Carly Pearce filed for divorce from Michael Ray in June after eight months of marriage, and the "Next Girl" singer opened up about the split for the first time in a new interview with PEOPLE, sharing that she "truly thought I was gonna die."
"There were moments I seriously did not know if I could breathe," she recalled. "It was awful. It is awful. But I think that what's been awesome has been trusting myself and trusting what I have always known, which is God won't take me through something that he won't bring me out of or bring good from."
Pearce and Ray married in October 2019, and Pearce was adamant that her choice to end the marriage "was not a flippant decision." "This was something that I really took time to make sure I was doing the right thing. It was very clear that this was not the marriage that I wanted," she said, adding that she and Ray "very quickly realized we were not meant to be."
Explaining that she "did everything that I knew how to do" and that "It takes two people to work on something," Pearce didn't go into specifics but said, "When you love somebody, you trust them."
Despite the split, the 30-year-old was clear that her marriage was not a mistake, confirming, "I believe we don't go through things that we're not supposed to go through. My love was real. I will stand by that forever."
"I'm sure that anybody who's ever gone through this goes through different emotions," she continued. "I've been sad. I've been angry. I've been relieved. I try to not be mad at myself. I try to not be mad at him. I think that holding grudges or staying mad only hurts you, and it's just not healthy. So, I try to remind myself of that. And sure, I have days where I'm so mad at myself for just not knowing this was how it was all going to end up for me. My gosh, if I could go back, sure. But it's a part of my story, and that's okay."
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In October, the Kentucky native celebrated her resilience with a new tattoo, a bouquet of wildflowers on her right forearm. "I am hopeful," she shared. "I want somebody. I desire marriage. I desire companionship. I desire a family. I desire all of those things. I think that having divorce as a part of your story is hard. It's a hard reality. It's been hard for me to accept that and not be embarrassed or feel like I'm defined by that. But in reality, I know that I'm not. I've come to a place of just accepting that everybody has a journey, and this is mine — and the right person will be able to love me through that."