The couple first met in 2007 at a Super Bowl party. At the time, the former Miami Heat player was in the process of divorcing his high-school sweetheart Siohvaughn Funches. Meanwhile, the Bring It On actress had already divorced her first husband, Chris Howard, and had moved on with someone new.
“I stayed on one side of the room with my people,” Gabrielle told Essence of her first encounter with the former athlete. The couple appeared on the magazine’s cover together in January 2012. “We like to party, and he doesn’t drink at all. He was on the other side of the room holding bible study.”
By July 2010 the duo took their relationship public, showing PDA while Gabrielle sat courtside at Dwyane’s All-Star basketball game that month in Miami. Though their connection was apparent, the two shared that they were taking things slow.
“We’re not rushing it,” Dwyane told Essence in the 2012 cover story interview. “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.”
The couple went on to face many ups and downs throughout their relationship, including a brief split in 2013 due to their busy schedules. The actress opened up about their breakup the following year.
“When Dwyane and I broke up briefly in 2013, it was because of distance and scheduling,” Gabrielle told Glamour in January 2014. “I finished filming [Being Mary Jane], 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. … Moving forward, I decided my work schedule has to make sense for our family.”
It was later revealed that during the couple’s break, Dwyane fathered a child with Basketball Wives star Aja Metoyerin.
In November 2018, the pair welcomed their first child, Kaavia, via surrogate. The You Got Anything Stronger? author opened up about the decision to have a baby through surrogacy in a September 2021 essay published by Time.
“I will always wonder if Kaav would love me more if I had carried her,” Gabrielle wrote in the essay. “Would our bond be even tighter? We met as strangers, the sound of my voice and my heartbeat foreign to her. It’s a pain that has dimmed but remains present in my fears that I was not, and never will be, enough.”
In addition to Kaavia, Gabrielle and Dwyane are raising 19-year-old Zaire, 14-year-old Zaya and 7-year-old Xavier who are the former NBA player’s kids from previous relationships. They are also raising Dwyane’s 19-year-old nephew Dahveon.
Despite their many challenges that played out in the public eye, Dwyane and Gabrielle have stayed together and seem happier than ever as they support each other in their careers and beyond.
Keep scrolling to see Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade’s relationship timeline in photos.