“It is with immense sadness that Stephen and I have decided to end our relationship as a couple. We have worked hard for a long time — both as a married couple and individually — and have come to the conclusion to remain separated,” the 41-year-old former bachelorette began in a statement on Thursday, Jan. 19. loving parents to our beautiful children, Addison & Austin, and will continue to raise them together with love and faith.”
Pappas concluded: “We ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time as we navigate the new normal. We want to thank our dear friends and family for your endless support and many, many prayers during what has become the most difficult time of our lives.”
Bachelor Nation met Pappas in 2007 during Brad Womack‘s first stint as the bachelor. After rejecting both of his finalists, ABC named Pappas the spin-off’s fourth-season protagonist. Pappas got engaged to Jesse Csincsak during the 2008 finals, but they broke up less than a year later.
The former reality star met Stagliano through his twin brother, Michael Stagliano, who appeared on season 5 of The Bachelorette (who played Jillian Harris).
“I am actually very grateful [Brad changed his mind], you know, I have to go ahead and be the bachelorette after that. All the friends, all the opportunities I’ve had, and then finally meeting Stephen and my kids,” Pappas said as she reflected on her journey while performing on Us weekly‘s podcast ‘Here for the right reasons’ in 2020. “It was all clearly in the plan for me, you know, so I don’t know if I’m excited to relive that, but I think in hindsight it’s 20/20.”
Pappas and Stephen wed in October 2011 and welcomed two children. Addison, now 8, was born in February 2014 and Austin, now 6, was born in March 2016.
The spouses were more open about going to therapy during their marriage, tell Pappas Us in 2018: “We think you’re crazy if you don’t go to therapy. We are all a product of our environment and how we were raised and none of us are perfect.”
During the same interview, Pappas joked, “I’m sure Stephen would wish we had regular sex. … But we try.”