updated 05/10/2011 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 05/10/2011 AT 12:30 PM ET
Now “living apart, while we work on the future of our relationship,” as they said in their joint announcement Monday, Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger were married for 25 years, after first meeting 34 years ago.
From the beginning, that relationship has been something larger than life. Shriver, 55, a TV journalist and member of the storied (and fervently Democratic) Kennedy dynasty, and Schwarzenegger, 63, the Austrian-born bodybuilder/action movie superhero who until last January served as a Republican California governor – originally elected in no small part thanks to the aura and influence of his wife, were seen as an unlikely pair.
When Schwarzenegger decided to run for governor, Shriver said she was surprised and not exactly thrilled.
“When he told me he was interested, I said I’d spent my whole life getting away from politics,” she told Oprah Winfrey in 2008. “I realized that if I said no, I’d be stopping my husband from achieving his dream. It was a catch-22. So I told Arnold that he should do what he wanted to do … Two months later, I was the Democratic First Lady of a Republican administration.”