Joanna Gaines Speaks Out About 20-Year Marriage to Chip, How ‘Family Dynamic’ Is About to Change

by Alex Falls

Joanna and Chip Gaines are used to changing lives with their work on TV shows like Fixer Upper, but Joanna just revealed their own lives are about to change in a major way.

“In our 20 years of marriage, Chip and I have experienced a little bit of all of it,” Joanna wrote in a personal essay reported by People. “Losing a loved one. Shifts in friendships. Bills we couldn’t pay. Moments where our hearts broke. Times when all hope felt lost and circumstances were out of our control. When all I could think to do was lay face down on the floor in surrender.”

She goes on to reveal she and Chip are preparing to send their oldest son, Drake, off to college. The oldest son of the Gaines clan recently turned 18, and now he’s about to face that next chapter of life.

“In the grand scheme of heartbreaking things, this one comes with a lot of gratitude and excitement. But still, my first child is moving away, and our family dynamic will change because of it, and that can feel like a loss of its own. I catch glimpses now of what that life will look like and wonder if—or how many times—that might bring me to the floor.”

Drake is the oldest of five children in the family. The Gaines family also includes Ella Rose, 15, Duke, 14, Emmie Kay, 12, and Crew, 4.

The Gaines Family is Full of Love

Back in June, Chip and Joanna Gaines celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary. The pair has never been afraid of using their TV shows or their own Magnolia Journal to pen loving tributes to one another. Back in May 2021, Chip wrote his own piece of reflection on what it means to him to be a good husband and a loving father.

“When I look out across the whole landscape of my little corner of the world, there are plenty of places where I fall short,” Chip wrote. “I’m known to be easily distracted, for one thing. In general, me and time have this way of losing track of one another. And sometimes, I can let some of the commitments I’ve made slip through my hands.”

Chip continued by saying, “But there are other commitments—the big ones—that I hold on to with everything I’ve got. Honoring Jo, being a good dad, my faith, trying to do what’s right even when it’s not easy, building something that helps other people. Those are commitments I’ve made that I won’t compromise. My non-negotiables. No matter how much the details and circumstances of my life may change, and no matter what storms come my way, you watch: I’m going to get those right.”