During an interview with Shannon Sharpe Wednesday, the retired NBA player looked back at the couple's 2013 break, during which he fathered a child with another woman.
Wade revealed that he "tried to break up" with his now-wife instead of telling her the truth, telling Sharpe he, "tried pussyfoot around it."
He said he tried to think of "everything possible" to tell her to avoid coming clean, and even cited their relationship issues at time as a buffer, telling the actress, 'Hey, things have been bad lately. … We've been having a little distance in our relationship anyway.'"
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But it didn't work, with Wade, 41, revealing that Union kept showing up for the Miami Heat player, prompting him to eventually tell her about conceiving son Xavier, now 9, with Basketball Wives star Aja Metoyer.
Sharing that he told Union, 50, before the news became public, Wade said that he "couldn't have gotten through that moment" without his wife's support.
"We were in the playoffs, I think going into the finals... that was a rough time for me," Wade recalled. "You got a lot on your mind. You're keeping something from people you love. It's heavy."
He added, "At night, when it get caught and it's just you and your thoughts, them thoughts are loud."
Ultimately, Wade said, while their relationship hasn't been perfect and never will be, they've come a long way since that incident nine years ago, crediting therapy in part for strengthening their bond.
"We go to therapy, we've been to therapy. We've had shouts about it. We've had regular conversations about it," Wade explained. "And so, it's been something that's gonna be something that I have to work at and work on."
Xavier was born in November 2013, joining Wade's two eldest children -- Zaire, 21, and Zaya, 16 -- with ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches.
He and the Bring It On alum are also proud parents to 4-year-old daughter Kaavia, whom they welcomed via surrogate after suffering several miscarriages.
The interview is not the first time Wade has discussed the incident. He previously opened up about the scandal in the documentary, D. Wade: Life Unexpected in which he shared that the secret was eating him alive.
"I couldn’t sleep. I wasn't eating," the former point guard said in the doc. "When you have this information and you know it's gonna f--k somebody’s life up that you care about, that you love, if it don't hurt you, then you're not human."
Union also touched on the trying time in her 2021 memoir, "You Got Anything Stronger," writing that she was "devastated" over her now-husband's infidelity, and needed "untold amounts of therapy" after Wade told her the truth in 2013.
Wade would go on to propose to Union one month after welcoming Xavier, with the pair tying the knot the following year in Miami, and the duo have been together ever since.