HGTV fans know the names Tarek and Christina El Moussa from the ongoing Flip or Flop franchise. While they gave the impression of a dream couple who flipped homes, we learned once again what we see in a reality show is far from reality.
When Tarek and Christina divorced three years ago, the former was quoted as saying it was “worse than cancer” in going through the split.
His reference to this related to him battling cancer in prior years. So how did he find closure from the divorce? It has interesting twists as a guidepost for anybody going through a painful split.
Dream marriages on TV aren’t always reality
We’ve seen our share of hosts on TV who were married in real life. Some of them are honest enough to show that it isn’t all a bed of roses. On HGTV, many married and coupled hosts try to make it look like perfection is everything.
Part of this persona came from the publicity the El Moussas had living in their dream mansion. They even created an ornate European design to the home, giving a bit of ostentation to their lifestyles.
The couple did teach a lot of us how house flipping works and why it’s a lot harder than people think. What happened to cause their breakup, though, when it seemed they had it all?
When you see the details, you’ll understand how complicated famous marriages often are.
Dealing with illness and other life issues
Many media outlets have detailed what the El Moussas went through during their ten-year marriage. It all started when Tarek was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He was on Instagram back then and posted pics of himself dealing with treatments.
Eventually, he beat the cancer, yet it took a toll on their marriage while keeping up a grueling schedule hosting Flip or Flop.
Christina had a miscarriage not long after, creating even more personal pressures. At least she got pregnant again, but she had to impose major physical limitations on what she could do.
You can only imagine what was going on behind the scenes while shooting their show.
Tarek’s back injury
Tarek has posted various Instagram photo in recent years showing proof of his illnesses. After beating cancer, he ended up with a serious back injury that had him taking pain medications to keep up.
One photo taken of him hosting Flip or Flop shows what opioids can do to your body. He’d lost more than 50 lbs.
How the couple managed to keep hosting their show during all this is almost beyond comprehension. At least we and you can understand why their marriage fell apart, especially with them being in the public eye continually.
Staying friends after divorce and
getting 100% closure
Yes, it truly is possible to stay amicable after a divorce occurs. The El Moussas are proof, even if some of the media tried to make it look like they were at war.
Christina ultimately rebounded and recently married Ant Anstead, a British TV host. Amid all this, Flip or Flop was somehow never canceled.
The show continues, and Tarek found peace and closure about the situation for the benefit of everyone involved. At the heart of it is the El Moussa kids who seem to like their new step-dad, according to Tarek. In fact, Tarek tells PEOPLE he received 100% closure when he found out about the wedding, and reminds himself that having another person care for his children is a good thing.
With Tarek also living nearby to Christina and Ant, we see a template for how to do divorce amicably without making it a war of the roses.
Spinoffs of Flip or Flop
To prove how valuable the former El Moussas are, they’ll both be branching off doing pilots for their own solo shows on HGTV. Even so, the initial show will go on and be a little like other divorced celebrities who continued shows despite their splits.
A retro example of this is Cher and Sonny Bono in the 1970s, despite their post-divorce revival variety show not lasting long. Fortunately, Tarek and Christina have a good enough show formula where their chemistry still works beyond marriage.