After 25 years of marriage, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver separate

Holly Bailey

Less than a month after their 25th wedding anniversary, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have separated.

First reported by the Los Angeles Times' Mark Z. Barabak, the couple confirmed the news Monday night, saying in a statement they are "continuing to parent" their four children together but are living apart.

"This has been a time of great personal and professional transition for each of us," the statement reads. "After a great deal of thought, reflection, discussion and prayer, we came to this decision together. At this time, we are living apart while we work on the future of our relationship."

From the beginning, it was classic tale of opposites attract. Shriver, a TV journalist who worked at CBS and NBC over the years, was a member of the Kennedy political dynasty. Schwarzenegger was a bodybuilder turned action film star. The two met in 1977 after being introduced at a charity tennis tournament by NBC anchor Tom Brokaw and subsequently married in 1986.

Their separation comes just five months after Schwarzenegger ended his two-term stint as California's governor, which began on a high note and ended with him being one of the most unpopular state leaders in the country.

It was a job that Shriver openly admitted she didn't want her husband to pursue, but she supported him anyway. During his first campaign in 2003, Shriver defended her husband against charges he had groped women on film sets--a defense that was widely credited with saving his campaign.

They stuck together despite political differences: She's a Democrat, and he's a Republican. But Shriver was credited with influencing many of Schwarzenegger's more moderate initiatives, including his work on climate change.

But in recent months, the two had rarely been seen together. Rumors began circulating about the status of their relationship after Shriver was spotted without her wedding ring, and Schwarzenegger traveled the world without her. Suspicions about tensions within their marriage increased after the former governor admitted in an interview last month he hadn't briefed his wife on his new gig as a cartoon superhero.

It's unclear if Schwarzenegger or Shriver are taking official steps to end their marriage. Their statement indicated they would have no further comment on their relationship.

(Photo of Shriver and Schwarzenegger in 2007: Brian Baer-Pool/Getty Images)