Gwen Stefani got surprisingly emotional during an appearance on a British talk show in late June. The singer was chatting about the U.K. stops on her current tour when the hosts played a video from iconic ska musician Pauline Black wishing Gwen well. “Wow, I’m shaking,” the visibly moved star said as she wiped away tears. Viewers were left shocked by the unexpected breakdown, but a source told In Touch the “Hollaback Girl” singer has been especially fragile lately: “The smallest thing sets her off.”
According to the source, Gwen, 53, is on edge because of tension brewing between her and her husband of two years, country music superstar Blake Shelton. The former coaches on The Voice are being pulled in different directions as Blake, 47, focuses on his game show, Barmageddon, and Gwen is busy touring.
“Times are tough for Gwen and Blake,” the source said. “They’re spending a lot of time apart and the relationship is suffering. Friends are worried that if they don’t address their problems before they spiral out of control, divorce might be in the cards for them.”
For years, Gwen and Blake were inseparable. He was a coach on The Voice for 23 seasons before leaving the show in the spring; Gwen costarred with him for seven of those seasons. “They used to do everything together,” the source added, noting, “some might even say they were together too much.” Now, as he focuses on Barmageddon (the boozy USA Network series was renewed for a second season in March) and life at home on the couple’s Oklahoma ranch, “they’re both distracted by their work,” the source added. “Anyone can see they’re having issues.” Without The Voice, they have little in common.
“There isn’t much for them to talk about,” the insider explained. Their differences have become glaringly obvious — Blake’s a down-home country boy, while Gwen is a city girl at heart. “She can put on cowboy boots and sing a country duet with Blake, but Gwen doesn’t really fit in that whole country lifestyle,” the source revealed. “When she’s in Oklahoma, she misses L.A. and all its conveniences.”
While the pair bought a $13 million mansion in the posh Encino neighborhood in 2020, the source added, “Blake’s not really comfortable living in the big city with all the traffic, noise and crowds.” Gwen is telling pals she’s worried about the state of their marriage. “She feels the change in the relationship more than Blake does,” the source dished. “She’s confided to pals that it’s killing her to see them drifting apart like this, but she doesn’t know what to do. When they first got together, their chemistry was through the roof. Gwen wants them to get their old spark back, but it takes two to tango and Blake seems to be too busy to notice.”
They’ve been arguing nonstop, as the insider noted, “Gwen and Blake both have habits that annoy each other, like when Blake tracks mud through the house or leaves a mess. And what he eats grosses Gwen out. She’s always on his case about dieting.” The couple even got into a fight on their July 3 wedding anniversary. “Gwen started picking on Blake for eating too much and drinking too much beer,” the insider said. “They exchanged some choice words before Blake left in a huff.”
Gwen’s kids are also a point of contention. Blake has gushed about being a stepfather, but Gwen wishes he were less easygoing with Kingston, 17, Zuma, 14, and Apollo, 9, her sons with ex-husband Gavin Rossdale. “Blake’s just like one big kid and the boys love him, but she wants to see him toughen up more,” the source explained. “Under her watch, they have homework, chores, activities, strict bedtimes and no junk food. Blake doesn’t enforce those things, so Gwen is always left looking like the bad cop.”
Expanding their family is another hot-button issue, as the source revealed, “They talked about having more kids early on and Blake seemed keen, but he’s had second thoughts and is now fine with being a stepdad to her three. And Gwen is less than thrilled. “She wants a baby with Blake and presses the issue again and again,” the insider added.
In hopes of getting their marriage back on track, Gwen is urging the country star to try couples counseling. “She’s a big believer in therapy and feels it could really help her and Blake,” the source said. But the “I Thought There Was Time” singer is dragging his feet. “He doesn’t want to talk about private stuff to a stranger,” the insider noted. “Plus, he thinks they should be able to work things out on their own.” Friends are hoping they can nip things in the bud before it’s too late.
“There’s growing concern that Gwen and Blake need to fix these issues now if they’re going to save their marriage and make things work for the long term,” the insider concluded. “Obviously there’s still a whole lot of love there — and nobody wants to see them divorced. Hopefully, it won’t come to that.”
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