Nightly News | May 10, 2011
>>> it was the news that broke overnight, and it had a say it ain't so aspect to it. the " l.a. times " report that maria shriver , a member of the kennedy family , long-time nbc family member, and her husband, former california governor arnold schwarzenegger , have split after 25 years of marriage and four children together. and with the reaction the search for any recent signs that it was coming. our report tonight from nbc 's kate snow .
>> reporter: they were one of america's best-known couples. a journalist daughter of the kennedy clan who endorsed obama.
>> i'll be back.
>> reporter: and the actor turned cigar-smoking republican governor. in 2009 he joked about the secret to his success.
>> number one, come to america. number two, work your butt off. and number three, marry a kennedy. but anyway.
>> reporter: they married 25 years ago on cape cod , have four children, an estate in brentwood. but look more closely, and perhaps there were clues of cracks in that perfect facade. at a women's conference she created shriver said the passage of time means different things to different people.
>> for some it's time to get married. for others time to leave a relationship that just doesn't work anymore.
>> reporter: this past weekend at their nephew's graduation shriver was not wearing a wedding ring . in a joint statement the couple talked of a time of great "personal and professional transition" since schwarzenegger left office. "we came to this decision together," they said. shriver has admitted she didn't want her husband to run for governor, but she supported him, even in the face of allegations of sexual harassment. and over time she became a pioneering first lady.
>> she was a kennedy. that gave him legitimacy as a politician.
>> reporter: the family has been through a tough period, losing shriver 's father, mother, and uncle in a short span. schwarzenegger plans to make more films. but shriver has seemed to struggle with what's next. in march she asked for advice on youtube.
>> it's so stressful to not know what you're doing next, when people ask you what are you doing and then they can't believe that you don't know what you're doing.
>> reporter: today as the paparazzi grabbed shots of the former governor, many offered support and prayers for a glamorous couple facing all too common troubles. kate snow , nbc news, new york.