Fans of the beloved couple Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade are concerned their marriage may be in trouble. Deuxmoi recently shared that they had received a tip about D Wade getting cozy with a woman in a Malibu restaurant for a few hours, and it wasn’t Gabrielle Union.


Naturally, social media users were quick to put on their sleuthing hats and started analyzing both Gabrielle and Dwyane’s posts in recent weeks. Of course, her stories featured birthday wishes sent by fellow celebrities including the likes of Kim Kardashian, Viola Davis, Robin Thede, Ayesha Curry, and her birthday twin, Tracee Ellis Ross, among many others.

In the midst of all the birthday mentions was a video taken from what looks to be her hotel room. She pans over some bouquets of flowers and a card that reads:

“Here’s to creating happy memories. Happy birthday from your family!” signed by Dwyane and the rest of their family.


I know these cards are typically written by, like, the florists that work in these shops but for some reason, I just feel like, perhaps it could have said more? Something a bit less…generic? By all accounts, a lot of people on social media agree, calling Dwyane’s birthday dedication post to his wife “dry”. Then in a three-photo carousel, Dwyane wished Gabrielle a happy birthday, writing:

“Singing out of tune Happy Birthday Day🎂 May your journey to peace become shared stories in your next memoir. We love you and we hope that you’re having a day for you🤎🤎🤎🤎🤎 @gabunion.”


The very first comment that appears reads:

“They are trying to do damage control. Yes I believe yall are separated.”

That comment is followed by another one that reads: 

“caption is a bit dry.”

But perhaps not too dry for Gabrielle herself, who responded with: 

“😭😭😭 I ❤️ you bay.”

Prior to her special day, though, an internet sleuth analysis of the couple’s posts determined there was still cause for concern, with people pointing out that recently, Gabrielle shared a message on her grid with what people are reading into as subtext: 

“When clarity, truth and transparency are present, there’s only room for evolution.” 


It’s been over a month since Gabrielle, who is no stranger to flaunting her husband online, shared an in-feed post featuring him, though he has made it onto her SnapChat. People expressed concern that Gabrielle hasn’t been sharing photos of her stepchildren, and that Dwyane’s posts feature the kids but not her.

If I had to assess whether all of this is cause for concern, which is quite literally what I’m doing in writing this, I’d say maybe, at best. But there’s one thing that definitely is cause for concern. And it’s how Gabrielle is spending her birthday. 

Y’all, she’s in the U.K. for a GIRLS TRIP WITH A BUNCH OF SINGLE, STRONG, BLACK, INDEPENDENT WOMEN! She is literally doing the electric slide with the likes of Robin Thede, who is single and has never been married, and TIA MOWRY, who is the face of moving on gracefully after divorce, or, “graduating”, as she frames it, which I wrote about here.


There are two things I know very well, and it’s a good subliminal message and the “rediscovery phase”. The subliminal message came in that post about clarity, truth and transparency. Did Dwyane confess something to her? Did she find out on her own? Is it not about him at all? Who knows, but it’s prompting some serious questions.

But what I know even better than a good old sub is the rediscovery phase. There’s no easy way to describe this phase, but Keke Palmer is in it right now. So is EmRata. Julia Fox, too. And Kristin Cavallari. It’s that phase where you start to imagine, and I mean really imagine, just how amazing life can be without the crushing expectations of men and husbands and partners. And for people who haven’t reached this point yet, kids. It’s a really empowering phase because you’re giving a huge middle finger to what society has told you are the necessary ingredients for a wholesome life. It’s scary and daunting, yes, but empowering nonetheless. And all of the women I just mentioned walked away from their relationships, I believe all on their own terms, too, and now they are focusing on themselves, their friendships, their money, and they’re setting intentions about what’s next. 


I can’t articulate just how much of this phase is fueled, encouraged and powered by your single friends, the ones that Gabrielle chose to spend her birthday with. You know, the divorced friends that are happier now than they ever were while they were in whatever loveless marriage they walked away from? The single friends that are finally reminding you of the women that they were when you met them in high school or university or wherever? Because they now have the freedom to be that version of themselves again? Or better yet, those friends that never bothered venturing down Partnership Avenue or Parenthood Parkway and have always preached about how enjoyable their lives are? Those are the friends to keep close to you at a time like this.

Yes, social media can reveal a lot about a person or a situation. But in this time of secret marriages, secret separations, and celebrities becoming incredibly protective of the information that everyday people have access to, it begs the question of what, if anything, do we really know about the rich and famous?

That’s why it’s important to look at what’s not being said in any given situation. Sure, Dwyane is wishing her a very loud happy birthday. But there are huge implications of how she is spending her birthday, and more importantly, who she’s spending it with. Between the blogs and the social media sleuths, I imagine the truth about the state of their relationship will reveal itself over time. But by that same token, I’m not holding my breath. Because stars are getting better at applying their acting skills in real life, and putting on the show of appearing like a united front, even when that’s not the case. 

We're talking about this on The Squawk.