Looks like the Britney split rumors were true all along.
The pop megastar's breakup with Jason Trawick was a long time coming - and it actually went down quietly and privately weeks before their public statement.
Britney once foresaw in a fairy-tale ending for herself and Trawick, who popped the question in December 2011. But by late 2012, she was no longer wearing her ring.
"Britney spent Christmas with [sons] Preston and Jayden. Jason was around for parts of it, but it was very obvious that they were not together anymore," a source says.
"They were not affectionate and instead just seemed to keep appearances going for the boys' sake. Britney looked a bit gloomy and tense throughout the holidays."
Jason Trawick, 41, moved out after Christmas.
The couple announced their split last Friday.
As recently as last summer, Britney talked frequently about their wedding, "but lately she acted like she knew it would not happen ... she hadn't talked about [plans] in months."
That was quite a change from the early months of their engagement, when Spears "would spend hours online looking at wedding dresses and dreaming," says the source.
They never set a date, however.
"Britney wanted to rush in, but there were things that needed to improve before they got to that place," the source says. "They love each other, but like any relationship, and especially this one, there were some major challenges and hurdles."
"There was constant work that needed to be done. At the end of the day, it just wasn't working, and things were't going to change, so it was time to let go."