When they first met, Gabrielle Union thought he wasn't her type at all, but eventually saw a wonderful person in him.
What makes Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade's relationship perfect is the way they stood strong through all the imperfections. They've had their fair share of problems that pushed them to call it quits on their relationship. But the time the couple spent apart showed them that they weren't ready to give up on each other, and after a few compromises and changes, they came out of the other side stronger and more committed than ever before.
When the two first met while hosting a Super Bowl party, Gabrielle Union felt the former basketball player wasn't her type at all. She told Glamour, "When I met Dwyane, his 'résumé' looked like crap: athlete, going through a divorce, nine years younger than me. None of that screamed, 'Let's have a lasting relationship.' Then, after I had a heart-crushing breakup with yet another immature jerk, I thought, it can't be any worse if I date a fetus. Let's just see what happens."
After putting her "preconceived notions to the side," Union eventually saw a wonderful person in Wade and they started dating in 2009.
Before they fell in love, both had been previously married, and Wade also went through a messy divorce that Union was blamed for. Wade's ex-wife began slamming him and Union with lawsuits and sued the Bring It On star for "emotional distress," but the courts dismissed the case, according to The Oprah Magazine.
As things settled down for Union and Wade, their relationship progressed and it seemed as though the couple was inseparable, but they were still not rushing into marriage.
"We’re not rushing it," Wade told Essence in 2012. "Both of us have been married before, and we understand that if we choose to marry again, we want it to be right. We both took failing at marriage hard. The next time it’s gotta be forever..."
Just when fans thought "forever" was in store for them, the couple decided to end their relationship and were broken up for a short while. After briefly spending time apart, the two came back together even stronger and were ready to do what it takes to make their relationship work.
"When you're debating whether to go backward or forward, you have to look at the original issue. [When Dwyane and I broke up briefly in 2013], it was because of distance and scheduling," the actress admitted to Glamour. "I finished filming the show, then I flew to Vegas right away to start shooting Think Like a Man Too. I couldn't take time off, and I missed some quality togetherness we desperately needed."
While apart, things became clearer for Union, as she said, "Over the summer, I reassessed priorities. I'd always wanted an awesome career with back-to-back projects, but I realized I wasn't willing to sacrifice my relationship for it... If your relationship isn't something you're willing to give up and you can compromise, do so."
Eventually, the two reconciled and Wade proposed to Union in December 2013 with the help of his three children from his previous relationships.
"I decided that she wasn't just marrying me, she was marrying all of us," Wade explained to Oprah, as quoted by The Oprah Magazine. "So I had them down by the pool, and I had them make their own signs. I had each one say, 'Will you marry us?'"
Once Union read the signs, her answer was obvious and the two finally got married in August, 2014 in a lavish ceremony in Miami.
After vowing to stay together through all the good and bad, the couple stood strong even as Union went through several failed cycles of IVF and about nine miscarriages over the years.
Today, Union and Wade are not only devoted partners to each other, but also happy parents to their baby girl, Kaavia James, who was born through surrogacy.
As the retired NBA player spoke to People about parenting with Union, he declared, "It’s a partnership."
"We both work very hard for our families and we love that about each other," Wade said in the interview. "We love that we grind, we go for it, we work, but we still find time for our family and find time to spend time together and love each other."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Kevin Winter / Staff