Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Commmunication, Intimacy and Outside Advice


Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith are undeniably one of the most successful couples in Hollywood, and I do not just mean in terms of their bank accounts, I mean in terms of intimate collateral within their relationship, and within their family. They are close, grounded in themselves and in each other, and their children...are children, and are happy and secure outside of their own personal successes.

I have long been impressed with Will and Jada's commitment to each other. I remember them many years ago appearing on Oprah. She asked what it takes for a strong relationship, and how in the face of having high-profile careers, they seemed to grow closer and more committed. Will's answer was astounding, and I wish more men would have taken it to heart. Funnily enough, Will's message fits so tightly into the philosophy of a TTWD relationship.

Will said:

I think a lot of people think that when you have money, that everything gets really easy, Hell Naw! Jada and I have been together for 17 years. If you look at it like a sports record, we are probably like 15 and 2. When we got started, we both truly connected on wanting to be better. That’s where it all started. There were other people that we were dating and other people that we were attracted to, but there was a commitment to constantly be better that was what we connected on. Our whole world and relationship was that, “Hey, I know that I may not be all of that today but what I’m not going to do is lay around and not keep working to be better to deserve you.”

Jada has made me a better person than anyone on earth could have every done. There is nobody on Earth at this point that in my life and in my career with the successes and the things that I’ve done, there is nobody on Earth that I would still try to be better for. [...] Jada is a beast. Just her passion,  power, and relentless unwillingness to let me lay down at night when I’ve only done 92 percent of what I was supposed to do that day, holds me to a higher standard.

He says that we don't stop working when we 'catch' the other person. That that is when we work harder every single day to let that person know how important they are in your world. That we have to do things, give things even when we're tired to let that person know they are the most important thing in the world to us.
Jada is no slouch in the advice department. I follow her on Facebook and the lady gives some very sage advice. An article she had caught my eye, and I thought it was pertinent here.

You will occasionally see Ward and myself bring a personal issue here. You will never see us bring it here before we have worked through it never, ever before we are right with each other. When we do share personal things, it is with the hope that it can help someone else through a situation. But we have to be careful with this neighborhood we have here. Yes we talk to our friends when we are challenged, but should you not talk to your best friend first? Especially if you have a problem with them?

Ward is my best friend. If there is something that goes on between us, forgive me, this is not the place for that quandary. He is my leader. He is my guide. He is the one to help me to the other side of any issue. I wonder when I see people bring things here if they have done the hard work with their spouse first. I'm not saying it's not okay to use this forum that we have been gifted for processing, but the hard work is not to be done with our friends here, it's to be done with our partners. I simply cannot say it more eloquently than Jada:

“It is dangerous,” she explains to the magazine about sharing relationship issues with pals. “Intimacy is a very complicated thing. There is nothing I could ever say to anyone that would give them a clear understanding of what happens between us – so why get anyone involved?”

Instead, Jada discusses everything with Will.

“[Will and I] work all that out with each other; that’s part of being in an intimate relationship. If you are giving your life to someone and this is the only person you deeply love, then you should be able to come to that person with anything. There shouldn’t be a person I need to talk to outside of him. And I don’t want my friends, who have a great affinity for both of us, to feel like they have to take sides.”