Actress Gabrielle Union recently opened up about her first marriage, which she described as "dysfunctional from day one." On a recent episode of the podcast "Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard," Union discussed her marriage to former football player Chris Howard, whom she divorced after five years of marriage in 2006.
Shepard revealed that he felt guilty about past infidelities. At the same time, Union said that she's not "getting wife of the year awards" regarding her marriage to the former Jacksonville Jaguars player. Union continued, "In my first marriage, neither one of us felt like the marriage should get in the way of our dating. A part of it was like keeping up with his activities, like, 'Oh, that's what you're doing? You're going to feel this one.' And I just felt entitled to it as well."
The author continued, "I was paying all the bills. I was working my [expletive] off, and I felt like that's what comes, the spoils of riches." Union also called the relationship with Howard stupid and said it should have never left the dating phase. Union and Howard met in 1999 and married in 2001. The couple went to marriage counseling and found that they didn't have much in common. The marriage ended in 2005, and the divorce was finalized in 2006.
During their marriage counseling, Union said even the therapist was confused about how the couple got together. Union said, "And [she said] we should probably look for a way to amicably dissolve… because you have not one thing in common, no morals, no values. The only thing you have in common is other people, so why don't you just go be with other people?"
During the conversation with Shepard, Union admitted that she wanted validation and liked having specific kinds of guys want and like her during her first marriage. She added, "In hindsight, yes, I absolutely needed something from them that I was not providing for myself, and neither was my marriage, but I think I provided something for them too." Union said that guys could be bigger groupies than women, so it was a trade-off. Still, she says that she and Howard were both terrible people at the time and needed therapy.
Shepard, married to actress Kristen Bell, also described his infidelities, sharing that he was in an open relationship for nine years. According to Shepard, he regrets some of his actions but doesn't regret all of them. Union told Shepard, "I wish I had more guilt for some of that." Union and former NBA Star Dwayne Wade have been married since 2014. The couple share daughter, Kaavia James, 3. Wade also has three other children from previous relationships, Zaire, 20, Zaya, 15, and Xavier Zechariah, 9.
Discussing an unsuccessful marriage can't be easy, especially if there was infidelity on both sides. However, it's good to see that Union has evolved from her past while admitting her mistakes. This story also shows that it’s essential to ensure that you and your future spouse have things in common before walking down the aisle.