"All I wanted my whole life was to have babies, be married, like what my parents have," she says in Harper's Bazaar's August cover story

By Melody Chiu
Updated July 06, 2016 07:00 AM
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Alexi Lubomirski

Gwen Stefani is currently going strong with boyfriend Blake Shelton, but she had to hit rock bottom before finding happiness with him.

After splitting from her ex-husband, Gavin Rossdale, after two decades together, “my dreams were shattered,” says the singer in a new cover interview with Harper’s Bazaar for their August issue. “All I wanted my whole life was to have babies, be married, like what my parents have.”

The toughest part for her was having to split custody of her three children with Rossdale, 50. “It was so insane because not only did my family break up, but then my kids are taken away like half the time, so that was really like, ‘What?! What did I do?'”

The star, 46, understandably went through a mourning period, but came out stronger on the other side. “Of course you go through the ‘Why me?’ and feel sorry for yourself,” she says. “But then I was like, ‘No, this happened to me already and I made something good out of it,’ and that was Tragic Kingdom.”

Many of the tracks on No Doubt’s hit album were inspired by Stefani’s difficult split from Tony Kanal, and the singer once again tapped into her personal life for her latest album, This Is What the Truth Feels Like.

RELATED VIDEO: Gwen Stefani Admits New Single Is About Blake Shelton

She also recorded a very personal track with Shelton for his recent album, If I’m Honest, and the duet, “Go Ahead and Break My Heart,” reached number one on the country charts. “I can’t believe I’m number one on a country chart,” she muses.

And though she does open up about one of the most difficult times in her life on her latest album, Stefani says she still keeps some details to herself.

“It’s because I have children [Kingston, 10, Zuma, 7, and Apollo, 2],” she explains. “As a famous person, you start to think, ‘I can’t say all that because I’ll embarrass them or hurt them in some way.’ And especially now because they can see everything and hear everything. But I’ve done nothing I’m shamed of . . . Well, we all have a few things we’re ashamed of.”

And after finding love with Shelton, 40, Stefani is just looking forward to the future. “It was like being handed this gift of a friend who was going through the exact same thing at the exact same time,” she recalls of the moment Shelton told his Voice co-stars and crew that he was going through his divorce from Miranda Lambert. “And then everything flipped. It went from horrible to, like, hopeful and like, ‘Wow, God, you just don’t know what’s gonna happen next.'”