January 12, 2011 09:00 AM

Courtesy Latina

The new year brings a fresh start for Christina Milian.

“I feel brand new. I’ve been to hell and back, but I’ve survived. I’m stronger for it and now I’m ready for the next phase of my life,” the singer and actress, 29, tells the February issue of Latina.

“I learned a lot about myself this year. I learned what I can handle. I learned how much I can take. I learned who I am and what I will accept for myself and my daughter.”

After tying the knot with The-Dream in Sept 2009, the  couple announced their separation 10 months later amid rumors of infidelity.

“I didn’t know anything. But looking back, my gut was telling me something was off,” Milian admits. “But I thought I could fix it.”

And when the singer tried to salvage her marriage, Milian says the situation only got worse.

“No matter what, you can’t change who you are,” she notes. “I know that now. I tried to be someone I wasn’t because I wanted my marriage to work. But ultimately, if it’s not working, it’s not working.”

Fortunately, despite the low points, Milian’s year saw an all new high as well: the birth of daughter Violet Madison, now 10 months. “Being a new mother definitely makes me feel so much sexier than ever before,” she explains.

“There’s a certain responsibility that I carry being a mom that makes me feel very confident and so blessed. Being a mom is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

— Anya Leon

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