Survivor star Steve "Commando" Willis is at his wits' end on how to save his relationship with Michelle Bridges as the former golden couple lead increasingly separate lives following a series of explosive arguments.
"The relationship has become increasingly toxic in the past 12 months," reveals one close friend, who says the couple argue about everything, from their respective careers to how best to raise their three-year-old son Axel.
"They are constantly bickering over everything, from work to parenting to what to have for dinner. His daughter Brianna was living with them for a while, but she found the arguments so unbearable she moved out."
Their up-and-down relationship took a turn for the worse when Steve, 42, left home to appear on last year's series of Survivor, leaving Michelle, 48, alone for weeks while he filmed the reality show in Samoa.
"Michelle hated that he was going to be away for so long, and that the cast included several attractive young women," the friend reports.
"She told him there was to be strictly no cuddling with co-stars."
"She knows nothing happened between Steve and any of those women, but she can't help but feel insecure about all the attention he gets from females. I think the age difference between the two of them also plays into that."
WATCH: Relive Commando's elimination on Survivor. Post continues after video...
It doesn't help that Steve left his long-term partner Froso (with whom he shares daughter Ella, nine, and son Jack, six) to live with Michelle in 2013 after they fell in love on the set of The Biggest Loser.
"The fallout from that was awful, and Steve doesn't want to go through that again. He really wants to get the relationship back on track, but the constant fights are driving a wedge between them," our source says.
Michelle and Steve haven't appeared in public together since she made her debut on Dancing With The Stars in February.
And in a cryptic post earlier this year, Steve took to social media to quote from Buddhist magazine Lion's Roar – "My partner is away... and I'm holding down the fort... Now, wake up each day alone" – fuelling talk there were relationship issues.
"It's tough for them both because they work together and live together... Steve really doesn't even see his own mates any more."
"He'd also prefer to shun the limelight and focus on being a dad, whereas Michelle is determined to make a TV comeback – she hoped Steve would partner with her on a new show, but I don't think he's interested in doing that."
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