Here’s When Michael Ray Knew His Marriage to Carly Pearce Was Doomed
Michael Ray takes a deep dive into his post-divorce mental health journey and a week-long stay at an intensive therapy camp in Arizona in a new installment of the Bobby Cast, a podcast from radio DJ Bobby Bones.
During that conversation, Ray reflects on his mid-2020 divorce from fellow country star Carly Pearce, acknowledging that he wishes they'd taken time to seek premarital counseling or simply spent more time examining their relationship before they got married in late 2019.
"I can't speak for her, but for me, it was like, 'Man, look at all this going right.' Also, we weren't around each other a lot," the singer says, citing the fact that as two busy touring artists, they didn't spend much time together at home.
"I probably would have slowed things down. I wouldn't have been so influenced by people, you know, fans being involved in it."
"To be honest, I think I knew in the beginning, or around that time, that this was something we probably should have slowed down," he admits. "... We didn't do counseling, we didn't do any of that beforehand, and I think that — there was moments, that I look back now and I'm like, 'Why didn't I speak up on that?' That was one of the first times I realized that her and I are opposite."
Ray goes on to say that their status as one of country's favorite couples propelled them, even at home, through times when it might otherwise have been clear that they were incongruous as a couple. But over time, both of them "dropped the ball in a lot of ways," he goes on to say — and by their wedding day, the relationship was already pretty tenuous.
"I didn't show up after our wedding day, because by that point in time, there was a lot of stuff that she didn't show up for," Ray continues, "And it was just kind of like — there was stuff that happened that day where I was like, 'I'm done. I'm out.'"
Ray says he and Pearce haven't spoken in the three-plus years since their split, and the singer says he thinks fans might be surprised to know how clean-cut the divorce was.
"We didn't own anything together. We both signed pre-nups. I haven't seen or spoken to her in three-and-a-half years," he says. "I went my way, she went hers. Divorce papers [were] sent to my manager's office. I signed 'em. Got sent to her ... manager's office, she signed 'em. That's it."
Ray previously opened up about the toll that his divorce took on him, saying that the split — and the media attention that ensued — left him "angry" and in need of introspection, soul-searching and a chance to process his emotions. Around the same time, he was also navigating two family tragedies: His uncle died of a heart attack as he was going through divorce proceedings, and his aunt died by suicide eight months later.
Elsewhere in his Bobby Cast interview, the singer reflects on how therapy has taught him to avoid making the mistakes he grew up seeing as a child of divorced parents, and how he hopes his experience of gaining tools to handle difficult situations will allow him to help or offer advice to others down the line.