“Today’s” Hoda Kotb Split Up With Her Fiancé Joel Schiffman

January 31, 2022 / Posted by:

Hoda Kotb has split up with fiancé Joel Schiffman after eight years together. She shared the big news on this morning’s TODAY with Hoda and Jenna, noting that some viewers had been asking why she wasn’t wearing her engagement ring. 57-year-old Hoda explained that she and 63-year-old Joel, who share daughters Hope, 2, and Haley, 4, discussed their relationship over the holidays and came to the conclusion that they were “better as friends and parents” than they were “as an engaged couple.”

via People:

“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.”

Hoda admitted that announcing it on air felt “weird and awkward” and she had been struggling with how to break the news. She added:

“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.”

Co-host Jenna Bush Hager told Hoda that she “can’t think of anybody stronger… every day” and complimented her on being able to tell the truth. Hoda replied, “There’s nothing that relieves your soul more, I think, than when you tell the truth.” She added that Joel was a “great guy” and they’ll both be “good parents to those two lovely kids.”  Here’s the clip:

Hoda was married to former University of New Orleans tennis coach, Burzis Kanga, from 2005 to 2007. She started dating  Joel, a financier, in 2013, and they went public a couple of years later. In February 2017 they adopted baby Haley, and in April 2019 they adopted Hope. Later that year they got engaged, and Hoda excitedly announced the news on TODAY:

They planned to get married in November 2020, but last summer Hoda explained to viewers that the wedding got delayed because of the pandemic. TODAY with Hoda & Jenna posted about the break up on their Instagram account, and Hoda’s former co-host, Kathie Lee Gifford, commented:

My darling Hoda, I am truly so proud of the way you have handled a very difficult and painful decision. As usual you did it with grace and kindness. May God bless you and your precious girls and Joel as well as you continue down this thing called life. I love you

Blessings are all fine and good, but Kathie should know that what Hoda really needs is a bathtub filled with Chardonnay, a straw, and a drinking buddy. Toot sweet, Mrs. Gifford!

Pic: Instagram

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