Hoda Kotb and her ex-fiancé, Joel Schiffman, “came close to marrying several times,” before they realized that they “just weren’t meant to grow old together as a couple,” an insider tells Closer exclusively about their breakup.
The source adds that Hoda and Joel are “parting ways on good terms” as coparents. The couple, who are parents to daughters Haley Joy and Hope Catherine via adoption, announced their engagement in November 2019. After postponing their October 2020 wedding due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the pair were hoping their nuptials would take place in the summer of 2021. Hoda shared that they are “better as friends and parents” during the unexpected breakup announcement on Today on January 31.
“They’re both at an age where they don’t feel the pressure to stay together just because they have young children and got engaged. They didn’t overcomplicate things, they told the girls that daddy was going to live in his own house,” the insider says. “Feelings change, life takes different paths, and they’re both OK with that. What they had was special and they look forward to raising their girls. There’s not a lot of drama behind this breakup.”
Hoda previously revealed during a July 2021 episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen whether or not she and Joel planned on adopting a third child. The New York Times bestselling author told host Andy Cohen that the COVID-19 pandemic slowed the process of adopting. Hoda confessed that she “thought it would be a different game.” Both she and Joel are still focused on prioritizing their two children in lieu of their split.
“He’s a great dad, they even tried adopting a third, but some are saying that two, let alone three young children, is something Joel struggled with,” the source adds. “Hoda loves being a mom, it’s a calling she came to late in life, but she’s happier than ever. She would adopt more kids if she could, which they didn’t always agree on.”
The Today with Hoda & Jenna host finished off the emotional segment by saying, “sometimes relationships are meant to be there for a reason, or a season or for a lifetime.” She went on to say, “I feel like ours was meant to be there for a season.”
Representatives for Hoda and Joel did not immediately respond to Closer’s request for comment.