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    Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver: Anatomy of a Split

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver Gold Wong/Getty Images

    They said it wouldn't last. Well, it might've taken 25 years, but sadly they were right.

    Last night, it was announced that Maria Shriver and onetime governator Arnold Schwarzenegger had separated after a quarter-century of marriage, surprising both the political and showbiz worlds in one fell swoop. Which is quite the feat.

    And while we may not know exactly what caused the separation, we know what happened in the lead-up. So here's a timeline of the way they were:

    1977: Power couple alert: the duo first meets after Shriver's family invited Schwarzenegger to participate in a celebrity tennis tournament. NBC's Tom Brokaw has the honor of being the man who formally introduced the couple at the event.

    May 1982: A star is born: Arnold makes his big screen breakthrough in Conan the Barbarian.

    October 1984: The Terminator is released. He'll be back.

    April 26, 1986: Arnold and Maria tie the knot at St. Francis Xavier Church in (where else?) Hyannis, Mass.

    Dec. 13, 1989: The couple welcomes their first child, daughter Katherine Eunice Shriver Schwarzenegger.

    July 23, 1991: The couple's second daughter, Christina Maria Aurelia Schwarzenegger, is born.

    Sept. 18, 1993: Their first son, Patrick Arnold Schwarzenegger, is born.

    Sept. 27, 1997: Their fourth and last child, son Christopher Sargent Shriver Schwarzenegger is born.

    Aug. 6, 2003: Schwarzenegger announces his candidacy for the California gubernatorial recall election on The Tonight Show.

    September 13, 2003: The couple appears on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Maria Shriver literally covers her hubby's mouth after he confirms his '70s-era boasts to Oui magazine about his drug and sex exploits.

    "This was the time when I was saying things like, 'A pump is better than coming,' all those kinds of things." After giving him a mock slap, Maria exclaimed, "My mother is watching this show!"

    Fall 2003: Reports of Schwarzenegger's sexual misconduct threaten to thwart his political career before it begins, leading to an apology from the candidate and a strong defense from Shriver.

    "Yes, it is true that I was rowdy on movie sets, and I have done things that were not right, which I thought then was playful. But I now recognize that I have offended people. And to those people that I have offended, I want to say to them, I am deeply sorry about that, and I apologize," he said.

    As for Shriver, she said that the allegations "show why really good people don't want to go into politics anymore."

    Oct. 7, 2003: Schwarzenegger wins California's historic gubernatorial recall election.

    August 2003: Shriver leaves her job as contributing anchor on NBC's Dateline following (and due to) her husband's political win. She asked the network to be relieved of her duties so as to prevent any conflicts of interest.

    Nov. 7, 2006: Schwarzenegger is reelected as governor of California.

    Aug. 11, 2009: Maria's mother, Eunice Shriver, passes away.

    October 2009: The playfulness in their marriage is alive and well—can't say the same for the law-abidingness. Maria is photographed twice using her cell phone while driving, violating the very law her husband signed into action. "Thanks for bringing her violations to my attention," the Governator tweeted. "There's going to be swift action."

    Jan. 18, 2011: Maria's father, Sargent Shriver, passes away.

    March 2011: Maria speaks to supporters in a YouTube video in which she appears without her wedding ring, but makes no outright mention of a split. "It is so stressful to not know what you're doing next," she said. "I'd like to hear from other people in transition. How did you get through it? What were three things that enabled you to get through your transition?"

    Spring 2011: Arnold lines up a showbiz comeback, starring on for no fewer than three films, including another installment of Terminator. He also teamed up with comic book creator Stan Lee for an animated kids' series, The Governator. A 3-D version of the film is also in the works.

    Early April 2011: Shriver and her oldest son embark on an East Coast tour of colleges, with her later vacationing in the Bahamas. At the same time, Schwarzenegger continued his (solo) jetsetting ways, heading to Cannes to receive the Legion d'Honneur medal.

    April 26, 2011: The couple celebrates their 25th wedding anniversary.

    May 6, 2011: Arnold and Maria appear together at Loyola Marymount University's commencement, where they're celebrating their nephew's graduation.

    May 8, 2011: The whole family has brunch together for Mother's Day.

    May 9, 2011: The couple announce their separation in a joint statement: "This has been a time of great personal and professional transition for each of us. 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.

    "We are continuing to parent our four children together. They are the light and the center of both of our lives. We consider this a private matter and neither we nor any of our friends or family will have further comment. We ask for compassion and respect from the media and the public."

    PHOTOS: Schwarzenegger & Shriver: From True Bliss to Terminated

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