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Fixer Upper star Joanna Gaines talks midlife crisis in personal new interview

Fixer Upper star has been married to Chip for over two decades

The Build Series presents Joanna Gaines to discuss the new book "The Magnolia Story" at AOL HQ on October 19, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)
Faye James
Senior Editor
20 November 2023
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As Joanna and Chip Gaines journey through two decades of marriage, they find themselves embracing a new chapter in life with open arms. 

In a heartfelt interview with People, Joanna, 45, shared insights into their evolving dynamic.  While Joanna lightheartedly refers to this transformation as a "midlife crisis," it's evident that their perspectives on life have matured. "We just see life differently now," she states, acknowledging the profound shift in their outlook.

This shift marks a significant turn for the couple, who have become household names through their popular show "Fixer Upper" and its spinoffs. 

Known for her calm, organized demeanor, Joanna is now exploring uncharted territories with hobbies like horseback riding and beekeeping. "It's definitely a more real way to live, and so I'm thankful for that," she reflects on these new ventures, recognizing the value in embracing the moment and allowing herself to feel more deeply, even when it's challenging.

Joanna and Chip Gaines stand in an empty room© Magnolia
Joanna and Chip have been married for almost two decades

For Chip, 49, the change involves slowing down and focusing on supporting Joanna. "I want to be her biggest cheerleader,” he expresses, showing his unwavering support for his partner's endeavors. “I’m like, ‘Hey, you go do whatever. My knees are killing me.’”

The Gaineses' evolution extends beyond their personal growth to their family and business ventures. They recently experienced the bittersweet milestone of sending their eldest son, Drake, 18, to college, while also launching a podcast network, announcing new Magnolia reality shows, completing the extensive Hotel 1928 project in Waco, and debuting "Fixer Upper: The Hotel."

joanna and chip gaines smiling in park© Instagram
Joanna and Chip Gaines celebrated 20 years of summer love

Their daughters, Ella, 17, and Emmie, 13, have given their stamp of approval to the boutique hotel, likening it to something they'd expect in New York City, a sentiment Joanna cherishes as a "big win."

The couple acknowledges the challenges and joys of their children finding their paths. Chip encourages independence, telling Joanna, "You need your own identity. Learn some stuff. And then if you want to come back years later and teach us, we’re here.” 

 Joanna Gaines and Chip Gaines wear hard hats and high vis vests outside a property© Magnolia
Joanna talks midlife crisis

The departure of Drake for college was a poignant reminder of the fleeting nature of time. "It’s this tension of joy and pain, all in one breath," Joanna recalls.

Amid these changes, the youngest member of their family, Crew, 5, offers a fresh perspective. 

Joanna shares, "The greatest gift of having a kid go off to college and having a 5-year-old is that perspective. We don’t want to waste these moments."

Joanna holding two children in her arms stood next to a person in an Easter Bunny costume who is sat next to Drake, and holding a baby Emmie© Joanna Gaines on Instagram
The family in 2010, prior to Crew's birth

Their relationship continues to flourish, with daily conversations about dreams and aspirations. "Mine are real practical," Chip says, while Joanna's are "big adventure and all this Technicolor." 

This exchange symbolizes how they've influenced each other over the years. Joanna credits Chip for her openness to change, "If Chip weren’t my partner, I would probably still be in the corner."

Joanna now firmly believes in embracing change, reflecting on their journey, "We’ve had so much change in our lives, and the proof is there: Change is hard, but it’s always beautiful."

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