After 18 years of marriage, five children, a new TV network and home decor and design empire, Chip and Joanna Gaines have done it all side by side. They’re now revealing if there was a point where all of that hard work and stress ever caused them to consider divorce.
“Our superpower is that Jo and I are not quitters. Throwing in the towel is not something that honestly ever even comes to mind, and I would say that happened pretty early on in our relationship,” Chip, 46, told Access Hollywood in a July 12 joint interview with his 43-year-old wife.
“We just thought that it’s interesting that divorce or leaving one another is not really an option for us. So somehow that little foundation has served us well,” Chip explained.
“Things have definitely been challenging. We’re not perfect, we have issues and trials and errors like anybody. But when you say, ‘throwing in the towel,’ in fairness, I would admit if we had considered that along that way. But relationally we’re in it forever, this will never be a gossip mag that we don’t make it,” the Magnolia Network co-founder continued.
“When I think about difficult things that we’ve done, say the real estate crisis … Jo and I had multiple opportunities to quit and throw in the towel and that was just not in our DNA,” Chip continued. “So now I think we’ve taken that and realized you can’t ever lose if you don’t quit, and Jo and I keep showing up day after day, sometimes it’s right and sometimes it’s not, but we keep putting one foot in front of the other.”
The couple are still so in love that when Chip wanted to upgrade Joanna’s small diamond engagement ring to something grander and “fancy” that they can now easily afford, she completely passed on the idea for sentimental reasons.
“He had a smaller budget,” Joanna began, while Chip interjected to say, “My budget was whatever I could borrow from my mother, who was like, bless her heart, ‘Chip, I don’t have any money either!'” Chip proposed to Joanna in 2002 after a year of dating. He took her to a mall in Waco, Texas and let her design her own ring, consisting of a round diamond in an antique-looking platinum setting.
“So, the diamond isn’t the highest quality diamond. But to me it’s the story of a guy working his butt off so I could get this ring,” Joanna continued while pointing at it.
Jo explained how Chip wanted to upgrade the stone to a near flawless diamond that could be a “perfect anniversary story,” but she turned him down flat. “I said don’t touch my diamond. For us we always go back and say where did we start? What was the heart and intention of that? And to me this is where it started,” she said holding the ring. “It was Chip working his butt off for something that meant the world to him. So I would never, ever want to change it.”