‘Flip or Flop’ Star Christina El Moussa on Pre-Split Tension: ‘I Was Overwhelmed’

“It got to the point where we weren’t even driving to set together,” star of HGTV series says

Flip or Flop
HGTV's 'Flip or Flop'

“Flip or Flop” star Christina El Moussa is opening up about the state of her marriage to husband/co-star Tarek El Moussa in the period leading to their breakup, saying she was “overwhelmed” by the tension between the two of them.

“It was too soon for me,” El Moussa told People, recalling how he returned to work a mere four weeks after the birth of their son Brayden, now eighteen months old. “I was overwhelmed. The tension between me and Tarek was high.”

El Moussa , who also has a daughter Taylor with Tarek, added, “We weren’t able to properly communicate anymore … It got to the point where we weren’t even driving to set together.”

Aside from the pressures of juggling a work schedule with a newborn, there were other factors that contributed to the couple’s troubles, including Tarek’s struggle with thyroid cancer and a 2014 miscarriage.

While the couple announced their split in December, months after an incident involving Tarek and a gun — and Tarek filed for divorce in January — Christina told People, “I think the separation process begins long before people actually separate. So by the time we officially did, I felt like a weight was lifted off me.”

The El Moussas announced their split after seven years of marriage in a statement to People in December, acknowledging, “Like many couples, we have had challenges in our marriage … 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.”

According to the El Moussas, they broke up following a May incident during which law enforcement responded to a call of a “possibly suicidal male with a gun.” The call was made after Tarek retrieved a gun from a safe in the couple’s Orange County, California, home and wandered into Chino Hills State Park.

Tarek told deputies that he headed to the park to “blow off some steam,” and that he brought the gun with him as protection against mountain lions and rattlesnakes.

“Flip or Flop,” which premiered in 2013, revolves around the El Moussas, real estate agents who buy distressed properties and renovate them.