Jada Pinkett Smith opened up about the struggles that she and husband Will Smith faced in the early stages of their marriage, while discussing the tumultuous relationship of T.I. and Tameka “Tiny” Harris, admitting that the Smith marriage wasn’t always easy.
Part two of T.I. and Tiny’s “Red Table Talk” discussion aired on Monday, with the couple sitting down with Jada and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, to talk about the rapper and Escape singer’s nearly two decade-long relationship and the hardships that they’ve faced throughout it. They even discussed the reasons why Tiny had filed for divorce from her husband twice, which had a lot to do with T.I. taking “control” of their relationship and leaving Tiny feeling “dependent.”
When a man completely takes control, takes care of you, you don’t have a lot of say because you are dependent on this man. So for a long time, because you didn’t want me to work, I pretty much gave up,” Tiny said of relinquishing her singing career.
T.I. said that his wife “agreed” to that arrangement and later “changed her mind,” which contributed to tension in their relationship. And although he seemingly felt that the change in dynamic was unfair, Banfield-Jones said that it was normal.
“Sometimes you agree to something, then you realize it doesn’t really work for you. Sometimes you have to experience something that you think you wanna do because you want to be in agreement,” Banfield-Jones explained.
Jada then interjected to say, “This conversation, this problem, is the exact same thing Will and I had to work through,” referring to when they were going through a period of not being on the same page. And although Jada’s struggle wasn’t made public through social media and obvious extramarital affairs, Banfield-Jones assured audiences that Jada and Will went through their challenges.
“She felt like she lost herself in supporting Will and his dreams and his career, and the idea that he had of what their relationship was gonna be,” Banfield-Jones said.
“We do relinquish a lot of our power to our men that we’ve given our lives to,” Jada continued. “And at first, I gave it all over. And then I realized, ‘Oh this is not working.’ And you get just a little disappointed because you feel like, ‘I gave it all to you and you took it and you misused it — you stopped listening to me.’”
While overcoming the resentment that she started to feel towards Will, however, Jada explained that she learned about her own power, which helped her realize that becoming dependent on her spouse was, in fact, her choice.
“He did the best he could. And honor the fact that he wanted to, honor the fact that he tried,” Jada said. “But it takes a minute to get there, though.”
Ultimately, T.I. and Tiny went to counseling to get on the same page and get better about communicating how they were both feeling in the relationship.
“Our counselor, she was amazing. She sat and listened to us and she was like, ‘Oh my lord.’ And I think we should go even when things are good,” Tiny said, with an endorsement from T.I. “She taught us different ways to deal with each other and talk to each other, communication skills, trust. It’s a big thing.