Gwen Stefani is still reflecting on her divorce more than a year later.
The No Doubt singer is the cover girl on Glamour‘s 2016 “Women of the Year” issue, and inside the magazine she’s opening up about her tumultuous past year. “Sometimes to be woken up again in life, you need to go through some really bad, hard times,” she says. “I feel like I got woken up this year.”
Gwen divorced Gavin Rossdale, released an album, started dating Blake Shelton and even went on tour. Even she is shocked by how much she was able to accomplish, but she credits her difficulties with giving her the motivation to change.
“Mind-blowing,” Gwen says when asked about the past year. “I don’t understand my journey. It’s so crazy. But one thing I learned is, that’s what life is. We all have to go through hard times. Tragedies. Those are given to us to see what we’re going to do with them. How can we give back? How can we improve when we have these challenges?”
That doesn’t mean she was able to escape her “hard times” smoothly. After announcing her divorce, the “Hollaback Girl” would go on to admit several times that she was embarrassed by the fact that her marriage failed.
“I don’t think you’ll talk to one person who didn’t make it in a marriage who’s not gonna feel that way. The intention of being married is the vow, right? You want to put everything into it to make it a success,” she tells Glamour.
But looking at her parents’ seemingly perfect marriage made her realize hers wasn’t working. “[My parents] just had their 50th anniversary. I had to work really hard at marriage, all the time, like everybody, but ours was extra hard,” she adds. “When you add that we’re from different countries, both of us being in music, and celebrity. [Marriage] was the one thing I didn’t want to fail at. People can say whatever they want to about me…and I don’t get too affected. But I didn’t want them to think I was a failure. There’s nothing weird about how I felt.”
Fortunately, Gwen turned her lemons into lemonade with This Is What the Truth Feels Like.
“It’s about saving my life. And it was interesting, because I know you’re going to ask me about Blake, but finding somebody who was going through the exact same experience? [Shelton divorced country singer Miranda Lambert at about the same time.] That was an inspiration,” she admits.
“He was a friend to me when I needed a friend. An unexpected gift. And that became an inspiration in the songwriting.”
Nearly a year later, Gwen and Blake are happier than ever despite their obvious opposites attract characteristics. “It’s definitely two different cultures. But there are many similarities, in things that we love and our morals,” she says. “But it’s really fun when you can learn about so many new things and share those differences.”