A Brief History of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's Ups and Downs
Amid reports that the reality star is preparing to divorce the rapper, we're taking a look back at the couple's standout moments
KIM & KANYE GET TOGETHER
Following her 72-day marriage to Kris Humphries, Kim Kardashian began dating Kanye West back in 2012 — while still fighting to legally end her prior union. "They have been close friends for years and decided to give it a try [with dating]," a source close to the couple revealed at the time. Unsurprisingly, the rapper made his feelings for Kardashian known. In his song "Theraflu," West sings, "I admit I fell in love with Kim … 'Round the same time she fell in love with him … That's cool, babygirl, do your thing … Lucky I ain't had Jay drop him from the team." (West was referring to his pal JAY-Z who then owned the New Jersey Nets, the team Humphries played for at the time.)
THEY ANNOUNCE THEY'RE EXPECTING THEIR FIRST CHILD
And baby makes three! During a December 2012 concert, West announced to fans that he and his girlfriend were expecting their first child together. The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star confirmed the news on her website: "It's true!! Kanye and I are expecting a baby. We feel so blessed and lucky and wish that in addition to both of our families, his mom and my dad could be here to celebrate this special time with us. Looking forward to great new beginnings in 2013 and to starting a family."
KIM ENDURES PREGNANCY COMPLICATIONS
The reality star doesn't keep anything from fans — and her fertility struggles were no exception, as she opened up to C Magazine about her first pregnancy. "I had so many complications. I had this condition called placenta accreta," she said. "There were a couple little operations to fix all that, so that created a little hole in my uterus."
THEY WELCOME DAUGHTER NORTH
Welcome to the world, North West! Kardashian and West's adorable daughter made her debut on June 15, 2013, and has been making us 'aww' on Instagram ever since.
THEY GET ENGAGED
Talk about a happy birthday! Four months after welcoming daughter North, Kardashian and West marked yet another relationship milestone: getting engaged! The rapper planned an elaborate proposal at San Francisco's AT&T Park (which he rented out for the occasion), where the pair were joined by close friends and family. For the big moment, West hired an orchestra to play for Kardashian, while a large screen flashed the words "PLEEEASE MARRY MEEE!!!!" before he presented the star with a 15-carat Lorraine Schwartz diamond.
THEY GET MARRIED
Introducing Mr. and Mrs. West! After a weeklong Parisian celebration, the reality maven and rapper not-so-quietly tied the knot in 2014 at Forte di Belvedere in Florence, Italy. The couple chose the Italian city for a very personal reason: they conceived North there. "It was funny how nervous he was," an onlooker told PEOPLE of West. "He clearly knew the gravity of what he was about to do. This morning he was all smiles, but as it got closer, you could see that the nerves were kicking in. It's common for most grooms. I've seen it all before."
THEY WELCOME SON SAINT
After endless months of hoping for baby No. 2 and two years after welcoming daughter North, the couple was finally blessed with their second child, a son named Saint — but not before the reality star underwent a less-than-stellar pregnancy. "I just don't think pregnancy and me really agree with each other," she revealed to E! Online. "You know it was really hard for me to get pregnant so I do feel really blessed that I am pregnant and at the end of the day it is a million times worth it … I'm really not complaining, I'm just being honest and being honest about, I hate it you know pregnancy is not for me."
KANYE GOES ON A TWITTER RANT, ATTACKS WIZ KHALIFA & AMBER ROSE
In February 2016, West went on one of his infamous Twitter rants — this time getting into spats with Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose, mentioning the pair's child, Sebastian. (West eventually apologized for the back-and-forth.) Though Kim generally keeps a level head about most of her husband's eccentric behavior, a source told PEOPLE: "What causes friction in the marriage, however, is Kanye's compulsive tweeting. Kim can't stand it. She is all for self-promotion, but doesn't approve of Twitter drama."
KANYE'S 'FAMOUS' SONG SURFACES, PROMPTING A FEUD WITH TAYLOR SWIFT
In the summer of 2016, a song off West's album The Life of Pablo, entitled "Famous," leaked — to the dismay of Taylor Swift. Why? The tune featured controversial lyrics ("I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous") that took aim at the pop star. Though West claimed that he had called Swift to ask for her blessing, he was never heard running the specific lyrics calling her "that bitch" by the singer. "[She] cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message," a spokesperson for the star told PEOPLE. "Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric, 'I made that bitch famous.' "
KIM COMES TO KANYE'S DEFENSE ON SNAPCHAT
After an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians in which Swift's feud with West took center stage aired, Kardashian shared a series of videos on her Snapchat account of a phone call between West and Swift discussing the rapper's lyrics about the singer. "It's like a compliment," Swift is heard saying in the video after West reads the lyrics, "For all my Southside n—– that know me best / I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex," to her. "I never would've expected you to like tell me about a line in your song," Swift responded on the call. "I mean, I don't think anybody would listen to that and be like, 'Oh, that's a real diss.' You gotta tell the story that way that it happened to you and the way you experienced it."
“Where is the video of Kanye telling me he was going to call me ‘that bitch’ in his song? It doesn’t exist because it never happened. You don’t get to control someone’s emotional response to being called ‘that bitch’ in front of the entire world,” she wrote in a note.
KIM IS ROBBED AT GUNPOINT IN PARIS
In October 2016, Kardashian was the victim of a terrifying armed robbery while in her hotel room in Paris, tied up and held at gunpoint while thieves took millions of dollars in jewels. The incident, which prompted her rapper-husband to abruptly end his New York City show, caused the public star to suddenly lead a much more private life. A source told PEOPLE that Kardashian was "hysterical" when she called West after the robbery, saying, "He said she was really upset and it took him a few seconds to understand what she was saying to him. He wanted to get to her as soon as he could. He told her that he couldn't care less about the jewelry; he's just thankful that she's okay."
KANYE CUTS CONCERTS SHORT, CONTINUES TO GO ON RANTS
In a string of erratic events in the weeks following, West cut several concerts short after arriving to the stage behind schedule, and went on rants about JAY-Z and Beyoncé. The behavior was said to be related to the unexpected death of his mother Donda in 2007 and his wife's traumatic experience in Paris, according to reports. "Kim has had a very rough time since the robbery," said a source close to the reality star. "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."
KANYE IS HOSPITALIZED FOR 'EXHAUSTION'
The then-35-year-old rapper was hospitalized for exhaustion on Nov. 21, 2016, but reports later claimed that West was taken to UCLA Medical Center for a psychiatric evaluation after "acting erratically," reportedly at trainer Harley Pasternak's home. In radio dispatch traffic from the Los Angeles Fire Department obtained by TMZ, emergency crews were heard describing the incident as a "psychiatric emergency." Despite reports claiming that the rapper was committed against his will, a source told PEOPLE: "There was a small altercation at the gym but he was deemed medically stable and decided to seek medical help at his doctor's request." The source added: "We're super confident he's going to pull through."
KANYE IS DISCHARGED FROM THE HOSPITAL
After over a week at UCLA Medical Center — where he was under heavy medical supervision — the rapper was released. A source close to the family told PEOPLE the entertainer was continuing treatment for undisclosed mental health issues, and the couple's permanent living arrangements remained complicated. "He is receiving outpatient care somewhere else with a medical team," said the source. "Kim still seems concerned but is supportive. They don't know for how long Kanye will need outpatient care."
SAINT TURNS 1
Despite the drama surrounding the Kardashian-West clan, Saint's 1st birthday outshined all other family matters — if even for a day. "I can't believe how quickly time flies!" gushed Saint's aunt Khloé. "Watching my little Saint grow this past year has been amazing."
TENSIONS CONTINUE TO RISE
"Kanye and Kim had a stressful few months," an insider close to the couple told PEOPLE of West's issues and Kardashian's Paris robbery. "It's been a tense time. But Kim is happy he's getting help." The reality star continued to be supportive of her husband despite the difficult time in the couple's life. "She is super focused on him," said the source, who added Kardashian has been "the dutiful, responsible, loving spouse that one would expect."
KANYE RETURNS TO THE PUBLIC EYE
On Dec. 8, 2016, the rapper was spotted for the first time since he was hospitalized for exhaustion and sleep deprivation. West made a low-key appearance at the "Rick Owens: Furniture" exhibition in West Hollywood, where he sported a new blond hairdo.
KANYE'S MEETING WITH DONALD TRUMP CAUSES TENSION
The rapper's surprise meeting with the President-Elect at Trump Tower may have caused some tension between West and Kardashian, but a source close to the couple told PEOPLE exclusively that their political differences are the least of their worries. "That's so far down the list of what they're dealing with at this point," said the source. "Lots of couples have political differences; that's not a deal breaker. They're dealing with much more important things than who each of them supported for President." However, an insider added that the reality star "currently has no imminent plans to file for divorce."
KIM & KANYE ENJOY A DATE NIGHT
After weeks of speculation over the state of the pair's relationship, Kardashian and West stepped out together for a date night, grabbing dinner at Santa Monica restaurant Giorgio Baldi. "They both seemed very relaxed," an eyewitness at the high-end restaurant told PEOPLE. "Kanye helped Kim with her coat and her chair. Kanye also chatted with the waiters. He was very friendly and seemed happy. Kim was more quiet. She looked stunning."
KIM & KANYE CONTINUE COUNSELING
While the pair was receiving individual therapy — the rapper also got help for depression and learning how to cope with stress better while Kardashian dealt with the trauma from the Paris robbery — they did not look into couples therapy. The move was no indication of an impending divorce, however, according to a source close to the couple. "Truly no truth behind divorce rumors. It's not something she would divorce him over," the source said, adding, "He had a breakdown, but it does not pertain to them not getting along."
KIM & KANYE SPEND CHRISTMAS TOGETHER … WITH A CATCH
The rapper took to Twitter on Dec. 27, 2016, to share a sweet family photo of himself with Kim and their two kids: daughter North, 3, and son Saint, 1. "They were focused on making it a fun Christmas for the kids," said a source at the time. "They hang out with the kids, but are not really getting along otherwise."
KANYE VISITS HIS MOTHER'S GRAVE WITH KIM & THEIR KIDS
"Kim and Kanye spent New Year's Eve together with the kids. Kanye is doing much better. He has worked out every day and is taking care of himself. Kanye seems much better mentally. He is sleeping better and seems much healthier," said an insider. The family rang in the new year with a trip to Oklahoma City, where the foursome visited West's mother's grave. "When the anniversary [of her death] comes along, it's like the wound is reopened," a source told PEOPLE of Kanye, whose mother Donda died in 2007. "Some years, he does okay in managing it. Other years, not as much. This was a year where things went off the rails." As for the pair's dynamic, the source continued, "He and Kim are getting along better. Things are looking better for the new year."
KIM RETURNS TO SOCIAL MEDIA
After a three-month hiatus following her Paris robbery, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star made her triumpant comeback on social media, posting her "first selfie of 2017" with mom Kris Jenner, as well as family pics with West and their kids on Instagram.
KANYE & KIM'S SPARK IS NONEXISTENT
While the couple became famous for their over-the-top gestures and PDA-filled social media interactions, things changed during this difficult time; instead focusing their attention on one another, "Kim and Kanye continue to spend time with the kids," a source told PEOPLE in January 2017. "They act friendly, but the passion seems to be missing."
KANYE MENDS HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH JAY Z
Over a month after the "Famous" rapper ranted onstage about his longtime friend, West and Kardashian made their way to Beyoncé and JAY-Z's home to make amends. "Kanye's in a great place and Jay is a very mature and forgiving person," a source told PEOPLE. "The relationship he and Kanye have is very strong."
KIM REMAINS 'HOPEFUL' ABOUT HER MARRIAGE
As Kardashian continued to slowly acclimate back to her reality, she remained focused on strengthening her relationship with her husband. "It doesn't seem like they have plans to split now. Things don't seem great, but it also seems they are working to change that," a source told PEOPLE. "Kanye has been very low-key and Kim appreciates that. With her life not being completely chaotic, she is able to be more understanding and patient with Kanye. Kim seems more hopeful about their future together."
KIM & KANYE TO RELEASE A CHILDREN'S CLOTHING LINE
On Feb. 1, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star revealed on Snapchat that she and her husband would be releasing a line of kids clothes in the near future. With their daughter North as the model, Kardashian showed off two pieces from the upcoming collection: a yellow sequin dress and a yellow shearling coat.
KIM & KANYE 'HAVE FUN TOGETHER AGAIN'
"They seem to be doing much better," an insider told PEOPLE, adding that Kardashian seems "much happier." The couple took time out of their busy schedules to enjoy date night together on Feb. 7, 2017. "They have fun together again," added the source. "The struggles that they had for the past few months seem to have mostly past."
KIM CONSIDERS HAVING ANOTHER BABY
"Whenever things are going great with Kanye, Kim talks about having another baby," an insider told PEOPLE, before adding that the reality star had shut down the possibility of a third high-risk pregnancy in the past. Kardashian "was very clear that she didn't want to get pregnant again." The source added: "She felt it's not worth the risks. She has two amazing, gorgeous kids already and feels very lucky." As for what her rapper-husband thought of the situation? "He would love more kids if it was up to him," a source close to the family shared. "But at the end of the day, it's her decision and he'll support whatever she decides."
KIM ATTENDS THE MET GALA SOLO
The reality star's rapper-husband continued to maintain a low profile following Kardashian's horrific Paris robbery and his own mental breakdown — opting to skip the 2017 Met Gala. "He's at home," the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star told Vogue‘s André Leon Talley at the star-studded event. "He's been taking some time off and really loving that."
A source close to the couple echoed those sentiments earlier, telling PEOPLE: "He's not going because he's not ready to start attending big events. He's doing great but wants to keep his stress levels low and just wants to take more time off. Kim and Kanye are in a great place."
Despite West's absence, Kardashian met up with sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner inside the event.
KIM & KANYE ARE GROWING STRONGER
There was no question the couple faced trying times with the rapper's breakdown and the reality star's Paris robbery. According to a source close to West, the pair were "in a great place" in May 2017 after much tension. "It's like the two of them were dangling on a rope off a cliff, and they used every single thing they had to find solid ground," the insider said. "They clawed their way back to somewhere a lot more healthy, and they’re still clawing their way back. There are good days and there are bad days."
KIM & KANYE HIRE A SURROGATE
It seemed like things were continuing to look up for the couple, according to a source, who told PEOPLE: "Things have been good for the past few months, and she started agreeing with him [about having another child]." The spouses "found the perfect surrogate" and felt eager to become parents a third time, continued the insider. "If things work out with the surrogate, they will be thrilled. But they still have a long road to go."
CHICAGO WEST JOINS THE FAMILY
Kardashian and West welcomed Chicago via surrogate in January 2018. In April, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star shared the first-ever photo of the newly-minted family of five, which she posted on Instagram.
KANYE 'CAN'T BE CONTROLLED'
Kardashian playfully responded to her husband on social media when the rapper posted a series of erratic tweets in April 2018, but a source close to the situation told PEOPLE it was an attempt to take charge. “Kim is trying to control him and the situation, but he can’t be controlled,” said the source about the couple. “She’s trying her best to support him on social media and show a different side of things, but it’s just not working.”
Added the source: “He genuinely believes he’s God and a genius and that he can do everything on his own. He has a great love for Kim, but in his mind he doesn’t think Kim is a genius, and he’s telling her he knows what he’s doing."
PSALM WEST ARRIVES — AND BABY MAKES SIX
The family's youngest addition arrived via surrogate on May 9, 2019. “My little man is the sweetest ever!” the mother of four said on Instagram three months later. “He’s honestly the best baby. Sleeps through the night and by far my most calm.”
KIM PURSUES LAW
“It’s a lot, a lot, a lot of work,” she said to him in an episode of KUWTK, expressing her doubts of embarking on the process. “I kind of don’t know if I want to take away time from the kids and from you.”
“I think you can get in control of your schedule and you’ve just got to sit back and analyze, like, what are your distractions?” responded West. “Once you manage your time, you’ll be able to manage your time to be able to give attention to me, attention to the kids and attention to law that you’re passionate about.”
Reflecting on her husband’s pep talk, Kim added that he has “always been someone in my life who has always pushed me to do what I want to do, no matter what the rules are, no matter what people say.”
KANYE ANNOUNCES HIS RUN FOR PRESIDENT
In July 2020, the rapper announced his intention of running for president on Twitter.
"We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States Flag of United States! #2020VISION," West tweeted.
Kim seemed to express support, retweeting his statement along with an American flag emoji.
The morning after the 2020 election, he seemingly acknowledged he dropped out of the race, despite voting for himself and appearing on the ballot in a number of states. He reportedly earned 60,000 votes.
KANYE’S MENTAL HEALTH STRUGGLES CONTINUE
July 2020 saw West make a series of allegations on Twitter that Kim and her mom Kris Jenner had tried to "lock him up," and claimed that he had been considering divorcing his wife. A source told PEOPLE at the time that his tweets were coinciding with a new cycle in the rapper's bipolar disorder.
Kim, who rarely has addressed Kanye’s behavior in the past, spoke out on her Instagram Story, asking fans for “compassion.”
"As many of you know, Kanye has bi-polar disorder," she began. "Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand. I've never spoken publicly about how this has affected us at home because I am very protective of our children and Kanye's right to privacy when it comes to his health. But today, I feel like I should comment on it because of the stigma and misconceptions about mental health," she wrote. She added that “those who are close to Kanye know his heart and understand his words some times [sic] do not align with his intentions.”
ON THE BRINK OF A SPLIT
After nearly seven years of marriage and a particularly turbulent 2020, the pair’s relationship may be beyond repair.
According to multiple sources, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star is preparing to file for divorce from West, whom she wed in May 2014.
"He knows that she’s done. She has had enough, and she told him that she wants some space to figure out her future," a source told PEOPLE, adding that West, 43, is bracing for a filing but doesn't know when it will take place.
"He’s okay. He’s sad, but okay. He knows the inevitable will happen, and he knows that it’s coming soon," the source added.
Another source added that Kardashian, who is working with top divorce lawyer Laura Wasser, is “waffling” and has yet to file for divorce.
Yet another source noted that the pair are currently “in counseling and exploring their options,” potentially in an effort to salvage their relationship.
On Feb. 19, 2021, Kim filed for divorce. A source told PEOPLE that things are amicable, however; the pair are in agreement over joint legal and physical custody, neither is contesting the prenup in place, negotiations have progressed and they are nearing a settlement.
The split came after a tumultuous period for the pair, who appeared to be on the brink of divorce last summer before reconnecting and spending private time together with their children.
"They are just not on the same page when it comes to their future as a family," one insider said. "And Kim is okay with it."