IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Hoda and Jenna give advice on overcoming 'silent killers' in relationships

"Pretty soon all those little things have become a big thing," Hoda said about avoiding difficult conversations.

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager shared some advice about how to handle the "silent killers" that strain a relationship when people aren't communicating.

The TODAY duo were prompted by a frank conversation between country music tandem Dan + Shay in which Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney recalled a time they nearly broke up the band in 2021.

"Those kind of meaningful conversations almost never happen," Hoda said.

Mooney spoke in a YouTube video about how the "little things" the two never talked about became a big problem in the band and his marriage to put him in a "dark place."

"When one said, 'There were a lot of things that we weren't talking about,'" Jenna said on TODAY on July 12. "It's like those silent killers. It's when you're not communicating."

"OK, think about how many times you and (husband) Henry (Hager) text or communicate during the course of a single day," Hoda said to Jenna. "All those little micro, little tiny communications add up at the end."

Hoda reflected on her own experiences with the slow erosion of regular communication with others.

"I've been in relationships (where) I figured, 'We'll see each other and then we'll catch up,'" Hoda said. "But there is something about the things you miss during the course of the day.

"I liked what he said about sometimes a little thing you don't talk about. Then it's another little thing and another, and pretty soon all those little things have become a big thing."

"You're buried," Jenna said.

Smyers said the duo "let things fly out the window" between them instead of facing them head on.

The country stars shared in the video that they didn’t speak for four months before reuniting in March 2022 to work out their issues.

“That moment when we sat down and just talked it out, I feel like was so healthy. That night changed it all,” Smyers recalled.

Hoda said the best way to deal with it is to face it head on.

"You’ll think ‘Should I have the conversation? No, it’s not the right time. Not tonight, maybe in the morning. He’s tired, she’s tired,'" Hoda said. "Have it. You’ll feel better. No matter what happens, you’ll feel better."

Sometimes it's ingrained in someone's personality to want to steer clear of thorny issues, according to Jenna.

"I was raised in a way that was non-confrontational," she said. "I didn't grow up in a yelling household. I wasn't going to disrespect my parents because there were repercussions. It's harder to tell the truth. It's harder to have those conversations. Haven't you had some where you feel shaky?"

"But once you do it, you're free," Hoda said.

"It's such a relief," Jenna added.

Jenna remarked how she and Hoda are in constant communication off camera, which helps prevent any issues from festering.

"If there is something that bothered one of us, there's such a safe space to discuss it," Jenna said.

"Without question," Hoda responded.