Christina and Tarek El Moussa have spent more than a decade rebuilding homes — and over the past two years, they've been tackling their biggest renovation to date: The complete gutting and renovation of their personal lives. It's been two years since HGTV's power couple — and stars of the hit show, Flip Or Flop — announced they were separating, and in a recent interview with People, Christina opened up on just how devastating the transition has been. And what it's taken to start life anew.
"Tarek and I were so tied together on everything: real estate, the show, our children, our house," she explained. "It was so stressful, and everyone was worried that it was going to explode."
Compound the outside pressure with dealing with the end of a relationship — and figuring out what that means for you and your kids, all while your every move is covered in the media — and the transition can feel all-consuming.
"I felt like I was drowning," Christina told the magazine in its latest issue. "I was doing whatever I could to stay above water and just get through the day."
Tarek has been equally candid about the experience. "I could barely walk, I was so broken as person, after going through all the trauma and the divorce and all these different things," he told the Dr. Drew podcast earlier this spring.
All of the buzz surrounding their separation sparked many questions from fans. Here are the answers to the big ones.
Why Did Christina And Tarek Get A Divorce, Anyway?
It'd be easy to hear those statements — and see episodes of Flip Or Flop, which only show the edited, public part of their lives — and wonder why the two ever ended things. As painful as divorcing was, it was a decision they made after attending counseling and ultimately deciding they had irreconcilable differences.
"There's so much going on with TV, and the notoriety, and the finances, and so many different things happening at one time, and it slowly pulled us apart," Tarek told Dr. Drew.
Did The Gun Incident Have Anything To Do With It?
Some have linked their divorce to an incident in May 2016, when Tarek left their house in Yorba Linda, CA, with a gun. Deputies arrived at the scene, responding to reports of a man with a gun who was possibly suicidal, reported The Orange County Register.
The couple separated shortly after that, but the El Moussas have been quick to explain it wasn't because of that. "Like any couple, we had our of issues," she told People. "But we went through a lot in a short amount of time."
In an interview on the Today show, Tarek cleared the air, explaining he was never suicidal and only brought the gun because he was going on a hike in a wooded area with "bobcats and rattlesnakes and, like, big wildlife" around. "It got really blown out of proportion," he explained.
Was There A Divorce Settlement?
One year after Tarek filed for divorce, the end of their marriage was finalized. While the news of their divorce and their joint custody arrangement were made public, the Jan. 22, 2018 court order did not include details on how their money and property would be divided.
It did, however, state that Christina and Tarek couldn't make any "disparaging remarks" about each other in front of their kids (Taylor, 7, and Brayden, 2), and they wouldn't allow others to do so, either.
Are They Still Filming Flip Or Flop Together?
Christina and Tarek just premiered the latest season of their hit series — their first since divorcing — and they didn't ignore the elephant in the room. The first episode tackled their separation head-on, setting the tone for a more personal season. "I think sometimes it’s just hard to see us as real people and a real family dealing with struggles just like everybody else," Christina told Yahoo Lifestyle.
Plus, at the end of the day, they "have to go to work and support our kids," she said, so continuing the show made sense.
Who Is Christina Dating These Days?
After Tarek filed for divorce, Christina dated businessman Doug Spedding for several months, breaking up in mid-October 2017 as Doug entered an in-patient rehab center for addiction issues, according to People. About a month later, Christina was spotted with current boyfriend — and author/TV show host — Ant Antstead. The two have been incredibly supportive of each other, even sparking a secret hashtag (#HMF) that's had fans fighting to decode what it means.
Who Is Tarek Dating?
Tarek's enjoying the single life right now. "I have a ton of friends. I go out and have a good time and focus on my kids and my career," he told CountryLiving.com in June.
Where Do They Live Now?
Tarek moved out of the El Moussas' Yorba Linda home after their separation, and once their divorce was finalized, Christina put the house up on the market. She just closed on a new home in Newport Beach, CA, while Tarek is in the midst of renovating the Costa Mesa home he bought back in March.
Will Tarek Appear In Christina On The Coast?
Christina recently announced that she's starring in her own solo HGTV show, Christina On The Coast, set to air in early 2019. The series will focus on her designing her new home, as well as helping eight other families design theirs. There's no house flipping this time around, and no word on whether you'll see Tarek. We wouldn't count on it, though.
Will Tarek Get His Own Show Too?
HGTV has said the network's in talks with Tarek about producing his own solo venture, too, but no details have been released. With all of his recent Instagram Stories posts about the work he's doing on his home (that 7-foot-tall custom chandelier though!), it seems like there's plenty of content for a Tarek Out On The Town show. Just saying.
How Are They Doing Now?
In Christina's July 2, 2018 interview with People, she says that she and Tarek "managed to build something even bigger than we had before," while co-parenting their two kids.
"I thought of this year like a rebuild," she elaborated. "I’m moving, I have a, a — there’s a lot of projects going on. I’m just so happy, and for the first time in a long time, I feel at peace, which is such a good feeling."
Tarek has expressed a similar sort of peace. "After separating and losing my family, I said I’m gonna do every single thing I can to be the best person I can be. I can say standing here today I’m the best version of myself I ever thought I could be," he told Dr. Drew.
After the separation, Tarek did some soul-searching and focused on taking care of his mental and physical health. "Honestly, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been to date because I don’t feel the way I felt," he said.
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