At the time of his death, John F. Kennedy Jr. had intended to divorce his wife Carolyn, The ENQUIRER has learned exclusively.

A close Kennedy friend is divulging that long-kept secret as the tragic plane crash – which took the couple’s lives as they flew to his cousin’s wedding – marks its 10-year anniversary.

John intended to privately confide in his uncle Ted Kennedy regarding the divorce during the weekend celebration at the Hyannis Port family compound. John was on his way to the gathering when his plane went down.

"He could have called Ted on the phone, but John wanted to speak to him ‘man to man,’" said the friend. "He had thrown in the towel on his marriage.

"John had already secretly seen a divorce lawyer, and he wanted Ted to know first – even before his sister Caroline. Uncle Ted had been like John’s father after President Kennedy‘s assassination.

"A couple of days before his plane trip, John told me, ‘I’m going to tell Uncle Ted what’s really going on – he’ll know what to do.’"

Another Kennedy family insider confirmed to The ENQUIRER that 38-year-old John was planning to divorce Carolyn – and get the nastiness out of the way before launching a political career.

"In the weeks before John’s flight, he decided to divorce Carolyn, realizing she could sink his dream of having a political career," disclosed the insider.

"He went to marriage counseling and was willing to make it work, but Carolyn wasn’t. John didn’t hate Carolyn – he knew that she had become a different person."

John’s nearly three-year marriage to the beautiful blonde had soured so badly that they were sleeping in separate bedrooms.