Love hurts, but perhaps never more than when it is splashed across the small screen for all the world to see and then fizzles. Case in point: Poison singer Bret Michaels spent 16 years living in unmarried bliss with his girlfriend Kristi Gibson.

Then the couple starred in the 2010 reality TV show "Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It,"
 on which he proposed to the mother of his two children, Raine Elizabeth, 12, and Jorja Bleu, 7. And on Monday he broke the news to People magazine that the engagement is off.

"Although the couple have separated they remain great friends and are committed to jointly raising their two daughters," a spokesperson for the 49-year-old rocker said. Gibson, 41, was Michaels' on-and-off girlfriend for nearly 18 years and she stood by his side when he landed in the hospital for two emergency surgeries in 2010, including one for a potentially fatal subarachnoid brain hemorrhage.

"With all that Kristi, Raine, Jorja and I are going through, no doubt this is a very difficult time for all of us," Michaels wrote on his website. "I want all of you to know that Kristi and I remain great friends and committed loving parents to our daughters. I am blessed to have someone as great as Kristi in my life in any capacity."

Michaels, a sometime actor and entrepreneur who recently launched a collection of rock-inspired dog accessories called Pets Rock, is prepping the release of an all-star solo album in September, Bret Michaels and Friends: Get Your Rock On, which will feature Jimmy Buffett, Lil Jon and members of Aerosmith and Kiss.