Joanna Gaines Reflects on Her Marriage to Chip and Getting Through ‘Times When All Hope Felt Lost’

Joanna Gaines and Chip Gaines have been married for almost two decades, and things haven’t always been easy for the Fixer Upper stars. Here’s what Joanna recently said about the famous couple and how they got through “times when all hope felt lost.”

Chip and Joanna Gaines, whose marriage has lasted nearly 20 years, pose together.
Chip and Joanna Gaines | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Chip and Joanna Gaines have lived in many different homes throughout their marriage

The Fixer Upper stars met when Chip Gaines kept going into Joanna Gaines’ father’s tire shop for repairs. He had seen a family photo of Joanna on the wall and returned to the automotive shop several times, hoping to meet her. 

“My buddies used to always joke that no one could get their brakes done as often as I got my brakes done,” Chip said (via Popsugar). Joanna claimed he won her over with his smile. “We met in the waiting area and hit it off immediately,” she said. “He was genuinely engaging and he had such a sincere smile.” 

The couple lived in nine different homes before settling into their current place, which they call “The Farmhouse.” But when they first got married, Chip and Joanna weren’t the successful TV stars they are now, and they couldn’t afford a beautifully renovated home. 

In 2015, Joanna shared an Instagram post revealing that she cried when Chip told her they were moving into their first house because the 800-square-foot Waco fixer-upper was “dumpy” and “smelled bad.” 

But, after putting some work into the place, she said they “fell in love” with it, and that first house remains one of their favorite properties to this day. “Small house or big, rich or poor- own the space you live in and love what you have. ❤️” Joanna wrote.

Now, the Gaines couple lives with their five children in a 1,700-square-foot Victorian-style farmhouse situated on 40 acres in Crawford, Texas. They use the land for farming and other recreational activities. 

Joanna Gaines reflected on hard times in her marriage with Chip 

Besides fixing up their first home, Chip and Joanna Gaines have faced many other, more significant challenges in their nearly two decades of marriage. Joanna opened up about some of their struggles in an essay for Magnolia Journal titled “A Note From Jo on Fortitude.”

“In our 20 years of marriage, Chip and I have experienced a little bit of all of it,” she wrote. “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 Fixer Upper star went on to say that “surrender” is sometimes the best way “to move forward.”

“What we learn is that life is not about holding out only for the days of brightest possibility. It’s not only about finding ourselves a crisp new page,” Joanna wrote. “Sometimes, in order to move forward, we have to surrender ourselves to the promise of growth that follows the fall. Easier said than done, yes – one thousand times yes.”

The ‘Fixer Upper’ stars have said divorce is ‘not an option’ for them

Although the Gaineses have been through a lot, Chip told Access Hollywood in July 2021 that he and Joanna will never split.

“Our superpower is that, Jo and I are not quitters,” he said. “Throwing in the towel is not something that honestly ever even comes to mind and I would say that it happened pretty early on in our relationship. We just thought that it’s interesting that divorce and leaving one another is not really an option for us.”

He added, “So somehow that little foundation have [sic] served us well. Things have definitely been challenging, we’re not perfect, we have issues and trials and errors like anybody, but … this will never be a gossip mag that we don’t make it.”

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