The 36-year-old former wrestler - who is now expecting her first child with fiancé Artem Chigvintsev - called off her romance with fellow WWE star John in 2018, just weeks before they were due to tie the knot, and has now said her decision was influenced by the pair's differing views on having children.
She said during an appearance on the 'Better Together' podcast: ''Overall, we did have such an incredible relationship, it was just two people that wanted two different lives. We were trying so hard to make it one.
''Even in the end when he was willing to give me kids, I could just tell, it's not what we wanted. And that's really, like, you know, what pushed me in the end, was like, if I'm going to force someone to be a father ... what if he looks at you down the road and just regrets everything, and then you have this child and you've built this life. Is that what you want? And I remember thinking, 'It's not what I want.' ''
The 'Total Bellas' star recently talked about her relationship with John in her new memoir, 'Incomparable', when she said she ''stuffed her desire'' for marriage and kids ''as deep as she could'' during their six-year romance.
She explained: ''Rather than turn and face that, I pushed it under the carpet and figured I could pretend like it wasn't there. Because I was terrified of losing my love, I stuffed my desire for marriage and kids as deep as I could. He had made it clear that they weren't on the menu for him. That's tough, though, because if you're inclined that way, then the more you grow to love someone, the more you want it all. I stopped giving voice to those needs, though. I was worried my ex would call it off and let me go. And while I wanted those things very badly - I just wanted him more.''
And Nikki admitted she has ''many regrets'' about her relationship with John as she struggled with ''feelings of loneliness and abandonment'' because of her relationship with her father.
She added: ''I have many regrets about that relationship. The primary one is that I wish I'd known myself better before I got into it. I wish I'd understood how the patterns in my life, and my relationship with my own father, informed how I react to love, boundaries, and feelings of abandonment. I think I could have averted some of what happened. Because my dad left when I was 15, I learned how to fill in the holes. I expect to be left behind and to find a way to not confront or acknowledge those feelings of loneliness and abandonment.''
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