In the years before publicly announcing her quiet separation from husband Don Gummer, Meryl Streep was spotted out wearing her wedding ring. “She wears the ring out of habit,” an insider exclusively tells Closer. “But she does take it off.”

“She still loves Don, and the kids like it,” the source continues. “It’s very funny, she says the kids scope out her ring finger every time she sees them.”

The Oscar winner and the sculptor separated six years ago but decided to reveal the news in a statement on October 20. That same day, Meryl, 74, attended the Princesa de Asturias Awards in Asturias, Spain, with her wedding ring on her finger.

“They are so low-key as a couple, even with Meryl’s fame, that they really didn’t think it was a big deal to keep it to themselves,” the insider explains of their decision to reveal the news to the world years later. “They came out about it now because the time just felt right.”

The former couple, who got married in 1978, are parents to four children: Henry Wolfe, Mamie Gummer, Grace Gummer and Louisa Jacobson.

“The kids don’t think they should [divorce], but of course, Meryl isn’t about to confide that with just anyone,” the source adds.

Meryl and Don, 76, have unique living arrangements in their homes in New York City and Los Angeles.

“They have separate bedrooms at their homes on both coasts,” the insider says. “I think Meryl pretty much has her home in Pasadena to herself.”

Though the Julie & Julia actress and the artist are no longer romantically involved, they still care for one another.

“They’re on friendly terms,” the source explains. “They have a lot of history together. They have children and grandkids; they wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Meryl Streep wears a black jacket with red pants
Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

When it came to her marriage, Meryl was known to keep her cards close to her chest. The film icon once dished on being an involved parent in her kids’ lives.

“Motherhood, marriage — it’s a balancing act,” she told Good Housekeeping in July 2008. “Especially when you have a job that you consider rewarding. It’s a challenge, but the best kind of challenge.”

Meryl and Don have always valued spending time with their family and making lasting memories with their kids and grandkids.

“She is a safe haven for them — she trusts them to make their own choices and be smart,” an insider told Closer of the star’s dynamic with her children in April 2020. “But for Meryl, family has always come first.”