Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell, stars of the twentieth season of “The Bachelor,” have officially split up after a year-long engagement. Then-bachelor Ben proposed to Lauren at the end of the season, and the engaged couple went on to film their own Freeform reality show “ben and lauren: Happily Ever After.”

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce our decision to go our separate ways,” Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell told People magazine in a statement. “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.”

A rocky start

The couple did not get off to the easiest start on “The Bachelor.” Higgins, 29, proposed to Bushnell, 27, after a gut-wrenching week of realizing that he was in love with two women at the same time -- JoJo Fletcher and Lauren.

He infamously told both women that he was in love with them during the Fantasy Suites episode the week before his engagement.

Even though he did realize he truly wanted to be with Lauren, she did, unsurprisingly, have many trust issues after learning about Ben’s strong feelings for JoJo. “For a long time, I was really angry for being blindsided,” she said, “and that resentment and anger affected our relationship much longer than it should have.”

Signs of a breakup

Throughout their journey, the couple has had a rather rocky relationship. This was particularly evident on their spin-off show “Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After,” on which Ben told Lauren that he didn’t want to get married right away, but rather wanted to focus on building their relationship and getting to know each other better.

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Even before the show premiered, Higgins revealed to PEOPLE that the couple was in counseling at their church.

“We’re not the perfect couple,” Higgins said, “Far from it! But we are trying really hard and we love each other a lot.” Bushnell added that being in a relationship after a show such as "The Bachelor" is also very difficult as it leads to problems that other couples don't have to deal with -- problems such as the fact that Higgins was dating other women when they met and began dating. While she did admit that she went into the relationship knowing this fact, it still was very difficult for her.

Given the difficulties they faced as a couple, both Ben and Lauren will hopefully be happier apart from each other now, after their split.