For more than fifteen years, Liberty Ross played the part of a dutiful partner: attending her husband, director Rupert Sanders', work events, drumming up support for his projects through blog posts, and playing homemaker so he could focus on making a name for himself in Hollywood.
Needless to say, after learning of Sanders' steamy July 17 tryst with Kristen Stewart, Ross is reeling.
"It's really shocking," a Ross insider tells Us Weekly. "She has been with Rupert since she was 18 -- they got together when she graduated. He's the only love she's known."
Luckily for the British-born stunner, "Liberty has family and siblings in Los Angeles, so she has a really good support system," the source says.
Still, Ross -- who championed her husband's fledgling career, even appearing in his first major feature film, Snow White and the Huntsman, as young Snow White's mother -- is having a hard time getting past the bombshell. Says the Ross pal, "They have a really strong family life and Rupert is always so wonderful to her and the kids. It's really shocking." (Ross and Sanders have two children together, ages 5 and 7).
During an interview with YOU Magazine conducted just two weeks before news of Sanders' infidelity broke, Ross opened up about the recent challenges her marriage faced, admitting that her move to Los Angeles to help further Sanders' career had turned out to be an "isolating" experience.
"I romanticized domesticity for a while and loved having a shopping list of groceries stuck to the fridge for the first time," she said. "But moving here and starting a life all over again was a lot harder than I had anticipated. I just didn't think it would be as isolating and daunting as it turned out to be."
Sanders' newly hectic schedule proved problematic too. "I would never say out loud that I am raising my children alone," she confessed. "But a lot of the time it has felt like that."
On Wednesday, her husband issued a public mea culpa for the trouble he had wrought on his loved ones.
"I am utterly distraught about the pain I have caused my family," Sanders told Us in a statement. "My beautiful wife and heavenly children are all I have in this world. I love them with all my heart. I am praying we can get through this together."
In the wake of Sanders' cheating scandal, a source close to the couple says the filmmaker's main priority is doing right by his wife and children.
"Rupert is doing everything he can to keep his family together," the source tells Us. "That's his focus."