So what's really going on with one of Hollywood's most celebrated couples? In this week's new cover story, two close confidantes tell PEOPLE that they've decided to take time apart: "They're taking a break," one source says.
Neither star has filed for divorce or moved toward a legal separation, sources say.
The A-list pair, who wed in 2000 in a lavish celebration at Manhattan's Plaza Hotel, have faced more than their fair share of ups and downs over the last three years – between Douglas's 2010 cancer battle and Zeta-Jones's struggles with bipolar II disorder. "The stress has taken a toll on their marriage," a friend tells PEOPLE.
Douglas, 68, and Zeta-Jones, 43, who have two children, Dylan, 13, and Carys, 10, together, decided to spend time apart soon after he came back from the Cannes Film Festival in May. Zeta-Jones had recently returned from a scheduled second round of treatment to monitor her bipolar disorder.
Those close to the couple hold out hope they can work out their differences. Says one family friend: "They want the best for their kids, no matter what happens."