“Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines may seem like a picture-perfect couple on their HGTV renovation series, but their relationship wasn’t always peaches and cream.
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According to Chip’s upcoming book, “Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff,” the future of their relationship was once in serious jeopardy.
Trouble began bubbling when the two were dating in their mid-20s, In Touch Weekly explained.
In efforts to further understand his workers’ Mexican culture, Chip took a two-week trip south of the border for an immersion program, leaving bookkeeper Joanna in charge of the entire operation.
But apparently Chip left Joanna in the dark, “sorely underprepared” for the difficult realities of running an entire company.
And Joanna wasn’t happy.
Management and finances were messy at best. Joanna was letting Chip really have it over the phone, yelling, “Your business is a joke.”
Joanna was left to piece together a broken operation, and she wasn’t about to let a man take advantage of her. She gave Chip a clear — and firm — ultimatum:
“You have three days to get back to Texas, or this relationship is over.”
Chip was left in pieces. He explained in his book:
“Her tone made it clear that she was not playin’. My heart broke.”
He wasted no time and rushed back from Mexico to Texas, realizing that above everything, Joanna was most important. Almost losing the love of his life forced Chip to realign his priorities:
“It became very clear to me that I had to grow up. It became my mission to prove to Jo, my parents, her parents, and myself … that I was the real deal.”
And six months later, he did just that and proposed to his long time girlfriend. Fourteen years later, the couple is going strong.
Lucky for them, both their relationship and their business are thriving. The wildly successful HGTV renovation program has been going strong since 2013, which — just like their marriage — sees no signs of slowing down.