Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had been discussing divorce even before the rapper's latest controversial behavior, PEOPLE reported multiple sources close to the couple have said. West has been acting erratically since announcing his 2020 presidential campaign on July 4 and has since made public claims about not only his wife but his mother-in-law Kris Jenner, including that he had been trying to divorce Kardashian since 2018.
Wednesday, Kardashian confirmed her husband had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in a lengthy statement, during which she asked for "compassion and empathy" while dealing with the "complicated and painful" situation that is his mental health. An insider told PEOPLE that prior to West's recent behavior, "divorce had been in the process for several weeks."
A second source told the magazine, "There has been enough communication, both in the past few days and in the weeks prior, to establish that both sides feel the marriage is over." While discussions of divorce have been "a long time coming," West and Kardashian, who married in 2014 and share four children, were "attempting to figure out the most amicable and loving co-parenting situation.
"But now Kanye has, well, he has gone down a different path. Both in terms of deciding to announce his presidential bid, and also in terms of how he is choosing to express himself and the things he is choosing to say," the source continued. While the couple has "work to do" as parents and spouses coming to the end of their romantic relationship, the insider explained, "Kanye knows all of this, and everything that is happening right now is just like a horrible sideshow to what the real issues are."
"First and foremost, he has some needs that have to be met, urgently," they continued. "Then they need to move forward in terms of structuring a split that can be amicable and healthy for both of them and most of all for their four children." Right now, Kardashian's priority is their daughters North, 7, and Chicago, 2, and sons Saint, 4, and Psalm, 14 months.
"The Kardashian women stand by their men, that's true," the source said. "But Kim is also a mother and a fierce protector of what she holds dear: her children first and foremost, but also her image and her reputation and what she's worked for. She is not going to stand by and act like what Kanye is saying and doing doesn't matter or doesn't have a lasting impact." They added firmly, "They are done. And it's time for some real work to be done to get everyone healthy and moving forward with their lives."