Gabrielle Union and her first husband were unfaithful to one another, but the actress says she feels justified in her behavior.
The 50-year-old discussed her stance during an appearance on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast this week. Union married ex-NFL player Chris Howard in 2001. They divorced after just four years.
“In our first marriage, neither one of us felt like the marriage should get in the way of our dating,” Union explained.
“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,” she told Shepard. “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 continued. “It was just dysfunctional from day one.”
Shepard said he could relate to what she was saying as he also had “complicated” feelings about cheating on previous partners. The podcast host has been married to actress Kristin Bell since 2013.
“I wish I had more guilt for some of that,” Union said of her past infidelity. “It was such a stupid relationship that should have never got out of the dating phase.”
She also recalled how a therapist “literally” told her that she couldn’t fathom how the couple “made it out of the dating phase” when she and Howard went to couples counseling sessions.
“And [the therapist 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. “The only thing you have in common is other people, so why don’t you just go be with other people?”
Union has been married to former NBA star Dwyane Wade since 2014.
She went on, telling Shepard she was “horny for validation and having certain kinds of guys like me and want me” while she was married to Howard.
“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.
“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.”