'Flip or Flop' 's Tarek El Moussa Loves That Now He Can Say 'No' to Ex-Wife Christina Anstead

New episodes of Flip or Flop air Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on HGTV

Tarek El Moussa
Tarek El Moussa. Photo: Michael Bezjian/Getty Images

Working with an ex is never easy — but Tarek El Moussa has managed to find a silver lining.

The Flip or Flop star, 37, visited People Now on Monday to chat about working with his ex, Christina Anstead, 36, on the latest season of their hit HGTV show.

Despite a dramatic split in 2016, El Moussa says that the former couple’s working relationship is now cordial, and even comes with some privileges he didn’t have back when they were married.

“I don’t have to say yes to everything anymore!” El Moussa joked when People Now host Jeremy Parsons asked him the best thing about working with Anstead post-break up. When questioned about the worst thing, he simply answered: “I think the best thing trumps the worst thing. ‘You want new cabinets? I don’t think so. No cabinets for you!’”

El Moussa and Anstead split publicly in December 2016 following an incident involving a gun and a 911 call. The couple, who had been married for seven years and share two children together (daughter Taylor, 8, and son Brayden, 3), later revealed they had quietly separated almost eight months prior. Their divorce was finalized in August 2018, and they share legal and physical custody of their two children.

Tarek and Christina El Moussa
Aaron Rapoport/Getty Images

El Moussa cites his children as the main reasons why he works so hard to keep a positive relationship with Anstead. “You have to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing,” he said when asked his advice for someone working with an ex.

“For me, I have to make a decision,” he said. “What’s more important: Letting my emotions get in the way, or showing up, doing my job, treating her with respect and doing what’s best for my kids?”

He also revealed his key to successful co-parenting: “It’s simple,” he said. “Bottom line, kids come first. We will never let our emotions or any personal issues we have get in the way of the kids. That’s it.”

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Christa Renee

Since their divorce, Anstead has married Wheelers Dealers host Ant Anstead in a surprise wedding at their home in Newport Beach in December 2018. They are currently expecting their first child together.

El Moussa revealed that he has a new woman in his life — former Playboy Model and star of Netflix’s Selling Sunset, Heather Young, 31 — in an Instagram post last Thursday.

“It’s official!!!! After more than 3 years on my own I’m so PROUD to say that this beautiful, sweet and talented young lady is my girlfriend!” El Moussa wrote alongside a gallery of photos of the pair.

“I’ll be honest and say I never thought I would meet someone special in my life after the last three years. Then…out of the blue @heatherraeyoung walked into my life,” he continued. “The first time I saw her smile she ‘did that thing to my tummy’ and I knew right away I needed to get to know her… so I asked her out!! She said yes.”

RELATED VIDEO: Tarek El Moussa Was ‘Broken’ Before New Girlfriend Heather Young: She ‘Makes My Life Better’

The same day, he also revealed on Entertainment Tonight that he had introduced Young to his family — including his and Anstead’s kids. “We’re having a blast,” he told the outlet. “I introduced her to my kids last night for the first time. My mom, my dad, my mom’s husband, my sister. So, we’re doing it! Very excited.”

El Moussa’s solo HGTV series, Flipping 101 w/ Tarek El Moussa, is set to premiere next year.

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