Carly Pearce filed for divorce from husband Michael Ray on Friday after 8 months of marriage, and according to a source, the split had been a possibility for some time. "This was a hard decision. It wasn't something she wanted to have to do," a source close to Pearce told PEOPLE. "This hasn't been a quarantine realization — it was a last resort."
Fans had noticed that the couple had not been spending the majority of their quarantine together, and Ray told PEOPLE that he had spent the first month of the pandemic in Alabama with Pearce and her mom before splitting his time between Nashville and his own family. The 32-year-old told the outlet that he and Pearce had stayed busy by taking plenty of "wine walks." "You just drink wine and walk around a small town," he shared "I don't think I've ever walked more in my life. I felt like we were retired. We just didn't have anything else to do but walk."
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Pearce added that she decided to be with her mom during quarantine due to her mother's health. "My mom has weak lungs, and she had some scares last year with pneumonia — I just didn't want to be seven hours away from her right now," she explained. "Michael has been here the majority of the time, but he's working on new music and trying to figure out how to make an album in this quarantine. He's been in Nashville and he went to see his family too. It's been a crazy time, but a content time. To be able for us to spend this much time together and with my parents at this time has been a blessing... We really have been operating like two normal people rather than two artists juggling schedules and never seeing each other."
The couple's last appearance together was their performance at the Grand Ole Opry on June 6, where they also shared the stage with Steve Wariner and Lee Brice, who sat between them. Pearce most recently spoke about Ray during a virtual media event with PopCulture.com and other outlets last week where she said he was "really focused" on new music.
"Michael's busy working on new music and is really focused on that. And I'm just focused on my stuff and we obviously are super supportive of each other," she said. "And really, I know that everybody keeps asking me where Michael is but he's just really focused on music. And I think he's not posting a lot and doing a lot of things just for a reason. And I think I'm really proud of him for the music that he's working on right now. I think it's a big evolution for him and it's, I think people are really going to get to know him and I'm happy for him in that."