Nayte proposed marriage to Michelle on The Bachelorette's Season 18 finale, which aired in December 2021, and the couple appeared blissfully happy. They were even gifted a $200,000 check for a down payment on their first house.
However, Nayte never moved to Michelle's hometown in Minnesota like they had originally planned, and the pair publicly announced their breakup on June 17 via separate statements on their Instagram accounts.
"We started consistently and gradually going downhill, where we were just, like, it wasn't sunshine and rainbows anymore," Nayte told Season 21 The Bachelor star Nick Viall on a recent episode of "The Viall Files" podcast.
"How can you be so sure about something and then just have it fall apart?" he added.
Nayte admitted there was "some insecurity" in his relationship that "played a really big role" in the demise of his relationship, which ran from late 2021 to June 2022. Nayte ultimately broke up with Michelle -- and he did it over the phone.
"I'm not calling Michelle 'insecure' at all, but I think there were just some insecurity issues that led to some arguments. But talking about trust, there was a pretty clear moment where [I lost it]," Nayte recalled.
"I would never say, 'I don't trust Michelle,' but there was a moment when I started questioning things, because it was just a confusing moment that led to some trust issues on my part, too. So trust definitely kind of played [a role in our split]."
Nayte went on to share the details of the alleged incident that broke his trust in Michelle, at least temporarily.
"We're laying in bed one day and she's right next to me, and she's on Instagram. I glance at her phone and I see that there's a DM thread with a very, very famous country music singer," Nayte alleged.
"And I was like, 'Hey, Michelle is a celebrity. That's something I've got to get used to.' I was like, 'Hey, that's normal. Celebrities talk to celebrities.' So I didn't think much of it. It was, like, 'Whatever.'"
But then 20 seconds later, Nayte claimed he glanced at Michelle's phone again and the entire DM thread "was gone" and presumably deleted.
"So obviously alarms are going off in my head," Nayte recalled.
Nayte said he confronted Michelle directly about what he had seen.
"I had to ask, 'What is that about?' Right? The story that she told me just made no sense," Nayte claimed.
"It was such an odd story. It started with, 'Oh, I deleted it because what he said made me feel uncomfortable.' And I was like, 'What did he say?' And she was like, 'Oh, he wanted to go get drinks with me.' And I was like, 'Okay, what led to that?'"
Nayte said Michelle and this singer met backstage at one of his concerts while he was on tour in Minnesota, and so this alleged DM took place after Michelle and her friends met the artist.
Nayte said when he asked Michelle what led up to the country singer's invitation to have drinks, Michelle allegedly said that she and her friends were going to go play pickup basketball with the singer and his friends.
"I said, 'What exactly did he say that made you feel so uncomfortable that you had to delete the entire message?' And she was like, 'We should get drinks,'" Nayte shared.
Nayte apparently suggested the possibility the singer had wanted to meet up with Michelle AND her girlfriends for drinks.
After a back and forth conversation, Nayte determined that he didn't want to bring "an I-don't-trust-you energy" into their relationship.
"[I said], 'That's the last thing I want, but I do not feel comfortable right now and you don't have to do this if you don't want to, but can you call your friend you said that you were with? I just want to hear it from her,'" Nayte said.
Michelle allegedly agreed and called her girlfriend.
"[Michelle] was like, 'Hey, do you remember this?' And her friend was like, 'Michelle, I don't know what you're talking about,'" Nayte claimed. "And so I was just like, 'Alright.' I just dropped it. I didn't know what to do!"
Michelle proceeded to apologize to Nayte for making him feel like he couldn't trust her, according to the bachelor.
"She told me that there was nothing to worry about, and we really never talked about it again," Nayte told Nick. "I was like, 'Alright, I don't know what to do right now.'"
A month-and-a-half or maybe two months later, Nayte said the country singer's DM came up in conversation again.
Nayte remembered telling Michelle, "Ever since that day, I have had trust issues. I didn't know what to do. I think we just made dinner and went to bed."
Nayte said he didn't want to fight but the situation was definitely "a red flag" for him.
Michelle allegedly insisted Nayte had nothing to be concerned about, but he still found the incident very unsettling.
"The fact the whole message thread got deleted, I was like, 'This is something to be concerned about,' but I was just like, 'Whatever.' I don't know," Nayte explained.
"Michelle is a very trustworthy person, and I do trust her, but that one moment, I do remember it did kind of play a role. It just wasn't a fun thing to feel. I didn't really know what to do in that moment, so she apologized and I was like, 'Alright!' I just kept pushing."
Nayte said his relationship with Michelle was just "tainted from so many different things" and he also felt pressure to be a "perfect" couple given they had just come off The Bachelorette.
Nayte explained to Nick how he and Michelle began fighting shortly after their The Bachelorette engagement aired in ABC. He said they had two big fights in early January and never really recovered, although they definitely had some fun and high moments before their June split.
Nayte claimed Michelle blocked him on social media after their breakup, which was "a low blow" move, and he admitted their dynamic was "messy" for a while until their communication totally "ended in mid-July."