“It’s hard work to balance the time I need to run myself correctly. It’s work to be the best partner and husband I can be to my loving wife,” the professional wrestler, 44, explained during the Monday, January 17, episode of The Drew Barrymore Show after host Drew Barrymore brought up the possibility of starting a family. “It’s hard to keep connections with those in my life that I love. And it’s also hard to put in an honest day’s work.”
While Drew, 46, argued that John is “great” with children, the Blockers actor, who married Shay in October 2020, has his reservations. “I think just because you might be good at something, for me, it is not a strong enough reason to do that. You have to have passion for it. You have to have fuel for it. It’s like saying to someone, ‘Man, you know, you’re pretty good with your hands, you’d be a great carpenter,’ but if I want to be an actor, I’ll be an actor,” John reasoned.
In the past, the Massachusetts native made it clear he had no desire to become a father, including when he was dating his now ex-fiancée, Nikki Bella, from 2012 to 2018. “I know I cannot handle raising a child. And just because everyone else is happy with children doesn’t mean that’s how I have to live,” John told Rolling Stone in 2016.
“I’ve been upfront about this. I just have things I need to get done. It’s not negotiable. We’ve been to therapy over it,” he added. “I don’t think it will ever be over with. I’m stubborn as f–k and extremely selfish, as well. I don’t want kids; I don’t want marriage. That’s me just saying, ‘Hey, this is my life, and this is how I’m going to live.'”
Nikki, 38, who has since moved on with fiancé Artem Chigvintsev, admitted that John’s stance on starting a family ultimately led to their split. “I really wanted to be a mom and he didn’t want to be a father,” the Total Bellas star, who gave birth to son Mateo in July 2020, explained during a December 2020 interview on Lisa Vanderpump‘s podcast.
“In the end, he was like, ‘Look, I will give you a kid,’ but I knew deep down in his heart it’s not what he wanted,” Nikki recalled. “And I was so afraid that years down the road he would just have regrets and resent me for making him a father.”