Us Weekly broke the news in April 2018 that the couple, who started dating in 2012 and got engaged on national TV in 2017, called off their engagement. However, the reality star, 36, didn’t want to recall what happened in the book.
“For the purpose of his privacy, I don’t want to retread old events here— particularly the ones that got plenty of screen time and rehashing in the media. There is not much more to milk from that well-documented chain of events,” the former WWE superstar writes in the memoir. “But I do think there is value in explaining what I learned about myself during a time of extreme highs and lows, in the hopes that it helps some of you.”
A large reason that the pair split was that they “struggled to align” on what they wanted, she explains in Incomparable.
“Rather than turn and face that, I pushed it under the carpet and figured I could pretend like it wasn’t there. Because I was terrified of losing my love, I stuffed my desire for marriage and kids as deep as I could,” she writes. “He had made it clear that they weren’t on the menu for him. That’s tough, though, because if you’re inclined that way, then the more you grow to love someone, the more you want it all. I stopped giving voice to those needs, though. I was worried my ex would call it off and let me go. And while I wanted those things very badly—I just wanted him more.”
The Total Divas star also details how Cena, 43, stood by her side through everything, even sleeping on the hospital couch when she got surgery on her neck. “He looked like the Incredible Hulk, curled up into the fetal position. He wouldn’t let anyone send him home. He helped me go to the bathroom, even though it made me want to die with embarrassment,” Nikki writes. “I couldn’t stand to feel so needy, even though it seemed to make him so happy to take care of me. I wish I had seen that experience for what it was: an opportunity for me to identify, and then talk about, how undeserving and unworthy I felt, how terrified it made me feel to be dependent. How uncomfortable it makes me feel when I’m not working for affection but instead just basking in love.”
Months after their split, the Total Bellas star began dating pro dancer Artem Chigvintsev, whom she met during season 25 of Dancing With the Stars. In January 2020, the pair announced their engagement — and a few weeks later, revealed that the pair were pregnant with their first child.
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