The Real Reason John Cena and Nikki Bella Broke Up (and Got Back Together)
John Cena and Nikki Bella announced in April 2018 that they had called off their wedding, which had been planned for May. On the one hand, this news — which came a year after Cena popped the question at WrestleMania — was shocking. But it also wasn’t that shocking, as there had been ample evidence of trouble in the relationship.
After their temporary separation, though, the two have apparently worked out some of their issues and gotten back together. Here’s what we know about why Cena and Bella called off their wedding and what they said that made us think the two would reconcile sooner rather than later
It was on April 15th, 2018 that Cena and Bella announced their decision to separate. The announcement came in the form of a post on Bella’s Instagram page.
“After much contemplation and six years of being together Nikki Bella and John Cena announced today their decision to separate as a couple,” the statement read. “While this decision was a difficult one, we continue to have a great deal of love and respect for one another.”
Cena seemed devastated on social media. After the announcement, he posted on Twitter, “Hardship, loss, and humility are extremely difficult waters to navigate, but perseverance thru them builds a strength to withstand anything life throws your way.”
Ever since his 2012 divorce, Cena had expressed the fact that he really does not want to get married again. “I don’t want marriage,” Cena told Rolling Stone in 2016. “That’s me just saying, ‘Hey, this is my life and this is how I’m going to live.’”
But Bella, who Cena began dating in 2012, was very much interested in marriage, as was clear to anyone who watched the reality show, Total Bellas. So there always seemed to be that tension in the relationship, with the two feeling very differently about their future as a couple.
Cena was saying in interviews conducted as recently as the year before his proposal that he didn’t want to get married. So what happened? Well, after he popped the question, Cena said that he loves Bella so much that he changed his mind.
“I found the absolute right person,” Cena said on Today at the time. “I found a strong person who I consider to be an equal…it took a person that strong to change my view on life.”
It wasn’t just that Cena did not want marriage; it’s also that he did not want to ever have children. Cena repeatedly said in interviews and on Total Bellas that he didn’t think he’d be able to devote enough time to raising a kid.
“Look, I know I cannot handle raising a child,” he told Rolling Stone in 2016. “It’s like with the dog. My biggest thing to Nicole about the dog was: Love dogs, but I can’t contribute to taking care of one. I don’t have the time. And just because everyone else is happy with children doesn’t mean that’s how I have to live.”
Naturally, after Cena proposed to Bella despite years of saying he wouldn’t do so, the question was, had Cena also changed his mind about having kids? Or had Bella come around to the idea of not having children?
It seemed like it was the latter; Bella told People at the time, “I have come to that decision of being okay with it that I won’t be a mom. Now I get to be a bride and a wife, and I’m good with that.”
We have since learned that it was Bella herself who ended the relationship. In an interview on Today, Cena said that he had his heart broken “out of nowhere, or for me it was out of nowhere.”
On the show Total Bellas, we actually see this break-up take place. Bella tells Cena that she has realized she wants to be a mom, and he says he understands.
Here’s a weird wrinkle in all of this: in April 2018, during a podcast interview, Cena actually said that he has changed his mind about wanting to have kids and that the wedding was still on. Total Bellas has suggested, though, that Cena and Bella broke up in January 2018 because Cena didn’t want to have kids while Bella did.
So there are a few possible explanations. One, Cena and Bella broke up in January 2018; then, sometime between then and April, they got back together, with Cena having changed his mind about kids, only to break up again in mid-April. This could be because, according to People, Bella felt that Cena was “gritting his teeth” on the way to the wedding.
Not long after the break-up was announced, Bella said on Live with Kelly and Ryan, “I realized that I really needed to work on me, because a better me is a better us.”
Bella also said that wedding planning brought a lot of issues to the surface. “The day I say those vows, I don’t want to have hesitation, I don’t want to have regret,” she added. “I truly want to be with that person ’till death do us part.”
Just a few weeks after the split, we started getting some evidence that the break-up might not be permanent. In a Today interview, Cena said that he isn’t moving on from Bella and really hopes they can do so. “I don’t want anybody else,” he said. “…I don’t have any other hopes other than maybe one day that we can work it out.”
Shortly after, Bella herself said that this is possible. She told Entertainment Tonight, “John is such an amazing man. He really is the love of my life. I truly hope one day that we can work it out and get back together. I think there is hope.”
She also told People that they are taking steps towards getting back together. “I told him to make a list and I have to make a list about what makes us so happy for the rest of our lives and what are the things we want,” she said. “I don’t want him to ever live in regret. It’s not a decision you can make super quick. You really got to take time by yourself.”