“We Hated Each Other For Years”: 3 Lessons From Pat & Gina Neely’s Divorce

neelys divorce - CopyGina and Pat Neely, the stars of Food Network’s popular cooking show “Down Home With The Neely’s” are getting divorced after two decades of marriage.

“This was a tough decision, but we believe it is the best decision for us…,” the Neely’s reinforced in a written statement.

**UPDATE**: While appearing as a guest on “The Wendy Williams Show” in late October 2014, a very slim  Gina Neely opened up about the end of her marriage.

“Life happens, honey. What are you going to do? Cry in a bowl of milk? At the end of the day, Pat and I are real people. Life happens. I had dinner with Pat on Friday. We’re still good friends, but it just happened. You don’t stop living because bad things happen. You keep going.”

She also spoke on the lengths that they went to try and work on their relationship. She moved out two years ago in the hopes that maybe things would be different. Distance usually makes the heart grow fonder.

“We were trying to work on it and do some things differently, but it ended up that way. I did family counseling, wanted everyone to be good. We’re all in a good place and at the end of the day, that’s what’s important to me.”

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According to TMZ, the couple has been separated for two years and had marital problems for many years before that, but continued to shoot their TV show for an astounding 11 seasons despite their marital issues.

READ: Babyface & Toni Braxton’s Secret For A Healthy Divorce

That raising a question: How does one have a healthy divorce? One with a good, clean break despite having children, kids or businesses together?  What’s the key to a good split?  One of our relationship experts weighed in on what it takes:

1. Start How You’d Like To Finish – those first conversations you have with your mate about divorce are critical for setting the tone about how further conversations and agreements will be made.  Think out your statements, come to the table with an open mind about state what you’d like to get accomplished from each conversation.

2. Remember, Remember, Remember – far too many times, in a divorce or split, people ask the question: “how in the world could I could have been with this person?” But you were. At some point, they were nice, charming, sweet, etc. So remember that somewhere in there that person is still there and can show up in conversation. It will help make the exchange go smoother.

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3. Know Your State – Each state has varying laws when it comes to divorce. Know your states divorce laws and talk about them with your soon-to-be ex so they won’t feel like they’ve been taken advantage of.  Studies have shown that when everything is discussed before court, it makes the legal process, quicker, shorter and less expensive

“Together we have built a strong brand as The Neely’s. Moving forward our focus will be on our individual brands and we are optimistic about our respective futures,” they said in their statement. “We ask for your prayers as we go through this transition and honor our request for privacy at this time.”