There's a fine line between keeping your relationship private, and making it so stealth as to become virtually undetectable to the public. Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds' three-year coupling (two of them spent married) fell firmly in the latter category, give or take the odd snapshot of them en route to the gym.
Which makes the unraveling of their relationship that much harder to figure out. Until now. Here, a timeline of the way they were:
1990: A star is born. Onscreen, anyway. The baby-faced Ryan Reynolds makes his small-screen debut as a melodramatic high schooler in Nickelodeon's Fifteen.
1994: A(nother) star is born. Scarlett Johansson makes her big-screen debut in the fantasy comedy North.
2006: After roughly two years together, Johansson and then-beau Josh Hartnett split.
April 2007: Scarlett and Ryan begin publicly dating.
May 2008: The couple publicly confirm their engagement, though sources note that they have actually been betrothed "for a little while" but were holding off on formally announcing the news.
May 2008: Johansson made her singing debut, releasing Anywhere I Lay My Head, an album of Tom Waits covers.
September 27, 2008: The 23-year-old Johansson ties the knot with the 31-year-old Reynolds in a quiet ceremony on Vancouver Island.
March 2009: Scarlett signs on for Iron Man 2.
July 2009: One good superhero movie deserves another: Ryan is cast as The Green Lantern.
September 2009: Johansson and Pete Yorn release an album of duets entitled Break Up. Don't read anything into it.
September 2009: Scarlett graces the cover of Glamour and has this to say: "I never really thought about getting married—it just kind of happened. You hope that the relationship makes you better, that you learn things about yourself."
October 2009: Ryan hosts Saturday Night Live, which—wouldn't you know it?—features a cameo appearance from his wife Scarlett as a porcelain fountain-selling Jersey girl.
December 2009: Talking to Time Out New York, Johansson discusses the challenges of being married to a fellow in-demand actor: "We have no time for dates. We work and then go home and—I, anyway—just stare at the wall for a few hours before I go to sleep…Like in any profession, it's difficult. You want to make sure you have time to invest in your family. It's a challenge, but it's worth it."
Early 2010: The couple is living separately, albeit for work purposes. While Johansson is performing on Broadway nightly in A View From the Bridge, Reynolds is shooting The Green Lantern in New Orleans.
March 2010: Rumors of marital discord strike, but sources close to the couple insist that the rumors are unfounded and that the couple is simply private.
May 2010: Johansson talks marriage in InStyle magazine: "I mean, you're married and suddenly you have your own family. There's a nice comfort in that. That part of your life is certain, in a way. You've got your home in that other person."
Spring 2010: The couple's $4.5 million Hollywood home is put on the market, though sources insist it's only because the couple is looking to make a permanent move to New York.
June 2010: Scarlett takes home the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her role in A View From the Bridge. Hubby Ryan is beaming from the audience.
July 2010: Both Scarlett and Ryan appear (separately) at Comic-Con, with Johansson turning up for the panel of The Avengers, while Reynolds did his duty as The Green Lantern.
Summer 2010: So much for New York! After unloading their larger pad, the couple purchases a $2.8 million home in L.A.
October 2010: It's Reynolds' turn to talk marriage, this time in GQ: "Things change when you get married in general. But in terms of being a couple that's in a public situation and speculated about and all that nonsense, it's changed a little bit. I'm a little more guarded, I think. I'm just a little bit more wary of having my relationship turning into a soap opera. I've unilaterally not addressed it. That's kind of been the fail-safe for me. I choose to remain as private as possible without being secretive."
October 2010: Scarlett debuts a new 'do. Breakup cut, anyone?
November 2010: Scarlett hosts Saturday Night Live. Ryan does not make a cameo. Cue the conspiracy theories!
November 2010: More rumors of marital discord surface, this time with reports blaming the duo's conflicting work scheduled on keeping them apart. Reps dismissed the rumors at the time.
November 2010: Ryan is named People's Sexiest Man Alive, but he inexplicably appears on the cover with his abs fully covered. He jokingly discussed how his new title would affect his home life: "Now it's going to be, 'Sexiest man, take out the garbage.' That does sound better."
November 2010: Scarlett is named GQ's Babe of the Year. Quite an honor.
Dec. 14, 2010: The couple announces that they have decided to separate after two years of marriage: "After long and careful consideration on both our parts, we've decided to end our marriage," Reynolds' rep said. "We entered our relationship with love and it's with love and kindness we leave it. While privacy isn't expected, it's certainly appreciated."
There you have it, private to the end...and beyond.