Robin Roberts reveals how her wife helped her break ‘dysfunctional’ relationship habits

In a recent interview, Roberts shared how her wife, Amber Laign, helped her "unlearn" a previous attraction to toxicity.

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Robin Roberts attends the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

In a recent interview, Robin Roberts revealed how her wife, Amber Laign, helped her unlearn toxic, “dysfunctional” relationship patterns.

In 2005, Roberts and Laign met on a blind date and have been together ever since. Though the couple married in September 2023, the “Good Morning America” anchor opened up about some of the struggles they had to overcome on an episode of “The Jamie Kern Lima Show.”

“I have never talked about this before, but I’m going to talk about this with you,” Roberts told Lima, sharing why she almost ended her relationship with Laign after only a year together. “[Amber] had already told me, ‘I’m not going to do one of those make-up, break-up things,’ so it’s about a year in … and [at that point] in my mind, I was like, ‘I’m out of here,’ because there’s no drama. I’m used to conflict.”

Now, over a decade later, Roberts acknowledges that her prior quest for drama and resulting self-sabotage stemmed from the toxicity of her past relationships.  

“I’d had dysfunctional relationships that I didn’t know were dysfunctional at the time. I was equating conflict with love,” she added. “If [the relationship] was easygoing, then it must not be sexy; it must not be fun. The relationship [with Amber] was really good, but this was my thinking.”

As the two dined in a Chinese restaurant, Roberts recalls preparing to give Laign a breakup speech she expected would “devastate her.” However, before she could even say the words, Laign reportedly looked at her and said, “Robin, I know the relationship you had before. If that is what you want, knock yourself out.”

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“Stunned” by Laign’s confidence and response, Roberts remembers immediately doubling back on her initial plans to end the relationship. 

“It was her response that made me think, ‘Why did I think that was love before?’ Why did I think if it’s no drama and it’s easy … why do we look at that as not being sexy and not being a true relationship?” she continued. 

Grateful for the way things ultimately turned out, Roberts emphasized that she had to shift her mindset and unlearn some things in the process. 

“We never talk about unlearning; we always talk about learning,” she said. “Sometimes you have to unlearn, and I had to. You have to really dig deep and go, ‘Is that what we think is love?’ No, but at the time we do.” 

As previously reported by theGrio, after years together during which both Roberts and Laign battled life-threatening illnesses, Roberts announced plans to marry her longtime partner in January 2023. 

“I’m saying yes to marriage,” she said on-air as she announced her New Year’s resolutions for 2023. “We’re getting married this year. It’s something we have talked about, but we had put it off. [Laign] became ill [with breast cancer], but … it is saying yes to that and that next chapter.”