The Bachelorette couple Emily Maynard and Jef Holm have confirmed they've ended their engagement and split.

"I am sorry to tell you that Jef and I have, indeed, parted ways," Maynard said in a statement released exclusively to People. "It was a very difficult and heartbreaking decision.

"As you know, at first I wasn't sure that I should even be the Bachelorette, but I am a hopeless romantic and I do believe in the show. I have no regrets because I did find love and shared an incredible journey with a really special person -- and you know what, we tried our best because the love between us was so real."

According to Maynard, a 25-year-old single mom from Charlotte, NC, she and Holm, a 27-year-old entrepreneur from Salt Lake City, UT, are simply at different points in their lives.

"I have nothing but respect and love for Jef and his family, but ultimately we are just at different points in our lives," she told People.

In addition, she asked for privacy for both herself and Ricki, her seven-year-old daughter.

"I've learned so much and I'm grateful for all of the support I've received. I'm excited and hopeful for the next chapter in my life with my daughter, Ricki. I do hope that you will respect our privacy and allow us the time we need to heal."

Holm also issued a separate statement to People.

"Meeting Emily on The Bachelorette was an incredible experience, we've had quite the journey. I've never loved someone so much in my whole life, Emily is the best person and mom I have ever met. She opened up her world to me and I fell in love with her, Ricki, her family and the Hendricks," he said.

"She has a great group of people who surround her. What we shared was completely genuine and real and it breaks my heart but we have decided to break up."

According to Holm, Maynard will always hold a special place in his heart and he will always love her.

"Emily will always have a special place in my heart. I don't regret a single second I spent with her or Ricki. They both have been a huge part of my life. Who knows what tomorrow will bring but we are moving on to the next chapter of our lives," he said.

"Emily and I are great friends and I hope we can continue to be friends forever. Everyone wants a salacious story to break, but the truth is we are just two people who fell in love and tried our hardest to make it work. I will always love her."

Maynard selected Holm as her final bachelor -- and he subsequently proposed -- when The Bachelorette's eighth-season finale was filmed on May 12 and the pair had presented a happy front since the finale aired on July 22. However, reports that the couple's relationship was on the rocks had swirled for two months.

In August, Us Weekly reported Maynard and Holm got into a blowout weekend argument while they were vacationing with his family after Holm discovered explicit text messages which indicated Maynard was cheating on him.

Maynard and Holm subsequently denied the report, but Holm's brother, Mike Holm, publicly claimed he was present for the argument and Us' claims were "100% true" -- leading to Holm alleging his brother was lying and has "a history of doing hurtful things to the family."

Us later reported that Maynard and Holm had already been close to breaking up before the fight and were only remaining together "for business reasons."

Then, late last month, Kaylee Shepherd -- a 21-year-old Utah college student who claims to have dated Holm for about nine months before he left her to go film The Bachelorette "for the experience" in March -- publicly alleged Holm had recently attempted to reunite with her and told her Maynard was paying Holm, at his request, to continue faking their engagement to preserve her good-girl reputation and cover-up the fact she cheated on him.

"Jef said their relationship isn't what it seems. It's all basically for TV," Shepherd told Us in an interview published in the magazine's October 8 issue.

"He said the [cheating] story was 100 percent accurate," she said.  "Emily told him, 'I'm so sorry,' and he said, 'Well, we have two options: The first is I can go to the media and tell them the truth and let everyone know what you're really like. Or two, I will deny the whole thing, and you can give me half the money you made from The Bachelorette.' She picked option two," Shepherd said.

"He said, 'If I was happily engaged, I never would have texted you [to meet me].'"