Red Flags In Billy Ray And Tish Cyrus' Marriage We Missed

When Billy Ray and Tish Cyrus announced that they were getting divorced in 2022, it was hardly a surprise — though there's a good chance many didn't believe they'd go through with it. After all, the couple had filed twice before, only to reconcile soon after. This time, however, they meant it. With all the red flags they exhibited during their time together, it was definitely for the best. 

Billy Ray and Tish's relationship began way back in 1991. At the time, his first marriage to Cindy Smith was coming to an end, and he'd even had a relationship with someone else. However, as Tish recounted in a 2004 interview with ABC, that relationship hadn't exactly had the cleanest of breaks. He learned that his ex-girlfriend, Kristen Luckey, was pregnant. Speaking to ABC, Tish explained how she found out. "He came to me and just, you know, said that we needed to talk and he immediately thought that I would leave," she recounted. The kicker was, Tish was pregnant too, with Miley Cyrus. 

Despite that rocky start, the couple stayed together, and would remain married for close to 30 years before announcing the divorce they'd ultimately go through with. However, that's not to say their relationship was the picture of marital bliss. 

Tish and Billy Ray tried to divorce several times

By the time Tish and Billy Ray Cyrus divorced in 2022, they had tried to split not just once, but twice. The first attempt was in 2010, with Billy Ray filing the papers. At the time, the couple issued a statement to People, explaining that the family was taking the news hard. "We are trying to work through some personal matters. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers," they'd said. That note that they were working on it may have been a sign of things to come, though — the following year, they were back together. In a March 2011 interview on "The View," he shared, "I've dropped the divorce ... I want to put my family back together" (via CBS News). 

That they did ... but two years later, it seemed they were headed for divorce once again. This time, both parties filed. In statements given to the press, both Tish and Billy Ray asked for privacy (via E! News). Once again, though, the divorce process stopped not long after, and the couple shared a statement to the press revealing they'd gone to therapy and decided to reconcile. "We've had rough times but we both realized we didn't want to be another statistic and wanted to make it work," the statement read in part (via People). 

It's pretty clear the couple had enough love for one another to weather the storms. However, their on-again-off-again dynamic was a massive red flag. 

Being apart helped Tish see the toxicity

Despite their double divorce attempts, it would be nearly a decade before Tish and Billy Ray Cyrus decided to file again. That said, their marriage was far from perfect during that long "on" period. As Tish revealed in an interview with the "Call Her Daddy" podcast, when she and Billy Ray lived in separate states during COVID-19 restrictions, it hit her that the marriage had been wrought with a ton of tension for years. More specifically, she revealed that she came to the realization that she'd been changing who she was, and tolerating things she didn't particularly want to, for the sake of staying together. 

As for some of what she'd put up with, Tish mentioned that there was a ton of mutual disrespect between them, and that they'd simply fallen into a pattern of thinking it was normal or acceptable. In fact, she made a point of noting that it was only when she started seeing her now-husband, Dominic Purcell, that she could fully grasp just how heavy her marriage to Billy Ray had been. 

Even so, Tish also shared on the podcast that while part of her wished she'd gone through with the very first divorce, she was slightly conflicted, too. After all, while she could see that walking away might have been for the best, at the time, she'd stuck around for the sake of their youngest child, Noah Cyrus, thinking it the right thing to do.

Billy Ray fell in love with someone else during the pandemic

Tish Cyrus wasn't the only one who had an epiphany about the marriage during the pandemic. Across the country in Tennessee, Billy Ray Cyrus had begun moving on from the marriage himself, with then-friend and now-wife Firerose Cyrus

Speaking to People in November 2022, Firerose explained that she had been there for him as his marriage to Tish became irreparably broken in 2021, and their friendship took a different turn. It seems Billy Ray had been feeling the same way Tish had been regarding the heaviness, because speaking of the new love in his life to the outlet, he described their dynamic: "Happy, pure love that to me, I didn't know could exist." A bit of a yikes, there — but at least the feeling is mutual. 

In 2023, both Tish and Billy Ray Cyrus got married again, just two months apart. Tish and Dominic Purcell's ceremony was covered by Vogue, and saw Miley Cyrus walk Tish down the aisle. The singer even told the outlet, "Dom and my mom share the sweetest, most genuine love." As for Billy, it's not clear whether his kids were in attendance at his nuptials. Either way, though, he seems to be happy. You'd be hard pressed to find a post on his Instagram account that doesn't include Firerose. Here's hoping both he and Trish continue to be happier in their new lives.