Melissa and Tammy Etheridge: Inside Their Split

04/16/2010 at 01:30 PM EDT

Melissa and Tammy Etheridge: Inside Their Split
Melissa Etheridge (left) and Tammy Lynn Michaels
Jill Johnson/JPI
Melissa and Tammy Etheridge have ended their nearly nine-year relationship, but there’s no drama behind the split – only sadness, a friend of the former couple tells PEOPLE.

"There’s no third party involved. They just drifted apart over time," says the friend. "There’s no animosity whatsoever – they are on friendly terms. "

Melissa, 48, and Tammy, 35, separated four or five months ago, says the pal, but continue to put their kids first.

"They’re co-parenting their twins [Miller and Johnnie Rose, 3],” says the friend. "They are living apart but share custody of the kids. "

Melissa will continue to co-parent her kids when she hits the road to promote her 10th studio album, Fearless Love, due to be released April 27.

Etheridge is also the mother of two children, Bailey, 13, and Beckett, 11, with former partner Julie Cypher.

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