A rocky road.
and Kim Kardashian were once Kanye West dubbed “relationship goals” — but their marriage turned tumultuous long before they officially called it quits in 2021.
Keeping Up With the Kardashians star met West in the early 2000s. “He was recording a song with , and I was her friend. I vividly remember hanging out with him, and then they did a video together, so I’d see him a few times. He was asking his friends: ‘Who is this Kim Kardajan?’ He didn’t know what my name was,” she recalled to Brandy in 2017. Ryan Seacrest
While the duo struck up a friendship, they both dated different people throughout the ‘00s. Kardashian
even married NBA player in August 2011 but filed for divorce 72 days later. Kris Humphries
“Right before I got married to Kris Humphries, [Kanye and I] were talking, and I just went a different direction,” the KKW Beauty admitted during the
KUWTK 10th anniversary special. “I think I had to go through that to figure out what I wanted. After my breakup, I was feeling really low and down and he said, ‘Just come to Paris and see my fashion show.’ He jokes that he put on this whole fashion show just to get a date with me. So, I went there and I stayed with him, and that’s where we started dating. I swear from the moment I landed, I fell madly in love with him and I thought, ‘Oh, my God, why didn’t I do this sooner?’ Like, this is what real life is like — love and fun and real support.”
Not long after Kardashian and West decided to give their relationship a shot, she learned she was pregnant. While
she gave birth to daughter North in June 2013, the rapper publicly revealed in July 2020 that the twosome discussed ending her pregnancy — a comment that sparked major issues between the couple.
Before things blew up between the duo,
Kardashian and West wed in 2014 and welcomed three more kids: Saint (born December 2015), Chicago (January 2018) and Psalm (May 2019).
In between Chicago and Psalm’s arrivals via surrogate, West made headlines for a series of controversial remarks and bizarre Twitter rants. Kardashian’s mother,
, admitted to Kris Jenner Us Weekly at the time that the spouses faced some “hiccups” in 2018, but were now “solid.”
The momager told
Us at the time: “They’re committed to one another, and people, you’re not always going to agree with each other forever,” Jenner explained. “You’re going to have differences. You’re going to have things that pop up.”
Fast forward to 2020 and West, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the past, was in the news again as he decided to run for President of the United States. During a campaign rally in South Carolina, the “Jesus Walks” rapper got visibly emotional as he discussed abortion and his eldest daughter. After more strange tweets (keep reading for a refresher), West publicly apologized to his wife. The scandal also prompted Kardashian to address her husband’s mental health issues for the first time in the media.
“Those that understand mental illness or even compulsive behavior know that the family is powerless unless the member is a minor,” she wrote in part via Instagram. “People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual themselves have to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try.”
Sources subsequently told
Us that Kardashian was weighing her options when it came to her future with West as they continued to live “separate lives.” In January 2021, Us confirmed that they had been in counseling, but their marriage hit its breaking point after a “big fight” in early December 2020.
“Kanye blew up at Kim and she was really upset. Things between them don’t seem to have healed since that,” a source told
A second insider added that it was “only a matter of time” before their union ended. “She didn’t just walk away,” the source said. “The comments about North and the abortion were the final confirmation. She will protect the children first, always.”
News broke on February 19, 2021, that
Kardashian officially filed for divorce.
Scroll through for a timeline of the biggest signs of Kimye’s split:
While insiders previously told
Us that Kardashian tried to support West’s political aspirations, she was clearly not happy when he brought up North during his first official campaign event in July 2020.
Kim is deeply upset with Kanye for talking about their personal life and for making matters that are very personal to them and their family public,” a source told Us at the time. “She was taken aback by his comments regarding North. Kim is usually able to help him keep his mental health in check and Kanye speaking like this was shocking to her.”
David Buchan/Variety/Shutterstock; Michael Wyke/AP/Shutterstock
West made shocking claims about his marriage and
Kardashian’s family during a Twitter rant in July 2020.
“They tried to fly in with 2 doctors to 51/50 me,” he wrote in since-deleted tweets at the time. “I been trying to get divorced since Kim met with
Meek [Mill] at the Warldolf [sic] for ‘prison reform.’”
The musician went on to allege that Kardashian and Kris Jenner tried to “get a doctor to lock me up” after the controversial campaign rally.
“Kim was trying to fly to Wyoming with a doctor to lock me up like on the movie Get Out because I cried about saving my daughters life yesterday,” he wrote. “If I get locked up like Mandela Y’all will know why.”
Days later, West
apologized for his remarks: “I would like to apologize to my wife Kim for going public with something that was a private matter. I did not cover her like she has covered me. To Kim I want to say I know I hurt you. Please forgive me. Thank you for always being there for me.”
As West made headlines for his controversial comments,
Us broke the news that Kardashian was considering her options, meeting with divorce attorney Laura Wasser “to talk about divorce.” A second insider told Us that month that the duo “wanted to make it work” and never moved forward with a divorce in the past “because of their children.”
Later that month, Kardashian was spotted crying in West’s car during an emotional visit to Wyoming. She also publicly addressed his battle with bipolar disorder for the first time via Instagram.
As West continued to spend the majority of his time in Wyoming in 2020, Kardashian stayed in Los Angeles with their kids. An insider gave
Us insight into their living situation at the time: “Kanye has been in Wyoming for the last year. Kim goes about once every five weeks and brings the kids. When together, things are fine between them but they haven’t been spending time together because he moved his life completely to Wyoming and that’s not where their life is, their family is, their kids are in school or the larger family is.”
While things calmed down for the duo by the end of summer 2020, an insider told
Us that September that Kardashian wasn’t done “considering her options” because of their children. “She is stressed out between studying law, taking care of the kids and helping Kanye,” the source said, noting she “does have divorce options planned out if it comes to that.”
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/Shutterstock; MEGA
Kardashian’s 40th birthday trip to a private island
made headlines for several reasons — including for accusations that the famous family was being tone-deaf amid coronavirus pandemic — but West’s apparent absence was most notable. Us confirmed in October 2020 that the Grammy winner did make an appearance during the vacation, but he wasn’t there for long.
“He arrived late because of work commitments,” the insider said. “But [he] was there the last few days of the trip.”
While Kardashian didn’t address his late arrival, she did gush over West’s present to her — a hologram of her late father, Robert Kardashian.
“For my birthday, Kanye got me the most thoughtful gift of a lifetime,” Kim wrote alongside a video of the recording. “A special surprise from heaven. A hologram of my dad. It is so lifelike! We watched it over and over, filled with emotion.”
Courtesy of Kim Kardashian/Instagram
Kardashian’s final Instagram post with West was a tribute to his
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album on its 10th anniversary.
“For those that don’t know the story behind “Lost In The World” … Kanye couldn’t come up with some of the lyrics but then realized he had them in a poem he had written me that was my birthday card he gave me for my 30th birthday,” she wrote alongside a black-and-white photo of the pair. “He took the poem he wrote me and made it the song. I keep everything!”
West was noticeably missing from the
Kardashian family Christmas celebrations in December 2020 as Kim celebrated with Kris, and Kourtney Kardashian, Kendall Jenner Kylie Jenner.
Courtesy Kim Kardashian/Instagram
Kardashian stopped wearing a lot of her jewelry after she was robbed in Paris in November 2016 — and one of the pieces taken from her was a 20-carat ring from West. She was spotted sans her gold wedding band several times in January 2021 as her marital woes made headlines.
Courtesy Kim Kardashian/Twitter
Amid speculation about West and Kardashian’s marriage, fans noticed he was no where to be found during the final day of
KUWTK filming in January 2021. The reality TV personality also didn’t include her spouse in her birthday tribute to daughter Chicago.
Courtesy of Kim Kardashian/Instagram