Jason Isbell Files for Divorce from Amanda Shires After Nearly 11 Years of Marriage

The country couple were married in 2013 and share daughter Mercy, 8


Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires in March 2023.

Country stars Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires are going their separate ways.

Isbell, 45, filed for divorce from Shires, 41, on Dec. 15, two months before the pair would have celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary, according to court records viewed by PEOPLE.

Isbell and Shires — who share daughter Mercy, 8 — have been a musical force together since tying the knot in February 2013; Shires plays fiddle and sings backup for Isbell’s band, the 400 Unit, while he plays guitar for her country supergroup The Highwomen.

Though they each celebrated their 10-year anniversary on social media in February 2023 (“Every day I wake up and fall in love with you again,” Isbell wrote on Instagram), the pair have been open about the cracks in their marriage caused by the 2020 release of Isbell’s album Reunions.

The couple’s marital strife was even documented in the 2023 documentary Running With Our Eyes Closed, which featured an emotional scene in which Shires read an email she’d sent Isbell about the possibility of marriage counseling.

<p>Frazer Harrison/Getty</p> Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires at the Grammy Awards in 2022.

Frazer Harrison/Getty

Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires at the Grammy Awards in 2022.

Related: Amanda Shires Gets Honest About Challenges of Marriage and Motherhood on New Album: ‘Life’s Not Easy’

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a quasi-famous person like Jason or me, everybody’s relationships are the same; there’s up and downs and there’s good and bad and you just try to deal with it,” she told PEOPLE in 2022. “Life’s not easy, marriage isn’t easy, but aren’t we lucky to be able to live?”

Isbell, who has been sober since 2012, previously opened up to The New York Times in 2020 about how growing pressures during the making of Reunions had caused him to push everyone in his life away, including his wife.

“At one point, I said, ‘It’d be easier if somebody had cheated.’ Then we could say, ‘You did this,’ or ‘I did this,’ and ‘Somebody needs to be real sorry,’” Isbell said. “But it was more like, ‘We don’t know each other right now. We’re not able to speak the same language.’”

John Shearer/ACMA2021/Getty Images Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires

John Shearer/ACMA2021/Getty Images Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires

Related: Jason Isbell Reflects on How Pandemic Changed His Daily Life in New Documentary Clip (Exclusive)

Shires moved into a hotel for 10 days in 2020 because “lines were getting crossed” and she “needed space,” but the two eventually reconciled.

She covered their marital turbulence from her point of view on the 2022 song “Fault Lines,” telling Nashville Scene that she and Isbell were experiencing a difficult “disconnect” during the pandemic that she poured into her lyrics.

“All of us have had turmoil within our respective marriages, and it was definitely coming from a place of vulnerability,” Shires told the outlet. “In one word, that’s how I would describe how I picked every song for the record. You have the choice to be vulnerable or not. However you handle yourself, it’s all about choice.”

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