A source tells PEOPLE that Kanye West's controversial 2020 bid for president of the U.S. was the "straw that broke the camel's back" in his marriage to Kim Kardashian

By Steve Helling and Brianne Tracy
February 19, 2021 06:15 PM
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Kanye West believes his controversial 2020 presidential run was the tipping point in his marriage to Kim Kardashian.

The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star, 40, filed for divorce from the rapper, 43, on Friday after nearly seven years of marriage. Amid the divorce news, West has been "texting people" and "talking things through," a source tells PEOPLE.

"He's in that place of 'if only,'" says the source. "'If only I had done this, if only I hadn't done that.' He's processing things."

For more on Kim and Kanye's divorce, listen below to the episode of PEOPLE Every Day!

"He thinks that the Presidential run was the straw that broke the camel's back," the source adds. "Before that, there was hope. After that, none. It cost him his marriage."

The couple's marriage originally landed in crisis last summer, at the height of West's erratic behavior. His public outbursts began in July, after he launched his bid for president of the United States and divulged deeply personal details about his family and marriage on the campaign trail and on Twitter.

During a rambling speech in front of a small crowd at his first campaign rally on July 19 in South Carolina, West made a number of bizarre and controversial comments. At one point, he broke down in tears while revealing that he and Kardashian considered abortion when she got pregnant with their daughter North in 2012.

"Even if my wife wants to divorce me after this speech, she brought North into the world even when I didn't want to," he said. "She stood up and she protected that child."

A source told PEOPLE at the time that Kardashian was "shocked that Kanye spoke about North at the rally," and she was "furious that he shared something so private."

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian
| Credit: Marc Piasecki/WireImage

West's unpredictable behavior continued that week as he tweeted and deleted a string of provocative statements, including claims that Kardashian and her mother Kris Jenner had tried to "lock him up." (Of the allegation, a source told PEOPLE at the time that Kardashian had been "trying to get Kanye help for weeks.") West also claimed then that he had been looking to end his marriage since November 2018, when Kardashian consulted with rapper Meek Mill during a criminal justice reform summit.

His behavior prompted Kardashian to address her husband's bipolar disorder diagnosis in a rare public statement, asking fans for "compassion" and acknowledging their "complicated and painful" situation.

Days after Kardashian made her statement, West issued a public apology to his wife on Twitter. A source told PEOPLE at the time that West felt "very bad," adding, "It's obvious that he still loves her."

RELATED VIDEO: Kim Kardashian 'Is Over' Kanye West's 'Chaos,' Says Source: 'They Are Not on the Same Page'

The pair — who wed in 2014 — then reunited in Cody, Wyoming, meeting face-to-face for the first time in weeks. Kardashian was seen crying in the car with her husband, and a source told PEOPLE she was "very emotional about everything, and also exhausted."

Shortly afterwards, they flew to the Dominican Republic with their kids, with a source telling PEOPLE "the focus" of the trip was to work on their marriage. After they returned to the U.S. together, a source said they were "getting along" and both seemed "much happier."

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

In mid-August, West reinstated his Sunday Service in Wyoming, with Kardashian assuring fans that his team "took every precaution to ensure the choir's health and safety" amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Kim still seems focused on making her marriage work," a source told PEOPLE at the time. "She is pretty quiet about her exact plans for the future, but for now she seems okay with Kanye living in Wyoming."

Then, in September, West once again thrust himself into the spotlight when he fired off another round of troubling tweets. A source told PEOPLE then that Kardashian was "at the end of her rope — again."

Still, they appeared to weather the storm, and for the remainder of 2020, West maintained a relatively low profile. During the election in November, West conceded his defeat after receiving 60,000 votes across a dozen states. He also alluded to a potential 2024 campaign.

The first signs of renewed trouble came in December, when a source told PEOPLE the two were still together, though very much living "separate lives."

In January, multiple sources confirmed to PEOPLE that Kardashian had been working with high-profile divorce attorney Laura Wasser and planned to file for divorce from West. That month, a source also said the stars "completely" stopped going to marriage counseling.

"They are just not on the same page when it comes to their future as a family," another insider told PEOPLE. "And Kim is okay with it."

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West with their four children
| Credit: Kim Kardashian/Instagram

Earlier this week, a source told PEOPLE that West was "not doing well" amid the couple's split.

"He is anxious and very sad. He knows that the marriage is over, and there's nothing that can be done right now," the source said on Wednesday. "He also knows what he is losing in Kim."

A source confirmed to PEOPLE on Friday that Kardashian filed for divorce from West and that things are amicable. According to the source, they are in agreement over joint legal and physical custody of their daughters North, 7½, and Chicago, 3, and sons Saint, 5, and Psalm, who will turn 2 in May. Additionally, the source said neither is contesting the prenup in place, negotiations have progressed and they are nearing a settlement.

A source previously told PEOPLE that as Kardashian works towards her law degree and continues to fight for criminal justice reform, she wants to keep her focus on her children and her career.

"Kim knows what she wants to do with her life," the source said. "She wants to keep living in L.A., create the best life for the kids and focus on her work passions."

If you or someone you know need mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.