"The whole family went through a rough patch," a Kardashian insider tells PEOPLE
His lifelong secret now out in the open, Bruce Jenner faces different reactions to his transition from his famous family. Subscribe now for instant access to all the details on the divided Kardashians and Jenners, only in PEOPLE.
After the famed Olympian told his loved ones that he is transgender, “the whole family went through a rough patch,” a Kardashian insider tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “It’s naturally a difficult thing to process and work through.”
The family had already been rocked by Jenner’s divorce from ex-wife Kris after 23 years of marriage, and in the nearly two months since Jenner, 65, made headlines with the news that he is transitioning from male to female, his 10 children and stepchildren have processed the change in different ways.
“The divorce caused a divide, but Bruce’s decision to share his transition has caused an even greater divide,” a Keeping Up with the Kardashians production source says of Jenner’s plans to document his journey, both in an interview with Diane Sawyer and in a docuseries that is now on hold.
After keeping his truth a secret for more than five decades – and “taking a backseat in his own life,” as the source puts it, while Kris called the shots during their marriage – the 1976 Olympic gold medalist is now going his own way for the first time in a long while.
As he continues to find his way, he has remained firm in the belief that “he wants this to be his story,” says a friend.
Still, the strain between families is one that Bruce himself addressed in the season premiere of KUWTK, lamenting that he is “in the middle” of the Kardashians and Jenners.
Since his move to a secluded hilltop Malibu home following the divorce, the star has been spending more time with his kids from previous marriages: Cassandra, 34, Burt, 36, Brandon, 33, and Brody, 31.
As for his stepdaughters with Kris – Kourtney, 35, Kim, 34, and Khloé, 30 – “there were weeks when they didn’t hear from Bruce,” says the Kardashian insider.
Despite the tensions, sources on both sides of the family say all his children have been supportive of their dad.
“His kids all love him very much,” says the insider, “and would do anything for him.”
• Reporting by JENNIFER GARCIA and PERNILLA CEDENHEIM
For much more on how Bruce Jenner’s family is handling his transgender journey, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday