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Chip and Joanna Gaines reflect on difficulty building their empire: 'Do we just bail and get out?'

With 17 years of marriage under their belt, Chip and Joanna Gaines have been each other’s rock for better and worse. 

And the former Fixer Upper stars, who share five children, recently reflected on their financial hardships and challenges bringing their massively successful Magnolia empire to life. 

‘I remember moments where Chip and I would look at each other and just think, ‘How are we going to make it?” Joanna recalled to E! News. ‘Not seeing the end; not understanding you could actually get through it.’ 

With 17 years of marriage under their belt, Chip and Joanna Gaines have been each other's rocks for better and worse

With 17 years of marriage under their belt, Chip and Joanna Gaines have been each other’s rocks for better and worse.

She added: ‘We would look at each other and say ‘Do we just bail and get out?’ That seemed so much easier than having to figure out how [to] make it through this.” 

In the interview, the 42-year-old HGTV star credited her husband, 45, for always assuring her that they would ‘make it through’ and reminding her that ‘quitting isn’t an option.’ 

‘We would look at each other every night and say we are not quitting,’ she recalled, before remarking on her other half’s natural ‘glass half-full’ mindset. 

Massive hit: The former Fixer Upper stars, who share five children, recently reflected on their financial hardships and challenges bringing their massively successful Magnolia empire to life

Massive hit: The former Fixer Upper stars, who share five children, recently reflected on their financial hardships and challenges bringing their massively successful Magnolia empire to life

‘I think we leaned on each other’s strengths in those moments of weakness where I would typically only see the glass half-empty,’ she noted. ‘Just that kind of thinking really helped me go, ‘OK, I can do this.”

Despite the pair’s ultimate triumph, the mom emphasized their story was not one of overnight success. 

‘For us, it was four or five more years of hardship,’ she reminded fans. 








'I think we leaned on each other's strengths in those moments of weakness where I would typically only see the glass half-empty,' she noted of her husband

‘I think we leaned on each other’s strengths in those moments of weakness where I would typically only see the glass half-empty,’ she noted of her husband

 When asked to share any advice to entrepreneurs, Joanna warned ‘it could be a decade before you actually see the other side of this.’ 

At the end of May, Chip marked their milestone wedding anniversary with a loving tribute, calling Joanna the ‘girl of my dreams.’

‘Everything about you has made everything about me better. And 17 years later I’m still learning from and loving on the most incredible woman in the world,’ he captioned a throwback shot of him kissing his new wife on Instagram.  








Together forever: The couple tied the knot in 2003 and share five children together

Together forever: The couple tied the knot in 2003 and share five children together

Chip and Joanna married in 2003, but sparks weren’t necessarily flying when the couple first met.

‘It wasn’t love at first sight for Chip and me,’ Joanna recently wrote in an essay for the Magnolia Journal

‘For one thing, I was typically attracted to guys who were more on the quiet side,’ she wrote in an essay for the magazine, entitled Slow Yes.

‘Based on our first date, it was clear that Chip was anything but quiet,’ she recalls, describing him as ‘all over the place’ as he went on about all the risks he wanted to take and his dreams of starting companies and flipping houses. 








Happily ever after: Chip Gaines celebrated his 17th wedding anniversary to wife Joanna with a heartmelting tribute on Sunday

Happily ever after: Chip Gaines celebrated his 17th wedding anniversary to wife Joanna with a heartmelting tribute on Sunday

‘I was wondering if he was just a bit crazy,’ Joanna remembered thinking at the end of the date.

Initially, Joanna didn’t think they would make a great match.

‘In my mind, I somewhat instinctively checked his penchant for risk and chatty nature as two reasons we probably wouldn’t go on a second date,’ she said.

Baby boy! Gaines fawned over her bouncing boy Crew

Baby boy! Gaines fawned over her bouncing boy Crew

Even though he was totally not her type, there was something about Chip that inspired Joanna to go after her own dreams.

‘All the ideas and dreams he held for himself were anything but ordinary, and he talked about the world around him through the lens of untapped potential,’ Joanna wrote. ‘When Chip did eventually stop talking, if only to take a breath, I found myself wanting to fill the silence with plans and dreams of my own.’

Now the couple, who have turned their house flipping business into an empire, share five children together: Drake, 15, Ella, 14, Duke, 12, Emmie, 10, and Crew, one. 

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