One year after announcing their plans to wed, Meg Ryan and John Mellencamp have called it quits
The rocker’s recent split from the When Harry Met Sally actress is par for the course for the couple, whose rollercoaster relationship dates back to 2011, a source tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.
“John and Meg have had a volatile relationship from the beginning,” the source close to Mellencamp says. “They love each other, but there are disagreements which can become issues.”
For example, the source says that Mellencamp likes to be alone some of the time. “He doesn’t mean to be gruff, but it can happen, and it’s hard to be around,” the source says.
Another industry source says that while the two make a “great couple,” Mellencamp, 68, and Ryan, 57, both have “independent streaks that can clash” as they live “full lives separate from each other.”
- For more on Meg Ryan and John Mellencamp’s split, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
“They fight and make up and fight and make up,” the industry source adds. “Some people thrive on that.”
Rumors that the couple had broken up first started to swirl when Ryan stepped out twice in the same week without her engagement ring — first at the Governors Awards on Oct. 27, and then again in Los Angeles the next morning.
“[John] didn’t want to get married again,” a source told PEOPLE earlier this week of Mellencamp, who has been married three times before. “He loves [Meg], but marriage never seemed to be a part of it.”
“It’s unclear how important a marriage was to Meg,” the source continued. “But they spent a lot of time together, and it’s too bad they split.”
In August, Ryan opened up about her engagement for InStyle‘s 25th anniversary special.
“Today I’m happy too. Yes, I’m going to get married at some point. But for now this engagement thing is a state of grace,” Ryan told the outlet.
Ryan and Mellencamp began dating in 2011, after Mellencamp ended his 18-year marriage to model Elaine Irwin, despite Ryan living in New York City with her daughter Daisy, and Mellencamp preferring to stay in his home state of Indiana.
The two called it quits in August 2014 primarily because of the long distance and Mellencamp dated Christie Brinkley for a year. Still, there was hope of a reconciliation. “I loved Meg Ryan,” Mellencamp told Howard Stern in 2017. “She hates me to death. I think it’s because I’m a child. I throw fits, I gripe, I complain. I’m moody.”
In June 2017, the couple were photographed together at the Art Cliff Diner in Martha’s Vineyard. A month later, a source confirmed they had reconciled because “they have a bond.”
Though the two have always been ultra-private about their on and off-again relationship over the past eight years, they were happy to share the good news of their engagement in November of last year.
“John and Meg are a great combination,” a source close to the rocker told PEOPLE at the time.
Added an entertainment insider: “They relate on many levels. John loves her intellect, personality and sense of humor. Meg is in awe of his talent.”
Mellencamp has five children, including two sons with Irwin. Ryan has been married once, to actor Dennis Quaid. They have one son, Jack Henry, 26.