Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Don’t Consider Themselves Married — And Here’s Why That’s Not a Bad Thing

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Don’t Consider Themselves Married — And Here’s Why That’s Not a Bad Thing

Seriously, stop saying the "m" word.

By Marianne Garvey
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Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are over being “married.” No, not in a let’s get divorced way. Just the term. They’d like us all to understand they’re “life partners,” OK?

In a recent interview on TIDAL, Will says the two have dumped the term “married,” and now refer to themselves as “life partners.”

There’s a reason for the switch.

“We don’t even say we’re married anymore. We refer to ourselves as life partners, where you get into that space where you realize you are literally with somebody for the rest of your life,”Will said. “There’s no deal breakers. There’s nothing she could do — ever. Nothing that would break our relationship. She has my support till death and it feels so good to get to that space.”

Jada said the same on a recent Sway in the Morning radio interview.

"Here's the thing about Will and I — [we] are family. That is never going down. It’s just not. Ever,” she said. "We are family. Take out all that whole marriage/relationship crap, at the end of the day, Will and I are family. I am going to hold him down, doesn’t matter…All that relationship and what people think ideas of a husband, partner and all that, man, whatever. At the end of the day, that is a man that can rely on me for the rest of his life, period."

Referring to your husband or wife as “life partner” has become more popular these days, even for older heterosexual couples, who are more likely to say “husband” or “wife” and refer to themselves as married.

Partners became a popular term because LGBT couples weren't legally allowed to be “husbands”or “wives” until gay marriage became legal in 2015 when the Supreme Court struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage. But using “partner” had stuck, and came to mean more than just a boyfriend or girlfriend. It meant you weren’t casually dating and that the relationship was serious, and “life partner” grew to mean just that — for life.

Many people also chose to define their love as “partner” in solidarity to the LGBT community — why would only some people be allowed to use “husband” or “wife?” Life partners can also mean a relationship that is between very close friends, gay or not. It’s implying that whatever the relationship is, the plan is for it to be lifelong.

Quora even has a page dedicated to what it means to be a life partner to someone, saying that “true commitment can be achieved” before marriage. “Simply, a life-partner is someone you've resolute trust to see as a companion,” they say.

One commenter sums it up well, writing: “Historically, the term took on more prominent use in the gay community as a validation of their commitments and unions during times when government and the majority of faith-based organizations refused to recognize or support them. As states opened the door to ‘domestic partnership’ and civil unions, the term ‘life partner’ was adopted wholesale, seeing as calling your spouse your ‘domestic partner’ is coldly generic, and lacks the emotional, intimate and spiritual relationship that a couple has committed to, same as heterosexual unions, in general.”

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