Michelle Tauber
April 02, 2014 08:00 AM

Long before they announced their split and introduced the world to the term "conscious uncoupling,", Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin were struggling to stay a couple.

In this week’s cover story, several friends tell PEOPLE that the pair, who were married for 10 years, at times had an “open” relationship.

“They were physically separated and emotionally,” says a Paltrow insider.

Adds a close friend of the 41-year-old actress: “They have been on and off for many years. The marriage was falling apart.”

Personality conflicts and distance proved challenging for the couple, who are parents to daughter Apple, 9½, and son Moses, who turns 8 next week.

The Coldplay rocker, 37, “is the kind of person who is always in a T-shirt,” says another friend. “She’s much more glam.”

PHOTOS: Breakup Moons: Couples Who Put Vacation Before Separation

With two busy careers to sustain, “they seemed to have a pretty mature handle on that crazy rotation of being superstars and parents,” says a source who knows them both. “But that balance, given the time they had to spend apart, clearly couldn’t sustain itself.”

For much more on this story, including a closer look at the splitting stars’s fortune and exclusive details on their Bahamas breakup moon, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE.

You May Like

EDIT POST