updated 12/16/2010 AT 1:15 PM ET
•originally published 12/16/2010 AT 12:00 PM ET
Confronting the problems that distance had created in their marriage, Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson at first believed the relationship might not be irretrievably broken, a source close to Reynolds tells PEOPLE.
The source says Johansson, in particular, was feeling the strain, and that Reynolds tried to improve their situation.
“At first it was … let’s fix this,” the source says. “And then it got to the point where it was just, if it’s not working, it’s not working. He’s an adult, and he finally just said they should stop.”