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," Hoda 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."
Hoda and Joel 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 Joel proposed during a tropical vacation.
Hoda 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.
"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
"It's not like something happened," Hoda 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," Hoda told Jenna. "I really was struggling with this, I was like, 'What do I say, how do I say it?'"
Hoda 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," Hoda 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."
Hoda said sharing the news brought her a sense of relief.
"I feel better that I said it. I feel better," she said. "There's nothing that relieves your soul more I think than when you tell the truth."
Hoda also said she looked forward to the two continuing to be in each others' lives as parents to their daughters.
“He’s a great guy, and he’s a very kind and loving person, and I feel privileged to have spent eight years with him," she said. "We are both good, and we are both going on our way and our path, and we’ll be good parents to those two lovely kids.”