"They're obviously sad but they're dealing with it like grown ups. While they'll be the first to admit they have a somewhat fiery relationship, above all there's a deep respect for each other," the Mirror quoted a friend, as saying. A formal announcement about the marriage is likely to be made at the end of the pop queen's world tour, which finishes in Mexico on November 29.
The couple insist their main concern now is to provide stability for their children Lourdes, 11, Madonna's daughter by dancer Carlos Leon, own son Rocco, seven, and adopted son David Banda, two. "Although the marriage is coming to an end, they don't want to say anything until the tour is over," a source said.
"They live like brother and sister rather than husband and wife and thought it best to call it a day. There's been a lot of speculation about them having furious rows all the time, none more so than because of the children. "But they have just grown apart. They've decided they're better off as friends. It's sad, but they're determined to keep it amicable," the source added.