What's Really Going On With Ivanka Trump's Marriage

Even before she became the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump has lived her entire life in the public eye. At just nine years old, she became a target of the tabloids during her parents' infamous breakup, which played out in real time in the media. It got to the point where Ivanka was relentlessly hounded by the paparazzi at her elementary school, resulting in she and her brothers being shipped off temporarily to live in Florida until things cooled down.

So, it's no surprise that as an adult, Ivanka has maintained a tightly controlled public image of herself and her marriage to fellow real estate mogul, Jared Kushner. But certain cracks in her facade, like her run-ins with Justin Trudeau, and the time she forgot to wear her wedding ring on The View, have lead to speculation about what's really going on with her marriage to Jared Kushner. Here are some clues. 

'PM steal yo girl' and the 'forgotten wedding ring'

There are actually plenty of unconventional things about Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner's marriage, but before we get to them, we want to quickly address the two of the most often-cited ones that actually don't even fit the category. Which is probably why they shot around the Internet as scandal dujours then were almost immediately forgotten.

First, regarding Ivanka's ringless appearance on The View. It's pretty simple: she forgot. "I knew you'd call me on that. I was engaged for three months and then I've been married around eight days, so it's sitting on my bedside table. I forget about the hardware," Ivanka told the hosts, according to People.

Second, the Justin Trudeau moments. Admittedly, their first meeting during the White House roundtable on women in the workforce deserved every hilarious "PM steal yo girl" meme that it spawned. Weird camera angles aside, Ivanka was totally giving the hunky Canadian Prime Minister the goo-goo eyes. Then they went to a musical together, the 9/11-themed musical Come From Away starring Broadway vet Jenn Colella, and people really lost it. Somehow, the fact that American ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, not to mention Trudeau's wife were also there. But those inconvenient truths got lost in the excitement over the non-scandal. Sometimes the Internet is worse than middle school, huh?

They're extremely focused on business

If you asked most married couples to compliment each other, one of the last things they would cite would be a resume item. But Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner aren't most couples. Prior to joining Trump's administration, they were both leaders of powerful, multi-billion dollar real estate organizations. Ivanka held a leadership role in The Trump Organization, and Jared was CEO of Kushner Companies, his family's real estate empire, as well as majority shareholder and publisher of The Observer. As you can imagine, these executive positions, while clearly rewarding, consume a lot of time and energy.

In an interview with Purple, Ivanka said she works 12-14 hour days. To Harper's Bazaar, she boasted her pride in always arriving before everyone else at the office. That kind of drive must've been a huge turn-on for Kushner, who actually met Trump during what was supposed to be a business meeting. And that transactional nature has continued throughout their marriage. The couple's wedding program even allegedly included a "marketing flyer" for one of Donald Trump's golf courses, a claim which Ivanka denies. But it's kind of believable considering Kushner described their marriage to Vogue like this: "I would say she is definitely the CEO of our household, whereas I'm more on the board of directors." Whoa, calm down there, Cassanova!

Kushner also shows his mile-wide romantic streak when he plans date nights. "So, my husband's idea of a date night somehow always involves me looking at one of his development sites. So we went to this great restaurant in Brooklyn on Saturday, and all of a sudden I find myself standing on the roof of the Whole Foods in Gowanus in the pouring rain. At midnight. And he's showing me this giant site he just bought," Ivanka says. Given the business-like nature of their romance, we have to wonder what will happen now that they've swapped the boardroom with the White House. Candle-lit dinners on the steps of the Capitol Building?

They don't have friends their age

Unlike her party-girl half sister, Tiffany, Ivanka Trump has always seemed like an old soul. She told Purple, "Partying was never a major part of my life. I don't drink a lot. I've always preferred quiet settings, like dinners." It's probably the reason Ivanka and Chelsea Clinton actually got along so well, although something tells us they won't be seeing too much of each other for the next few years. But outside of that high-profile friendship, Ivanka was never really one for "the scene."

Jared Kushner has always been described as quiet and polite, seemingly born ready to take the reigns of executive management of the company business. According to Esquire, Kushner surrounds himself with older captains of industry, which was evident at his 35th birthday celebration in which one guest described the median age of partygoers as "somewhere near seventy." And this probably works just fine for Ivanka, who once said, "Jared and I will go walk around neighborhoods and look at properties that he owns and that I own, but that's fun."

Their backgrounds are eerily similar

Though Ivanka is definitely more extroverted than her husband, neither she nor Jared come close to matching the huge personalities of their fathers. Donald Trump, it goes without saying, is cartoonish in almost every way; his appearance, his mannerisms, his way of speaking, etc. Charles Kushner, Jared's father, himself a real estate billionaire, is also a tenacious businessman and lively personality, who "saw himself as the Jewish Kennedy," according to New York magazine. Both Donald Trump and Charles Kushner have also been embroiled in their share of scandals, with Kushner actually serving two years in jail for a bizarre crimes including tampering with elections and arranging to blackmail his own sister.

From these outlandish men, somehow two polished, driven, and seemingly scandal-proof children were born. They both love their work more than anything else in life; they both achieved leadership positions in the family business from a very early age, and they both not only have ambitions in politics, but also a keen sense of how to maneuver those murky waters despite being total outsiders.

But above all, and in spite of having wild father figures who could have easily derailed them, these two remain grounded in family values. Ivanka once said, "I've learned from my father: the number one thing in life is to love what you do," while Jared, the more elusive media presence, once wrote in an op-ed for The Observer how much of his life philosophy is shaped on the harrowing tale of his Holocaust survivor grandparents.

They have lots of help

Given that Ivanka and Jared have three young children—Arabella, five; Joseph, three; and Theodore, one—it would seem impossible for both of them to maintain their rigorous work schedule. And since Jared also told Vogue, "We both pick up slack for each other where it's needed, but she doesn't want to outsource mothering, so she's very involved," the question is how can Ivanka possibly achieve both? In Harper's Bazaar's piece, '24 Hours With Ivanka Trump,' we get a few clues.

From 6-8AM, Ivanka claims that she wakes up, works out, meditates for 15 minutes, plays with the kids and has breakfast. She then mentions how Arabella will pop in for a weekly lunch date at her office. How exactly is the five-year-old achieving that? Oh, right, possibly the Chinese nanny, XiXi, conveniently not mentioned in the Harper's piece, who is "is teaching the children to speak Mandarin." Ivanka goes on to say that she and Jared "are out quite a bit at night" without elaborating on who is watching the kids while that's happening. And look, we realize it's not earth-shattering news to report that rich people have help with childcare, but it speaks to Jared's whole "she doesn't want to outsource mothering" comment, so we felt it was worth mentioning.

They've both been heavily credited with Trump's election win

Donald Trump's stunning election upset has almost single handedly been attributed to Jared Kushner's brilliant gaming of the electoral college system. Utilizing marketing tactics he learned from his Silicon Valley contacts, and testing them out pushing campaign messaging and merchandise on Facebook, Kushner developed a system of targeting crucial voters in the states that ultimately swung the election, according to Forbes. In other words: he applied his years of business acumen to a political campaign, and it worked. While he operated mostly behind the scenes — only publicly addressing campaign concerns when absolutely necessary — his wife got out front and ran defense.

Although she tried to avoid it, Ivanka had to sometimes soften the pointed rhetoric of her presidential candidate dad. And as the campaign went on, Ivanka found herself in an increasingly more important role as she chose to speak out on issues like motherhood, and being a woman in the workplace. She became an avenue for women to see how they could get behind a Trump presidency, which was one of the greatest weaknesses he overcame.

In a sense, Ivanka was the human face of the campaign, while her husband was the robotic genius behind the curtain. And now they've both been tapped to serve in Trump's fledgling administration, a move that's sparked a whole new round of controversy over ethical concerns. Impressive? For sure; but we have to say that it's hard to watch how this power couple navigated this whole process and not get a chilly, Frank and Claire Underwood kind of vibe from the whole thing, right?

They're unconventional, but perfect for each other

For all of the speculation and media scrutiny surrounding the Trump family, Jared and Ivanka's marriage actually shows no signs of strain. Granted, they play everything extremely close to the chest, but most normal marriages would falter under the stress of just the 24 hour media coverage, let alone the privacy intrusion of a presidential election. But Jared and Ivanka's marriage is anything but normal, and the introduction of the stressful world of politics has only seemed to strengthen their bond.

Telling Vogue that she believes "your choice of spouse is really everything," Ivanka said that Jared is her ideal partner because his drive and ambitions match her own. "His own dreams are bold, and I love that in someone," she also said. Another source close to the couple, speaking to Esquire, put it more cynically, "Power, power, power, power. Jared's got plenty of money, but the only way he can separate himself from his family is power. They're a great match because that's also what Ivanka is after."

Did they hit a rough patch in their marriage?

In December 2022 outlets reported that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner's marriage was on the rocks. The couple had allegedly become distant following the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. An anonymous source shared these claims with Radar Online. "Jared recognized Donald had become radioactive, and he pushed Ivanka to abandon her father for the sake of their own reputations and the future of their children," they claimed. "They still have grand ambitions and consider themselves card-carrying power brokers. But Jared knew if Ivanka continued to stand by her dad, all of his big business connections would go out the window!"

They also made claims that might indicate Trump and Kushner's relationship is in jeopardy. "It's a toxic situation right now," the source alleged. "It's all falling apart," they also said. "They're always fighting and can barely contain their growing animosity for each other even when they appear in public." The couple's relationship troubles were reportedly even observed by onlookers at a Miami yacht party. An anonymous source alleged that Trump and Kushner remained distant at the event. "I never saw them interact," they told Page Six. "They stood in the same group, but almost as acquaintances."

They had issues before she converted to Judaism

According to an Esquire profile, Jared Kushner's devout faith in Orthodox Judaism actually led he and Ivanka to temporarily split. The problem laid primarily with Kushner's father, Charles Kushner, the patriarch of the Kushner family real estate empire, who reportedly was the one who pushed for Ivanka to convert before allowing them to marry. A guest at their wedding said the elder Kushner even brought up the subject in his toast to the newlyweds at the reception. "Look, everyone thinks she's great, but being Jewish is just unbelievably important to us, and she's not Jewish. It's a problem for me, a genuine problem. Then I watched and got to see she's in love with my son and it wasn't what I thought in the beginning. I feel right about it," the guest paraphrased. Mazel tov?

Jared elaborated on Ivanka's eventual decision to convert to Judaism in his book, "Breaking History: A White House Memoir." He penned, "When I realized that I was falling in love with Ivanka, I grew concerned about our different religions. As hard and painful as it was, I broke up with her." The couple later reconnected, Ivanka converted, and they walked down the aisle.

If Ivanka ever felt any kind of pressure over the conversion, she doesn't seem to anymore. She told Vogue how she feels that her newfound faith has blended both the modern and traditional aspects of her life as well as strengthened their family.

The couple was subpoenaed following the January 6 investigation

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner found themselves in hot water after the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and the federal investigation that followed. In 2023 it was revealed that the couple was subpoenaed to testify in court. Kushner and Ivanka also previously testified in front of the House committee investigating the attacks back in 2022. Ivanka's testimony seemingly upset her father after she sided with Attorney General William Barr, who disagreed with Donald Trump's election fraud claims. "I respect Attorney General Barr so I accepted what he was saying," Ivanka said at the time, per Politico.

Donald took to his social media platform, Truth Social, to call out his own daughter. "Ivanka Trump was not involved in looking at, or studying, Election results," the former U.S. president wrote (via Politico). "She had long since checked out and was, in my opinion, only trying to be respectful to Bill Barr and his position as Attorney General (he sucked!)." It looks like there's a chance Kushner and Ivanka's second court appearances will cause even more tension within the family.