This is the text version of the YouTube video "The Oprah Conversation — Will…".
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to this day... if we start talking... it's four hours. It's-it's-it's four hours if we exchange a sentence. -Really? -Yeah, and it's like it's, uh, it's the center of why we've been able to sustain and, you know, why we're still, uh, together not chokin' the life out of each other. It's like the ability to work through issues... Yeah. Um... I've just never-- I've never met another person that I-I connect with in conversation more, um... blissfully and productively than Jada. Okay. I'm not even gonna go into the big blowout party that you had for her-- you all read it here in Will-- that you laid down the red carpet, you had all the friends and da-da-da. And then you all ended up, literally-- I think that was the thing that actually drove-- there already was a wedge, but that 40th birthday party was the final moment when you said you were gonna-- you were no longer gonna be in a relationship where you were trying to make her happy. -Yep. -So how long were you all actually separated? We never understood how long. Was it months or years? Uh, you know, it's really funny. We didn't-- We never actually like officially separated. -Uh-huh. -Right? Um... what happened was we realized that it was a-- it was a fantasy illusion that we could make each other happy. Mm. And we agreed that... she had to make herself happy and I had to make myself happy. And then we were gonna present ourselves back to the relationship already happy... Mm-hmm. Versus demanding that the other person fill our empty cup. -Hmm. -You know? That should be the prerequisite for anybody actually... -Yeah. -getting married. Absolutely. It's like the, um... Come to me whole. Don't come to me with half of your broken self and expect me to... -And demanding me... -to fix all the pieces. To fill--the problem is that when you come like that, the cup actually has a hole in the bottom. Right. So you pour all your good love in there, and it goes out onto the floor. 'Cause you got two broken people here. You got two broken people, and that's what we're doin', you know? So there-there was a... you know, we just decided that you-you have to figure out how to be happy, you know? And it was a little bit more contentious from my side. I was like, "You know what, you go figure it out. "You go figure out if you can be happy and just prove to me it's even possible." -Mm-hmm. -Right? Not thinkin' about your own self. Yeah, and I'ma--yes. I'ma do me, and... -Yeah. -you do you. And you say, "Our time apart had helped us both to discover the power of loving in freedom. We are simultaneously one hundred percent bound together, and one hundred percent free. We agreed that we were both imperfect people, doing our best to figure out how to be in this world joyfully." What does it mean to love in freedom? The simple idea is... You love in freedom with everybody except your partner... right? Your kids are gonna go off to college, and you're gonna wait for them to come back, and they might not be able to come back this Christmas, and, you know, you let them go. Your friends-- there's a certain fluidity in your interactions, right? It's... it's friendship versus marital prison. Ooh!