Gabrielle Union opened up and said she “felt entitled” to infidelity during her marriage to ex-NFL player Chris Howard in the 2000s. Her first marriage was a departure from her seemingly happy and healthy union with Dwyane Wade.
Union’s recent appearance on the Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard podcast on Monday revealed just how toxic her previous marriage with Howard was. According to Union, the partnership was “just dysfunctional from day one.”
She continued, “In our first marriage, neither one of us felt like the marriage should get in the way of our dating,” Union said after Shepard expressed “complicated” feelings regarding his past infidelity in romantic relationships.
The actress shared the toxic details of her first marriage, “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,” Union shared. “I was paying all the bills, I was working my a– off, and I felt like that’s what comes, the spoils of riches.”
“Like my dad before me, whoever has the most gets to do whatever the hell they want is what I thought,” she added. “It was just dysfunctional from day one.”
Union met her ex-husband, Howard, met at a party in 1999 in Jacksonville, Fla, and wed in 2001. The pair separated in November 2005 after four years of marriage. During the podcast, Union got candid about her experience in couples therapy with Howard. The Bring It On star remembered a therapist telling her and Howard that she did not understand “how you guys made it out of the dating phase” when they explored marriage counseling.
“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,” Union added of her attempt at therapy with Howard. “The only thing you have in common is other people, so why don’t you just go be with other people?”
Union also shared that her need for validation caused a lot of undoing within her first marriage.
“In hindsight, yes, I 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,” she added.
“Guys can be just as big as groupies – if not more – than women, so it was a trade off… We were both crappy people going through s— and clearly not going to enough therapy.”