J.R. Martinez and Diana Gonzalez-Jones have split, just 18 months after the birth of their daughter, Lauryn Anabelle.
“Diana and I have ended our relationship. However, we are committed to working together to raise our daughter in a healthy and happy environment,” Martinez tells PEOPLE exclusively.
“People change [it’s] a part of life, but sometimes [it’s] easier to hold on to the memories of who they were rather [than] to realize who they have become ” he wrote.
The Iraq war vet met Gonzalez-Jones in 2008, when he joined the cast of All My Children while she was working as an assistant to the show’s executive producer. The pair started out as friends, but took their relationship to the next level four years ago.
“All this time I was looking for the perfect guy, and I had him right next to me,” Gonzalez-Jones told PEOPLE in 2011. “We were so good as friends that romantically, we just clicked right away.”
A month after Martinez clinched the mirror ball trophy on ABC’s hit reality show, he and Gonzalez-Jones announced that they were expecting.
• Reporting by CHARLOTTE TRIGGS