Joanna Gaines’ First Year of Marriage Was Challenging: ‘Our Worlds Collided’

Chip and Joanna Gaines seem like the model couple. However, things weren’t always smooth for the Fixer Upper stars. Here’s what Joanna said about the bumpy road they traveled early in their marriage.

How Chip proposed to Joanna

Chip and Joanna Gaines | Brook Christopher/FilmMagic
Chip and Joanna Gaines | Brook Christopher/FilmMagic

Chip and Joanna Gaines were engaged about one year after they started dating. Chip had to get creative when it came to finding the right time and place to propose. According Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas’ book, What Makes a Marriage Last, he tricked Joanna into thinking she was going to a concert. Instead, Chip took Joanna to a jewelry store and proposed to her there.

Joanna Gaines says her world ‘collided’ with Chip’s

Joanna told Donahue and Thomas the first year of her marriage was challenging. That’s because Chip would make decisions without consulting Joanna first. His spontaneity created a lot of tension between them.

“Our worlds collided,” said Joanna. “When we were dating, Chip would buy these super-cheap little houses and flip them, then rent them out to college students, so I knew that was his business. But after we married and finally settled into our new house, he came home one day and said, ‘Hey, I just bought this house and we’re going to move.’ He was so spontaneous, and I was used to having everything scheduled.”

Chip Gaines says he and Joanna Gaines eventually became a team

Chip says he and Joanna began working together as a team. Joanna began offering suggestions for paint colors. Chip says small changes like that made a world of a difference.

“What made this such a match made in heaven is that I was used to getting the sale paint from the paint store, knowing that no matter what color it was, it would look better than the dog turd khaki white that was there before,” Chip told Donahue and Thomas. “But Jo would say, ‘Hey, did you ever think about this color or that color?’ I didn’t care—it was the same amount of effort for me, no matter what the color—but she started falling in love with the actual aesthetics.”

Joanna Gaines learned how to take more risks

In the summer issue of Magnolia Journal, Joanna says she doesn’t like taking risks. She usually tries to reduce or avoid risk if she can. However, she tells her readers she learned to become more comfortable with risk after seeing how fearless Chip is about trying new things. When she learned to trust him, the results were favorable.

“Not all risks will make a big splash,” writes Joanna. “Some will be forged in patience, steady and unhurried. Chip and I had already proved in our own relationship what can happen when I let something grow on me instead of making a snap judgment or an unwavering conclusion at first glance. Chip calls it my ‘slow yes,’ and I’ve learned to trust it above all else in matters of both work and home.”

Read more: Joanna Gaines Almost Didn’t Go on a Second Date with Chip Gaines for 2 Reasons

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