Justin Hartley & Chrishell Stause's Relationship Timeline Is Bittersweet
To say Justin Hartley and Chrishell Stause's marriage didn't end on good terms would be an understatement. Ever since the This Is Us star filed for divorce in November 2019, the couple's fairytale romance has turned into an IRL soap opera, and — like many other people, including Stause herself, apparently — I never saw this one coming. Justin Hartley and Chrishell Stause's relationship timeline began all the way back in 2013, and over the course of six years, the two fell in love, got hitched, and bought their dream house together. But that all changed soon after their second wedding anniversary, and according to Stause, she got the news her marriage was over via text message. (Elite Daily previously reached out to Hartley's rep for a comment on Stause's claim and didn't hear back.)
Like any Hollywood relationship, it's impossible to know what's really happening behind the scenes. After all, Hartley cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for their split, which is basically celeb speak for "none of your business." The two have also provided very different accounts of what went down, with Stause claiming she was blindsided and Hartley claiming they'd already been separated for months before he filed. If Season 3 of Selling Sunset (which featured the couple's divorce) left you with more questions than answers, then maybe this review of their six-year romance will help.
They Started Dating In October 2013
Though Hartley and Stause sorta knew each other as fellow soap stars — he was on The Young and the Restless at the time, and she was on Days of Our Lives — the two didn't start dating until October 2013. According to Hartley, he and Stause were set up by a mutual friend. "We met up at a concert and talked all night," Hartley told People in November 2017. "I drove her home and called the next day. We haven't been apart since. I knew right away [and] was like, 'Oh boy, here we go.'"
Stause expressed a similar sentiment, telling People it was love at first sight. "The next day I texted my friend: 'I found him,'" she said. A few months after that fateful first date, Hartley and Stause made their red carpet debut as a couple at the fifth annual Unbridled Eve Derby party in Los Angeles.
They Got Engaged In July 2016
In July 2016, after nearly three years of dating, Hartley and Stause announced their engagement. Stause took to Instagram to show off her new ring on July 31, captioning the pic, "You guys think I need sunscreen..? 💍😍 @justinhartley." She also shared the news on Twitter, tweeting, "Such a happy time. Thanks for all the well wishes guys! So sweet."
During an August 2016 interview with TooFab, Hartley was coy about the details of the proposal, but it definitely sounded romantic. "Chrishell and I have a relationship story between the two of us that I incorporated," he said. "I thought it was touching, I meant every word of it and she means the world to me. I could not be happier. And she said yes. I don't know if that makes me lucky or her sort of… I'm kidding. I'm thrilled!"
They Got Married In October 2017
Just about four years after their first date, Hartley and Stause tied the knot at Malibu's Calamigos Ranch on Oct. 28, 2017. "They don't make them any better than Justin, and I could not be more thrilled to officially be Mrs. Hartley!" Stause told People at the time, later adding, "The wedding exceeded anything I could have ever imagined." The day after the wedding, Stause tweeted, "Best night of my life."
They Bought A House In April 2019
In April 2019, Hartley and Stause bought a modern farmhouse in Los Angeles' Encino neighborhood, which Stause referred to as her "dream house" on Selling Sunset. Sadly, due to contractual reasons, Hartley and the new home couldn't make any cameos on the show. As Selling Sunset producer Adam DiVello explained to TheWrap, "I know [Chrishell] really wanted him to be on it. And they were newlyweds and they were living a new life and had just bought a new house. You know, she had a big, huge, fun part of her life happening that she couldn't show on TV, on the show."
Hartley Filed For Divorce In November 2019
Hartley shocked fans by filing for divorce from his wife of two years on Nov. 22, 2019, citing "irreconcilable differences," according the Los Angeles Superior Court online docket. He also listed their date of separation as July 8, 2019, even though he wished Stause a happy birthday on Instagram with a sweet post just about two weeks later on July 21. The couple also stepped out together on several occasions between July 8 and Nov. 22, with their last public outing taking place on Nov. 14, just eight days before Hartley filed.
At the time, an insider reportedly told Us Weekly, "Justin had been having problems with the marriage for a while," but "the divorce filing was a big surprise to everyone." According to Stause, Hartley's decision definitely came as a shock. On Selling Sunset, she claimed she was "blindsided," and according to her, she received a text from Hartley telling her he'd filed for divorce only 45 minutes before the news went public. As she told her friend and Selling Sunset co-star Mary Fitzgerald, she and Hartley apparently fought over the phone on the morning of Nov. 21, but afterwards, she thought they "were totally fine."
Though the reason for the divorce is still unclear, a source for People reportedly claimed back in November 2019 the two weren't on the same page. "Chrishell is really ready to just settle down and be a wife and stay-at-home mom and was hoping to start a family relatively soon," the insider said. "Justin wants that but also doesn't think it has to happen in the near future and is at a point in his career where he wants to really be able to explore all the options that are coming his way."
However, some fans think infidelity may have been involved. In August 2020, Stause liked a tweet accusing her ex of cheating with his now-girlfriend, Sofia Pernas, according to Us Weekly. She also reportedly liked a December 2019 tweet from Blind Gossip, which linked to an article about Hartley's rumored cheating. A source close to Hartley reportedly claimed to Us Weekly those cheating rumors are "absolutely false," and the actor "didn't even start talking to Sofia until March 2020." (Elite Daily previously reached out to reps for Stause and Hartley about the cheating claims but didn't hear back.)
Fans may never know the real reason why Hartley and Stause decided to go their separate ways, but here's hoping they can eventually put all the drama behind them.