Backstreet Boys' AJ McLean and Wife Rochelle Separate 'Temporarily' to Build a 'Stronger Future'

AJ McLean and wife Rochelle married in 2011, and share daughters Elliott, 10, and Lyric, 6

David Livingston/Getty Images Rochelle and AJ McLean
David Livingston/Getty Images Rochelle and AJ McLean

AJ McLean and wife Rochelle are taking some time apart.

The Backstreet Boys singer, 45, and Rochelle, 41, are separating after 11 years of marriage, but plan to reunite in the future, they confirm.

"Marriage is hard, but worth it. We have mutually decided to separate temporarily to work on ourselves, and on our marriage with the hope of building a stronger future," the couple said in a joint statement. "The plan is to come back together and continue to nurture our love for one another and our family. We ask for respect and privacy at this time."

They continued: "Separation is hard enough without the commentary, please be kind and remember there are children involved."

TMZ was first to report the news.

The pair tied the knot in December 2011 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and are parents to daughters Elliott, 10, and Lyric, 6.

They met in 2008 when Rochelle, a makeup artist and hairstylist, was working as a waitress at a restaurant in Los Angeles. They went on their first date a year later.

Related:AJ McLean's Wife Explains Why Daughter, 9, Changed Her Name to Elliott: 'Not a Gender Thing'

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic Rochelle and AJ McLean
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic Rochelle and AJ McLean

"She claims she didn't know who I was," McLean recalled to PEOPLE in 2020. "I'm like, 'Are you living under a rock?'"

During the same interview, McLean revealed the ways in which his 20-year struggle with drugs and alcohol nearly derailed their family, but they ultimately gave him the strength and support to triumph over his demons.

Related:AJ McLean Shows Off His Fit Body amid Health and Sobriety Journey: 'No More Dad Bod'

"[Rochelle] was at her wit's end with me. She had thrown out leaving and taking the girls, but my ego always told me, 'She's not going anywhere,'" he said. "If I were her, I would have left, but she's always been able to see through the BS to who I really am."

McLean, who is now in recovery, said at the time that he was now living in bliss after years of difficulties.

"This is the clearest I've ever been," he said. "I'm floating high — naturally. My family has saved my life, God has saved my life, and my recovery has saved my life. Without those three things, I wouldn't be here."

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Read the original article on People.