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Whether discussing topics on their iHeartRadio podcast Whine Down or sharing personal stories in their New York Times best-selling book The Good Fight, the couple is not afraid to go there when it comes to sharing the ups and downs of their love story.
And while the former NFL player and One Brick Wines founder have made headlines for their disagreements, there is one element of Jana and Mike's relationship that isn't always showcased. Over time, these two have both developed a strong faith that has left lasting benefits for their family.
"When we were going through the worst of times, we honestly didn't know where to turn at first. The pain was so great, the sadness so vast and the agony so incredibly immense, we felt as if no one could understand or relate to us," Mike previously wrote in The Good Fight. "No literature, no therapist, no person could give us answers, let alone be the support we needed...The only person who could ultimately be what we needed was God."
Before celebrating Easter weekend with their kids Jolie, 5, and Jace, 2, both Jana and Mike opened up to E! News exclusively about how their faith in a higher power grew exponentially in recent years.
In fact, the couple's spiritual journey has strengthened their love story in more ways than one. Let the pair explain in their own words below.
While competing on Dancing With the Stars in 2016, Jana got a call from her publicist warning her about a story coming out about Mike's infidelity. The headline would read "Married to a Sex Addict." In that same year, Mike decided to seek treatment in an inpatient treatment facility. He has since identified himself as a "sex addict."
Jana: When I found out about Mike's affairs, there was no other option but to just pray. I literally didn't know who else I could turn to. Through that process and through the last few years of recovery with Mike and getting our marriage back on track, it's been an up and down process. I once reached out to my pastor and said, 'It seems like the broken and people who did wrong are healed but what about the people who are broken and unhappy and need help?' He said, ‘God is there and God is always going to help.'
Mike: When everything kind of first happened, going to confession and confessing these sins to a priest in a church, there is something so freeing about it because I had so much shame about my behavior for years and I was like, there's no way God is going to accept me with the things that I've done. The fact that I walked out of there with blessings and the love of God and support, it was just the start of getting back into religion and into following a higher power.
Jana: Mike and I can only do so much in our relationship and after that, we just need to pray that there's a higher power who is putting his hands on us and going to help us walk through the difficult times. Marriage is hard no matter what.
Jana: Mike and I got into a huge fight. He left and he ended up almost relapsing. I remember going to my place and saying this should be my sign to leave but if there's a sign to stay, please send me a sign. The next day or two, I took a pregnancy test and I was pregnant. I no doubt prayed and asked and that was a bigger sign for me. I can either have this baby and be a single mom of two kids and go through this pregnancy alone or I can baby step this and see if he's really, truly willing to make the adjustment knowing he has everything to lose including a baby. It was a pretty big moment for me. For me, it symbolized the power of someone else giving me that sign. It made me stay and watch and observe how he was taking the next steps. It's been two and half years and we're in a way better place.
In February 2020, Mike decided to get baptized on his own. "After four years of fighting my shame, my demons, my secrets, and my lies, I was fully ready to recommit my life to Chris," Mike wrote in The Good Fight. "To admit that I need him in my life, that I love him, and that finally for the first time in over ten years, I KNOW that he loves me without any exception, and that I deserve his love." Today, the couple also continues to use faith as a tool to stay connected and keep their marriage strong.
Mike: After going through everything Jana and I have gone through and really recommitting myself to God and a higher power, the baptism was purely for me. I didn't want any news around it. I didn't want any attention around it. I need this for me. I need to take this action to be held responsible and accountable to my church and to my community and to myself and to my family. Hey, this is me just stepping up and stepping into God in a way that I haven't for over a decade.
Jana: We like going to our church together. Going to church grounds us and centers us. One of the days, we were kind of annoyed at each other and the second we sat in church and held hands, we realized it's so much bigger than us and we were able to reconnect. We're still getting comfortable with praying out loud. When you bring it into the bedroom and pray for someone to hold us up and walk those steps is a powerful connection between the two of us.
Mike: The last couple of years, I really found faith again and now I have it as an important part of my life. Me being baptized a year ago was really my symbol for accepting a higher power again and that I'm not alone.
This weekend, both Jana and Mike will be celebrating Easter at their nondenominational church. And while they don't want to push their faith onto others, they hope their story can help at least one person.
Mike: My message to people is faith is the ultimate unifier. You go into church and you don't have to fear being judged for what you're wearing, what color you are, what sex you are, what race you are. You're all there celebrating the same cause. For those people who are tired of society and the way things are right now, go to church and lean into God because everyone there is there for the same reason.
Jana: Our church always says everyone is welcome no matter what stage you're in, no matter where you're at in life, no matter what you believe and I think we can all be in different places and come together and not feel alone. We're all in different stages of believing. We're all in different stages of grief and joy but we can all come together and be a community and believe in something. Life is hard so to believe in something that is going to help us put one foot in front of the other and we're all together, I think there's a message of hope in that.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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