Will Smith talks about valuable lesson he learned from a privacy coach
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have been the “it” couple for years now. Hollywood romances quickly ignite the tabloid press, but when it comes to pairing stars in marriage, most tend to ignite and fade at the speed of a new fitness trend: here a day, gone tomorrow. While the couple have certainly opened up about the challenges of keeping a marriage engaged in recent years, for Smith, the idea of a monogamous relationship was not what he originally gravitated to. Maybe like a lot of the guys out there, Smith dreamed of having a harem of girlfriends including Halle Berry and Misty Copeland.
Before the release of his new book assisted by Mark Manson, Smith sat down with GQ to discuss some rather personal moments in his life that turned out to be formative. One of those occasions was when Smith sat down with intimacy coach Michaela Boehm and learned a valuable lesson. When they first met, Smith confessed that if he had the chance, he would want a group of girlfriends made up of other famous designers. When Boehm told Smith to name the women he wanted in the Notional Harem, he wasted no time and proceeded to list a couple. As Smith and Boehm began to look for other women he could choose for this group, the plan was to even go so far as to reach out to women about the idea.
“I don’t know where I saw it or shit when I was a teenager, but the idea of traveling with 20 women that I loved and took care of and stuff, it seemed to me like a really good idea, ”Smith said.
It wasn’t until Smith and Boehm acted out the script together that Smith quickly realized that his fantasy wouldn’t quite match the reality of such a situation. He realized that the setup would be “horrible” and cause misery for everyone involved. But by working on the script with his intimacy trainer, Smith was able to let go of some of his deep-rooted shame tendencies that stemmed from his strict Christian upbringing.
“What she was doing was basically cleaning my mind, leaving it now, it was good to be me and to be who I was,” Smith told GQ. “It was normal to think Halle was okay. It doesn’t make me a bad person that I’m married and I think Halle is beautiful. Whereas in my mind, in my Christian upbringing, even my thoughts were sins. This was really the process Michaela put me through to make me realize that my thoughts weren’t sins and even acting on an unclean thought didn’t make me shit.
Smith also spoke in the interview about the impact of witnessing his father’s abuse of his mother, both as a child and as an adult. The violence he saw inspired him to build a defense system that also became the public figure many now identify him with. “I felt like a combination of having completed a phase of my life and also with the death of my father. I could never have said that stuff about my dad beating my mom, ”Smith explained. “I could never have talked about it during his lifetime.”
While writing about some of the experiences in the book, Smith found the catharsis and was able to overcome the emotional trauma. You can read more about Smith’s relationship with Jada, as well as the inspiring advice he received from Denzel on the differences between ‘funky 40s’ and ‘fuck-it 50s’. here.