Jax Taylor Says Separation from Brittany Cartwright Is ‘Tough’: ‘I’m Not Sure What the Future Holds’ (Exclusive)

"We're handling it the best way we can," Taylor tells PEOPLE at the premiere of his new Bravo series 'The Valley' on Thursday

<p>Michael Simon/Shutterstock</p> Jax Taylor at the premiere of

Michael Simon/Shutterstock

Jax Taylor at the premiere of 'The Valley' in Los Angeles on March 14, 2024

Jax Taylor is having a "tough" time amid his separation from wife Brittany Cartwright.

While speaking exclusively to PEOPLE at Thursday's premiere of The Valley in Los Angeles, Taylor, 44, opens up about what it's been like having the support of friends after he and Cartwright, 35, announced they had separated following four years of marriage.

"There's a lot of people going through what I'm going through right now and, marriage is not easy. It's not, you know. It's a lot of work and there's a lot of ups and downs," says the Vanderpump Rules alum, who shares 2-year-old son Cruz with Cartwright.

"It's tough, it's tough, but we're handling it the best way we can," he adds.

Related: Brittany Cartwright Gets Real About 'Scary' Emotions She's Felt During Rough Patches in Marriage to Jax Taylor

<p>Felix Kunze/Bravo via Getty Images</p> Brittany Cartwright and Jax Taylor in Bravo's 'The Valley'

Felix Kunze/Bravo via Getty Images

Brittany Cartwright and Jax Taylor in Bravo's 'The Valley'

Taylor notes the pair had been "going through some things for a while now" and they decided it would be best for the family if they took "a little bit of a breather."

"I'm not sure what the future holds for this, but you know, as of right now, this is just the best case scenario," he continues, insisting the split "is not a publicity stunt" and that The Valley viewers will see "there's something going on there" in terms of their relationship when they watch the show.

Meanwhile, Cartwright told PEOPLE at the premiere — held at Jax's Studio City — that although she's been Taylor's "ride or die for nine years," "there's only so much that a woman can take."

"Once a woman hits her breaking point, it's like 'Done.' Something like clicked in my head, and I was like 'I need to step away from this situation. This is not not healthy. This is not a good situation.' " the reality star explains. "My son deserves better. I deserve better."

Related: Jax Taylor Insists Separation from Wife Brittany Cartwright Is 'Not Divorce': 'We're Together'

Cartwright insisted Cruz is the "most important thing" and "all that matters."

"I feel a little bit of relief," she shares, of the split. "I needed this space."

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Tibrina Hobson/Getty Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright.
Tibrina Hobson/Getty Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright.

Taylor and Cartwright first met at a Las Vegas bar in 2015. In 2017, they briefly split, but after filming wrapped for season 6 of Vanderpump Rules, they reconciled, before announcing their engagement in June 2018.

The following year, in June 2019, they married at the Kentucky Castle. Nearly two years later, in April 2021, the pair welcomed son Cruz Michael Cauchi.

It remains unclear whether the two will divorce. Neither Taylor nor Cartwright have filed any legal paperwork yet, and have previous said their separation is "not a divorce."

The Valley premieres Tuesday, March 19 (at 9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.

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