Signs Donald Trump Still Thinks of Ivana as the Love of His Life

Long before he became the president and before he married Melania, Donald Trump spent an impressive 15 years married to his first wife, Ivana Trump. And while he’s now been married to Melania for almost as long, there are some signs that Ivana still holds a special place in his heart. In fact, she may be the love of his life.

The story of Donald and Ivana

They were married for 15 years. | Swerzey/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump was married to Ivana from 1977 to 1992. During their marriage, Ivana was involved in the Trump Organization, working as the vice president of interior design and later as the president of Trump’s casino in Atlantic City and the Plaza hotel. The two divorced only after it was revealed that Donald had been having an affair with Marla Maples.

Next: Ivana gave Donald his first three children.

Their children give them a special bond

Trump Jr, Ivanka, and Eric Trump

Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump share Donald and Ivana as parents. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Ivana has three children with Donald: Eric, Donald Jr., and Ivanka, who is rumored to be Donald’s favorite child. No matter how the romance ended, Ivana surely holds a special place in Donald’s heart for giving him those three blessings.

Next: The divorce was rough on The Donald.

Divorcing Ivana was one of the worst experiences of Donald’s life

Marla Maples and Donald Trump

Despite seeing Marla Maples at the time, the divorce was hard on Donald Trump. | Diane Freed/Getty Images

During interviews with Howard Stern in the ’90s, Donald admitted that the time period in which he was divorcing Ivana were some of the darkest days of his life. And while some of that had to do with his financial troubles at the time, it’s clear that the split was tough on him emotionally, as well.

Next: Despite his looming bankruptcy, Donald gave Ivana a $25 million divorce settlement.

The divorce payout

Trump (and Melania) socialized with Ivana after the divorce settlement. | Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Despite the fact that Donald was having severe financial troubles at the time of his divorce — a rocky divorce at that — he still came up with $25 million to pay Ivana. He told Howard Stern that after that was settled, the relationship became a lot more amicable.

Next: The two still talk.

Ivana and Donald still talk

Donald Trump

Ivana is reportedly a fan of Trump’s tweets. | Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

Ivana has said many times that, despite the “insane” nature of their divorce, she and Donald still talk regularly. In fact, she has even admitted that she encourages him to tweet. Yikes.

Next: Ivana and Donald have a shared heritage.

They both have Eastern European roots

Ivana Trump

Ivana Trump hails from the Czech Republic. | Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

Perhaps Ivana and Donald share a special connection because of their shared Eastern European heritage. Donald Trump’s grandparents are German, while Ivana is from the Czech Republic.

Next: If not for Marla Maples, would the Trumps still be together? 

Trump’s first marriage outlasted his second

Melania and Trump have been together for 13 years. | Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images

Donald and Ivana were married for 15 years, while his marriage to Marla Maples only lasted six. Marla has tried to make peace with Ivana in recent years, but Ivana wants nothing to do with her. She still claims Marla “broke her marriage.” And given Melania’s apparent unhappiness with her role as first lady and with her husband, one has to wonder whether Donald’s first marriage might end up being his longest.

Next: Is Ivana really moving on?

Ivana moves on, kind of

Ivana Trump gives the 'peace' sign on a red carpet.

She seems very happy now. | Francois Durand/Getty Images

Ivana says she and Donald are now on good terms. She mentioned in a CBS Sunday Morning interview that she and the president speak once a week, and she was offered the post of ambassador to the Czech Republic but turned it down, saying she already has a perfect life.

However, she doesn’t appear to be moving on completely. When Ivana was promoting her book, she referred to herself as the first lady. “I don’t want to cause any kind of jealousy, or something like that, because I’m basically first Trump wife. I’m first lady,” she said. It sent shockwaves through Melania’s team, and fans of the first lady were not happy with Ivana’s comments.

Next: An inside look at how Trump and Melania ended up together

He fell for her kindness

US First Lady Melania Trump speaks with childre

There’s more to her than meets the eye. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

As he praised her beauty, Donald touched on why he loved Melania’s personality. “She’s beyond beauty. She’s a nice person,” he told Stern. Donald and Melania broke up twice: once a few months after they began dating and again for a brief period in 2000.

After the breakup, Donald still only spoke kind words about his future wife. He told The New York Times that “Melania is an amazing woman, a terrific woman, a great woman, and she will be missed.” A few months later, they got back together.
Next: Donald planned to meet with another woman when he first saw Melania.

She was the most beautiful woman at the party

US First Lady Melania Trump visits to the USS Arizona Memoria

Melania Trump caught his eye. | Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Donald and Melania first met at a New York Fashion Week party in 1998 where Donald planned to meet another woman. “I went crazy. … There was this great supermodel sitting next to Melania. I was supposed to meet this supermodel,” he recounted to Larry King in 2005. “They said: Look, there’s so and so. I said: Forget about her. Who is the one on the left?” Little did he know she’d become his wife.

Donald told Howard Stern a similar story years later. “… she was there along with other supermodels, and I greeted all of them, and I said, ‘That’s the one that’s the most beautiful,'” about Melania.

Next: Turns out Melania played hard to get.

He liked the chase required to win her over

President Donald Trump (L) and first lady Melania Trump

She wasn’t easy to woo. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trump admitted he didn’t “do well with [Melania] the first time” they met. “The whole thing was not working the first night,” he told Stern, but Donald didn’t let one off night ruin the chance of a relationship. He tried to ask her for her number, to which Melania replied “no” — and asked for his, instead.

“He wanted my number, but he was with a date, so of course, I didn’t give it to him,” she told Harper’s Bazaar years later. “I said, ‘I am not giving you my number; you give me yours, and I will call you.’ I wanted to see what kind of number he would give me — if it was a business number, what is this? I’m not doing business with you.” Trump gave her “all of his numbers” including his office, personal phone, and extension at Mar-a-Lago.

Next: Donald loves one quality about Melania that Ivana and Marla never possessed.

He likes how low maintenance she is

US First Lady Melania Trump walks through the Grand Foye

According to her husband, the first lady isn’t demanding. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Donald has complained about many of the women in his life including his daughter Ivanka and his ex-wives, Ivana and Marla. Trump joked with Stern about how their kids were more “blue-blooded” than they were. “I think my daughter looks down on me,” Donald admitted.

His first two marriages failed for various reasons; however, Trump reportedly welcomed Melania’s low-maintenance attitude when they got together. “I’m not a nagging wife,” she has declared time after time. Donald described their marriage as tension-free, as well. “We literally have never had an argument,” he told CNN in 2005. “We just are very compatible.”

Next: Donald shares the glory with his wife.

He credits her for part of his success

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump

He knows she’s vital to his success. | Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images

Donald later told gossip columnist Cindy Adams how happy he and Melania were together. “We are very happy together. She’s shown she can be the woman behind me. We’re together five years, and these five years for whatever reasons have been my most successful. I have to imagine she had something to do with that.”

When Trump was “exploring” running for president in 2000, Melania spoke about what kind of first lady she would be. Little did she know she’d actually fill the role 16 years later. “I would be very traditional. Like Betty Ford or Jackie Kennedy. I would support him.”

Additional reporting by Emma Bleznak.

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