The 51-year-old admits that the ending her marriage to her high school sweetheart was necessary for her to finally be happy.
The world instantly fell in love with husband and wife cooking duo Pat and Gina Neely when their Food Network series Down Home with the Neely’s premiered in 2008.
For 11 seasons, the high school sweethearts brought their love for each other and food to the forefront but when the camera’s stopped rolling, life in their Memphis home was vastly different from what audiences saw.
In 2014, the couple filed for divorce and now Gina is opening up about the demise of their seemingly unbreakable bond.
“I was thinking about divorce right before we got the TV show,” she admits on an upcoming episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now?. “We went to therapy 12 times. I tried to leave five times, and I just didn’t have the strength. But the fifth time, I held onto that.”
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Gina shares that in the midst of their marriage she felt the pressure from her husband to spend more and more time together which drove her to feeling lost within herself.
Their divorce–which came as a shock to most–was necessary for the mother of two. She set her sights on a specific timetable of happiness and did her best to achieve it.
“It became necessary for me to find my path. And I knew I wasn’t happy. I said, ‘I’m definitely not going to [turn] 50 and not be happy.’ So, at 46, I started changing my life…. I realized I liked that better.”
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