Despite an extremely successful music career as the lead singer of the country trio Rascal Flatts, life has dealt Gary LeVox his fair share of obstacles. With a list of regrets including the passing of his grandparents before they were able to hold his children or watch him perform on stage, Gary reveals to Reader’s Digest that the feeling of heartbreak is one the 38-year-old knows all too well.

As an 8-year-old child, Gary recalls his parents divorcing only to have his mother remarry two years later to a man that would fill a major role in the young boy’s life — simultaneously teaching him to hunt and be responsible. Unfortunately, however, the marriage did not last. “When I was 18, my mom and stepdad announced that they were divorcing,” he recalls. “I was shattered. I wanted a father.”

While Gary and his former stepdad have each gone their separate ways — the singer often contemplates “reaching out to him” — he admits that the struggles he faced as a child provided him with a strong foundation for a family of his own. “Living through divorce has made me a better husband and father,” he explains. “I may not be the best looking guy in the world, but my wife and kids love me for who I am.”

Married and the father of two daughters, Gary can’t help but count each blessing that has come his way, including that of his children. Having “exceeded every dream” ever imagined, the proud papa — and self-proclaimed “sap” — admits that the tears often flow when thinking of his family. “It’s hard to remember life before my daughters,” he says.

Gary and his wife Tara are parents to Brittany, 8, and Brooklyn, 5.