The reality-TV mom "just couldn't emotionally handle it," a Kardashian family source tells PEOPLE

By Michelle Tauber
Updated March 20, 2015 12:15 PM
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Credit: Pacific Coast News/Karwai Tang/WireImage

His lifelong secret now out in the open, Bruce Jenner faces different reactions to his transition from his famous family. Subscribe now for instant access to all the details on the divided Kardashians and Jenners, only in PEOPLE.

They were married for 23 years and presided over a blended family of 10 kids, but today Bruce Jenner and his ex-wife Kris have virtually no contact.

The distance is a result of their divorce, of course, but also the life-changing journey the Olympic gold medalist, 65, is undergoing as he transitions from male to female.

Despite more than a year of tabloid reports surrounding Bruce’s transition, the reality-TV matriarch, 59, “just couldn’t emotionally handle it all when he finally came out with it,” a Kardashian family insider tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story.

“Regardless of whatever signs there were, it’s a really hard pill to swallow,” adds the insider. “She truly went through a mourning period. And they really don’t talk now.”

For his part, “Bruce feels like Kris is used to getting her own way, and going ahead with his transition was not probably part of her plans,” adds a source who has spent time with him recently.

Reporting by JENNIFER GARCIA

For much more on how Bruce’s family is handling his transgender journey, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

Behind PEOPLE’s Cover: Bruce Jenner’s Family Divided