Meet Jay Barker, Sara Evans’ Spouse: A Peek Into His Life and Career

Meet Jay Barker, Sara Evans' Spouse: A Peek Into His Life and Career
Photo: Homewoodlife

Sara Evans and her husband Jay Barker have reunited after nearly three years apart, marking a significant turn in their relationship. The country singer revealed this heartwarming news during a March 2024 episode of her podcast, Diving in Deep with Sara Evans. Their reconciliation comes nearly three years after Evans filed for divorce following 13 years of marriage.

Evans, a devoted mother to three children—Avery, Olivia, and Audrey—from her previous marriage to Craig Schelske, acknowledged Barker’s pivotal role in raising them alongside her. Despite the challenges they faced, including Evans’ divorce filing and Barker’s subsequent arrest and charge for aggravated assault, the couple persevered through extensive therapy and marriage counseling.

Reflecting on the tumultuous journey, Evans shared her belief that Barker’s actions during the incident stemmed from a misguided attempt to ascertain her whereabouts rather than an intent to harm. Over time, their shared experiences and unwavering commitment to each other paved the way for reconciliation.

Describing Barker as “gorgeous” and “funny,” Evans emphasized the deep bond and compatibility they share. From their shared values in parenting and family dynamics to their alignment on matters of politics and religion, the couple found solace in their mutual understanding and love for each other, reaffirming their status as best friends.

As they start on this new chapter together, Sara and Jay’s love story serves as a testament to the power of forgiveness, growth, and unwavering devotion.

He Was a Professional Football Player

Jay Barker’s football journey began on the fields of the University of Alabama, where he led as their starting quarterback. Despite his prowess in college football, his transition to the professional arena encountered challenges. Although drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round of the 1995 NFL draft, Barker’s dream of playing in the NFL didn’t materialize as he hoped. Despite brief stints with the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers, he never got the chance to showcase his skills in a regular-season game.

In 1998, Barker sought new opportunities in the Canadian Football League, signing up with the Toronto Argonauts. Over the next three seasons, he poured his heart into the game, contributing to the team’s efforts on the field. Following his Canadian adventure, Barker returned to his homeland, joining the Birmingham Thunderbolts in the XFL, an exciting but short-lived venture in professional football. Though his NFL aspirations didn’t come to fruition, Barker’s love for the game and his determination to succeed remained undiminished as he embraced new challenges and experiences in his football journey.

He Was Formerly Married

Before Jay Barker entered into a relationship with Sara Evans, he was married to his first wife, Amy DiGiovanna, for 13 years. They tied the knot in 1995 and were blessed with four children: Andrew, Braxton, and twins Sarah Ashlee and Harrison. However, their marriage came to an end in 2007.

Following his divorce from DiGiovanna, Barker took on the responsibility of raising their children alongside Sara Evans’ three kids in their Alabama home. Despite the challenges that come with blending families, Barker remained dedicated to creating a loving and supportive environment for all their children. Together, they worked to build a harmonious family dynamic where each child felt valued and cherished.

They Exchanged Vows in 2008

Sara Evans and Jay Barker exchanged vows on June 14, 2008, in what Evans described as a “fairy-tale wedding.” Dressed in a stunning Vera Wang gown, Evans walked down the aisle at a picturesque Tennessee farm, with her three children by her side. Barker’s children had the honor of giving him away, adding to the heartfelt moments of the ceremony.

Who Exactly is Jay Barker, Sara Evans' Husband?
Photo: Rick Diamond/ Getty Images

The celebrations continued the following day as the newly-formed family of nine returned home, enjoying a cozy evening grilling steaks and watching movies together. Evans shared their intention to savor this time as a family before embarking on their honeymoon the following week.

“We wanted this week to be just us together as a family because next week we go on our honeymoon,” Evans expressed. “We just want to relish every moment as a family.” This sentiment encapsulated their deep bond and commitment to cherishing precious moments together as they embarked on their journey as a blended family.

Evans Initiated Divorce Proceedings in 2021

Sara Evans opened up about the challenges within her 13-year marriage to Jay Barker, revealing to PEOPLE in March 2024 that their journey was far from easy. By August 2021, Evans made the difficult decision to file for divorce.

She candidly shared the struggles she endured, detailing Barker’s behavior, which she described as “accusatory” and exacerbated by alcohol. Despite facing turmoil, Evans chose to keep her inner battles hidden from her friends and children.

Reflecting on her mindset during their marriage, Evans admitted to interpreting Barker’s jealousy as a sign of love. She believed that his intense emotions meant he was deeply invested in their relationship. Despite her unwavering love for him, Evans found herself in a cycle of denial, hoping to manage his behavior and maintain peace at any cost.

However, by 2017, Evans reached a breaking point, realizing the toxicity of their relationship. By the summer of 2020, she reached a moment of surreder, acknowledging that she could no longer continue in the same manner. Despite her initial separation from Barker in April 2021, Evans eventually filed for divorce four months later.

Expressing her mixed emotions about the decision, Evans revealed a sense of heartbreak at feeling compelled to end their marriage. Despite the challenges they faced, she cherished the happy moments they shared throughout their 16-year union, acknowledging that the majority of their time together was filled with joy.

Allegedly, Jay Barker Tried to Hit Evans With His Car Following Their Separation

Even after Sara Evans filed for divorce, she and Barker maintained communication. However, their interactions often turned contentious, leading to frequent arguments. The situation escalated in January 2022 when an incident occurred involving Barker allegedly attempting to hit a car carrying Evans and her daughter with his truck.

Recalling the frightening ordeal on her podcast, Evans expressed deep concern, especially for her daughter who witnessed the altercation. The altercation left her shaken, as she had never witnessed such behavior from Barker before. Evans described the tense moment when Barker, in a heated exchange with her child, hastily backed his truck at high speed, causing panic and fear.

While Evans maintained her composure, her daughter feared for their safety, believing Barker’s actions were endangering their lives. Barker’s subsequent arrest and felony assault charge further exacerbated the situation. Despite the severity of the incident, Barker later accepted a plea deal for a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment and was placed on probation.

In the aftermath of the incident, Barker took to social media to request privacy, emphasizing that media headlines failed to capture the complexity of their lives. This plea for understanding underscored the challenges and complexities of their relationship, highlighting the need for respect and empathy amid tumultuous times.

They Patched Things up and Reconciled in 2023

Months after the unsettling events of January 2022, Sara Evans received an unexpected text from Jay Barker that stirred her emotions. In a March 2024 episode of her podcast, Evans shared that Barker reached out, expressing a heartfelt sentiment: “Everybody says that I shouldn’t contact you, but you are still my wife.”

Touched by his words, Evans decided to reestablish communication with Barker, albeit under specific conditions. She insisted that Barker undergo individual therapy and commit to couples counseling with her. Additionally, he had to earn back the trust of Evans’ children, particularly her daughter Audrey, through sincere efforts and heartfelt conversations.

Over time, Evans observed a transformative change in Barker. She described him as a renewed man, exhibiting reduced toxicity and control in their relationship. Their reconciliation journey culminated in the dismissal of their divorce proceedings in February 2023.

Reflecting on their renewed bond, Evans emphasized the imperfection inherent in their relationship but underscored their mutual commitment to love and growth. She highlighted Barker’s newfound treatment of her with utmost respect and adoration, emphasizing her belief in their shared future.

Acknowledging the gravity of her decision to reconcile, Evans affirmed that she was not minimizing the challenges of toxic relationships or addiction. Instead, she asserted her choice to confront their issues head-on, setting clear boundaries and expectations while prioritizing their collective well-being. Through honesty, resilience, and unwavering love, Evans and Barker embarked on a journey of healing and renewal, determined to build a healthy and enduring partnership together.

>>READ ALSO: Sara Evans Declares Reconciliation with Husband Jay Barker Following Divorce Filing and His Arrest

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