Why Food Network's Gina Neely Felt It 'Necessary' To Divorce Her Co-Star Husband

"I tried to leave five times," she admits.

During the 11 seasons that Gina and Pat Neely hosted their popular Food Network show, “Down Home With the Neelys,” the two appeared to have a strong, affectionate marriage that most would envy. So, when Gina announced her divorce from Pat, her high school sweetheart, in 2014, fans were shocked. But Gina is now revealing that her 19-year marriage had actually been rocky for quite a while.

Opening up to “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”, Gina says the demise of the relationship began when the two started working together. Apparently, each had different expectations for what that would mean for them as a couple.

“He felt like we didn’t spend enough time together,” Gina says. “I felt like we did and we needed a little space.”

By the time Gina and Pat landed “Down Home with the Neelys,” Gina felt the relationship was beyond repair.

“I was thinking about divorce right before we got the TV show,” she admits. “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.” 

The 51-year-old continues, “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.”

She continues, “Pat’s not a bad guy, he’s just not for me.”

Gina talks about her relationship with Pat today on this weekend’s “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”, Saturday, Oct. 8, at 10 p.m. ET on OWN. You can also catch up on full episodes on demand via the Watch OWN app.

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