Al Gore has announced a separation from his wife, Tipper, after 40 years of marriage.

The former Vice President and his soon-to-be ex announced the split to friends via e-mail.

In an “Email from Al and Tipper Gore,” obtained by the AP, the couple said:

    “We are announcing today that after a great deal of thought and discussion, we have decided to separate. This is very much a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration. We ask for respect for our privacy and that of our family, and we do not intend to comment further.”

The couple shared an awkward kiss during his nomination for president at the 2000 Democratic National Convention. Gore eventually lost the presidency to George Bush in a highly contested election.