HGTV viewers were shocked and saddened when Chip and Joanna Gaines announced in September that they were ending Fixer Upper with the hit series’ fifth season.
“The idea of leaving the show at the height of its popularity is probably pretty risky, almost irrational-sounding,” Chip, 43, said in the couple’s January 2018 cover story for Success magazine. “Our oldest [child], who’s 12, is becoming a teenager, and Jo and I just realized in our hearts that as much as we love Fixer Upper, as much as we love the honor that we have felt with this show basically introducing us to the country, if not the world, we want to make sure that we’re here for our family during really crucial, pivotal points in its journey.”
After careful consideration, Chip and Joanna, 39, decided they needed to focus on their family — and their relationship. “Obviously Jo and I as a couple, we just don’t want to redline,” he said. “You know, we don’t want to run so hard after some dream or some goal only to find out that we’ve neglected the thing that means the very most to us, which is our marriage and our relationship.”
“We’ve prayed about it, and we’ve thought about it,” Chip continued. “This did not come lightly. … People are like, ‘You’re crazy. You would be crazy to leave this thing at the height like this. Give it another year. Let it run out of gas.’ And we kind of laugh, and we’re like, ‘You know what? That’s not who we are. We don’t want to run this thing off a cliff and into a culvert.”
The couple, who tied the knot in 2003, also opened up to Success about balancing work and family life. “We’ve always been on the same page when it comes to the things that matter most: our family and our values and how we want to raise our children,” Joanna said.
As for the secret to their 14-year marriage? “There is no secret. It’s hard work,” Chip explained. “Jo and I have struggles and fighting and arguments just like anybody else. This isn’t like we got lucky and hit the lottery and the two perfect people fell in love.”
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