Jana Kramer managed to save a few revelations for her second book, The Next Chapter.
After initially releasing The Good Fight: Wanting to Leave, Choosing to Stay, and the Powerful Practice for Loving Faithfully with then-husband Mike Caussin, the spouses were given a book deal to write a second installment on trust in 2021. Two weeks later, she found out he allegedly cheated — again — and ended their rocky marriage for good.
In The Next Chapter, Kramer — now expecting a baby boy with fiancé Allan Russell — wrote about the year after calling it quits. Kramer and Caussin, who share daughter Jolie, 7, and son Jace, 4, finalized their divorce in July 2021.
The Next Chapter: Making Peace with Hard Memories, Finding Hope All Around Me, and Clearing Space for Good Things to Come is available now. Keep reading for the biggest takeaways:
Mike’s Final Cheating Scandal
Kramer recalled a tense fight in which Caussin allegedly threw wet laundry at her when she was recovering from a breast augmentation surgery in spring 2021. The argument led her to question if he had been unfaithful again. After allegedly admitting to creating a fake email to potentially contact other women (which he told Kramer he never used), Kramer said Caussin confessed he “physically cheated” when he was at a therapy retreat center a year prior.
“Everything clicked for me in that laundry room — I needed to wake up,” she wrote.
Kramer announced the breakup on April 21, 2021.
“It’s time.’ As I try to make sense of a reality I never wanted to believe could be possible again, those words have now become a reality,” she said via Instagram. ”I’ve fought y’all. I’ve loved hard. I’ve forgiven. I’ve put the work in. I’ve given everything I have, and now I have nothing else to give.”
Mike Claimed He ‘Never Really Loved’ Jana
Kramer and Caussin sat down to hash out their divorce options, with her agreeing to give him more money in exchange for more time with the kids. (Us confirmed at the time that Kramer pays Caussin $3,200 in monthly child support in addition to giving him a $592,400 settlement.)
“As he was leaving, My Ex said, ‘You know, I never really loved you.’ He wanted to hurt me, and news flash, it did,” she wrote. “I had taken massive steps away from him and toward a new future in the last few weeks, but hearing those words confirmed the little voice in my head that had been telling me that everything he did and said in our marriage was because he didn’t love me.”
Taking Blame for Brantley Split
While referring to Caussin as “My Ex” throughout the book, Kramer referenced ex-fiancé Brantley Gilbert by name when discussing a fight with her best friend Kathryn Woodard — shedding rare insight into the end of their abrupt 2013 split.
“I can only recall one fight we have ever had. It was right after my breakup with Brantley. I let a good guy go and I knew it. Brantley wanted to give me the world and he went down trying, but nothing he could have given me would have fixed the huge hole in my self-worth,” she wrote. “I messed up our relationship. I caused chaos to see just how far I could push someone. I don’t blame him for walking away, but I hated myself knowing I was the cause of it.”
Gilbert, for his part, spoke about the breakup during a radio interview in 2014.
“I’ll be completely honest with you. That little girl’s wonderful. love her to death. I care about her. She’s going to make somebody a wonderful, wonderful wife, and a wonderful, wonderful mother,” he said. “But between she and I, the situation does exist where it just didn’t work. And that’s the case. Some things happened and it didn’t work out. But we still talk. I think the world of her. She’s one of the most genuine people I know. And that’s the honest to God truth. I think the world of that little girl.”
Abusive 1st Marriage
Kramer has been open over the years about how her first husband, Michael Gambino, was physically abusive. “I had my head bashed into bathroom mirrors countless times and was choked and shoved on a weekly basis. Almost every morning around three o’clock, he would throw me out of bed after coming home from a rager at a club,” she wrote. “Toward the end of our, let’s just call it, courtship, I was his rag doll. I was so depressed and scared, and all I wanted was an out, but I was trapped.”
After Gambino choked Kramer one night, he thought he killed her and left their house. He was later arrested and sentenced to six years in prison for attempted murder. He died in 2012.
Breakup With ‘Seth’
Kramer met Ian Schinelli — her first boyfriend after her divorce from Caussin — at a kid’s birthday party thrown by their mutual friend in fall 2021. In the book, she seemingly refers to Schinelli as “Seth.”
“After eleven days, he told me he loved me. On Day Twelve, he texted, ‘Are we soul mates?'” she wrote.
Things took a turn after several months of dating when Kramer claimed that “Seth” lied about the reason behind his divorce from his ex-wife. When she asked if he had cheated on his former spouse, “Seth” told her no. “My suspicion that his relationship with his ex-wife hadn’t ended on good terms was correct. The truth found me, and then a month later I looked through his phone for more confirmation and I found more than I was looking for,” she wrote.
Schinelli previously denied cheating on Kramer in a May 2022 statement to Us Weekly. “I went all in with Jana. Opened up. [I was] vulnerable. Gave her everything in my life and my past. I apologized to my ex-wife and owned my mistakes. Now all of a sudden, now that I walked away from her — for her extremely toxic behavior — she is using all of the secrets and information I expressed with her, against me,” he said at the time.
Kramer concluded of “Seth” in the book: “I don’t like to live with regrets, but I wish I could go back to November and stop myself from rushing into that first relationship post-divorce.”