Hold on to your hearts, this month's round of devastating celebrity breakups isn't over just yet. On Sunday, John Cena and Nikki Bella announced their breakup on social media, and it's one that might be shocking for fans. The couple was engaged and the wedding date was set for May 5 — just under three weeks away — but the two have called it quits. In a post on Instagram, they issued a statement about their separation. "After much contemplation and 6 years of being together Nikki Bella and John Cena announced today their decision to separate as a couple," the post reads. "While this decision was a difficult one, we continue to have a great deal of respect and love for each other." The post says the split was amicable, but the two stars had well-reported relationship differences that may have been too difficult to overcome.
It's not completely clear why the wrestling couple broke up, but according to People magazine Cena reportedly got cold feet. "He talked a really good game about having changed, about having his priorities straight, about knowing what’s important, and that it was her. But as the day got closer, it was like he just went back to who he’s always been — which is someone who puts himself first, always," an unnamed source told the magazine. "He’s an incredibly dedicated, driven, ambitious guy. And for the longest time he said he didn’t think he had room in his life for a spouse or kids. It seems like in the end that was still the truth."
Cena and Bella started dating in 2012, when both stars were working with WWE. The couple seemed like the perfect match, but they have open about their differences in the past. Cena was married early in his career and it didn't end well, according to a 2016 profile he did with Rolling Stone, and he's been vocal about not wanting another wedding or the responsibility of children and dogs.
In his Rolling Stone interview, Cena admitted this caused friction in his relationship with Bella. "I know I cannot handle raising a child. 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. I've been upfront about this. I just have things I need to get done. It's not negotiable," he told the magazine. "We've been to therapy over it. I don't think it will ever be over with. I'm stubborn as f*ck and extremely selfish as well. I don't want kids, I don't want marriage. That's me just saying, 'Hey, this is my life and this is how I'm going to live'."
Even though Cena was outspoken about his skepticism toward marriage, he did propose to Bella in 2017. The couple got engaged after their victory at WrestleMania, and he popped the question in front of the audience and cameras. When asked about the change of mind about being wed, Cena told TODAY in an interview after the proposal that his relationship with Bella was different. "I found the absolute right person. I found a strong person that I consider an inspiration," Cena said. "An equal. Someone who when I'm down, can pick me up ... It took a person that strong to change my view on life."
Reports about their breakup suggest that the pro wrestler was unable to overcome his reluctance about being married. The couple was also reported to be having difficulties before the wedding, and it seems they were unable to work through these struggles. In February, Today reported the marriage might be up in the air, but Cena said the couple was working through the rough patch. "I think in relationships, you have highs and lows, and that was an extreme low,'' Cena told the Today hosts. "You have two choices. You either jump ship and start a new relationship, or move forward and try to work through it. We're gonna move forward and try to work through it."
Unfortunately, it seems that the couple was unable to overcome the differences in their longtime goals. It's sad to see the pro wrestlers split after so many years together and so close to their wedding date, but given their well-documented struggles, it may be best for both of them.