Chip & Joanna Gaines Reveal ‘Challenges’ Early in Marriage

Joanna and Chip Gaines

HGTV/Getty Joanna and Chip Gaines,

Chip and Joanna Gaines faced their share of “challenges” in the early days of their marriage, the “Fixer Upper” stars revealed to People.

“In the first months of our marriage, we were always flipping a house,” Chip told the outlet. “We were working on this little shop. We had babies early in the process. We pretty quickly had to say, ‘We’re either going to go at each other and blow this thing up, you and I trying to fight each other about every nook and cranny, or we can figure out how to come together as a team.’”

Luckily, Chip explained to People that the couple has always “been there for each other.”

The 48-year-old continued, “When adversity came against us — when your natural tendency is [to be] almost the ugliest to those people you love, especially in times of real pressure — with Jo and I, we felt adversity and would get together like a little team and say, ‘What do you think the problem is?’ As opposed to maybe typically being like, ‘Well, it’s because of that thing you bought’ or ‘because of that dumb thing you did.’”

Chip and Joanna have been married since 2003 and share five kids – Drake, 18, Ella, 16, Duke, 14, Emmie, 13, and Crew, 4. This year marks the couple’s 20th wedding anniversary and the 20th anniversary of their Magnolia brand. They revealed on Instagram that they launched the store – that became a magazine, shopping center, decor line and even a television network – in October 2003. The rose to fame in HGTV’s “Fixer Upper,” which premiered in 2013.

Eventually, the couple learned to better address their arguments, they explained to People. Joanna revealed they had to lean into each other’s strengths.

“The biggest thing is we met at a time when both of us felt pretty grounded in who we were as people by ourselves. I feel like Chip, he was a visionary. He had these businesses,” the 44-year-old told the publication. “And I was at a place of fully knowing who I was. It wasn’t the ‘you complete me’ thing.”

Joanna has previously addressed some of the hurdles the couple has faced throughout their decades-long relationship.

“In our 20 years of marriage, Chip and I have experienced a little bit of all of it,” Joanna wrote in an essay for the Fall 2022 issue of Magnolia magazine. “Losing a loved one. Shifts in friendships. Bills we couldn’t pay. Moments where our hearts were broken. Times when all hope felt lost and circumstances were out of our control.When all I could think to do was lay facedown on the floor in surrender.”

The Texas-based couple explained that their struggles only strengthened their relationship. As Joanna told People, “The best is that we’re growing together.”

Their relationship is the focus of a special edition issue of People, “Chip & Joanna Gaines: 20 Years of Marriage and Magnolia.”

Chip & Joann Gaines Are Still Working on Their Work-Life Balance

Chip and Joanna still have to put in the work, which includes figuring out how to separate their work life from their personal one.

“I think the challenge is it’s hard to shut off. It’s hard to figure out the line of ‘Oh, that’s business. Okay, this is marriage.’ It all kind of blurs,” Joanna told People. “We’ve tried to be like, ‘Let’s go on a date and not talk about business.’ So we’d sit there and be like, ‘The garden is doing great today. . . ‘ You had to exercise these new muscles. When we go on dates, sometimes we get energized by talking about how to problem-solve. So I don’t know. Sometimes there’s no clocking out.”

Chip & Joanna Gaines Prepare to Say Goodbye to Their Oldest Son

The couple is bracing for their next hurdle: sending their oldest son Drake off to college.

“Soon, our oldest son, Drake, will be leaving home for college,” Joanna wrote in an essay for Magnolia magazine. “In the grand scheme of heartbreaking things, this one comes with a lot of gratitude and excitement. But still, my first child is moving away, and our family dynamic will change because of it, and that can feel like a loss of its own. I catch glimpses now of what that life will look like and wonder if—or how many times—that might bring me to the floor.”

According to his Virtual Combine profile, he is set to graduate in 2023.

Drake’s milestone’s have been emotional for his parents. Chip previously opened up to People about his son earning his driver’s license.

“I was so excited leading up to it, and Jo was too, kind of,” he told the outlet in 2021. “Then we get this kid his license, and the first morning he goes to drive, Jo bawls her eyes out. She was just devastated and wanted no part. She wants to hire him a chauffeur!”

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