Throughout her nearly decade-long relationship with controversial rapper Kanye West, reality TV queen Kim Kardashian stood by him in light of all his scandals, beefs, and rants. But was she doing it purely out of love? Since tying the knot in a predictably lavish ceremony in May 2014, there has been quite a bit of discord in Kimye’s marriage, and despite their cute Instas and carefully staged photo ops, the signs are all there that they’re a pretty unhappy couple.
With multiple reports mounting that the parents of four are close to divorcing, each party (at the time of this writing) has yet to actually file to legally and officially dissolve the union. Still, the writing is on the wall (and at times on the social media accounts) that the fashion-forward, often petty pair are approaching the end. Here are all the signs that show Kardashian and West are going in vastly different directions.
Kim and Kanye’s ‘divorce is imminent’
In January 2021, Page Six reported that "divorce is imminent" for Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, and that Kardashian would likely be the one to file, especially having "Disso Queen" celebrity divorce lawyer Laura Wasser on retainer. However, some sources say that while a divorce is probable at some point, it wasn’t set in stone just yet because the couple was still actively trying to work things out.
"Kim and Kanye are in counseling and exploring their options," a source told People. "They have been working on their marriage for a long time, but no decision has been made."
Sources told both People and TMZ that divorce was on the table, but that Kardashian frequently went back and forth in regards to calling it quits or saving her marriage. TMZ further reported that couple is "on speaking terms" and even exchanged millions of dollars worth of Christmas gifts in 2020, even though they don’t see eye to eye on many things (including politics and their lifestyles). For what it’s worth, Kardashian has also posted numerous photos on Instagram without her wedding ring since December 2020.
Kanye West’s Twitter habits created havoc in their marriage
Kanye West’s Twitter rants reportedly drive Kim Kardashian up the wall. It began in 2016 with his hate-fueled tirade against his ex, Amber Rose, and Wiz Khalifa. A source told R Online, "Kim told Kanye how totally inappropriate his comments were. She really let him have it. But he is still the one who rules the marriage. Kanye made Kim call Amber and meet with her. He wanted Kim to make up with Amber for him. He told her what she had to do, and she listened to him, of course."
A few days later, insiders also told People that Kardashian was over his social media insanity, which at the time included messy missives about Bill Cosby and his own finances. "What causes friction in the marriage, however, is Kanye’s compulsive tweeting," a source told the mag. "Kim can’t stand it. She is all for self-promotion, but doesn’t approve of Twitter drama."
Clearly, the couple continued on, but West’s tweets in summer 2020 may have driven Kardashian over the edge: West revealed in a presidential campaign event that he and Kardashian considered terminating her first pregnancy and tweeted further about the private struggle, writing, "I cried at the thought of aborting my first born and everyone was so concerned about me… I’m concerned for the world that feels you shouldn’t cry about this subject."
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are rarely together
Because both Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have grueling schedules that require a ton of travel, they’re hardly together in the flesh. Unless they’re doing a red carpet together, they’re rarely spotted out as a couple — and when they are, they’re usually not smiling. In fact, reports claim that Kardashian and West have actually been living apart for months.
People reported in December 2020 that they had been "living separate lives" and focusing on their own respective "projects" (West’s music and Kardashian’s criminal justice reform efforts)."Their lives don’t overlap much," a source told the outlet. Insiders also noted that Kardashian has largely stayed in their shared California home with daughters North and Chicago and sons Saint and Psalm, while West has spent most of his time at their Wyoming ranch. They have, however, had visits as a family occasionally.
Kanye West’s breakdown hurt their union
Kanye West’s November 2016 breakdown was spawned by a lot of potential challenges: mental illness, exhaustion, paranoia, the anniversary of his mother’s death, and, reportedly, marital strife. That strife didn’t really get better once he was out of the hospital. A source told Us Weekly that Kim Kardashian and West were living apart while he recovered, adding, "Kim is being very protective and doesn’t want Kanye around the kids right now…it’s a valid concern."
A source told R Online in March 2017, "Kim is having a really, really difficult time holding it together right now. She seems absolutely miserable and would like nothing more than to turn this around, but at this point it seems like she is just hopeless…it is like Kanye has the mentality of a five-year-old and Kim is more like his mother than his wife. The two of them are constantly fighting behind closed doors and she just seems tired of playing this charade with him."
Kim Kardashian couldn’t help Kanye West with his mental health
While there are plenty of arguments for how the Kardashian family has affected the men who’ve married into it, Kanye West has been open about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and not treating it with his prescribed medication. As a result, West has had several bipolar episodes that reportedly were incredibly taxing on Kim Kardashian, and understandably so, leading her to want to shield their children from their own father.
In September 2020, People reported the couple struggled with this cycle often. Following some unsettling outbursts from West, a source told the magazine, "He’s off his meds. He promised he’d stay on them. The last time, part of his negotiation with Kim was that he’d get back on his medication and he would work very hard to control his impulses. He made a lot of promises. And now those promises are broken, less than a month later." Kardashian was said to feel "powerless" in helping West.
When Kardashian spoke out about West’s outbursts and asked followers to have compassion for him, he lashed out further in more since-deleted tweets, alleging that she and mom Kris Jenner were trying to "lock [him] up" and flew a doctor out to Wyoming to try to help. He refused any treatment and said that Kardashian’s proclamations were made without his knowledge or consent.
Did Kanye West try to make Kim Kardashian into his own life-sized Barbie doll
Kim Kardashian’s brand was greatly elevated after she embarked on her relationship with Kanye West, as were those of her sisters and mom, Kris Jenner, leading Kim to finally get invited to the coveted Met Gala for the first time in 2013 with the rest of her family following in subsequent years. That’s great, but it may have been at the expense of Kim’s individuality and personal style. Remember when West threw out all of Kardashian’s clothes on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, just to replace them with things he’d picked out himself? (She recalled, via W, crying after he threw out 250 pairs of shoes and left her with just two.) West has also been said to send Kardashian fashion directives and mood boards over email, even banning her from "wear[ing] big glasses" specifically.
As it turns out, that was just the beginning. From her occasional blonde hair to her new wardrobe to what some have speculated as an overuse of facial fillers, Kardashian has been criticized for apparently shedding any shred of an identity she has to keep West around. To wit, Kardashian frenemy Wendy Williams threw shade all over Kimye’s dynamic, telling R Online, "I think that she likes the illusion of having a husband and children. He likes her because he likes a nice Barbie Doll."
Did Kanye West want to kontrol Kim Kardashian?
Sources told R Online as far back as September 2016 that Kanye West’s influence over Kim Kardashian went beyond the superficial, and that the rapper tried to control her every move. "Kim is feeling totally smothered by Kanye right now," an insider said. "It’s like she no longer has a voice." In a different report from the same outlet just days later, another source claimed, "Kim is kind of becoming his puppet and it seems she does not like it. But she almost asked for this, because in some ways this is all that she ever wanted."
It appears the couple never shook off the rumors about West’s alleged control issues, with insiders telling Us Weekly in January 2021 that West had grown bitter and jealous that Kardashian was expanding her own horizons during their marriage, both personally as a parent and professionally as an advocate for prisoners. The "Monster" MC reportedly got the green-eyed monster over the time she spent on not just her criminal justice reform work and studying for the bar, but also of the attention she gives to their children. He was also reportedly frustrated that she didn’t want to live with him "full-time" in Wyoming.
Kim Kardashian had no interest in being Kanye West’s first lady
In 2020, Kim Kardashian reportedly begged Kanye West not to run for president, but was unable to stop him from trying (and often failing) to get on ballots. West, who supported Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign for the presidency, was believed to be in the throes of a bipolar episode throughout his failed campaign.
During his very first campaign rally in South Carolina in July 2020, West broke down crying and revealed that Kardashian considered terminating her pregnancy with daughter North West, which reportedly made her "furious." Sources told People that his wife tried to steer him away from politics. "Kim urged Kanye to not move forward with running for president, but he won’t listen," a source said, adding that Kardashian wanted West to "focus on his mental health instead." Insiders claimed that West hadn’t seen his and Kardashian’s children for extended periods of time and that Kardashian was leaning heavily on her famous family for support at the time.
Was Kanye West unfaithful to Kim Kardashian?
Kanye West’s ex-girlfriend, Amber Rose, has come out time and again saying that her relationship with West ended because he was cheating on her with Kim Kardashian. As the old adage goes, "If they’ll do it with you, they’ll do it to you."
There was speculation that West’s eye wandered again in 2016, at least if his phone records are any indication. The Daily News reported that adult film star Lisa Ann (of, er, Nailin’ Palin fame) claimed to have a slew of nude photos sent to her from West during his marriage to Kardashian.
Although neither West nor Kardashian acknowledged the accusation at the time, West later told Apple Music‘s Zane Lowe that he has struggled with a "full-on pornography addiction" for most of his life. Additionally, TMZ‘s sources that contributed information about the couple’s supposed imminent 2021 divorce eliminated any cheating speculation, claiming "there is no third party."
Kim Kardashian’s robbery put a strain on the marriage
Some insiders say Kimye’s marriage hasn’t been the same since Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint inside her hotel room in Paris in October 2016. A source told Page Six, "[They] have been arguing a lot since the Paris robbery. Kim has completely calmed down her life, but Kanye is stubbornly refusing to let fear get in the way of what he wants to do."
A source concurred to People, "Kim has had a very rough time since the robbery. It hasn’t helped that Kanye has been touring. Their lives have been quite chaotic. It’s been very trying for them both and not a good recipe for a happy marriage." The source continued, "Kim [was] usually the more stable and strong person in the marriage [before the robbery]. Kanye is used to leaning on her. Since Kim has had her own issues to deal with, the roles have been reversed. Kanye has had to stay strong to support Kim, and it’s like he can’t handle it anymore. It’s like Kanye is falling apart now, because Kim hasn’t been able to give him her full attention."
Kanye West has anger issues
If you need proof of Kanye West’s alleged anger issues, look no further than his meltdown when performing on Saturday Night Live in February 2016. The rapper went on a huge tirade when he discovered that Lorne Michaels’ crew had the nerve to rearrange his staging for the show, and it was all recorded on audio obtained by Page Six.
"Look at that s**t they took my f**king stage off’a SNL without asking me," he gripes on the recording. "I am bummed…If I am going to do this, we are breaking the motherf**king Internet." In the same audio recording, he calls Taylor Swift a "fake a**" and compares himself to Stanley Kubrick, Pablo Escobar, and the apostle Paul. Seriously.
A source told Life & Style that Kimye has pursued couples’ therapy in an effort to salvage the marriage. "Their therapist comes to their home and talks with them," the insider said. "They were considering divorce, but decided to try to work it out. It’s been an uphill battle, but they’ve come a long way. They’re learning how to communicate and understand each other. They have learned to get along again. The therapy is helping, for now…They discuss his different triggers and how Kim can keep him from getting upset at home."
Kanye West lashes out at Kim Kardashian’s loved ones
Kim Kardashian may have good reason to be upset with her husband due to all the smack he talks about her loved ones.
He rapped about Blac Chyna helping Rob Kardashian lose weight through what the Daily Mail referred to as "sexercise," and he reportedly made the Jenners furious when he went on a rant against Kylie Jenner‘s endorsement deal with Puma. West tweeted, "1000% there will never be a Kylie Puma anything. That’s on my family! 1000% Kylie is on Yeezy team!!! Puma we gone give you your measly million dollars back!!! Never try to divide the family!!!" Of course, that didn’t work out the way Yeezy planned. Jenner kept her deal. He eventually told TMZ, "She already signed. I was mad for a little bit. I’m really happy for her, though."
According to R Online, Kim was also upset when West referred to talk show pal Wendy Williams as a "dude in a wig."
Kim and Kanye are rich, but were homeless for a while
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are overflowing with cash, yet they lived with her mom, Kris Jenner, because they kept bickering over where to hang their designer hats.
In 2013, the couple reportedly spent $11 million on a 10,000 square foot Bel-Air mansion, then gutted the property and built a 14,000 square foot home in its place. TMZ reported that the home housed a lot of animosities because Kardashian allegedly bankrolled the project while "Kanye couldn’t make up his mind." According to People, the couple never even settled in there before putting it on the market for $20 million in 2015.
TMZ reported that the couple purchased another property in August 2014, this time in the more secluded Hidden Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, and spent nearly three years renovating it. Throughout much of the work, they reportedly lived with Jenner again. At one point, Jenner actually moved out of her own home to let Kimye take over. At long last, the Daily Mail reported that the Kardashian and West were scheduled to move to their new palatial pad, boasting eight bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, and 20,000 square feet, in May 2017.