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Chaz Bono, Jennifer Elia Split: What Happened?

Chaz Bono Jennifer Elia Split

First Posted: 12/20/11 12:26 PM ET Updated: 12/20/11 02:35 PM ET

Friends of Chaz Bono and his former fiancee, Jennifer Elia, are not surprised that the pair recently called it quits, saying their relationship has been on the rocks for some time.

"Relationships are not easy," a friend of Bono's tells me. "Add on top of that, when this couple started this relationship they were both women -- and now one is a man. Add to that, they both have had substance issues and a lot of personal problems they needed to figure out. It was an amazing relationship and they wanted to get through the TV show together before making a decision about moving forward."

The longtime couple became engaged just a few months ago, after Bono proposed on camera in "Being Chaz," the follow-up special to his 2011 Emmy Award-nominated documentary, "Becoming Chaz." But it turns out that things were much more complicated when the cameras stopped rolling.

"Chaz has been living in the guest house for some time now," Bono's friend continues. "Both of them had been in therapy to try and save this relationship, but in the end, it became clear to both Chaz and Elia that this wasn't going to work."

But it wasn't the sudden spotlight that put the couple's relationship in jeopardy. In fact, Elia enjoyed sitting down with Oprah and Piers Morgan after Chaz announced his transition. Back when I interviewed Bono to promote his book, "Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man," he told me Elia was a "big ham and enjoyed that attention."

No tales of fame-gone-awry here. What broke this couple up were the same type of woes that could dissolve any relationship.

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Check out Chaz's fellow celebs who have called it quits:

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