At the height of their reality TV popularity, Fixer Upper stars Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines have decided to choose family over fame and are leaving their HGTV show. Their move to back away from the spotlight is motivated by the desire to protect their family, but many fans of the series are still shocked. "I don't care enough about my finances to compromise my family or their well-being," Chip, 42, said.
In late September, the couple — who together are the king and queen of surprise reveals on the show that catapulted them to interior design and renovation fame — announced the most surprising reveal of all. In a joint statement posted to their website, Chip and Joanna divulged they won't be returning to HGTV in the future. "It is with both sadness and expectation that we share the news that Season 5 will be our last," the statement read.
"It's very important to take other peoples' opinions into consideration," Chip explained, "but in the end it's your life and your work. I won't go against my gut." Going against his gut, Chip explained, would mean going against a promise he and Joanna made in their marriage. The couple insisted that once they make a decision that feels right, it's a done deal. Currently, their instincts are highlighting the need to, "catch our breath for a moment. We have poured our blood, sweat, and tears into this show. We would be foolish to think we can go and fire on all cylinders and never stop to pause."
The show has undoubtedly helped Chip and Jo's business expand, as well as their pockets. The couple has launched their own magazine, The Magnolia Journal, a paint line, written both a cookbook and a tell-all of their journey, opened the Silos Baking Co. at Magnolia Market, and ultimately, created a home improvement empire. But aside from expanding the couple's businesses and helping them financially, the show has done a lot of harm. Unwanted rumors about the authenticity and longevity of Chip and Jo's marriage have ultimately launched the couple into protective mode over their four kids — Drake, 12, Ella, 10, Duke, 9, and Emmie, 7. And the Gaines children aren't the only ones supportive of the Christian parents' decision to lay low.
"They earned some time to rest," Chip's mother, Gayle Gaines, exclusively told Closer Weekly. "They care very much about how their children turn out, and they are very well aware that spending time with them and investing in their lives is important." Chip and Joanna got a very humble start in Waco, Texas, after tying the knot in 2003. "Jo and I were living in an 800-square-foot house and had a brand new baby to feed," Chip wrote of his first son's arrival in his new book, Capital Gaines.
Without even health insurance, the broke newlyweds had to borrow money from their friends in order to continue flipping houses. Now, thanks to her business savvy, Joanna is worth $8 million according to Celebrity Net Worth. "Motherhood is a gift," 39-year-old Joanna explained. "And fostering these little peoples' growth is my favorite job of all."
The strong foundation of their marriage is what both Joanna and Chip attribute their success to. While balancing their private lives and newfound fame was oftentimes difficult to manage, they leaned on each other. "Our marriage never suffered in all we've gone through," Joanna stated, "because Chip and I were drawn closer together, knowing deep in our hearts that we had to hold onto each other if we were ever going to make it out alive."
But lately, rumors about their marriage have been spiraling out of control, causing them to fear for the kids. "We want to give them a chance to have a normal childhood," Joanna said. Chip added, "It's not worth it to take on some big deal and leave the kids for weeks. We try to watch them really closely, because obviously, they didn't ask for any of this." Other rumors swirling around the mill include Chip and Joanna's future family planning. But Joanna's quick to shut it down — not based on her own decision, but her husband's. "I would love another baby. Or twins! But Chip thinks we're done," she said.
Being on the same page — in virtually every aspect — has long been the couple's saving grace, which is why both seem unafraid looking into their fragile future. Unafraid to be tested again, the couple is taking the leap, a decision they've agreed on since day one. "As far as I've known, they've always planned on stepping out to make sure their kids got to enjoy part of their childhood out of the spotlight," Sydney Noh, a former Fixer Upper associate producer told Closer. "Their ability to know when it's time to step out and move into a new part of their lives is a testament to what amazing people they are."
Although the TV couple's timing may have caught a ton of people off guard, Chip and Joanna are confident in the next phase of their lives bringing as many blessings as the one prior. "We've had empty pockets before and that's nothing we can't take on again," Chip said. "Even when the decks are stacked against us, we keep on betting on us." "Maybe it's kind of fun to not plan," Joanna chimed in. "Maybe it's more fun to see where life takes you. After all, we're living proof that sometimes even the messiest stuff and the biggest mistakes can take you someplace wonderful."
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Closer Weekly.