'Trust Issues' and 'Inconsistencies' Led to 'RHOP' Stars Ashley and Michael Darby's Split: Source

Ashley Darby announced her split from Michael Darby Tuesday, after nearly eight years of marriage

Michael and Ashley
Michael and Ashley Darby in April 2019. Photo: Brian Stukes/Getty Images

Ashley Darby and Michael Darby were having issues long before they split, an insider close to Ashley tells PEOPLE on Wednesday.

The Real Housewives of Potomac star, 33, announced that she and Michael "have decided to separate" after nearly eight years of marriage in a statement to Bravo's The Daily Dish on Tuesday.

A source now tells PEOPLE, "Michael is a real estate developer and owns the building where the family lives. He moved out a while ago. They've been having serious problems for about a year now. There's been a visceral disconnect between them as a couple. For Ashley, the inconsistencies within the relationship and trust issues led to the split."

The insider says Ashley is ready to start dating again and has been telling her friends "that she considers herself single and has been asking to be set up on dates."

"She's been done and is clearly ready to move on," adds the source.

Ashley Darby
Ashley Darby and family. Ashley Darby/Instagram

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In her statement to The Daily Dish, Ashley said in part, "Almost eight years ago, when Michael and I said 'I do,' we anticipated sharing every single day together from that moment forward. Unfortunately, that is not our current reality. We have decided to separate," adding, "We are aware that there will be many speculative views as to why we have made this decision. People will be quick to assume that the causes were too much intrusion by reality TV into the most personal parts of our lives, age gap issues, cultural problems, or child-rearing differences."

"Pieces of all these may have affected our pure love for each other, but no one reason is the root cause of our mutual decision to go our separate ways," continued Darby. "We are now both at very different stages in our lives and have different goals for our futures. We both want the other to achieve true happiness and fulfillment and feel that we cannot do this together."

RELATED VIDEO: RHOP's Ashley Darby Announces Separation from Husband Michael: 'No One Is the Root Cause'

Ashley said that she and Michael — with whom she shares sons Dylan, 2, and Dean, 13 months — no longer have a "romantic bond", however, "we will always love and respect each other. We also know that true happiness can only be achieved by continuing to work together and putting our hearts and souls into raising our two beautiful boys, Dean and Dylan. They will always feel loved and supported, for they were truly created out of love."

The reality star concluded, "As this is a personal matter for us, we appreciate everyone who has been a part of our journey and ask for your continued support by respecting us as we go through this emotional situation."

Ashley and Michael wed in May 2014 and began sharing their lives on the debut season of The Real Housewives of Potomac in 2016. Since then, they haven't shied away from opening up about the ups and downs of their union on the popular Bravo series.

Their marriage was the center of drama as Michael was previously accused of making a sexual comment about another man and was accused of sexual assault. He has denied both allegations, and the charges of felony assault and misdemeanor improper sexual conduct were dismissed due to insufficient evidence. In season five, Ashley confronted Michael about allegedly behaving inappropriately while she was on a cast trip — with their baby son Dean.

Updated by
Lanae Brody
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Senior Reporter Emerging Content, PEOPLE

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