"She took their commitment to marriage seriously and was so excited about being married," an insider tells PEOPLE of Miley Cyrus

By Melody Chiu Karen Mizoguchi
August 12, 2019 07:00 PM

Miley Cyrus had looked to remedy her relationship with Liam Hemsworth before announcing their split.

A source tells PEOPLE the singer, 26, “really fought to make it work” with her actor husband of less than a year. Cyrus and Hemsworth, 29, had been separated for several months before PEOPLE exclusively confirmed their breakup on Aug. 10.

“She wanted to go to therapy,” the source says. “She just wants to be in a healthy and focused place.”

Cyrus met Hemsworth in 2009 on the set of The Last Song, and had a rocky, on-again, off-again relationship for years before he proposed in 2012. The two ended their engagement and broke up a year later, before reconciling in 2015.

Then in December 2018, they wed during an intimate ceremony at their home in Franklin, Tennessee, following the loss of their Malibu home in the Woolsey fire.

“Miley took [the fire] a lot harder than Liam did, and he is the one who helped her get through it and realize everything would be okay,” a Cyrus insider tells PEOPLE. “She even said it all the time herself, that he was her ‘survival partner.’ She took their commitment to marriage seriously and was so excited about being married once she realized it’s what she wanted.”

RELATED: Miley Cyrus Is Back in the Recording Studio After Announcing Split from Husband Liam Hemsworth

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Cyrus, who came out as pansexual in 2015, has been outspoken about settling down, recently admitting to Vanity Fair that marriage was “kind of out of character for me.”

These days, she and Hemsworth have been spending time apart and without their wedding bands on.

The former Disney Channel star recently vacationed with sister Brandi and newly single The Hills reality star Kaitlynn Carter, whom Miley was spotted kissing, in Italy. Meanwhile, the Australian actor has been seen out and about in his native country with brother Chris Hemsworth.

“Ever-evolving, changing as partners and individuals, they have decided this is what’s best while they both focus on themselves and careers,” Cyrus’ rep said in a statement about the pair’s split.

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One day after news of her split, Cyrus seemingly addressed her newly single status on social media, sharing an empowering message and writing how “change is inevitable.”

“Don’t fight evolution, because you will never win. Like the mountain I am standing on top of, which was once under water, connected with Africa, change is inevitable,” Cyrus captioned two photos of herself with the picturesque mountain ranges of northeastern Italy in the background.

“The Dolomites were not created over night, it was over millions of years that this magnificent beauty was formed. My dad always told me ‘Nature never hurries but it is always on time’…. it fills my heart with peace and hope KNOWING that is true. I was taught to respect the planet and its process and I am committed to doing the same with my own,” she concluded.

Across the globe in Australia, Hemsworth was reportedly approached by Daily Mail Australia about the split while grabbing frozen yogurt in Byron Bay with brother Chris.

“You don’t understand what it’s like,” Liam told Daily Mail Australia, according to the outlet. “I don’t want to talk about it mate.”

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