Three isn’t always a crowd—especially for Will and Jada Smith. Jada revealed in her latest episode of her Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk, that she and the Aladdin actor are part of a throuple.
During the show, Jada said that she knew when she married Will that his ex-wife, Sheree Zampino, would be a big part of their relationship. Will and Sheree share a son together, and Jada revealed that she understands the importance of their relationship to each other.
“You know what’s so interesting, though? Why it’s so not foreign to me too is that I’ve had a non-sexual throuple for years with Sheree,” Jada said. “When you have your husband that is taking care of another woman and spending time with another woman, it’s the same thing.”
But what exactly is a throuple? As it turns out, there’s more than one definition.
“Typically, if we’re talking about throuples, that would be under the banner polyamory,” Holly Richmond, PhD, a sex therapist in New York City, tells Health. “But every couple defines this differently for themselves.”
Dr. Richmond explains that throuples are a group of three individuals who are in a committed relationship to one another. Typically, she says, there will be two people who are closer, and the third person will be a continual presence in the relationship (like in Will and Jada’s case.)
A throuple is different than an open marriage, Dr. Richmond explains. In an open marriage, people will typically have a relationship with someone outside of their marriage, but their partner will not know the other person. Open marriages often involve sex, whereas throuples can be just three people with an emotional attachment who share their lives together.
That’s not to say, however, that throuples aren’t sexual. Dr. Richmond says that throuples typically have a sexual relationship with one another, but that will also include an emotional attachment.
“There are a lot of different models for this sort of relationship, but ultimately it involves all three people being accepting and involved in the relationship,” Dr. Richmond says.