The couple announced their separation on Monday

By Emily Strohm Natalie Stone
December 15, 2016 12:34 PM

Tarek and Christina El Moussa have been separated for months, but a source close to the couple tells PEOPLE that the HGTV pair kept their marital issues a secret because “quite frankly, it was nobody’s business at the time.”

On Monday, PEOPLE reported that the HGTV personalities called it quits after seven years of marriage following an altercation that prompted police to visit their California home in May. Police responded to the couple’s Orange County residence after receiving a “call of a possibly suicidal male with a gun,” according to TMZ. Tarek allegedly ran from the home with a firearm, only dropping the weapon when a helicopter spotted him and officers commanded him to do so. He allegedly told officers he did not intend to harm himself, but wanted to “blow off some steam.”

But in the months since the incident, the couple have continued working together professionally and told PEOPLE in a statement, “We will continue to work through this process civilly and cooperatively, and plan to continue our professional life together.”

“It’s very normal for them. They are still working together so it’s business as usual,” the source says of the couple, who met up in-person on Thursday. “The only difference is that now their split is public. They’ve been doing this for months, so it’s nothing new.”

The source adds that the El Moussas kept their split private because, “They aren’t Hollywood in the spotlight kind of people. They pretty much do their show and whatever else they have to do for it and that’s it,” and adds, “So once the incident happened, the last thing on their mind was ‘what are we going to tell the world?’ They were separated and going through counseling and trying to figure out what to do with their marriage.”

Although the couple attempted to repair their marriage through counseling, they have since decided to separate while evaluating “the future of our marriage” — and are both living separately and seeing other people.

“Like many couples, we have had challenges in our marriage,” the pair said in the statement provided to PEOPLE. “We had an unfortunate misunderstanding about six months ago and the police were called to our house in an abundance of caution. There was no violence and no charges were filed. During the process, we are committed to our kids and being the best parents we can be.”

The couple wed in 2009 have two children: Brayden, 1, and a 6-year-old daughter Taylor.

Advertisement