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Fergie Reveals Pretending to Still Be with Josh Duhamel Prior to Split Announcement ‘Was Getting a Little Weird’

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Fergie can breathe a sigh of relief now that she can focus on her music rather than worry about keeping her separation from husband Josh Duhamel a secret.

“Honestly, it was just getting a little weird for us with all the romantic questions,” the singer, 42, told PEOPLE exclusively on Tuesday about promoting her upcoming album, Double Dutchess, while her personal life has been dominating the headlines.

“We’re great friends, we love each other so much, and it just got to the point where it was getting a little weird,” she continued. “There’s no perfect time, so we just decided to do it.”

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As for whether the pair — who have a 4-year-old son, Axl — timed the announcement of their separation so that she could focus more on her record release, Fergie continued to stress the strangeness of the situation.

“You can ask him, but it was just getting a little weird to laugh through the first date questions,” she said, laughing.

Luckily co-parenting their little boy is coming more naturally, with singer telling PEOPLE it is  “so great.”

“We just wanted to get adjusted in private. [And Axl’s school has helped as] we have a co-op so Josh and I would walk there several times before the school season. I get to learn from the teachers and see how he reacts in a group of friends that he knows. And I get to help out and serve them snacks and clean the dishes. We have fun, we get down and dirty and read the stories with our costumes. You get down in the sand and get dirty — I love it. I love that part of it all.”

PEOPLE exclusively confirmed last week that Fergie and Duhamel, 44, are going their separate ways after eight years of marriage.

“With absolute love and respect we decided to separate as a couple earlier this year,” they said in a joint statement. “To give our family the best opportunity to adjust, we wanted to keep this a private matter before sharing it with the public. We are and will always be united in our support of each other and our family.”

RELATED VIDEO: Fergie Returns To The Stage After She And Josh Duhamel Announce Separation

While the pair’s split came as a shock to many, some who know them best said they had been traveling down different paths for a while.

“They have been leading separate lives for a long time,” a music insider said of Fergie and Duhamel in PEOPLE’s latest issue. “She wants to be out on the road doing her thing, while he is more chill. They clashed for a long time before they did anything about it.”

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A separate source told PEOPLE that the couple’s differences were “a factor” in their split. “They come from totally different backgrounds and they wanted different things,” said the insider. “A big factor is how different Fergie and Josh are. In the beginning, it was what attracted them to each other and made them so fun to be around.”

Fergie’s last solo album, The Dutchess, hit shelves in 2006.