While Pinkett Smith said that she and her husband haven't faced any cheating issues in their relationship, the actress recalled how she's been in instances in the past where she's been cheated on and been the one to step out on her own partner.
"I had a really interesting experience when I was younger. I had two relationships before Will that were kind of serious to me, where I got cheated on," Pinkett Smith recalled in the latest episode of her Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk, where she was joined by her mom, Adrienne Banfield Norris, and couples therapist Esther Perel. "[It] really broke my heart."
"And then I cheated on somebody I really cared about and let me tell you, me cheating on someone was more devastating than being cheated on," the former Gotham star added. "It actually taught me to forgive when I got cheated on because I understood."
According to Pinkett Smith, what she learned from the experience is when she was the one getting cheated on, it wasn't because of anything she's done or anything wrong with her.
"When I had to look at myself and why I did it, I realized it had nothing to do with my partner, at all," she explained.
Pinkett Smith and Perel also talked about the different kinds of betrayal that can jeopardize a marriage that aren't necessarily related to infidelity, including "contempt, neglect and violence and indifference," according to the renowned therapist.
"I’m asked a lot about, 'Is there infidelity in your relationship with Will?' And it’s like, ‘No, but there have been other betrayals of the heart that have been far bigger than I could even think in regards to an infidelity situation,'" Pinkett Smith revealed, without elaborating in detail. "When you talk about contempt, resentment, neglect, it can just tear your world apart."
According to the actress, a big strain on their relationship came from the expectations that had been drilled into her mind by society and those closest to her.
"[I was told] you have to be a perfect wife, you have to be that source that supports his dream, no matter what it is,” she said. “Whatever he wants to build, you’re there to support that. Our whole life looked like his dream."
Pinkett Smith said that they managed to rebuild and recreate their marriage by redefining how they saw their relationship, as well as respecting and valuing each other's autonomy and ambitions.