Will Smith reveals what he's learned from having an open relationship with Jada Pinkett Smith
via Gage Skidmore/Flickr

A lot of pitfalls can come with having an open marriage. When a partner allows the other to stray it can create jealousy and ruin the ties that bind a couple together.

But some believe it can improve a marriage by allowing both partners to find temporary sexual fulfillment outside the relationship. That gives frustrated partners a chance to fulfill their needs without having to leave a marriage that's satisfying otherwise.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith recently admitted they have experimented with an open relationship and it nearly ended them for good. The couple tied the knot in 1997 and have two children, son Jaden, 23, and daughter Willow, 20. Will also has a son Trey, 28, from his marriage to Sheree Zampino.


"The general consensus—among the lay public and professional marriage counselors alike—seems to be that" consensual non-monogamy (CNM) "can only lead to more harm than good in a marriage," writes David Ludden Ph.D. in Psychology Today. "And yet, studies of couples actually engaged in CNM relationships find that these people report being just as happy in their marriages as strictly monogamous couples are—and they're more satisfied sexually," Ludden continues.


"Jada never believed in conventional marriage," Will said in a recent interview with GQ. "Jada had family members that had an unconventional relationship. So she grew up in a way that was very different than how I grew up."

The two came to the decision after having long discussions about what it meant to have a perfect relationship.

"There were significant endless discussions about, what is relational perfection? What is the perfect way to interact as a couple? And for the large part of our relationship, monogamy was what we chose, not thinking of monogamy as the only relational perfection," Will continued.

"We have given each other trust and freedom, with the belief that everybody has to find their own way. And marriage for us can't be a prison," Will said. "And I don't suggest our road for anybody. I don't suggest this road for anybody. But the experiences that the freedoms that we've given one another and the unconditional support, to me, is the highest definition of love."

The couple separated a little over a year ago and at that time Jada had an affair with singer August Alsina and it nearly drove the couple to divorce. "I wasn't sure I was ever going to speak to you again. The fact that I'm speaking to you again is a miracle," Will said in a candid interview on Jada's Red Table Talk show.

But somehow, the couple pulled it through.

Will and Jada Pinkett Smith opened up about their relationship on 'Red Table Talk' | GMA www.youtube.com

"I'm just happy 'cause I definitely believe that you and I, we never, ever, ever thought that we would make it back," Jada said.

The story of Will and Jada shows that even though the couple was able to make an open marriage work for a period of time, it also drove a wedge between the two.

However, the couple is back together because their relationship is about much more than just sex.

"There's a real power in just knowing somebody's riding with you no matter what. And you really can't know that until you've been through some stuff," Will admitted.

"We have really gotten to that new place of unconditional love," said Jada.

True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 04.13.18


Teens have a knack for coming up with clever ways to rage against the system.

When I was in high school, the most notorious urban legend whispered about in hallways and at parties went like this: A teacher told his class that they were allowed to put "anything" on a notecard to assist them during a science test. Supposedly, one of his students arrived on test day with a grown adult at his side — a college chemistry major, who proceeded to stand on the notecard and give him answers. The teacher was apparently so impressed by the student's cunning that he gave him a high score, then canceled class for the rest of the week because he was in such a good mood.

Of course, I didn't know anyone who'd ever actually try such a thing. Why ruin a good story with reality — that pulling this kind of trick would probably earn you detention?

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