Michael Phelps' fiancee says breaking up made their relationship stronger

Michael Phelps Nicole Johnson

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Michael Phelps, Nicole Johnson, and their son Boomer at the Rio Olympics

When Michael Phelps was winning medals during the Rio Olympics, his fiancée Nicole Johnson and their baby boy, Boomer, were cheering him on.

It was clear from her excitement in the stands, as well as the sweet post-medal kisses they'd give each other, that the two are very in love.

Yet, their relationship hasn't always been smooth sailing. In fact, Johnson and Phelps were dating on-and-off for eight years before getting engaged in 2015 - and even broke up for three years.

In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Johnson admitted that the split was tough, but said it ended up being one of the best things to happen to their relationship.

"It was definitely bad timing. Michael and I both know that had we tried to have a child and get married in the previous time we were together, it probably would not have ended pretty," Johnson told Cosmo. "We both had a lot of growing up to do."

Johnson revealed that there were times during their split that she "hated" him - even though she still wanted to be with the swimmer.

"We were at odds at times. Even when I loathed him, there were still times when I was like, 'God, I wish I was with him,'" she said.

But at the end of the day, Johnson knew that both she and Phelps needed to work on themselves before they could truly commit to each other.

"I don't think you can be in a good relationship unless you love yourself to the fullest and you want to help the other person become a better person," Johnson said. "We definitely needed that time apart to recognize that about ourselves and to appreciate one another."

The pair are currently smack dab in the middle of planning a "small and intimate" wedding.

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