On Thursday, fans were shocked by the news that Kelly Clarkson had filed for divorce from Brandon Blackstock, her husband of seven years.
It was a split that few saw coming, and insiders say even close friends of the couple were caught off guard.
But one source tells Entertainment Tonight that "those closest to them know it's been difficult," and the nationwide lockdown that began back in March quickly made Kelly and Brandon's situation intolerable.
It seems the couple initially hoped that spending some time away from Los Angeles and escaping to the solitude of Montana would help their relationship.
Alas, that didn't turn out to be the case.
In fact, it seems the quarantine only exacerbated their existing problems.
"Kelly and Brandon had been having problems for several months and were making a conscious effort to work things out," says the insider.
"They both hoped quarantining away from L.A. in Montana would help them work things out in their marriage, but instead the change in environment was actually detrimental."
As with many couples, Kelly and Brandon found that the lockdown put their relationship to the test in a major way.
"The constant time together seemed to make an already challenging situation worse," the source says, adding that Kelly's busy work schedule "definitely helped to keep her mind off things, but this recent downtime gave her the time she needed to think about her life and her marriage."
The insider says Clarkson started the divorce process "they'd both been dreading" a few weeks ago.
"Kelly knew she just needed to follow her heart and finally realized divorce was her only option," the informant adds.
A different insider confirms to Life & Style that Kelly in particular “hated having to self-isolate”
“They haven’t been getting along for a while and clashed on so many levels," the source claims.
“They’ve grown apart over the years and being in lockdown together heightened their problems,”
The insider says that Clarkson “took out her frustration” on Blackstock and was frequently in a “terrible mood.”
This led to a situation in which Brandon would find any excuse to “get out of the house” in order to “escape her rants.”
The divorce comes as a shock to fans, as Clarkson frequently spoke about her blissfully happy her marriage was.
During an episode of her talk show last year, Kelly stated that she and Brandon have sex every night.
“I was single for many years, so … I have children and how one makes children is generally what I do before bed,” she said at the time.
Neither Clarkson nor Blackstock has commented publicly on the split, except through their publicists.
Kelly cited irreconcilable differences as the cause of the separation in her divorce filing.