Sabina was the daughter of Lucius Vibius Sabinus and Salonia Matidia, who was Emperor Trajan’s niece. When her father died the same year she was born, her mother brought her to be raised in the Imperial household. She married Hadrian in 100 CE at the instigation of Trajan’s wife Plotina, confirming Hadrian’s claim as Trajan’s heir. It helped that both Matidia and Plotina were quite fond of Hadrian. Sabina, however, was not.
The antipathy seems to have been mutual. Hadrian was known as a cold man and Sabina had a sharp temper. The two clashed often and both preferred the company of their lovers to that of each other, which may be part of the reason they had no children. Hadrian, of course, spent much of his time with Antinous, while ancient sources most commonly link Sabina with Suetonius among others. Modern scholarship has also suggested that she may have been involved with Julia Balbilla, who was her companion in Egypt and possibly in Rome.
For all that she did not get along with her husband, Sabina played the part of Empress and remained a powerful figure in Rome. She accompanied Hadrian on his travels around the Empire and was praised both alongside her husband and on her own in the poetry of Julia Balbilla in Egypt. In 128 she was given the title of Augusta. When she died in 136 or 137, Hadrian had her deified, probably not as a demonstration of his affection, but certainly showing her importance to his reign.