"The Vampire Diaries" star, who has been married to Nikki since 2015, revealed he was stressing himself out over a collapsing company he was involved in at the start of their relationship in an Instagram post last month (May21), explaining the "Twilight" star stepped in and took charge of the situation following a bad business decision.
Sharing a sweet tribute to Nikki, he wrote, "I've never disclosed this publicly, but this woman worked selflessly for 2yrs to build me out of a terrible business situation I got myself into."
Ian went on to reveal he "invested heavily" and "made huge personal guarantees to banks," which left him in "an EIGHT-FIGURE hole," adding, "It was awful. A true nightmare day in and day out."
"She devoted her life to getting me out of that mess and it almost killed her along the way," he explained. "I am where I am BECAUSE of this woman."
Appearing on "Watch What Happens Live" on Thursday night (24Jun21), Somerhalder again applauded his wife, telling host Andy Cohen, "(She was) an incredibly strong, innovative, incredible woman, building a team around me and being, really, the best fricking negotiator I've ever actually met. She really pulled up her bootstraps and pulled us out of a really gnarly situation."