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    Jennifer Lopez's First Post-Split Interview: "Marriage Is Hard"

    **Jennifer Lopez, Vanity Fair Mario Testino, exclusively for Vanity Fair

    Jennifer Lopez may have three failed marriages behind her, but that doesn't mean she's giving up on love.

    Lopez is opening up like she's never done before. She's not only talking about fighting with Marc Anthony, but she's even hinting that her return to work (and the spotlight!) may have been the final straw...

    READ: Jennifer Lopez and American Idol: Where's the New Contract?

    "This was the hardest decision I've ever had to face," Lopez says in the new issue of Vanity Fair (on newstands this week). "I really wanted this family to work. That was my biggest dream, and I worked hard at it. We both did. Sometimes it doesn't work—and that's sad. But I remain an eternal optimist about love. I believe in love...It's still my biggest dream."

    Most of writer Lisa Robinson's interview with Ms. Lopez actually took place before she and Anthony announced their split. But it sounds like Lopez knew the end was near.

    "We try, we try," she said when asked about balancing their work life, their children and their marriage. "[But] it's getting increasingly harder. When we were [first] married, most of the time, and even before the babies were born, we were able to go everywhere together. I wasn't working as much. So we kind of had that. I went on tour with him a few times in the first few years of our marriage, and we did a film [El Cantante] together. It's hard, and we're figuring it out. It's tough.

    **Jennifer Lopez, Vanity Fair Cover Mario Testino, exclusively for Vanity Fair

    "And," she added, "everything is ramping up in a way. Like I said, we had the first three years of our marriage just for us. I wasn't working, it was mainly about him. Then we got pregnant. Then it became about the kids. And then I started working again."

    She said she and Marc fought about everything. "Marriage is tough," she said. "It's not going to be perfect...It's definitely challenging."

    Love aside, Lopez also reveals she tried using nannies for twins Max and Emme, but "it wasn't for me." Instead, family and friends help with the kids.

    The American Idol judge (official word of her return is coming any day now) insists she didn't have fertility treatments ("Twins run in my family," she said). She also said hasn't had any plastic surgery. "But I don't know how I'll feel about it when I'm 50," she admitted.

    READ: Five Star Splits That Caught Us By Surprise

    She also admits that she knows she's not the best of singers. "I think I'm a really great performer," Lopez said. "I think I'm a really great actress. I feel confident in those things—that's a better way to say it. I'm not as gifted a vocalist as some of the girls that are out there, but I know I communicate."

    And sells a ton of records. Her eight albums and numerous hit singles have a sold a combined total of—ready for this?—55 millions copies.

    She will get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year. "It's like all that hard work and now something permanent is going to be there," Lopez said. "I made my mark."

    WATCH: Speaking of splits, look who was spotted out together this weekend

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