A lot of Kristin Cavallari's fans were shocked when she and her husband of almost seven years, Jay Cutler, announced in April they are divorcing. The reality star had kept mum about the news but is now speaking publicly about what led to their decision.
"I always thought it was interesting when people would refer to us as 'couple goals,'" she said in a new People interview, referencing their dynamic on her recently ended reality show, "Very Cavallari," which starred Cutler as well. "I was like, 'If you guys only knew.'"
Although the Uncommon James founder, 33, was broadcasting intimate details of her life on the show, she revealed that she and Cutler "definitely kept a lot of stuff private."
"Producers saw stuff, but they didn't put it in the show — which is good, because I don't want my kids to ever (see that)," she continued.
Protecting sons Camden, 8, and Jaxon, 6, and daughter Saylor, 4, played a role in ending the show, which Cavallari said made her feel relieved.
"I just knew I was going to have to talk about everything, and I didn't want to. Thinking about filming was giving me anxiety," she shared. "My kids are the most important thing to me. What's best for them? Probably not doing a reality show, having to talk about divorcing their dad."
While her breakup from the former Chicago Bears quarterback, 37, seemed sudden, in reality "it didn't happen overnight," she said. "We tried really, really hard for years and years. It was the hardest decision I've ever made."
Addressing the reason for ending the marriage, Cavallari explained: "Every relationship has their stuff. I met Jay when I was 23. I was a baby. Jay and I had so much love for each other, but we grew up."
"When you work at something for so many years and nothing's changing, I think you have to just make a decision. We all want to be happy," she added.
"I still care so much about him and talk to him almost every day. We have three kids together. He's going to be in my life forever."
"A year ago I felt like I was drowning," she said. "That's not to say I don't have really hard days, but for the past however many years, I've been putting everybody else first. I'm going to focus on me for a minute, look inward and figure out what I ultimately want out of life.
"I'm proud for making this decision. It wore at me every single day for years. I feel like my whole world is opening up now because of it, and I'm just feeling the best I've felt in a really long time. I'm really excited about the future all around."