Kelsea Ballerini Admits She Never Wanted to Get Married in Tell-All Podcast Interview
In a new appearance on the Call Her Daddy podcast, the country star offers a candid look inside her marriage of nearly five years, and traces the origins of her marital strife back to her own trauma surrounding her parents' divorce as well as the fact that, on some level, she never wanted to get married at all.
"I just wanted everyone to have a nice time. I didn't wanna have a wedding," Ballerini says, thinking back to her late 2017 wedding ceremony "'Cause I didn't, I think, at the end of the day, really wanna get married. I did, in that moment. But I think fundamentally, from the trauma I had as a kid, I didn't. And then I think I told myself that I did."
Ballerini does accept some responsibility for this fundamental disconnect at the beginning of the marriage: She explains that the thought of not wanting to get married was still nascent during her wedding, and that she didn't begin to articulate those thoughts specifically until later on, after she was already married.
"'Cause I was like, 'Of course I wanna marry you. I love you. Of course I wanna have kids with you.' And then we were married, and then it was time for kids, and I was like, 'Oh, no. No, no, no, no,'" she continues.
"... And so I started overcompensating really early on. And that happened 'til the very end."
Though Ballerini's perspective on her marriage is nuanced and self-aware of the hangups she brought to the relationship, the interview is also relatively damning to Evans. Ballerini describes picking up the bulk of a lopsided effort to be together, saying that she also assumed the majority of the financial responsibility for those efforts.
"Here's the flight. Let me buy that for you. Here's the hotel. Sure, I'll leave my mom for Christmas and buy our flights to go see your family in Australia. We have an anniversary coming up. Should we book a trip? Okay, I'll do that too. We're home for a week. I'll book the cleaners, I got that too. I just did it all," the singer rattles off. "And it's because I started it that way. I didn't ask him to meet me anywhere. I just did it."
Ballerini goes on to detail the couple's tumultuous path to divorce, complete with "years of couples therapy" and "many nights of sleeping on the couch." She also touches on how the couple navigated their personal struggles and their outward-facing image, pointing in particular to one night when she hosted the 2021 CMT Awards and she told Evans that he simply couldn't attend the awards show with her.
"I was like, 'You cannot come. You cannot come,'" she remembers. "Because I had to work and I had to show up, and even if he was there — we were, like, in and out of separation, and just, not good. It was just, like, 'I don't wanna fake it.'
Despite the many faults Ballerini finds with Evans about their marital split, she also makes sure to mention in this interview that he wasn't the only one at fault, admitting that she thinks she "checked out a long time ago," and stating that she shared those revelations with Evans during their divorce process.
"I do not pin the whole downfall on him at all. I was not perfect. He was not perfect. It was not perfect," she says. "And so there were definitely moments I look back on where I'm like, 'Oh, I should've done that different,' or, 'I could've showed up here.'"
Before Ballerini's full Call Her Daddy podcast interview aired, a snippet of the conversation previewed on Tuesday (Feb. 21). Evans turned to social media to express his upset at Ballerini's public handling of the divorce with a lengthy post.
"It's really sad for me to see this person, who I spent so much of my life with and loved with all my heart, saying things that aren't reality and that leave out what really happened. She knows I'm not the type of guy to speak on those things publicly," Evans wrote, concluding with a request to his followers to not "be mean," either to Ballerini or to each other.