Kathie Lee Gifford Felt “Hopeless” After Her Husband Cheated. Here’s Why She Forgave Him.
Credit: Patrick McMullan - Getty Images
Kathie Lee Gifford, 67, shared their previous marriages after releasing her new memoir "It's Never Too Late".
The former Today presenter said she was "devastated" when she learned that her late husband, Frank Gifford, was having an affair.
Kathie Lee said she was considering a divorce but Frank ultimately forgave and stayed with him until his death in 2015.
Kathie Lee Gifford shares her greatest lessons in life in a new memoir: It's never too late. In an interview with People, the former Today presenter discussed personal and painful moments during their two marriages.
Kathie Lee married her first husband Paul, a composer, in 1976, but the marriage wasn't what she'd hoped for. "I was excited to start a life with someone, but they didn't feel like that," she said. "I felt humiliated to sleep in my guest room."
The sexless relationship was "harmful" on so many levels that she was actually "relieved" when Paul stepped out of their relationship. "I had great hope that one day I would find real love."
In the 1980s, Kathie Lee met her future husband, Frank, during a section on Good Morning America, and the two fell in love. They married in 1986. "Our nearly 30-year marriage was a real love affair and a real marriage in the truest sense of the word, so God saved them," she said.
But things took a turn when a tabloid caught Frank cheating in 1997. "It was absolutely devastating," said Kathie Lee. “Nobody knows what I've been through. You feel hopeless and you don't want to live anymore. "
The host of Live with Regis and Kathie Lee said she was considering a divorce. "If this had been Frank's chronic behavior, I would have divorced him like that," she said.
But the couple sought advice, and Kathie Lee decided to forgive her husband. “We could turn it around. It was the right thing in my life to forgive my husband. And then work on forgetting. "
Frank, a former professional soccer player, passed away in 2015 after battling chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease that can lead to athletes from repeated blows to the head. The couple had two children together, Cody, 30 and Cassidy, 27.
“He was a very good, dear, gentle, generous man,” said Kathie Lee of her late husband. “So many things about him that I cherished as my friend, I continued to cherish him as my husband and father to my children. But the person you loved the most in your life can hurt you the most. "
Despite the difficulties Kathie Lee has faced in her previous relationships, she views her life in a positive light. "I think my life seems easy to people, but nobody is," she said. “I choose to live abundantly in life, I choose to trust God. And to believe that all of the things that happened to me weren't accidental. "
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