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Ty Herndon and Boyfriend Matt Collum Split After '11 Beautiful Years Together'

·3 min read
Matt Collum and Ty Herndon
Matt Collum and Ty Herndon

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic Matt Collum and Ty Herndon

Ty Herndon and Matt Collum have ended their decade-long relationship.

On Wednesday, Herndon, 59, shared an Instagram post announcing that he and his boyfriend "have decided to go our separate ways" after 11 years together.

"After 11 beautiful years together, I want to let you know that Matt and I have decided to go our separate ways as life partners. However, we are committed to remaining lifelong friends, and I am confident that will be the case," the "What Mattered Most" singer wrote. "We appreciate the support Nashville and so many of you have given us over the years and look forward to continuing a close relationship with each other and all of you."

He continued, "The Bible tells us that for everything there is a season. We both are looking forward to this next season of our lives with hope, optimism, and love."

RELATED: Rising Country Star Lily Rose Is Engaged! 'I Could Relive That Moment Over and Over Again Forever'

The country star and his partner, 47, had been dating for five years, since before Herndon came out as gay publicly in 2014.

In an interview with PEOPLE, he spoke about his journey to coming out as gay. "I'm an out, proud and happy gay man," he said at the time.

Herndon had been out to his family since he was 20 years old and knew he was gay at age 10.

"My mother probably knew I was gay before I did. I remember sitting down with her and having the conversation," Herndon said at the time. But, ultimately, "she was more concerned about me having a happy life. You have to be able to do that in your own skin, and [my family] has seen me struggle with being gay my whole career."

Herndon and Collum made their first public appearance three weeks after coming out to PEOPLE at an event hosted by The Trevor Project.

RELATED VIDEO: How Families Help Support LGBTQ Kids in One of the Most Conservative States in the Country

"This was the last piece of the puzzle to be authentic," Herndon said at the time. "Lies eat away at whatever you do, especially your relationship. So, now we're pretty solid."

Over the summer, the singer spoke to PEOPLE about how much more accepting the country music community had become over the years.

"I have said many times that if the climate within country music had been different when me and others came out, maybe we would not have been suicidal," he said in June. "Maybe there wouldn't have been times that we almost lost our lives. Maybe there wouldn't have been times that I would have relapsed over and over again on drugs and alcohol."

He added, "When I turned on the radio a few weeks ago, I heard a song called 'Villain' and I looked down and it was Lily Rose on SiriusXM The Highway... I literally had to pull my truck over because it was such a surreal moment to see that young lady on The Highway, a young lady who knows exactly who she is and came to this town knowing who she was. It's just such a great example for these younger kids." (Rose is openly gay.)

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