“Kelsea was very young and naive when she met Morgan, they clicked right away, but their relationship was always an emotional roller-coaster,” a source exclusively reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly, noting that their “intense romance” went through periods of “friction, tension and toxicity.”
Ballerini, 29, attempted to keep her feelings “bottled up for so long” but her loved ones ultimately saw the “issues” in the relationship.
“She kept it a secret from most in her life,” the insider continues. “Morgan and Kelsea’s main issue was their disagreement about having kids.”
According to the source, the Tennessee native “wasn’t ready” to expand her family with Evans, 37. “Morgan [had] been ready for a long time,” the insider shares. “They had been having issues, relating to each other and trouble being kind to each other, but the disagreement over kids was the nail in the coffin.”
Since their split, Ballerini has shifted her focus to her music. “Kelsea’s songwriting has been her therapy, but she’s also trying to be respectful,” the source adds. “Kelsea and Morgan have two very different versions of the story and that’s what’s showing now.”
The former couple originally announced their decision to part ways in August 2022 after nearly five years of marriage.
“Friends, I’ve always tried my best to share my life with you in a real and vulnerable way, while also protecting layers of my personal life as they unfold,” the “Rolling Up the Welcome Mat” singer wrote via her Instagram Story at the time. “This is now public record so I wanted you to hear from me directly that I am going through a divorce.”
She concluded: “This deeply difficult decision is the result of a journey of love, growth, and effort that ultimately has come to an end. It’s hard to find the words here … but I feel extremely grateful for the years of marriage to Morgan and hopeful for the next seasons. With very active schedules coming up, please be mindful that we are both fragile, actively healing, and showing up the best we can.”
The Australia native, however, hinted that it wasn’t his choice to pull the plug. “I am very sad to confirm that after almost 5 years of marriage, Kelsea and I are parting ways. I wish it were otherwise but sadly it is not,” he wrote in his own Instagram post. Evans went on to release his single “Over for You” about the end of their relationship later that year.
Earlier this month, Ballerini candidly addressed where she stands with her ex-husband while referencing his heartbreak track. “Who you marry is not who you divorce. As he’s putting out a song about being blindsided, he’s taking half the house that he didn’t pay for,” the songwriter, whose divorce was settled in October 2022, said on the “Call Her Daddy” podcast, referring to Evans’ recent EP about their breakup. “Hurt people, hurt people. I totally get that.”
“I was not perfect, he was not perfect, it was not perfect. And so, there were definitely moments that I look back on where I’m like, ‘Oh, I should of done that different,’ or, ‘I could of showed up here. I could of taken the flight this time,'” she added. “And in the unraveling, that thing I ended up sharing with him, just saying like, ‘I need to own the last few years of like, I think, I checked out a long time ago and I need to let you know that.'”
Ahead of the singer’s tell-all interview, Evans took to social media to address Ballerini’s claims.
“It’s really sad for me to see this person, who I spent so much of my life with, and loved with all my heart, saying things that aren’t reality and that leave out what really happened,” he tweeted on February 21. “She knows I’m not the type of guy to speak on those things publicly. If this is what she needs to heal, I hope it helps. All I ask is that if you’re on my pages, please don’t be mean. Don’t be mean to Kelsea, don’t be mean to each other. Life’s too short.”
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Evans released his Over for You five-part docuseries on Tuesday, February 28, which touches on his split from Ballerini.
For more on Ballerini and Evans’ dynamic since their split, watch the video above and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly — on newsstands now.