Chip and Joanna Gaines on the Secret to a Successful Marriage: “It’s Hard Work”

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines attend the Build Series to discuss the new book "Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff" at Build Studio on October 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage)

It’s the question that all aspiring power couples want answered by Chip and Joanna Gaines: What’s your secret to a successful and lasting marriage?

Chip’s latest response was straightforward and simple: “There’s no secret,” he told Success magazine in its January 2018 issue. “It’s hard work.”

The couple, who own their Magnolia empire, share four young kids, ages ranging from 7 to 12. “Jo and I have struggles and fighting and arguments just like anybody else,” Chip continued. “This isn’t like we got lucky and hit the lottery and the two perfect people fell in love.”

Ahead of the fifth and final season of their HGTV series Fixer Upper, the pair announced that the pending final episodes would be their last. At the time, the couple cited that they wanted to focus on their family. “People are like, ‘You’re crazy. You would be crazy to leave this thing at the height like this. Give it another year. Let it run out of gas,’” he continued. “And we kind of laugh, and we’re like, ‘You know what? That’s not who we are.’”

Chip and Joanna's Magnolia Market

Chip and Joanna’s Magnolia Market. (

Joanna added, “We’ve always been on the same page when it comes to the things that matter most: our family and our values and how we want to raise our children.”

The couple married in May 2003, in their beloved hometown of Waco, Texas, which is now the base of Magnolia Market and other endeavors. The two also now count partnerships with Target, and have several bestselling books in addition to a wildly popular magazine.

In his book, Chip recently wrote of his marriage: “The key is always giving each other enough slack in the rope to make mistakes. Affording each other a little extra rope has (mostly) equaled smooth sailing for us.”

About the Author

Esther Lee
Esther Lee
Esther is the Senior News Editor at The Knot. A self-proclaimed pop culture enthusiast, she appreciates a good celebrity interview just as much as she adores Nancy Meyers movies. You can find her kicking off her mornings with barre and a green juice, traveling and exploring new cultures, and rapidly scrolling her feed for the latest and greatest news. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @theestherlee.