Their marriage was at the breaking point and they were barely on speaking terms, a source told E! They were forced to make a choice: save the relationship or live separate lives.
"They had been having problems for years," the source tells E!. "There was a constant commitment issue between them and in the end they were barely speaking. Beyoncé didn't fully trust Jay and it was hard for her to get past that."
After Solange Knowles' infamous elevator beatdown of Jay Z, the couple released a statement, saying "...families have problems and we're no different. We love each other and above all we are family. We've put this behind us and hope everyone else will do the same."
But for Beyonce, the elevator incident was the turning point.
"The fact everything became so public, it was embarrassing, and the first time she had to really deal with some of the questions people were asking about her marriage. It changed things. It was a pivotal moment."
Lemonade was born out of the bitterness of her husband's ongoing infidelity.
Beyonce buried herself in her work. She lost weight and she lost sleep working day and night on Lemonade, a visual album.
After the movie aired on HBO, fashion designer Rachel Roy took to Instagram and admitted she was the "Becky with the good hair" who led Jay Z astray.
Admits the insider: "It's true, Rachel and Jay were friends and it wasn't seen as appropriate by people who knew them."
"Rachel Roy wanted to defend herself after watching Beyoncé's Lemonade," the source said, adding that Roy's Instagram post was a spur of the moment reaction to the singer's visual album.
"Bey will never mention any names, but the people who those songs are about know," said the source, indicating there was more than one Becky servicing Jay Z.
Another insider insists Jay Z was involved in every aspect of making Lemonade.
"Jay was involved in the creation of Lemonade and knew every song Bey was going to release. He knew the lyrics; he knew the implications. He had to approve the songs before release. Jay is a very smart businessman… Bottom line is that they are both really smart and they both saw dollar signs."
According to another source, "Beyonce is amazed on how everything turned out. She worked day and night on this. She celebrated with family; Jay was by her side. When Beyonce put this album together she was aware of the message she was sending out. She knew that people were going to dissect each word. Beyonce wanted to connect with women's emotions with this album."
As for the cheating implications, the source says, "Jay is all about self expression, so he gets it. Beyonce shares music before it's released with Jay so he can listen and share his thoughts. When it comes to music, they are very in it together and supportive of each other's craft."