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Originally appeared on E! Online
Eight months after the couple announced they "decided to separate temporarily" after nearly 12 years of marriage, the "Have It All" singer shared an update on where they stand now, noting that they're in a better place.
"We still live separately, but we are in couple's therapy," AJ said during the Nov. 7 episode of Cheryl Burke's Sex, Lies, and Spray Tans podcast, adding that he and Rochelle are also both "in individual therapy."
"We talk every day, we are spending more time together," the Backstreet Boys singer—who shares kids Elliot, 10, and Lyric, 6, with Rochelle—shared. "We just have to rebuild something that was never there from the beginning."
As AJ—who has been open about his sobriety journey—explained, he's gained clarity from a different perspective after taking some time apart.
"I came with baggage, she came with baggage, she had trauma, I had trauma," he admitted. "I wasn't sober or ready to get sober. She was dealing with her own s--t. It was just a constant push-pull. She would sweep her feelings under the rug or I would dive into a bottle."
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But now, the "You" singer added that communicating effectively has changed everything. "Normally I would twist it and make it about me," he continued. "Not anymore. By us kind of approaching things that way, it's been much, much healthier."
In fact, this temporary split has changed their dynamic for the better.
"It's taken this time apart," the 45-year-old added, "for us to really do some serious growing and understanding and listening."
In March, the couple announced their breakup, stating that "marriage is hard, but worth it."
"We have mutually decided to separate temporarily to work on ourselves, and on our marriage with the hope of building a stronger future," the duo, who tied the knot in 2011, told E! News in a statement at the time. "The plan is to come back together and continue to nurture our love for one another, and our family."
Over the years, the "Clouds" singer has opened up about his wife being his inspiration, especially when it came to his competitive stint on Dancing With the Stars in 2020. In fact, before he was eliminated, AJ even dedicated a performance to her.
"She's my superhero," he told Us Weekly at the time. "She has been through hell and back with me. If there was an award for everything that she does on the daily, she deserves them all."
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