire to be together forever. Ultimately you have to decide what’s best for you and once they did, their relationship improved. Will and Jada realized that although they love each other, a traditional marriage wasn’t going to work for them. Furthermore, they admitted they don’t even consider each other husband and wife anymore, they look at their relationship as a life partnership. In turn expressed that they have no deal breakers, they are bonded together for life. 

Men like Will Smith don’t just happen. He decided he wanted more for himself before he ever met Jada. 

Women often think we can make a man become the idea that we have in our heads, but it’s simply not true. During the episode Will expressed that he had an idea of what he wanted for his life since childhood, because he grew up in an environment that was riddled in toxicity and abuse. He also explained that he made a conscious decision in their relationship to speak a certain way (they didn’t raise their voices or use profanity for decades), because he refused to not be at peace in his own home he would leave Jada before he agreed to anything less. As beautiful as that testimony was, the fact remains that there are plenty of men with the same upbringing that are the polar opposite and carry that trauma with them for the rest of their lives. It’s imperative to understand that you can’t make someone want what you want, they have to desire the same thing, or the relationship won’t work. 

Your Happiness Is Your Responsibility Not Your Partners 

Will and Jada both had achieved success in the world, made millions of dollars, raised children who cultivated their own success as well, and their relationship was failing. From the outside looking in no one could understand why, even Jada’s mother questioned her daughter’s unhappiness, and wondered what she could not be pleased with. This piece of the conversation was my favorite because too often we have this check list of things we assume will make us happy, when in fact happiness starts deep within us. Will reflected back on the day he decided he had retired of making Jada happy, and challenged her to find her own happiness. There is a dangerous falsity that lies in the assumption that a union will bring you happiness. Your partner can love you, but they cannot live to please you and you shouldn’t want them to. Everyone is broken, and it’s up for you to repair yourself. 

Lasting Love Takes Work 

Will and Jada broke up within their relationship, and still divorce was never an option. Why? They made a conscious decision to re-build and recreate a life together that was comfortable for them. They created a new relationship built on trust, spirituality, unconditional love and support no matter what. We live many lives within our lifetime and many couples lose sight of that reality and split when their partners begin to change, instead of considering perhaps we need to renegotiate what works for us as a couple. Lasting love says no matter what, I’m here and actually lives up to that promise. You have to want to be there, and desire to do the work. 

You can’t escape your destiny. 

Will expressed that when he first saw Jada, he knew she was the one. Somehow despite his instincts the night he was to be officially introduced to her, instead he met his now ex-wife Sheree Zampino. The two fell in love, got married, and Sheree gave birth to their son Trey. Years later he and Jada crossed paths again and he realized that he had married the wrong woman, but he would never divorce Sheree because he was determined to keep his family intact. As fate would have it soon after Sheree filed for divorce and told Will she didn’t love him anymore. Once the dust settled Will called Jada, and they’ve been together ever since. Will shared at the end of the talk that if he had not been with Jada, would be searching for her in vain for the rest of his life. The story of your life is already written, their love story is proof of that. 

Whether you’re happily married, single and content, or simply desiring to reach a deeper level of discovery, red table talk is for you. Do yourself a favor and catch up, I hear the next episode goes even deeper.