Why Are Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Divorcing? What Went Wrong? Was the Marriage on the Rocks for Years?

In the past, the couple frequently exhibited candidness in their Instagram posts, openly sharing tender reflections on the trials and rewards of long-term relationships.

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a surprising announcement on Wednesday about his separation from his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, following 18 years of marriage. While the specific reasons for the split were not disclosed, both parties mentioned that it followed "many difficult conversations."

Despite the separation, their three children will remain living with the Prime Minister at Rideau Cottage, while Sophie has relocated to another residence in Ottawa. However, many believe that the separation was long expected as the couple over the years showed signs of incompatibility, which was evident even in public. There has been a lot of speculation about what led to the couple's separation.

Multiple Challenges in Marriage

Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau
Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau Twitter

Over the years, the couple openly discussed candid reflections on the "challenges" of their marriage and the struggles of balancing family life with the demands of the Prime Minister's position.

Some observers have suggested that these statements, along with awkward exchanges between them on television, may have indicated potential difficulties in their relationship.

Following the announcement on Wednesday, a video went viral on social media depicting an uncomfortable moment between Justin and Sophie.

In the video, they are seen kissing in front of a camera while delivering a Canada Day message from the Ottawa Food Bank Farm in 2020.

Toward the end of the video, they exchange looks, and Justin leans in for another kiss. He appears to whisper something to his wife as she leans in.

Sophie kisses him back, but then swiftly turns her head to look at something off-camera. Justin also steps back, appearing to look around and adjusting his stance before the clip ends.

Since the announcement was made yesterday, commentators have been quick to speculate on how it might impact Justin Trudeau's political career in the lead-up to the 2025 election.

Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau
Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau seen kissing awkwardly after the Canada Day speech in 2018 Twitter

MailOnline.com reported that Columnist Jamie Sarkonak, in an article published in the National Post on Wednesday, pointed out that the separation could potentially impact Justin Trudeau's public image as a "loving husband" and "family man."

Sarkonak further remarked, "He can't live by example on the family file, because he can't claim personal success on that front."

Breaking Bad

During another moment captured on camera, Sophie was seen brushing off her husband's offered hand while receiving her Covid vaccine.

Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau
Justin Trudeau with Sophie Gregoire Trudeau Twitter

In April 2021, the couple was filmed together in Ottawa as they received their first dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Justin received his shot first, and his wife firmly held his hand throughout the process.

When it was Sophie's turn to get the injection, Justin offered his hand in support. However, she turned with the hand on her leg and smiled, playfully waving her hand to dismiss the gesture.

The Prime Minister retracted his hand and looked at the camera with open palms, and the couple laughed off the interaction. Despite the playful encounter, it still received a positive reception online.

Two years later, Justin and his wife were spotted together at the King's Coronation event, walking hand in hand. During the event, the Prime Minister appeared to ask Sophie to smile as he looked at her. She averted her gaze but had a slight smile on her face.

Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau
Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau seen in another awkward moment in public when both were taking their Covid vaccine shots Twitter

This came six months after a podcast interview with Meghan Markle, in which the host introduced Sophie as someone who understood the challenges of handling the "crushing guilt of expectations" in her role.

Markle claimed that Sophie had a lot on her plate, balancing parenthood and being in the public eye as the spouse of Justin for the past 18 years.

Sophie agreed and said, "I think we've learned to self-impose it," in reference to the guilt associated with being a woman and having to fill numerous duties.

"A little girl is not born feeling guilty for being a girl. We learn it. And that's completely unacceptable. When I started becoming an older girl in an early adult stage, I realized that we often define 'freedom' as a way to be free from the world, but it's really a way to be free in the world," she said.

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau
Sophie Gregoire Trudeau Twitter

She added: "Women across this planet are still the nucleus of the family, they still carry most of the load for housework, contributing to the family's well-being and most decisions concerning the kids.

"But I think we're all that lioness, we all have that inside of us, and we all long to be free in who we are."

However, during the hour-long podcast, Sophie did not indicate any signs of marital issues or strife.

It Wasn't Sudden

In the past, the couple frequently exhibited candidness in their Instagram posts, openly sharing tender reflections on the trials and rewards of long-term relationships.

In a September 2020 post on Instagram, Sophie wrote, "Our first date was 17 years ago... we are not that young anymore, but what an adventure it's been.

"Through all the ups and the downs, you're still my person. I love you.

"#TBT to a quiet moment we shared somewhere along the way."

The couple tied the knot in 2005 and have three children together, with the youngest being nine years old.

Sophie and Justin's connection goes back to childhood, as she was a childhood friend and classmate of Justin's older brother, Michel, who tragically passed away in an avalanche in 1998 at the age of 23.

After reconnecting as adults, Justin and Sophie started dating in 2003 and soon got engaged.

Reflecting on their journey together, Sophie shared pictures of the pair as children in May of the previous year.

"We kind of look alike, don't we?" she wrote.

"Together for 19 years, married for 17, we have navigated through sunny days, heavy storms, and everything in between and it ain't over," the retired television host said.

"You all know I keep things honest: long-term relationships are challenging in so many ways.

"They demand constant work, flexibility, compromise, sacrifice, devotion, patience, effort, and so much more.

"None of us are perfect and so there is no perfect relationship, but love is only true when it keeps you safe, sets you free, and makes you grow. Omnia Vincit Amor.'

Trudeau has served as the Prime Minister of Canada since 2015 and has been a Member of Parliament (MP) since 2008.