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Nikki Bella Says John Cena 'Changed Me Forever' on What Would've Been Their 6-Year Anniversary

People logo People 10/8/2018 Karen Mizoguchi
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For Nikki Bella, ex-fiancé John Cena will always have a special place in her heart.

Though she exclusively confirmed their breakup to PEOPLE in July, the Total Bellas star, 34, thanked Cena, 41, for their years together on Thursday, what would’ve been the pair’s sixth anniversary as a couple.

“You’ve changed me forever. I’ll never forget you,” Bella’s post on Instagram read, along with the caption, “8/9 | 6.”

A day before their anniversary, Cena shared a cryptic message on Twitter, writing, “The promises you make mean nothing compared to those you keep.”

John Cena, The Bella Twins posing for the camera: John Cena and Nikki Bella © Provided by TIME Inc. John Cena and Nikki Bella

On July 30, Bella announced that she and Cena had parted ways for the second time after a few whirlwind months that led them to cancel their May 5 wedding.

“After I called off the engagement, we tried to work on our relationship to get back to where it was, and in order to move forward with our wedding. After much time and soul-searching alone and together, we have decided to officially part ways,” she said.

“I had a beautiful and loving 6-year relationship with a wonderful man. I have the utmost respect for John, but I know this is what’s best for me,” the Total Divas star added.

8/9 | 6

A post shared by Nikki Bella (@thenikkibella) on

The pair originally ended their engagement in mid-April, just weeks before they would walk down the aisle in Napa, California, on May 5.

However, four weeks after announcing their first breakup, a source told PEOPLE in early June that Bella and Cena had officially gotten back together after she shared with PEOPLE that she was in “communication” with Cena to try and reconcile.

Then, Total Bellas viewers saw Bella break off her engagement to Cena for the second time.

“It just sucks. I wish it could be different and I think that’s why I’ve had almost six years of working on us and fighting and just taking in a lot. I just feel like I’ve hit the point that I’m just so exhausted and done,” she told twin Brie Bella during the season 3 finale, which aired on July 29.

John Cena et al. looking at the camera: Nikki Bella; John Cena © Provided by TIME Inc. Nikki Bella; John Cena

As Wrestlemania 34 in New Orleans was replayed during the season 3 Total Bellas finale, fans were reminded of Cena’s proposal last year at the 33rd installment in Orlando. The WWE star had got down on one knee in the middle of the ring, four months before he and Bella would celebrate their fifth anniversary.

Last year, Cena dedicated a special shout-out to Bella, tweeting: “Five years ago I asked an amazing woman to dinner. Since then she is the best thing to ever happen to me. I love you Nicole. Happy Anniversary.”

In addition to the anniversary tweet, he also surprised her with a new home in San Diego.

In years past, Bella has expressed her deep adoration for Cena. “No one makes me feel happier, smarter & sexier than you @JohnCena I❤️U Forever,” she tweeted on their four-year anniversary, 12 months after writing, “I thank God every day 4 bringing a wonderful man like you into my life.”

Back in 2016, Bella had wished Cena would propose to her. “You guys, John finally told me on our three-year anniversary that marriage doesn’t bother him anymore, he wants to marry me, he wants to be married to me,” she told her friends during an episode of Total Divas.

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