Kotb shared the news with viewers on Monday on “Today with Hoda & Jenna,” saying the two came to the conclusion together after many talks.
“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,” Kotb said.
She added that the two, who were supposed to marry in 2020 but postponed it due to the pandemic, were ending on amicable terms.
“It’s not like something happened,” she explained. “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.”
Kotb added that she didn’t want to pretend and she just wanted to tell the truth.
“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.”
She continued: “You can carry it and you can pretend. You ask yourself, ‘Am I just being optimistic?’ 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.”
Her cohost Bush Hager called her “courageous” for sharing the news.
“There’s nothing that relieves your soul more, I think, than when you tell the truth,” Kotb said.
Kotb said she and Schiffman will continue to coparent their kids together, calling him a “great guy” who she shares wonderful memories with.
“He’s a great guy. He’s a very kind and loving person, and I feel privileged to have spent eight years with him,” she said. “We are both good and we are both kind of going on our way and our path. We’ll be good parents to those two lovely kids.”