Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade have the type of relationship that leads to Instagram comments proclaiming “goals” and plenty of envy-inducing photographs - but their road to wedded bliss was rocky at times.
Still, they've had plenty of precious moments, from red carpet PDAs to Paris Fashion Week.
The America’s Got Talent judge met her former Miami Heat player husband in 2007 when they co-hosted a Super Bowl party - but it wasn’t love at first sight, at least according to Union.
Union was recently divorced from NFL player Chris Howard, while Wade was still married to his high school sweetheart.
“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” she told Glamour.
“Turned out he'd been on his own since he was 15. He had wisdom that comes with facing an insane amount of adversity. He's sweet, funny, honest about his shortcomings. When I put my preconceived notions to the side, I found someone cool.”
They officially started dating in 2009 and were red carpet official in June 2010. While Union maintains that she wasn’t the reason behind her now-husband’s divorce, his ex-wife Siohvaughn sued Union for emotional distress. The case was ultimately dismissed, with Wade awarded sole custody of his two sons.
“Parenthood is about sacrifice, being consistent, and being present. Then he got full custody. I signed up for the boys quicker than I signed up for him,” Union told Oprah.
Both have opened up about their relationship over the years, in interviews and on social media, where they commemorate their travels and caption them #WadeWorldTour.
Union wrote about the first time Wade met her father, dedicating an Instagram post to the man who told Dwyane Wade "within minutes of meeting him 'What do you want with my daughter? She's got her own s***, owns her own home, has a career... So whatcha bringing to the table that she doesn't already have?' D replied 'I just want to love her.'"
“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,” Wade told Essence. But ultimately (spoiler alert) the two did get engaged in a rom-com worthy way.
The two spent some time apart in 2013, while Union was shooting her hit BET show Being Mary Jane. “It was because of distance and scheduling...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. Moving forward, I decided my work schedule has to make sense for our family. Bottom line: If an issue's a deal breaker, it's a deal breaker. If your relationship isn't something you're willing to give up and you can compromise, do so,” she said.
A few months later, Wade proposed, telling Oprah that he made the proposal a family affair. "I decided that she wasn't just marrying me, she was marrying all of us. 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?'” Since then, Union has been incredibly close to his family, especially Zaya Wade, 13, who announced her transition in February.
But right after their engagement, news broke that Wade had impregnated Aja Metoyer, who went on to star on Basketball Wives. The couple both parent Wade's youngest son, Xavier Zechariah Wade.
"I had a time, a part in our break, in our pain and our hurt, a blessing came out of it in my life, having a son that was born healthy," Wade said during a press conference.
Ultimately, Wade and Union still got married - and Union is extremely involved with her husband's children's lives.
They were married at Chateau Artisan on August, 30 2014 in a moated castle in Miami that’s said to cost $12,800,000. After the celebrity-studded ceremony - Ludacris, LaLa Anthony, Chris Bosh and Kevin Hart attended the lavish nuptials - they honeymooned in the Maldives. It was the ultimate #WadeWorldTour extravaganza.
Eventually, they welcomed daughter Kaavia James Union Wade - but not before experiencing miscarriages and IVF struggles.
“I didn't want something to happen to her, and it was getting dangerous. She was trying so many things and methods. I had to step in and say, 'Baby, it's me and you. I want to grow old with you. I want our miracle baby, but I want you.' Once we got to that point, and I think she heard me, we started to look at other possibilities to bring our baby into the world. That's when we got introduced to surrogacy,” Wade told Oprah.
Now, Kaavia James Union Wade even has her own Instagram page, complete with more than 1.3 million followers, where she shows off her many facial expressions. Her parents have dubbed her the #ShadyBaby for her expressive features, captioning her photos with what she's really (allegedly) thinking.
In April of 2019, Wade said goodbye to his NBA days - and Union opened up about the transition with James Corden. “He’s never been to a car wash. He’s like, ‘I love it there!” He has no idea how much milk costs. He’s like, ‘What is that, about $20?’” she said, comparing him to Rip Van Winkle.
Since Wade stopped playing with the Heat, they’ve spent time at Target and at the vet's office - where he asked if they had a VIP waiting room.