Al and Tipper Gore separating

Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

NASHVILLE, TN (AP) - The couple, many thought would go the distance, are separating after 40 years of marriage.

Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, said in e-mails to friends that it was a mutual decision made after "careful consideration".

During his eight years as vice president, their image as a happily married couple, contrasted the Clintons' marriage, which was rocked by Bill Clinton's affair with an intern.

At one time, Gore called his wife "someone I've loved with my whole heart since the night of my high school senior prom."

On Halloween, Al and Tipper Gore would dress up in costume and greeted trick-or-treaters who made their way to the vice president's mansion.

Friends say the couple told them they "grew apart" and there was no affair involved.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.