Hoda Kotb shared in an emotional statement on Monday that she and fiancé Joel Schiffman have broken up, but will remain as co-parents to their two daughters.
“Joel and I have had a lot of prayerful and really meaningful conversations over the holidays, and we decided that we’re better as friends and parents than we are as an engaged couple,” she said on “TODAY with Hoda & Jenna” Monday.
“So we decided that we are going to start this new year and begin it kind of on our new path as loving parents to our adorable, delightful children, and as friends.”
Kotb and Schiffman got engaged in November 2019, but their wedding had been put off for several months due to the pandemic. They had been together for six years when Schiffman proposed during a tropical vacation.
Kotb chose to address the status of their relationship after saying people had written to her asking why she hasn’t been wearing her engagement ring.
“It’s not like something happened,” Kotb said. “They say sometimes relationships are meant to be there for a reason or a season or for a lifetime. And I feel like ours was meant to be there for a season.
“This is weird and awkward,” Kotb told Hager. “I really was struggling with this, I was like, ‘What do I say, how do I say it?'”
Kotb said that she struggled with how to share the news of the breakup after having spoken often about the happy side of her relationship, whether it was the adoption of her daughters or their engagement in 2019.
“Then the difficult parts, sometimes you just want to forget about,” Kotb said. “You want to erase them, you don’t want to share them because that’s not part of a pretty picture.
“But I think a lot of women know what this feels like in this moment, to be changing course in life. And I feel really brave in this moment, I really do, which is sort of a strange feeling to feel. But sometimes in your life, you just have to say the truth.”
Kotb said sharing the news brought her a sense of relief.
“And sometimes you can carry it, you can pretend and do things, and you’re not being yourself, and you ask yourself, ‘Am I just being optimistic?'” she said. “Maybe I’m being optimistic, and sometimes you realize optimism is sometimes trying to put a circle in a square, and sometimes it just doesn’t work. And it’s OK, and to be able to acknowledge it and say to yourself, ‘OK, this is the path that we’re going to be taking from here on.’
“I feel better that I said it. I feel better. There’s nothing that relieves your soul more I think than when you tell the truth.”
This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY: