Dan Reynolds Calls Estranged Wife Aja Volkman His 'Best Friend' amid Separation: 'It Feels Hard'

The Imagine Dragons frontman announced last week that he was separating from wife Aja Volkman, four years after the two briefly split, then reunited

Dan Reynolds and Aja Volkman attend the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Los Angeles at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 28, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.
Dan Reynolds and Aja Volkman. Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty

Dan Reynolds has nothing but love for his estranged wife Aja Volkman.

In the wake of last week's announcement that he and Volkman have separated for a second time after more than a decade together, the Imagine Dragons frontman opened up about how the former couple are handling the split.

"People invest in it … all your friends invest in it, your family invests in it and the notion of having to be public about something sucks," Reynolds, 35, said on The Howard Stern Show. "[You] kind of do in this position... you sign up for it."

The "Demons" singer also reflected on the ways in which the pandemic bettered his relationships with the Nico Vega frontwoman and their four children: Arrow Eve, 10, twins Gia James and Coco Rae, 5, and Valentine, 2.

Aja Volkman (L) and Dan Reynolds attend the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.
Dan Reynolds and Aja Volkman. Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty

"I actually think COVID for us was a great time because I got to spend a bunch of time with my kids at home," he said. "We really enjoyed that time and felt very grounded. I got to walk the dog every day and make breakfast and, like, be Dad, and that was wonderful."

And though they've ended their romantic relationship, Reynolds had plenty of kind things to say about his ex.

"I love her, she is my best friend, and an incredible mother, and we are going to be great parents to our kids," he said of Volkman, 42. "Relationships are so complex — here we are, at the close of a chapter and it feels hard, it feels like mourning for me. But it also feels like I'm just on the path I'm supposed to be on in life."

Reynolds announced that he and Volkman had split for the second time in a statement shared to Twitter last week.

"I am saddened to say that after many beautiful years together Aja and I have separated," Reynolds wrote. "Being great parents to our children is our number one priority. Thank you for always supporting us with love and care for all these years."

The exes briefly split in 2018 after what they called "seven beautiful years together."

"Our children continue to be the most important thing in our lives, & we will continue to co-parent them with all our love," Reynolds tweeted amid their first separation. "I ask that you please respect our privacy at this time as we work through this as a family."

Eventually, Volkman and Reynolds reunited less than a year later, and Volkman shared in a January 2019 post that the couple was working on "rebuilding."

"I know that it's been a crazy road. It's killed us both in so many moments," Volkman wrote on Instagram at the time. "Last year we killed each other and now we are rebuilding. You can become your worst self in the eye of a giant storm. You almost have to. It's rite of passage. It's the only road to a better existence. A more mature sense of self."

In a 2019 cover story for Parents, Reynolds and Volkman opened up about their period of separation, as Reynolds called the seven months they were apart his "apocalypse." Reynolds also opened up to PEOPLE around the same time about the steps the couple had taken to get back to a strong place, which included going to therapy.

"We've been going through marriage counseling and putting in a lot of work to keep our family strong," he said. "Fortunately for us, we worked through it. If that hadn't have been the case for us, there's many people before us who paved that route and still raised great kids together or go on to be friends, or whatever it is. Relationships are complex."

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