The Bachelor's Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell Split: What Went Wrong

Source tells E! News the pair were "struggling for awhile"

By McKenna Aiello May 15, 2017 9:32 PMTags

Another Bachelor love story has come to an end. 

As news broke that Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell called it quits on their year-long engagement, multiple sources reveal to E! News that a break up was almost bound to happen. 

"No one is that surprised," an insider close to the ABC series shares. "Lauren was pretty open among her friends that she was struggling. She would talk about how hard it was." 

And despite taking steps to remedy their troubles through couples counseling, Ben and Lauren couldn't grapple with living out their romance in the public eye. The source says the now-exes "felt pressure to make things seem better than they were," and fought "more than either let on."

Even from the start, Higgins, 29, and Bushnell, 27, couldn't get past their differences, as we're told the two had a disagreement on the night of the After the Final Rose finale special. Another source tells us, "After the show, Lauren felt like she gave up everything for Ben."

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The two relocated to his native Denver, which involved Lauren quitting her job, and as the source insists, she "changed a lot of what she enjoyed doing to please Ben."

Expanding on this issue, the insider continues, "They both really wanted to make it work, but Lauren was the only one who was really needing to change a lot of things... She felt like she wasn't being authentic to herself."

In the statement announcing their separation, the reality stars—who went on to headline a spinoff titled Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?—, said, "We feel fortunate for the time we had together, and will remain friends with much love and respect for one another. We wish nothing but the best for each other, and ask for your support and understanding at this time."

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A separate source close to Bushnell previously told E! News it came down to wanting "different things." The insider explained, "They had been struggling for a while...It was a mutual break up for the most part."

"At the end of the day, though, they gave it a good shot," the first source says.

Shortly before Ben denied rumors of trouble in paradise, he told E! News that finding "wedding clarity" was the couple's resolution for the year ahead.

"2017 I hope is the year that we have huge steps in either getting married or having a really good idea of when we're getting married, but right now we don't," he admitted.

—Reporting by Alli Rosenbloom & Beth Sobol