The couple are thought to be spending the season apart

Strictly’s Karen Clifton has flown back to the US to spend Christmas with her family amid reports of troubles in her marriage to husband Kevin.

The dancer posted several photos on Instagram after reuniting with her relatives in New York and spoke of how she’s putting ‘family first’.

Karen, 35, shared sweet pictures showing her having fun with her nieces and captioned one of the snaps: ‘Couch full of love x #nieces #familyfirst’.

Couch full of love x #nieces #familyfirst

A post shared by Karen Clifton (@karencliftonofficial) on

In another shot she’s seen taking a selfie with the girls and wrote, ‘Nothing beats a good belly giggle with my girly girls 💛😂💖 #lovemyfamily’.

Nothing beats a good belly giggle with my girly girls 💛😂💖 #lovemyfamily

A post shared by Karen Clifton (@karencliftonofficial) on

It comes amid claims that Karen has headed Stateside without Kevin, 35, as he’ll be spending the holidays with his family in Grimsby as speculation continues about their marriage.

“Karen will fly to New York and spend it with her family while Kevin plans to travel up to Grimsby to be with his,” a source previously told The Sun. “Right now they are just trying to get through the last two weeks of Strictly and then need some space.

“They will get back together after Christmas and decide what they are going to do.

“Right now their marriage hangs in the balance and their future together as a couple looks very uncertain.”

In recent weeks Karen and Kevin have been at the centre of speculation that their relationship is on the rocks, something that was heightened when Karen was pictured out and about with accountant Stuart Wood amid rumours she could be dating him.

Then the couple worried fans even more when they failed to dance together in a group number on Strictly, and it happened again when Karen paired up with Pasha Kovalev for a romantic dance during Ed Sheeran’s recent performance on the show.

However, Karen and Kevin were caught sharing an embrace during last weekend’s final which will give hope to fans of the duo.

Karen admitted that she’d experienced some ups and downs with Kevin late last month but stressed that they were trying to work through it.

‘‘We’re a regular couple,” the dancer told The Sun Online. “We’ve been together for seven years, and like any other relationship, you have ups and downs.

“Nothing is perfect. We just need to keep pushing.

“Relationships take work. It’s not as easy as you think, especially being in a job like Strictly.

“We’re not a superhuman couple, we’re normal, so when things happen, we fight.”

Let’s hope that things work out for these two.

Taken from our sister site Celebsnow. Words by Anna Francis.