AJ McLean and Rochelle DeAnna McLean are not playing games when it comes to their relationship.
And because of that, the Backstreet Boys singer and his wife of more than a decade have decided to separate—for now. "Marriage is hard, but worth it," they told E! News in a statement March 27. "We have mutually decided to separate temporarily to work on ourselves, and on our marriage with the hope of building a stronger future."
"The plan is to come back together and continue to nurture our love for one another, and our family," their statement continued. "We ask for respect and privacy at this time."
The pair—who got married in Dec. 2011 at the Beverly Hills Hotel—share two children together Elliott, 10, and Lyric, 6.
In between performing Backstreet Boys' biggest hits around the world, AJ competed on season 29 of Dancing With the Stars in 2020 with partner Cheryl Burke.
Before being eliminated, AJ danced to "Ain't That a Kick in the Head" by Dean Martin in tribute to his wife.
"She's my superhero," he told Us Weekly after the September 2020 performance. "She has been through hell and back with me. If there was an award for everything that she does on the daily, she deserves them all. The greatest reward that I get from her on the daily is just a constant affirmation of love. She's always there for me, it doesn't matter what it is. She's very supportive. She's a great listener. We have amazing conversations—sometimes until the wee hours of the morning."
And while the singer admitted to not always being the easiest husband, he expressed gratitude for Rochelle's support.
"She's always seen the good in me and seen past—as hard as it may be to see past—all the bad stuff I did when I was drinking and using drugs," he said. "But things are the best they've ever been today, and I couldn't ask for anything else."
TMZ was first to report the separation.