Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell Were “Fighting Through A Lot,” Says Chris Harrison
Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell
Credit: Freeform    

Ben Higgins

Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell Were “Fighting Through A Lot,” Says Chris Harrison

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No matter how hard you shipped Ben Higgins with Lauren Bushnell, you probably should’ve known the Bachelor 2016 lovebirds’ split was coming.

Not only had they been fighting off rumors of relationship troubles for months, but now we’re hearing from insiders (including Chris Harrison!) who say a breakup was inevitable.

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce our decision to go our separate ways,” the couple said in a statement on Monday.

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“We feel fortunate for the time we had together, and will remain friends with much love and respect for one another.”

A pretty basic breakup announcement — similar to many we’ve seen through the years from Bachelor Nation couples — but it still comes as a bit of surprise.

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Putting aside that the pair have been together for longer than most Bachelor couples (18 months), they also seemed to really be trying to make things work.

In fact, just last week Ben was defending Lauren on social media, gushing that he’s “proud of my gal.”

However, insiders say this type of behavior was par for the course, as the now-exes “felt pressure to make things seem better than they were,” and fought "more than either let on.”

“No one is that surprised,” the ABC source tells E! News. “Lauren was pretty open among her friends that she was struggling. She would talk about how hard it was.”

Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell
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The engaged duo even went to couples counseling to try to fix their problems — many brought on by their relationship being so public.

The other hurdle they couldn’t get past was aligning their lifestyles, with Lauren moving to Denver for the Bachelor, quitting her job as a flight attendant, and changing “a lot of what she enjoyed doing to please Ben.”

Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell
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“After the show, Lauren felt like she gave up everything for Ben,” the insider maintains.

The source adds, “They both really wanted to make it work, but Lauren was the only one who was really needing to change a lot of things... She felt like she wasn't being authentic to herself.”

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Bachelor stalwart Chris Harrison didn’t speak to any of those claims when news of the split reached him during an interview with iHeartRadio’s ON with Mario Lopez taped on Monday (airing in full on Tuesday).

What he did reveal was his surprise over the sudden news drop, and then his understanding of their behind the scenes conflicts.

BEN HIGGINS, LAUREN BUSHNELL
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“You’re breaking news to me,” he starts in the interview (via People). “I really did not know that.”

He goes on to say that he “did not see that coming,” before admitting that he, well, sort of did.

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The 45-year-old shares, “I know that they have struggled with the show and then kind of continuing on and doing their reality show and kind of where the show stopped and then where life began.”

“So I know they were fighting through a bunch of stuff,” he continues. “But I don’t know.”

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The longtime host goes on to gush about how much he cares about them both, and his plans to “reach out to them.”

We’re guessing he’ll then know a little more about the final straw in the romance — though we’re not expecting that to become public knowledge.

2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival – Night 1 – Backstage
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Interestingly, Ben is set to launch a podcast with iHeartRadio next week, alongside Bachelor alum Ashley Iaconetti.

So keep an eye out for that, as we’re sure he’ll address the breakup further then!