It’s a sad day for Bachelor Nation.
“We have made the difficult decision to separate,” the former couple said in a joint statement. “We will always cherish our time together and continue to have the utmost respect for one another as we focus on what’s best for the future of our family. We greatly appreciate everyone’s love and support and kindly ask that you please respect our family’s privacy as we navigate through this.”
Waddell, 35, and Bass, 38, welcomed their son Charles “Charlie” Wolf last November and are also parents to daughter Isabella “Bella” Evelyn, 2. (Bass is also dad to three older sons from his previous marriage.)
The split will no doubt come as a shock to fans of the longtime couple, who seemed to defy the odds of traditional Bachelor romances, though they had been largely absent from each other’s social media accounts in recent weeks.
When they first met on the beach while filming Paradise, alums Bass (who competed for JoJo Fletcher‘s heart on The Bachelorette) and Waddell (from Chris Soules‘ season of The Bachelor) appeared to be an unlikely duo.
“It was just this thing that was a roller coaster,” Waddell told Glamour in 2016. “I broke up with him like five times!”
Eventually, the couple fell hard and Bass proposed on the season 3 finale of the show.
Just before their wedding in Mexico the following year, attended by several Bachelor alums including close pals Jade and Tanner Tolbert, Nick Viall and Kaitlyn Bristowe, Waddell told PEOPLE that “everything happens for a reason.”
Continued Waddell: “It’s been a long journey for me in Bachelor Nation, but I would do it a thousand times again. Because the next part is going to be bliss.”