Tarek El Moussa revealed that ex-wife Christina Hall leaving him in 2016 was a blessing in disguise, as it brought him closer to the former couple’s two children, Taylor and Brayden, and forced him to re-evaluate his life.

“I was never really there for [Taylor and Brayden] until Christina left me and then, in a sense, her leaving me was the best thing that’s ever happened to me because I rebuilt my life. I became the dad I always wanted to be,” Tarek, 42, told Entertainment Tonight in an interview published on Tuesday, February 6.

“I’m now the husband I always wanted to be, I’m the son I wanted to be, the friend I wanted to be, and that all came from her leaving me,” he continued.

Tarek married Heather Rae Young in October 2021 after being engaged for more than a year. The couple welcomed son Tristan Jay on January 31, 2023.

The Flip or Flop alum said he initially wanted to fight to save his marriage with Christina. He entered a halfway house upon her leaving him because, “I didn’t trust myself to be alone. That’s how bad I was. The reason I ended up there is because I didn’t know where to go and I needed 24-hour care. I’d lost everything, it felt like overnight.”

Tarek said, “I did not want to be alive,” and called it his “rock bottom.” By the time he left the halfway house and still hoped to repair his marriage, Christina had started dating Ant Anstead. The duo married in December 2018, but split in September 2020. She wed realtor Josh Hall in April 2022 following a whirlwind romance.

The HGTV star said he understood why Christina “did what she did” by moving on. It caused him to “evaluate and self-check,” while asking himself, “Is this the person I want to be?”

“[In] 2017, I was on my own, I was going through a divorce, I didn’t have my family with me and that was not the life I dreamed of,” Tarek confessed to the outlet. “That is not the life I wanted. So, by accepting the fact that I had that life, and I was not happy with that life, it gave me the drive to start rebuilding my life. And today, I’m married to Heather. [I] love her so much, right? I have Tristan, he’s turning one already, I can’t believe it. Today, I’m living the life that I wanted years ago, right? It didn’t just happen. It took work.”

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