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TBH, if I were to have a relationship dream board, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade would certainly be on it—I mean, the actor and retired NBA star are legit a walking ad for the ultimate powerhouse couple. And despite the fact that the closest I’ve come to having a career as an actor has been my recurring role of Perpetually Indecisive Libra™️, a girl can certainly dream. But I digress! If you, too, are in the mood for a casual deep dive into Gabrielle and Dwyane’s relationship history, look no further.
The first encounter! Picture this: The Indianapolis Colts are playing the Chicago Bears at the Super Bowl, Prince is headlining the halftime show, the game itself is in Miami…and life is good. It’s on this day that Gabrielle and Dwyane, who were both hired by promoters to host a Super Bowl party, meet for the first time. However, the two just so happen to be at, well, interesting points in their lives. Dwyane is four months shy of getting a divorce from his high school sweetheart Siohvaughn Funches, and Gabrielle divorced then-husband Chris Howard a year prior (not to mention, she’s dating someone new at the time of the party).
“When I met Dwyane, his ‘résumé’ looked like crap: athlete, going through a divorce, nine years younger than me,” Gabrielle ultimately tells Glamour in January 2014. “None of that screamed, ‘Let’s have a lasting relationship.’” So despite the fact that her future husband is Literally! Right! There!, fans find out through Essence that the actor ends up “[staying] on one side of the room with my people.…We like to party and he doesn’t drink at all. He was on the other side of the room holding Bible study.” A truly unusual start indeed!
Dwyane officially files for separation from Siohvaughn, who had given birth to their second baby, Zaya, a month earlier. (The former couple also shares a son named Zaire.) Amid the divorce proceedings, rumors begin to swirl that the ex-pro-baller is secretly dating Gabrielle, which Dwyane responds to by reaching out to the actor, apologizing for the gossip, and extending a friendly olive branch, which doesn’t stay just “friendly” very long because…
…the two are seen together at a Zo Summer Groove Publix charities benefit dinner called Deco After Dark in Hollywood, Florida. Other famous faces spotted out that night are basketball player and host Alonzo Mourning, rapper Sandra “Pepa” Denton, and sports commentator Kenny Smith.
More than three years after their 2007 Super Bowl intro, Gabrielle goes to (surprise, surprise) Miami to attend Dwyane’s Summer Groove charity event. At the event, which benefits the former NBA star’s Wade’s World Foundation, the couple is photographed together, although they have yet to confirm anything about their ’ship publicly.
Also around this time, Dwyane’s ex-wife files a lawsuit against the athlete and actor for “emotional distress,” per the Boston Herald. The case ends up being dismissed because Gabrielle is able to prove she had nothing to do with the breakup. Why? Because her life is “just too easy to track,” Gabrielle explains to Jet magazine in 2012, per Us Weekly. “We were submitting plenty of proof for the times [Siohvaughn] said I was in Miami. So it was like, obviously you’re not telling the truth,” she said.
After a long legal battle, the NBA player is awarded sole custody of Zaire and Zaya, his two children with Siohvaughn. At this time, he also has custody of his nephew Dahveon.
It’s the cover we’ve all been waiting for!! The couple shares some serious spotlight in the February issue of Essence magazine. The two use the platform to open up about their romance and potential marriage plans.
“We’re not rushing it. 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,” Dwyane admits.
January – April 2013
Gabrielle and Dwyane’s relationship hits a rocky point in 2013, when the duo decides to call it quits. During a January 2014 interview with Glamour, the Bring It On actress explains the breakup happened because of “distance and scheduling.” “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.”
However, it isn’t long before the pair gets back together after Gabrielle “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,” she admits.
Later, it is revealed that during the break, Dwyane fathered a child with actress and Basketball Wives star Aja Metoyer (who gives birth to their son, Xavier, in November 2013). “I had a child with someone else and I had to tell her…Hardest thing I’ve ever had to do is man up and tell Gabrielle Union that I’ve had a child with somebody else. I couldn’t sleep. I wasn’t eating,” the former Miami Heat star says in his ESPN doc, D Wade: Life Unexpected.
The two are officially back on!
Gabrielle and Dwyane take a trip to China together, which the actress talks about during The Ellen DeGeneres Show a few months later. “I didn’t realize, but he’s like Justin Bieber in China. I was not even prepared for this!” she jokes.
Dwyane goes on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and makes us all emotional when he reminisces on giving his relationship with Gabrielle a second chance.“At the end of day, we came back together and said, ‘Listen, we want to continue this. We want to try to continue to get better each day.’ She’s been with me and I’ve been with her all summer long. We’re going strong now.”
On December 21, 2013, the athlete asks the Being Mary Jane actress to marry him! Years later in a December 2018 interview special called Oprah at Home with Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade & Their New Baby, Dwyane reveals:
“The boys had been pushing for us to be a ‘real’ family…I had them down by the pool, and I had them make their own signs. I had each one say, ‘Will you marry us?’ I took her outside to look at the water, and at first, she’s like, ‘What is going on?’ I get behind her, and I get on a yoga mat because I couldn’t put my knees down. I’m sitting there waiting for her to turn around and she’s reading the boys’ signs, and the boys said, ‘Will you marry us?’”
Okay, we’re not not crying.
Gabrielle also takes to her Insta to share a pic of the seriously dazzling 8.5-carat, cushion-cut diamond her fiancé got for her.
Oh, the ring also reportedly costs a cool $1 million. Speechless!
On the Arsenio Hall Show, Gabrielle admits she asked her future husband to sign a prenup. “The biggest difference between this and the last marriage will be a prenup—at my insistence…When you have your own stuff, you don’t need to worry about anyone else’s stuff. So everyone should go into the relationship knowing, ‘I’m here for you and you’re here for me.’ And the reality is I’ve never seen Dwyane balance a checkbook, so I gotta protect my stuff. It’s the wave of the future,” she says.
Less than a year after getting engaged, the two officially tie the knot on August 30, 2014 at the Chateau Artisan in Miami (okay, the city is clearly a lucky place for them!). The stunning ceremony includes Being Mary Jane co-creators Mara Brock Akil and her husband Salim Akil, Ludacris and his wife Eudoxie, Kevin and Eniko Hart, and Wade’s former Miami Heat teammate Chris Bosh and his wife Adrienne. Plus, Dwyane’s three children, Zaire, Zaya, and Xavier, and his nephew, Dahveon, are also in attendance 🥺❤️.
In the lead-up to her one-year wedding anniversary, Gabrielle shares pics from the big day on her Instagram.
Honeymoon time! The newlyweds embark on a seriously sweet trip to the Maldives, and the pics are truly *chef’s kiss*
The two celebrate Gabrielle’s 43rd birthday in (you guessed it!) Miami. The bash is held at The Edison, where guests rep their high school and college alma matters at the “School Daze”-themed party. Plus, music consists of hits from ’80s and ’90s, plus a performance by Color Me Badd.
The two turn serious heads during Gabrielle’s Emmys debut for allllll the right reasons.
In her memoir, We’re Going To Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True, the actress discusses her struggle with fertility issues. An excerpt published in People reveals she and Dwyane’s attempts to have a new baby and the experience the couple has had with years of IVF.
“For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant,” Gabrielle writes in the book. “I’ve either been about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle, or coming out of an IVF cycle.”
Gabrielle also reveals the cause of her infertility is actually a result of adenomyosis, a condition similar to endometoriosis, which occurs when endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus.
“For so many women, and not just women in the spotlight, people feel very entitled to know, ‘Do you want kids?’ A lot of people, especially people that have fertility issues, just say ‘no’ because that’s a lot easier than being honest about whatever is actually going on. People mean so well, but they have no idea the harm or frustration it can cause,” she says.
In a seriously heartwarming Instagram post, the Think Like A Man actress reflects on her four-year marriage to her husband. She captions the post, “Waking up every morning next to my best friend is a blessing I could’ve never imagined. 4 years later… You’re still the one I wanna laugh with and snuggle and love on and ride with… @dwyanewade Happy Anniversary baby! 💃🏾🤗😍🤵🏿👰🏾.” Consider us fully in our feels right about now.
After years of struggling to have a baby, the couple welcomes a daughter, Kaavia James Union Wade, via a surrogate. While speaking with Oprah a month later, the couple opens up about how happy they are to have a new baby together. “We want her to understand that she was so loved, wanted, desired, protected, and nurtured when she was just a thought,” Gabrielle says. “We want her to know everything it took to bring her into this world, usually around the time she starts talking back. We want her to really understand what we went through.”
The couple that commercials together, stays together! The actress and athlete star in their first ad campaign together and look ridiculously adorable, even while they’re getting their workout in.
During a February 2020 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dwyane proudly announces that his daughter Zaya recently came out as transgender. “Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home and said, ‘Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward, I’m ready to live my truth. And I want to be referenced as she and her. I’d love for you guys to call me Zaya,’” he explains.
The couple continues to share the sweetest words of encouragement on all of their socials—something they also did in December 2019 after online trolls came after Zaya when Gabrielle shared a Thanksgiving family photo.
The duo send their oldest son, Zaire, to Brewster Academy, a boarding school in New Hampshire, and they both post emotional tributes.
“Man oh Man 😭 😭 😭 Dropping your oldest off to school is another set of emotions that I didn’t know existed,” Dwyane posts to Instagram, alongside a photo of himself, Gabrielle, Kaavia, and Zaya.
Gabrielle takes to her own Stories to post pics as well.
The couple truly embodies what it means to be goals when they grace the cover of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020 list for their commitment and allyship to the LGBTQ+ community.
“She is intentionally directing her attention, influence, and resources to advance an agenda that deliberately celebrates the most marginalized among us, including Black women and girls and queer and trans folks,” mused activist Tarana Burke in reference to Gabrielle for the magazine.
Gabrielle and Dwyane also open up about how their children inspire them for ABC’s Time 100 special.
The L.A.’s Finest star posts some seriously 🔥🔥🔥 pics of herself and her husband with the caption “8th Grade Dance Vibes 🕺🏿💃🏾🖤🖤.”
It’s truly a family affair for the couple, who go on a trip to Paris with kids Zaire, Zaya, and Kaavia James. While visiting the Palais-Royal and the Louvre Museum, Gabrielle shows the world a glimpse into what she calls the #WadeWorldTour with a series of pics that are amazing!
And that’s it! This timeline will be updated with the next sweet installment of Gabrielle and Dwyane’s relationship.
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