Talk about a roller-coaster! Christina Haack and Tarek El Moussa‘s ups and downs started well before they called it quits in 2016.
The reality stars tied the knot in May 2009, four years before their HGTV series catapulted them into the spotlight. Things took a turn when El Moussa was diagnosed with two forms of cancer in 2013 after a Flip or Flop viewer — who happened to be a registered nurse — brought a concern to producers’ attention.
“No joke, I thought I was going to die,” El Moussa exclusively told Us Weekly several years after his health scare. “I was like, ‘Two cancers?’ … [But Christina] helped me out a lot. She made sure I took all my meds and she had to make certain meals for me.”
Through it all, the licensed real estate agent wanted to put on a brave face. “I literally filmed ’til the day I went into my surgery, and within two weeks after, I was back on camera,” he told Us. “It was definitely difficult to do, but it definitely pushed my mental strength to the limits. … I just kept moving forward.”
While the pair continued to get along on camera, it was seemingly a different story behind closed doors. In May 2016, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department was called the duo’s home after an altercation, with 11 deputies responding to a “possibly suicidal male with a gun.” At the time, authorities told Us that El Moussa “had no intention of hurting himself” and cooperated when asked to give up possession of his firearms. By the end of the year, the twosome called it quits.
“Like many couples, we have had challenges in our marriage,” they noted in a statement to Us in December 2016. “We had an unfortunate misunderstanding about six months ago and the police were called to our house in an abundance of caution. There was no violence and no charges were filed. We chose to get counseling to sort out our relationship. Together, we have decided to separate while we reevaluate the future of our marriage.”
Despite their split, the duo vowed to remain “committed to our kids and being the best parents we can be,” the statement said. Haack and El Moussa share daughter Taylor and son Brayden.
The former spouses have continued to work together since their divorce was finalized in 2018 and have always done their best to communicate cordially when it comes to coparenting. In September 2020, a source told Us that the TV personalities were in a “great, peaceful and friendly place” and were “happier than ever” while raising their kids.
“The kids are great and life is good,” El Moussa noted the same month, shortly before Haack confirmed she had split from second husband Ant Anstead after nearly two years of marriage. (The California native, for his part, is engaged to Heather Rae Young.)
Not only does Haack try to stay on good terms with El Moussa, but she’s also gotten to know the Selling Sunset star, who loves her role as Taylor and Brayden’s stepmom.
“We coparent very well together,” Young told Us in April 2021. “We communicate daily about the kids, and they’re the most important thing in the world to all of us. So, as long as the kids are happy, we’re all happy.”
Scroll down for a closer look at Haack and El Moussa’s ups and downs — from health scares to filming feuds: