Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., and his wife, Nancy, have decided to separate, the couple announced. "At this point in my life, I would like to be able to pursue several career options and some measure of independence," Nancy Thurmond, 44, said in a statement her husband sent to news organizations from Washington. "Nancy's statement speaks for itself," the 88-year-old senator said in an accompanying statement. "This was a difficult decision, but one on which we both agree." The statements made no mention of whether the couple planned to divorce. "The statements speak for themselves," Thurmond's press secretary said.