Hoda Kotb and her fiancé Joel Schiffman have officially split.
The former duo, who share daughters Hope, 2, and Haley, 4, who have been together since 2013, are calling off their engagement.
Kotb, 57, revealed the news on Monday during TODAY with Hoda & Jenna, noting that some viewers had asked why she hadn’t been wearing her engagement ring.
“Joel and I have had a lot of prayerful and meaningful conversations over the holidays and we decided that we’re better as friends and parents than we are as an engaged couple, so we decided we are going to start this new year … on our new path as loving parents to our adorable, delightful children, and as friends,” said Kotb.
“It’s not like something happened. 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,” she added in her conversation with co-host Jenna Bush Hager.
She went on to share how it felt “weird and awkward,” Kotb admitted and added how she was “struggling with … ‘What do I say? How do I say it?’ ” But during the conversation, she focused on the “joyous moments” of her relationship with Schiffman, 63.
“A lot of women know what this feels like … to be changing course in life, and I feel really brave in this moment, which is a strange feeling to feel,” she said. “But sometimes in your life, you just have to say the truth.”
“You can carry it and you can pretend. … You ask yourself, ‘Am I just being optimistic?’ ” Kotb added. “And sometimes you realize optimism is like trying to put a circle in a square — sometimes it just doesn’t work, and it’s okay. To be able to acknowledge it …. I feel better that I said it.”
Bush Hager, 40, told her co-host that she “can’t think of anybody stronger” or more “courageous,” than Kotb, “to tell the truth” about what is going on.
“There’s nothing that relieves your soul more, I think, than when you tell the truth,” Kotb replied.
“You always say it’s how we begin something and how we end it,” Bush Hager said.
Kotb said of her former partner, “He’s a great guy. He’s a very kind and loving person, and I feel privileged to have spent eight years with him. We are both good and we are both kind of going on our way and our path. We’ll be good parents to those two lovely kids.”
The two began dating quietly for a couple of years before going public in 2015. And in November 2019, the two revealed their engagement.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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