You, Me & My Ex Stars Dish On The Show And Their Group Relationships – Exclusive Interview

TLC is known for bringing the drama, from the utter insanity portrayed on “90 Day Fiancé” to the extreme situations caught on film in “Dr. Pimple Popper.” But TLC’s newest show “You, Me & My Ex” might be different. At first glance, this new reality series is all about the drama. In a press release, Discovery shared, “‘You, Me, & My Ex’ follows five couples who deal with an ex who is still intricately connected to their past partner and very much a part of their daily lives.” The show will track these couples as they wade through the tough moments that come up when a person’s ex doesn’t have as much distance from them as you’d expect.

Sounds intense, right? But one group featured on the show isn’t as dramatic or messy as one would think. Josh and Danielle, a couple, and Josh’s ex-wife Jennifer (with whom he shares a son) and Chantel, Jennifer’s wife, have built a life out of their unconventional situation. While they still face challenges — like Josh serving as the sperm donor for Jennifer and Chantel’s baby — the group is mostly happy as a family. Want to learn more? These “You, Me & My Ex” stars spoke with The List in an exclusive interview and dished on the show and their group relationships.

The You, Me & My Ex stars open up their very unique relationship

Describe your unique relationship in your own words.

Danielle: So from the very beginning, Josh and Jennifer were married and they had a son together, Jace. A few years later, how many years were are you guys married for? Five? Six?

Jennifer: 27. No, I’m just kidding.

Josh: Five.

Danielle: So, once they got divorced, Josh and I met each other a few months later and Jennifer and Chantel got together after the divorce, and fast-forward a little while later, we got married, they got married. We had McKayla together, our daughter. And once we started hanging out together more and going to Jace’s school functions and sports functions and all of those things is when we really started to develop our co-parenting relationship. So now we just all raise our kids together. We have family dinners. We go to events together, school events, sporting events, whatever it may be.

How are you all getting along?

Chantel: We get along great. Josh and I will go play ice hockey together or baseball with Jace, Jennifer and Josh’s son. And Danielle and Jennifer, they like to go out and hang out together. Maybe the bars.

Danielle: We don’t do that that often. You just feel like we do because you hate it so much.

Chantel: Yeah. Not that often.

Jennifer and Josh broke up, but they're still family

Jennifer and Josh, can you tell me a little bit about why you broke up in the first place?

Jennifer: Certainly, of course. We got together when we were … So when we first got together, when we were young, of course, I think I was 21 and just … As you’re in your early 20s, you grow a lot throughout your 20s. So, you don’t grow together, you can certainly grow apart. And it was just one of those things where we just grew apart as we got older and you changed as a person and it happens. It doesn’t mean anybody’s worse than the other or whatever. And we agree that it was time to go our separate ways, but –

Josh: Should’ve ended sooner, but I think Jace had a small effect on us [staying] together a little bit longer. But we tried it and that’s what it was. We just grew apart and went our own separate ways.

You say it should have ended sooner. Could you expand on that?

Josh: I mean, there were signs that we were growing apart, probably what? A year or a year and a half before. So, I think if Jace wasn’t in the picture, probably it would have ended at that point. I think we finally realized that maybe we were trying to stay together for the wrong reasons. And it was past the point of trying to fix it. And then it just came to the point where it’s like, all right, we need to move on and do our own thing. But there was never really animosity or I would say hatred towards each other, really at all. But we both knew that it was inevitable and it was going to happen.

Jennifer: I think if more people could probably, I mean, I’m not saying don’t try to work it out by any means. Definitely try to work it out. But if you can’t, then split before you hate each other. Because when you start trying to stay together, you just start hating each other. And if you split before that happens, then I think it makes it harder in the long run.

Chantel and Danielle, how do you two feel about Jennifer and Josh’s relationship?

Chantel: I’m okay with it. I think it’s great. And Jace and McKayla seemed to love it. I mean, Jace, their son, well, Jennifer and Josh’s son has even made comments like, “Oh, we should just get a bigger house and all live together.” Because we’re so close and we’re always together that it’s just normal for them. So they think it –

Josh: Chantel and Danielle agree with that comment too.

Danielle: Listen, it makes sense. It would make things just all that much easier. Not having to travel. We only live less than 10 minutes away from each other at this point, but it really would make things easier.

Josh: Yeah. We used to live about 25 minutes from each other and then we moved a little over a year ago and then I think a month or two later, they moved and now we live nine minutes away from each other. So –

Chantel: We planned it that way.

Danielle: We had a family discussion of where we were going to move to, and they went first and then we followed.

Do you guys consider yourselves just one big family?

Danielle: Of course.

Josh: Yeah.

Chantel: Absolutely.

Jennifer: Absolutely. Yeah.

Danielle: When it comes to any type of major life decisions or something that will change our current dynamic, we always will sit down and talk about it as a family and come to an agreement.

The You, Me & My Ex stars reveal how their unique relationship began

Chantel and Danielle, were you guys aware of how close your respective partners were with their exes when you became involved?

Danielle: So yeah. At the very beginning of Josh and I’s relationship, I had a lot of hesitancies because I saw how close they still were. And that’s not the experience that I had with my life. I come from a divorced family. My parents didn’t get along like that, and I didn’t get along with my exes either. So it was like, I knew they had Jace involved, so that made it different for them versus my experiences, but they were best friends. I mean, they would still talk about everything and be in contact throughout the day, all day, every day. So I did have a lot of hesitations about starting a relationship with him because I was like, “What’s the deal? I don’t understand any of this.”

But then, like I said, when we started doing more things together as a family, going to Jace’s events and stuff and getting to know each other better, then it facilitated more understanding of, wow, these guys really are best friends and this is all going to be okay and this is great. Jen and I hit it off and it just took off from there. But at the beginning, there were a lot of feelings and emotions and connections to navigate through.

Chantel: Oh yeah. It was a hi and bye at first.

How do you think it went from “hi, bye” to what it is now?

Josh: I’ll answer that one. So it was really random, one day Jen and Danielle went to the beach with our daughter McKayla and they’re like, “Oh.” 

Danielle: And Jace. 

Josh: And Jace. They’re like, “Oh me and Jen and the kids, we’re going to the beach today.” And I was caught, because we weren’t there yet. I mean, we were getting there, but it wasn’t … I think that’s the first time you guys ever hung out … without all of us there.

So they were at the beach, sending me pictures of McKayla dancing, and they were just chilling on the beach. So I was like, okay. And I think that was really a big turning point for us when we all started trusting each other and –

Danielle: Building our relationship.

Josh: Building our relationships. And I definitely think that was a big day for everybody when we were like, okay, so maybe we can all get along and develop a relationship and develop a friendship and be able to co-parent, get everybody on the same page. But yeah, I’ll never forget that day.

Things weren't always so great for this You, Me & My Ex group

Jennifer and Josh, how do you guys feel about each other’s new relationships? Is there ever any jealousy there?

Jennifer: I mean, I wouldn’t say jealousy. Chantel and I were together a lot sooner than Josh and Danielle were together, so I can’t really speak for him because it was still new and fresh at the time. But as far as when Danielle came in, there wasn’t. No, I didn’t feel that at all. I was more like, really hoping for the best. Hoping that he was making a good decision with who he was bringing into our child’s life and that you just got to trust that they’ll make those right decisions too. And he did, and I’ve seen that, okay, they’re moving along. They’re together. They’re okay. So that just –

Josh: Bam. They’re pregnant.

Jennifer: Yeah. And then it just, I think really just went from there. So, no. I wouldn’t say jealous but –

Chantel: I was at one point.

Danielle: I was jealous too at first.

Chantel: Jealous of these two and their cute little text messages … that would go back and forth.

Danielle: Wait. Josh and Jennifer?

Chantel: Yeah.

Danielle: Yeah. Me too. 

Chantel: It’s like, what the hell is this s**t?

Danielle: Yeah.

Chantel: This is, I mean, he sent me a meme about [a] cat or some –

Danielle: It’s like, dang.

Chantel: I remember that.

Danielle: He doesn’t text me that much, even at this point. But …

Chantel: But I mean, I was like, “Well, does it have anything to do with Jace?” Because I’m confused here. What are you guys talking about? Because I didn’t get it at first, but now I do. So, well, it’s great.

Josh dishes on how Jennifer kept him in the dark about her new relationship with Chantel

So those feelings of jealousy have faded at this point?

Chantel: Oh yeah. Because we can’t all just be perfect. I mean, it took some obstacles to get here.

Jennifer: You forget those times too until you bring it up. You don’t really … I don’t know. We forget.

Josh: I never felt animosity. I didn’t even know they were together to be honest with you. And so I flat out … I assumed it because it was so fast where Jen moved out, moved in with Chantel. That happened and I used to, don’t take this the wrong way, but I would make fun of Jen because I never thought that –

Jennifer: Just say it, she was a lesbian.

Josh: This might just … I never thought, wait, I never thought that this would happen. … And then, by the time she actually was like, “Yeah, me and Chantel are involved.” I think at that point, me and you were starting to get pretty serious at that point. And then I found –

Jennifer: You found out that we were sharing a one-bedroom apartment.

Josh: Well, no. I found out you guys got married from Jace. I was coming home from school or something. And he’s like, “Oh yeah, my mom and Chantel’s wedding.” And I’m like, “What the f — their wedding?”

Jennifer: And we had a big wedding.

Josh: Yeah. And I had no idea. And then she came in, because I used to work at Verizon, and she came in to drop Jace off or something. And I’m like, “Well, congratulations on your wedding. Thanks for telling me.” Not that I cared, but it’s like, okay. So by the time I really knew that they were serious, Danielle had started to come into the picture. So at that point it was like, all right, I know Chantel’s great with Jace. She’s always been great with Jace. So that was the most important thing for me. Male, female, it didn’t matter. So as long as she was good with Jace, that was my main concern.

Chantel: Well, I know Jennifer didn’t want to put anything on blast. I’m not talking in reference to the wedding, I’m talking about before, when he found out that we were actually involved. She didn’t really want to put it out there, like on Facebook and all that other crap, until she knew it was serious because you don’t want to portray anything if you don’t know what the future holds, but here we are.

Chantel and Danielle reveal the moment they knew they were in for something special

Chantel and Danielle, was there a specific moment when you realized that you weren’t in for a normal relationship?

Danielle: Wow. Well, yes. Probably the moment that they asked Josh to be a sperm donor, because they want to have a child, honestly. I was like, huh, that’s crazy. And then it just made me take a step back and realize we just have a very unique dynamic and it’s not crazy to us. It’s normal.

Chantel: Very normal.

Danielle: It’s our everyday life. It’s love.

Josh: And this is all I know of divorce. My parents are still together. They all come from divorced families. So I don’t know what it’s like. So I can’t really give any type of input on experience of divorce because my parents are still together. Their parents are all divorced. So my only experience of divorce is this. So I can’t really –

Danielle: Just to let you know, it’s not normal.

Josh: Right. I can’t say that divorce is a bad thing because of my experience with it. I’m just like, well, the only thing I know about divorce is here we are. I know from what they say, what Danielle, what Jennifer and Chantel say from their experience. So from that aspect of experiences with divorce, I have none. You always think because someone gets divorced that they’re supposed to hate each other and you see that a lot. I see it in all three of your scenarios that parents hate each other.

Chantel: All of our parents. Well, not his. His parents are still together, like he said. But us three women, all of our parents have divorced and it has never been a good divorce. And as children, we saw the experiences of the parents fighting, this one hating that one, this one talking crap about the mother to the kids, things like that. And our parents did that, and we saw it. So we –

Danielle: We just never wanted that for our kids. 

Chantel: Exactly.

Danielle: We don’t ever want them to feel that pressure.

Josh: And that’s what we’re trying to portray on the show. I know the small clip that’s out there, it’s just saying, this is my baby mama and that’s my baby mama. That obviously says that they’ve asked me to be a sperm donor, but it doesn’t show anything about our message or our dynamic. It just basically makes me look like I’m baby daddy to these three and that’s all to their story. So people that have seen it are like, “So, all right, there’s got to be more to the story.” So hopefully when the show airs, that they do show the dynamics of our relationship, obviously as a backdrop of baby daddy and baby mama one, two, three.

This You, Me & My Ex family shares their secret to making their relationships work

What is your secret to making your unique situation work so well?

Jennifer: I got that one. Trust. First of all, you need to trust each other. Communication and love, honestly. It’s really quite simple. I don’t know why people make it so difficult.

Chantel: Well, and to be honest, what I think is stronger than what she’s talking about [is] you have to want it. If you don’t want it, then it’s not going to work. And both sides have to want it. And because I have a lot of friends who talk about, “Oh, my ex is this.” And then I said, “Look, do you want it?” “Yeah.” But if that one doesn’t want it, it’s not going to work. Fortunately we all want it. So why not? It’s more fun this way, and it’s less stressful.

It takes a village, right?

Jennifer: This is our village.

How did Jennifer, Josh, Chantel, and Danielle end up on You, Me & My Ex?

What made you guys want to share your story?

Chantel: Well, my mother, it was her idea first off, to ask Josh to be a sperm donor because she saw how well we got along. And our family dynamic is just very unique and we co-parent so well and we’re just family, we’re blended. We blended the family. She’s like, “You should get in contact with …” What did she say again?

Josh: Production companies or something.

Chantel: Production companies, sorry. So just to get involved with production companies, an example, like Ellen [DeGeneres’ company] and TLC. So I went onto the computer and I started sending tons of emails out of our unique story and we were picked up and that’s how we’re here.

Jennifer: That’s how it happened, but the reason behind it is more also because not only is it unique, but you can shed a different light on a not-so-great situation, you know what I mean? Some people, when we would tell people, especially if Danielle and I are out together and we tell people who we are and like –

Chantel: They were in such shock.

Jennifer: The shock factor value was great. They’re like, “Wait, what?” And the comments we would get. So to see people so enthused with what we feel is normal, we were like, oh –

Chantel: We’ve got to show this.

Jennifer: Maybe we’ve got something. We should let people know about our story.

Josh: I think at first, we were just laughing about it. … And when we first got to that point where we were like, oh, we should share our story, we weren’t here yet. It was phase one of developing our dynamic, where we would just start to come over and get pizzas or hang out or whatever. But yeah, one night Chantel went in there, you went in there, there was probably drinks involved, sent an email, blast out to everybody in California, I’m sure. And we’re like, ha, maybe we’ll get like a Facebook poster, an interview with that local newspaper or something. And then sure enough, it was six to eight months later.

Jennifer: No. It wasn’t even that long.

Chantel: It was like a … they reached out within a couple of months. They were like, holy s**t.

Josh: We had a few people reach out and it was just like, “Well, all right, well now, maybe it’s something.” And then it just developed into interviews, and here we are.

The group dishes on what viewers will see on You, Me & My Ex

I know you probably can’t reveal too much, but what can viewers expect to see this season?

Danielle: A lot of unique gatherings and rituals that involve attempting [to get] Josh to be the donor for their baby.

Well, now I’m intrigued.

Jennifer: But you’ll have to watch.

Chantel: You want to –

Danielle: Yeah. See how everything plays out.

Jennifer: See what happens.

Josh: A lot of work for me. And actually, to speak on that note, I can’t go in too much detail, but it was like –

Jennifer: A job.

Josh: It was a job. Trying to –

Chantel: Literally, [mouthing] “b*** job.”

Josh: Job. We’ll leave it at that. Yeah. But the viewers will see how much of a job that, that process is. It’s not as simple as one may think.

Jennifer: That’s how we navigate life even. Just, how do we navigate life altogether? Because it’s not, I don’t want to say normal because what is normal? Right. So it’s different. So just seeing how we can navigate, how this can work, and some of the … I mean, it’s not always wonderful. So you’ll get to see some of our triumphs and how we get together and overcome things and just lots of fun stuff.

The You, Me & My Ex stars discuss their biggest challenges

What are some of the biggest struggles that you guys have had on this journey so far?

Chantel: Oh, I would say just the kids because that’s a learning process for all four of us. Jace is 10 and McKayla’s 4. Yeah. So yeah. They’re going through some changes as well, and we’ve got to learn how we want to handle it. And we have discussions and we all play a different part.

Jennifer: And we don’t agree. We will all see things differently. Very different. We all play different roles. We’re all also different that might help make it work. So you’ll just get to see a lot of that.

Danielle: I think one of the major challenges that we’ve had to overcome is some of the reactions of people because our relationship is so non-traditional [and] a lot of those reactions are negative.

Josh: Especially lately. Now that there’s a little bit of press out there. I’ve had a little bit on social media and seeing the comments that are coming out and I laugh about it. I’m like, they put these comments that are out there and obviously I don’t apply to any of them, but I sit back and I’m like, do you have anything else better to do than sit behind your phone or a computer and have to say the dumbest things?

Chantel: They’re just trolls.

Josh: Yeah. They’re just trolls. And I’m just like, whatever, it’s going to come with the territory. We knew that early on. But I would say that being able to spread our story versus the amount of s*** that we’re going to get from people trolling us online is well worth the sacrifice and dealing with that.

These You, Me & My Ex stars always put their kids first

Are you guys nervous about sharing your story so openly?

Danielle: A little bit. It’s been challenging because we all work full time. So figuring in filming for a TV show and the social media platforms and just adding that onto an already busy lifestyle has been a challenge. But I think something that is concerning for us the most is just being a target for negative energy and negative feedback.

Chantel: I’m just trying to work my way into meeting Justin Bieber and walking the red carpet one day so … That’s my goal here.

Hey, dream big. Dream big.

Chantel: Yeah, Bieber fever over here.

Danielle: Hey, you can’t go straight to the goal. Come on, you’ve got to start small but dream big.

Chantel: Walking the red carpet, paparazzi and Justin Bieber.

Jennifer: Oh gosh.

Love it.

Josh: My biggest thing is, I just hope the kids don’t get affected, Jace and McKayla. I’m an adult. So people are going to say what they want to say. They’re going to have the opinions that they’re going to have. 

Danielle: And we know where we stand. 

Josh: We know where we stand. We had a discussion about this a long time ago that, hey, we’re going to be on TV, no new friends that have never been around before. Are we just going to say, “Okay, now you’re on TV. So now we want to come hang out with you guys.” Or whatever. That type of crap is not happening. But as far as with Jace and McKayla, I really hope that they don’t get any bullying or anything like that. But at the same time, I think McKayla’s 4. She’s not really old enough to understand that, but Jace being 10 … But I’ve told him, we’ve had that discussion to make sure he knows that if that happens, and it may happen, to just ignore it. And he’s a good kid and he’s involved in sports and hockey and baseball.

Jennifer: Well, and because to him, this is normal so we’ve told him other people are going to see this and they might have things to say. So how do you really prep a 10-year-old? We can talk to him like an adult but –

Josh: This is all he knows.

Jennifer: This is normal for him, so other people aren’t going to see it that way. And he’s going to be like, “Wait, what? What do you mean? There’s a problem with this?” So having to just make sure the kids are okay.

Chantel: We just tell him that regardless, even if you’re the normalest of the normalest. Well, somebody is going to have something bad to say. It doesn’t matter. I mean, you could be the most beautiful person in the world and they’re going to nitpick the way you look. It’s just, there’s just evil people out there. And then there’s good people.

That’s wonderful.

Josh: I think a light bulb is going to go off for a lot of people that are in a crappy situation with their ex-wife, ex-husband, especially when there’s kids involved. And I’m hoping that that’s what they’re going to get out of the show. As long as they put our story out there like that, they do show us getting along and being able to co-parent. and I think you’ll see people watch the show and be like, okay, well, maybe we can do this. Or maybe we can get along. 

The stars of You, Me & My Ex reveal what they want viewers to take away from their story

[On their unusual arrangement]

Josh: Because there’s so many people that we know personally, they’re like, I wish I could be like that with my ex. I wish I could see my kids more than once every two weeks, every other weekend. And that’s what helps out a lot too. I can call Jen or Chantel and be like, “Hey, I’m coming to get Jace today.” For whatever reason and vice versa. Even if I’d had him for a night. Or they’re like, “Hey, can I take him up to New York to visit our family for a long weekend?” I’m not going to be like, “Oh no, it’s not your weekend.” I don’t think we’ve ever had that issue.

Jennifer: We don’t even have a parenting schedule.

Josh: Because we’re all together three or four times a week anyway. So even if I didn’t, quote unquote, have Jace for the day, I’m probably going to see him that day anyway because we just had pizza dinner here. Even if we didn’t have the interview, we’d probably be over here helping Jace out with his project because that’s just …

Jennifer: He’s got a project to do tomorrow.

Chantel: The only thing that I think will be an issue if Jace were to ever, for example, get bullied, would be because he has –

Jennifer: Two moms? Three moms?

Chantel: Well, not necessarily three moms, but this duo here. Because a lot of people are very old-fashioned and I get that and I respect them for it. I really do. I don’t knock anybody who disagrees with our relationship. I’m okay with them disagreeing, but I just hope that they can look past that and see the happiness in the kids and how well this works. And they can look past who’s sleeping with who or who’s going home with … it doesn’t matter, as long as the kids are healthy and happy and doing well in school and are decent human beings and a great addition to society. And I think that’s what we’re building here. So …

It’s so true. Your whole family is just a poster for love is love, no matter if it’s traditional or not. And I think that’s so beautiful.

Chantel & Danielle: Thank you.

Josh: Yeah. We’re all like, all right, so we’re going to be on a TV show, but we don’t have drama really to bring the TV out. People aren’t going to care to watch us. I mean, we do have a really unique story, but at the end of the day, it’s like, are people going to want to see that? So, I mean, I think we provided a little bit of drama for the show, but nah.

Chantel: Don’t get me wrong, we do have drama.

Josh: We have a little bit of drama.

Any thoughts you want to make sure that you share?

Josh: I’m just excited to see everybody’s reaction once we air. It’s going to be interesting because the amount of attention that the show is getting online, it seems like it’s going to have some viewers. So as far as once it actually airs, what are people going to say about it? So I’m curious, I’m excited.

Jennifer: Well, just definitely sharing … Just like you said, love is love and spreading the love. All about the kids.

Chantel: It’s all about the kids.

“You, Me & My Ex” premieres Sunday, June 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on TLC.

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