Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines have accomplished the near impossible.
The married HGTV stars have managed to remain starkly in the spotlight for years... without almost any divorce chatter ever making its way around the Internet.
The parents of four will soon embark on what they've announced will be their final season of mega hit Fixer Upper and are generally considered one of the most loved couples on all of television.
Whereas starring roles on reality TV programs have driven other twosomes apart, the chemistry between Chip and Joanna has only intensfied over the years.
But this wasn't always the case.
In his new memoir, “Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff,” Gaines says his romance with Joanna was nearly over before it really began.
About six months into their relationship, Chip says he went to Mexico for 90 days to learn Spanish.
His then-girlfriend was placed in charge of his businesses* while he was away… and this caused a major problem.
(*Yes, Chip started a number of businesses before he settled on home renovation and real estate. Click on the slideshow below to find out more.)
“Your business is a joke!” she yelled, Chip admits in his book about a phone call they had just weeks after he left.
“All these people are coming to my dad’s shop demanding to be paid, and there’s no money. Lucky for you, your sad is bailing your sorry butt out. You have three days to get back to Texas or this relationship is over.”
Chip says the tone she used made it clear Joanna was dead serious.
“My heart broke,” he wrote, adding in the book:
“There are hard moments in life when you see yourself for the tonto that you are. This all felt so much bigger than a few bounced checks.
"Up until that moment, Jo had really respected me and the work that I did."
So Chip rushed home to Texas and nearly proposed then and there.
He knew he couldn't lose Joanna and he respected how straightforward she was acting when it came both to his business and to their relationship.
Today? No marriage is perfect, but this one does appear to be on television at least.
Still, Chip says the couple is “strengthening their marriage every day, which takes real time and effort.”
This is practically what Chip and Joanna said upon confirming Fixer Upper would end after Season 5.
"This is just us recognizing that we need to catch our breath for a moment," they explained, concluding:
"Our plan is to take this time to shore up and strengthen the spots that are weak, rest the places that are tired and give lots of love and attention to both our family and our businesses."