'How Do You Put up With Will?': Jada Pinkett Smith Looks Back on Marriage For 50th Birthday


Jada Pinkett Smith is marking a major milestone this year: her 50th birthday! The "Red Table Talk" host, who turned 50 on Sept. 18, celebrated her big day during  Wednesday’s episode by answering questions from celebrity friends about her  relationship with Will Smith.The two, who have documented their ups and downs, tied the knot in 1997 and have been married for over two decades.

George Clooney started the birthday tributes, jokingly wishing her a happy 39th birthday.

"They tell me that you're turning 50 which, uh, that's not possible, because that would mean that im 60, and that's not possible," Clooney quipped.

He continued, asking her a "simple" question "I've been wanting to ask for a long time."

"How do you put up with Will?" he playfully asked, as Jada burst out in laughter. "You're intelligent, talented, successful and beautiful and you have all these qualities that quite honestly, Will doesn't have and I want to know how after all these years you do it. How do you do it?"

In response, Jada acknowledged that she had to learn to love herself first in order to love someone else.

"I think that what you really have to learn is how to have a friendship, because really, how do you put up with anybody? How do you put up with yourself?" she responded.

Once she learned how to understand herself, Jada said she "really learned how to put up with all others."

"I think for me, I had so much emotional maturity that I had to do. I really had to take the time to learn how to love myself, because how we love ourselves is how we show people how to love us."

However, she also explained the fine line between depending on her husband to make her happy and being happy with her husband when answering Trevor Noah’s question about the difference.

"The idea of when you're expecting someone to fill your happy place and be your happy place versus you creating your happy place within, you have to be your cake. You're grateful when someone wants to be the icing or cherry on top but you got (to be) your cake."

"When you have your own happiness within, you have more understanding that A) nobody owes you anything and B) anything that anyone decides to offer you is a gift," she added.

Though Jada reflected on the highlights of her nearly 25-year marriage to the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" star, she also acknowledged that it wasn't always easy. She opened up about her initially tumultuous relationship with Will's first wife, Sheree Fletcher(He and Fletcher were married from 1992 to 1995).

"That was a real process," Jada admitted.

Though she acknowledged that she now considers Fletcher a sister, she said it took almost 20 years to get there. 

"It was really a transformation for all of us. Having a blended family and getting to a place where there was ease with it and having complete utter acceptance," Smith said, adding that Fletcher accepts "me and all my nonsense" now.

This isn't the first time Jada has gotten brutally honest about her love life. In June, she opened up about her unconventional views of marriage and her relationship with Will in a Guardian interview.

"Will is my life partner and I could not ask for a better one," she said at the time. "I adore him, I never want people to think it was Will I didn’t want to marry – he and I were talking about this the other day. But I can assure you that some of the most powerful women in the world feel caged and tied, because of the sacrifices they have to make to be in that position.”

A month later, she addressed her brief fling with R&B artist August Alsina while she and Will were going through a tough time in their marriage.

“I was in a lot of pain. I was very broken,” she told Will during a "Red Table Talk" episode at the time. "Now, in the process of that relationship, I definitely realize that you can’t find happiness outside of yourself. ... I would definitely say we did everything that we could to get away from each other, only to realize that that wasn’t possible.”

The "Girls Trip" actress shared that her relationship with Alsina allowed her to grow and heal as she learned things about herself during their time together, including acknowledging her desire to be "drawn to people who need help."

"Through that particular journey I learned so much about myself and was able to really confront a lot of emotional immaturity, emotional insecurity and I was really able to do some really deep healing," Jada said. 

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