Since Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, announced their separation Monday, many have been left wondering what could have happened to bring the former governor and ex-reporter's relationship to this point.
On "The Early Show" Wednesday, Kate Coyne, assistant managing editor of People magazine, and Dr. Helen Fisher, of Chemistry.com and author of "Why Him, Why Her," discussed some of the possible reasons for the the 25-year marriage being on the fritz.
Coyne said, "So far, anyone hoping for a sensationalistic tabloid reason behind this is going to be disappointed. No smoking gun, no third party, at least not one that anyone has been able to discover. It really does seem to be a situation where Arnold has ended one phase of his career and is launching full-speed ahead into the previous career that he had had, and Maria is really at a loss right now. She's trying to figure out what she wants to do next. She's very uncertain of how to handle this transition. She's lost many of her closest family members in a very short period of time, and she's at sea, and they found themselves in completely different places."
"Early Show" co-anchor Chris Wragge pointed out Shriver posted a YouTube video in March in which she talked about the difficulties she faced in transitioning her life.
Wragge asked, "What do you think that's code for?"
Coyne said it's an indicator that Shriver is "at a loss right now."
Coyne explained, "She says herself that she's in a place where she just doesn't know what she wants to do with the rest of her life. It happens sometimes when people's children grow up and go off to school. In this case, she's gotten used to living her life a certain way for the last seven-plus years. Her husband seems to have no difficulty launching right back into his entertainment career, but she doesn't know what to do."
Shriver has also experienced a number of recent deaths in her family, from the loss of her parents to her uncle, Sen. Ted Kennedy.
On that subject, Fisher said, "A lot of times when there are deaths in the family, a marriage gets stronger. It doesn't have to break up. Big transitions can pull people together, they don't necessarily pull people apart. ... I've studied personality and who is naturally drawn to whom on the dating site Chemistry.com. I do think that there's differences between these two personalities that have left her without the romance and without the deep intimacy that she's been looking for many years."
She continued, "He is a very high testosterone kind of guy. They tend to be aloof, they get to the point, they're pragmatic, and they can ignore a great deal. As they focus on one thing, they can ignore everything else, and she's been craving a deeper relationship."
But why now?
Fisher said, "I find that these two people are drawn to each other originally because the high testosterone type, as Arnold certainly is, needs the people skills, the verbal skills, the compassion, the nurturing, the intimacy of the high estrogen type, which is what Maria is, and that often needs the decision-making and the pragmatism of the high testosterone type. But after awhile, it can get on your nerves."
Fisher added, "He's going to really try to fight to win her (back) because the high testosterone type doesn't like to lose."
So can Shriver and Schwarzenegger reconcile?
"The door is open," Coyne said. "They've made it clear, this is a separation, not a divorce. Obviously, another high-profile couple that split - Tipper and Al Gore - have yet to divorce. So there is hope they'll do what they claim in their statement they're going to do - take some time to focus on what they want to do in the future, and maybe that will include a reconciliation."