Tori Spelling and Dean Mc Dermott ‘Were Definitely Trying’ Prior to ‘Out of The Blue’ Split Announcement: Sources!

Even acquaintances who were aware of Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott’s previous difficulties as a couple was shocked by their now-deleted separation announcement.

Sources inform PEOPLE Spelling, 50, and McDermott, 56, appeared happier than they had been in a while when he announced their separation on Instagram.

“Their friends have witnessed their ups and downs over the years, but in recent months they appeared to be in a good place,” says a source close to the Beverly Hills, 90210 alumni. This seems extremely unexpected.

If this had occurred a year ago, it would have been anticipated because relations between them were terrible. Sure, they still had disagreements and didn’t always see eye-to-eye, but over the past six months, their relationship had felt positive.

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According to a source close to the family, some of the couple’s previous difficulties were believed to be in the past.

“However, in the last few months they made a concerted effort, and the environment felt much less toxic,” says the second source. “They also made an effort to make holidays and significant events memorable, and they were much more in tune with one another. It has been night and day compared to the past few years.”

On June 17, McDermott announced via Instagram their decision to part ways. “It’s with great sadness and a very heavy heart that after 18 years together and five amazing children, @torispelling and I have decided to go our separate ways and begin our own journeys,” he wrote alongside a photo of the couple with their children.

The message, which included a reference to their future as co-parents, was purged shortly after McDermott posted it.

Representatives for both Spelling and McDermott have declined to comment to PEOPLE. The actress has not commented publicly on the apparent separation, and it is unclear whether the post was an error.

Spelling and McDermott tied the knot in 2006 and share five children: Liam Aaron McDermott, 16, Stella Doreen, 15, Hattie Margaret, 11, Finn Davey, 10 and Beau Dean, 6.

On their reality program True Tori, the couple has been open about their relationship struggles, including a cheating scandal. Spelling previously told PEOPLE that their marriage changed due to infidelity. “We had to begin again. We had to start from scratch.”

Rubal is a dynamic and talented entertainment writer, passionate about all things pop culture. From celebrity gossip to film and television reviews, his writing is always engaging and informative. In addition to his work as an entertainment writer, he is a fitness freak and an optimistic guy. You can find him working out at the gym and listening to his favorite songs when he's not busy writing.
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