When it was announced that John Cena and Nikki Bella had broken up, many assumed the split was due to the couple's differing stances on children and marriage — Bella wanted both things, and Cena didn't.
While the Blockers star changed his stance on marriage when he proposed to Bella at WrestleMania in 2017, his status on children never seemed to waver, though according to Cena himself, that's not exactly the case.
During an appearance on the NBC News' Today with Kathie Lee and Hoda on Monday, the wrestler admitted that while he had been "selfish" in the past, Bella's entry into his life changed all of that.
"If you look at me five years ago — stubborn, selfish, self-focused — life had always been about me," he said. "And then slowly over time, this woman waltzes in and just steals my heart. And whether I want to realize it or now, she becomes my number one."
"I'm willing to go back on all these things that I say, and a lot of them I would hang on to just of stubbornness," Cena continued. "It took a very strong look in the mirror for me to be like, 'Why?' This person is my number one and it's something that's very valuable to her, and of course, we can do this and I think it would be wonderful."
"All of that switched because I love her."
Cena concluded, "For anyone out there speculating on what's going, on, I love her, I wanna be with her, I wanna make her my wife, I wanna be the father of her children."
Throughout the interview, it was clear that Cena hopes to rekindle his relationship with Bella, and if that means letting her spend time apart from him, he's willing to let that happen if it means the two could eventually reunite.
"I just want to make her happy," he said. "Right now, she's happy. We want to talk about taking one for the team and really sucking it up, she needed a little time to find whatever it is she's looking for, and the risk of my own emotional well-being, especially so close to that moment of 'I do,' she needs to be happy."
He added that the pair still talks, but he wants Bella to be able to "chase what she's looking for."
"It's all messed up," he said. "It's a relationship. It's all messed up."
Photo Credit: Getty / Jeff Kravitz / Contributor