On Saturday, the longtime loves announced they were separating after nearly eight months of marriage
“They have a long history together, and that’s a huge part of why she has a hard time letting him go,” a source close to the singer tells PEOPLE exclusively. “At the end of the day, she wants to be happy, and she genuinely wants Liam to be happy too.”
Multiple sources agree Cyrus and Hemsworth’s relationship was unhealthy, and the Cyrus source says their separation “is for the best” right now.
Spending time with family and friends, the 26-year-old entertainer — who was photographed kissing influencer Kaitlynn Carter in Italy on Saturday — is “genuinely trying to have fun and put on a good face,” says the source.
On Tuesday, multiple insiders confirmed Cyrus is holding off from filing for divorce.
“They’re having a break right now because they needed it. It was a bad situation with a lot of disagreements,” said another source in Cyrus’ circle. “They both agreed it’s better to spend time apart, but this doesn’t mean their relationship is completely over.”
Another insider close to the couple previously said Cyrus “really fought to make” her marriage work. “She wanted to go to therapy,” said the insider. “She just wants to be in a healthy and focused place.”
Cyrus met Hemsworth, 29, 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.
“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 over the weekend about the estranged couple, who took off their rings earlier this summer.
For more on Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth’s separation, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.