Why Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale got divorced

With Gwen Stefani's high-profile (and honestly, nauseatingly cute) relationship with Blake Shelton, it's hard to remember that she was once part of the ultimate '90s rock power couple. At one point, Stefani and Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale seemed like one of Hollywood's most enduring couples. The pair hit every relationship milestone. According to People, they didn't rush into marriage. The two dated for six years before Stefani walked down the aisle in a now-iconic pink ombre dress. Rossdale asked Stefani's father for her hand in marriage, and the pair eventually had three sons. They both even appeared together on The Voice and regularly graced headlines throughout their marriage for their general, all-around adorableness. Then, 20 years into their relationship, it all fell apart.

For the MTV generation, love died the day the No Doubt singer and Bush frontman announced their divorce in 2015. The reasons seemed clear, and if we're being a little bit judgmental, kind of cliche. Nonetheless, the pair have made a commitment to co-parent their children. These days, Stefani seems deliriously in love with her castmate on The Voice, and even Rossdale has begun to move on, but the former couple's sudden breakup forever left a mark on pop culture history.

Their first kiss came after a night of drunken shenanigans

At first, Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani seemed absolutely meant to be. Their first kiss was the stuff of rock star dreams. According to People, the pair met in 1995 during No Doubt's 27-month long tour. Stefani's band opened up for Bush in London (yeah, her ex-husband has that dreamy British accent to boot), and Rossdale was immediately taken by the singer. He even managed to finagle a way to see her during a stop in The Big Easy.

In an interview with Details (via Yahoo! Entertainment), the grunge rocker admitted, "I threw a party in New Orleans just as an excuse to hang out with her. We drank a bunch of hurricanes and went around the French Quarter. We had our first kiss that night, just walking around, being careful to step over the puddles of pee. The next day we had that sort of cute, embarrassed, sober meet-up."

Sure, maybe a drunk kiss gave this pair the courage to finally become a legit item, but Hollywood relationships have started on much worse terms. At the time, Rossdale — whose career was booming from his band's 1994 hit "Glycerine" — was the bigger star, but that quickly changed in the months following the release of No Doubt's breakthrough album, Tragic Kingdom. It's since become diamond certified.

Gavin Rossdale was Gwen Stefani's second boyfriend, ever

When Gwen Stefani fell head-over-heels for Gavin Rossdale, she didn't have much experience in the love department. The singer had only previously dated her band mate, Tony Kanal, and they both played in her brother's then-little known band, No Doubt. Kanal ended their seven-year relationship, which they both agreed was "so brutal," but it actually spawned the band's breakthrough single "Don't Speak."

In an interview with The Guardian, the frontwoman admitted that while she was dating Kanal, she was directionless. She "just sang" in her brother's band, had "been really bad at school," and had no idea what she was going to do. Stefani had hoped to become a wife and a mother, but the rug was pulled out from under her when Kanal ended things. Only then did she realize that she had a natural gift for songwriting. "Before, I was really passive, all I cared about was being in love with my boyfriend," she admitted. "I didn't have any creative power, nothing. I don't know that person any more."

In other words, if this failed relationship never happened, she wouldn't have had the kind of career that led her to the Bush frontman in the first place.

Gwen Stefani was an hour late to her own wedding

Gwen Stefani clearly knows the value of making a crowd wait, and in true rock star form, she kept her future husband waiting at the altar. In 2002, when the pair traded "I dos" in London's St. Paul's Church in Covent Garden, it looked like there might be a runaway bride situation — if only the bride and groom hadn't been together for six years (or, a Hollywood eternity). According to People, she was a "full hour late" to the church, at which point the crowd outside had grown to about 250 people.

Inside, Gavin Rossdale and the No Doubt rocker's ceremony couldn't have been more down to earth. A guest told People that it "wasn't a big, glamorous glitzy affair," and was actually quite traditional. The pair's band mates were among the 150 guests. Rossdale's sheepdog, Winston, was part of the nuptials and wore a floral collar. He was reportedly "well-behaved." Stefani held her grandmother's Catholic prayer book and rosary beads as her father walked her down the aisle. The couple "quietly" exchanged vows, and both of them cried. 

They did, however, party like rock stars after the ceremony and dance until 5 a.m., but that's what weddings are for. By all accounts, it seemed like the marriage was off to a great start — at least before reality got in the way.

Gavin Rossdale's lovechild caused tension

In 2004, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale allegedly hit a rough patch when he discovered that he had fathered a lovechild, Daisy Lowe, during a fling with Pearl Lowe in the late 1980s, according to Life & Style. Even though it happened before Stefani was in the picture, it reportedly "nearly ruined their marriage." Why? Daisy was allegedly the product of a five-year affair. Admittedly, Rossdale doesn't have the best track record.

Per the Daily Mail, Pearl was married to Bronner Handwerger, a fertility specialist, when she shacked up with the British rocker (the irony in Handwerger's career is not lost). Nevertheless, the Bush singer remained close to Pearl after their illicit fling and was named Daisy's godfather. He allegedly did all the godfather stuff, like attend parent-teacher nights, but this was nearly destroyed when Daisy took a DNA test. "Gavin told me if Daisy, then 14, had a DNA test, he'd never speak to me again and he's kept his word," Pearl told Easy Living (via the Daily Mail). "I lost him as a friend, but Daisy has a relationship with him, which is great."

Stefani has been open about struggling in her marriage, though she always maintained a bit of privacy surrounding the reasons why. In an interview with Elle UK (excerpted by Us Weekly), the No Doubt singer flat-out admitted it "hasn't been the easiest journey." No marriage is, but then again, most marriages don't have secret lovechildren.

Gwen Stefani didn't picture herself with someone like Gavin Rossdale

Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani didn't seem like an unlikely couple on the surface. They were both two of the '90s most iconic rock stars — one bindi and space bun at a time. It makes perfect sense to fans, but Stefani wasn't so convinced.

In a 2015 interview with Cosmopolitan (via People), the No Doubt singer admitted it was a "miracle" that the pair "could stay together this long" because they'd been "through so much together." Considering they announced their divorce later that year, this definitely hinted to tensions bubbling behind the scenes, but the real thing that stuck out was the fact that Stefani never pictured herself with a man like Rossdale.

"I never really saw myself landing a guy that hot," Stefani told Cosmopolitan. "I don't know if I was a nerd in high school, but I definitely wasn't the super-cute cheerleader so I never saw myself getting somebody like that. But I do think he's quite handsome." At the time, she claimed their secret to marital success was maintaining their independence. Stefani revealed it was "good to have those days when we both do our own things." Unfortunately, one of those things reportedly happened to be the family nanny. Whoops!

Gavin Rossdale hid an alleged three-year affair with the nanny

The seeming downfall of Gwen Stefani's marriage was Gavin Rossdale's reported three-year affair with Mindy Mann, the family's longtime nanny. According to Us Weekly, the whole thing "was done right under Gwen's nose," and she was "completely devastated," "mortified, livid, and embarrassed" when she found out. In truth, hiding it that long took some careful planning.

Access reports that the Bush rocker meticulously coordinated his illicit rendezvous with Mann. Their source revealed that the nanny brought Rossdale's children to visit him on tour, and they'd allegedly hook up on the tour bus while the kids were sleeping. Gwen, who was back home filming The Voice, was none the wiser. Rossdale allegedly even went as far as leaving the hospital to hook up with Mann right after Stefani gave birth to their youngest son, Apollo. It should be noted, though, that someone close to Rossdale told People that Access' report was "bulls**t."

Still, the infidelity rumors couldn't be shaken. The Daily Mail accused Mann of increasingly copying Stefani, alleging she was trying to take her place. Mann reportedly started dressing in a similar way, doing the same workouts, and eating the same meals. Mann was, of course, fired.

Did Gavin Rossdale's iPad give him away?

The revelation of Gavin Rossdale's alleged secret affair was only possible thanks to the blunders of modern technology. According to Us Weekly, Gwen Stefani reportedly found the proof on the family's iPad, which had been "linked" to Rossdale's iPhone. There, she supposedly discovered nude photos of the nanny and texts detailing their plans to hookup. Cheating 101: always use Snapchat, where the messages disappear.

Per Us Weekly's report, Rossdale played off his wife's initial discovery as "flirtation" — not great, but not necessarily marriage ruining. In an interview with Harper's Bazaar, the No Doubt singer admitted that discovering the texts on that fateful February "was the beginning of hell. Like six, seven, eight months of torture, trying to figure out this big secret." Months later, Rossdale came clean, and Stefani decided she wanted a divorce. 

The whole divorce was undoubtedly tough, but the "Used to Love You" singer turned toward prayer and songwriting to help her through it. "It was so insane because not only did my family break up, but then my kids are taken away like half the time," Stefani told Harper's Bazaar. "So that was really like, 'What?! What did I do?'"

When Gwen Stefani knew she was done, she wrote her next hit

Gwen Stefani's path to healing from divorce happened slowly, then all at once. At the end, she emerged with her most successful solo album to date. According to Harper's Bazaar, "Used to Love You" was written just a few weeks before the singer released the song, and it helped propel This Is What the Truth Feels Like to No. 1. The album marked the singer's first No. 1 solo endeavor.

In an interview with KIIS FM (via People), Stefani revealed more about the story behind her single and the realization that she was done with her marriage. She claimed that she truly believed Gavin Rossdale was her endgame. Then, through all the pain and hurt, she unexpectedly realized that he was not. "There was one night, the epicenter of the whole thing — that's the most I can say about that — and the next day I wrote the chorus to 'Used to Love You,'" she said.

Rossdale doesn't feel as fondly about the song. The rocker told The Guardian that he was first blindsided by the single in an airport kiosk, and it felt "horrible, tragic, or terrible." He admitted, "I stood in the store and listened to it from beginning to end going: 'Okaaaay.'"

Divorce was Gavin Rossdale's most embarrassing moment

Having your alleged affair exposed publicly is bad enough, but having the entire world believe that you were done in by technological oversight is immeasurable worse. No one wants to be that cliche dude who hooks up with nanny, even the cliche dude who hooks up with the nanny.

In a Q&A with The Guardian, Gavin Rossdale cited "the gross and lopsided specter of the crumbling of my marriage" as his most embarrassing moment. Sure, that's one way to put it. He also seems to share that sentiment with his ex-wife. In a 2016 Glamour interview, Gwen Stefani admitted that she was embarrassed that her marriage failed, even if the relationship lasted two decades and resulted in three gorgeous kids.

"I don't think you'll talk to one person who didn't make it in a marriage who's not gonna feel that way. The intention of being married is the vow, right? You want to put everything into it to make it a success," Stefani said. "... I had to work really hard at marriage, all the time, like everybody, but ours was extra hard, when you add that we're from different countries, both of us being in music, and celebrity. [Marriage] was the one thing I didn't want to fail at."

We'll never know the half of it when it comes to this celeb divorce

Though Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani have been candid about their split, the truth is that we won't ever really know what went on behind the scenes. Neither of them have confirmed the salacious iPad rumors, as plausible as they sound. All we really know is that it was tough — really tough.

In a 2016 interview with Cosmopolitan, Stefani hinted at the fact that the end of her marriage was, perhaps, even more shocking than the tabloids reported. To anyone who's ever read TMZ, that is a terrifying thought in itself. The No Doubt frontwoman admitted that "nobody" knows the real details except her "parents, the people involved, and whoever they told." She added, "Nobody would believe it if I could really say what happened. I went through months and months of torture."

Stefani, who's since admitted that she suspected something was up, wouldn't divulge the details behind her revelation either. "All you have to do is listen to every single song I've ever written and it's all there," she explained. "It's an ongoing theme that I've had for a long time."