The announcement of their separation Monday after 25 years of marriage has come as a shock to many.
"After a great deal of thought, reflection, discussion, and prayer, we came to this decision together. At this time, we are living apart, while we work on the future of our relationship," the couple said in a released statement.
It's unclear how long the couple has been separated. In a video posted on YouTube in March, Shriver said that she was in a transitional phase and admitted it was difficult.
"It's so stressful when people ask you what you are doing next," said Shriver in the YouTube video. "And then they can't believe you don't know what you are doing. And every idea you have you think, 'well, maybe I shouldn't do that.'"
The couple, who have four children together, lived in an estate in Brentwood. Many thought it was an unlikely pair to begin with. He is a Republican movie star while she is a member of the Kennedy family with strong ties to Democrats.
"He was off being governor, she was off doing some amazing work on women's issues," said ABC News consultant Howard Bragman. "It's really not surprising. A lot of relationships, after 25 years the kids get grown, people look and say 'what do we have in common anymore?'"
Residents in Brentwood, who have often seen the power couple around town, disagree.
"I think we all thought it was a good match," said Jason Rael from Beverly Hills. "But sometimes it doesn't work."
Many are saddened by their split and want both of them to have their privacy.
"They have kids," said Brentwood resident Patrick Edery. "They have friends. I guess they want to be respected for that, so you got to give them that space."
After leaving the office of governor in January, Schwarzenegger has been touring the world with speaking engagements as well as entertainment projects.