Cheryl Cole has sparked speculation her marriage is on the rocks after failing to wear her wedding ring two nights running.

The Girls Aloud beauty - who is married to soccer player Ashley Cole - appeared on UK TV talent show 'The X Factor' over the weekend with her wedding finger noticeably bare.

Friends now say the pair's three-year marriage is in tatters and it is only a matter of time before they announce their split.

One said: "The truth is, the marriage is over, even if neither of them wants to confront it. They still have the occasional moment of fun but they both know, particularly Cheryl, that this isn't going to be forever."

Last year, Cheryl was left devastated by claims her husband had cheated on her with hairdresser Aimee Walton and while she decided to forgive him, pals say the marriage never recovered.

A source told MailOnline website: "Ashley begged her forgiveness and agreed that he would totally change. She did not want to see her marriage as a failure - and she still loved Ashley."

Cheryl - who has seen her career go from strength-to-strength since appearing as a judge on 'The X Factor' and recently saw her debut solo single 'Fight For This Love' reach number one in the UK singles charts - has previously said she doesn't fully trust her husband, saying the only people she can rely on are her mum and dogs.

She also hinted England international Ashley is not her soulmate.

She said: "I believe in soulmates, yes, but I believe you also have to work at love.

"I happen to believe your soul mate doesn't have to be your partner - your soulmate could be your best friend, your sibling, it doesn't have to be the person you marry."