"I don't feel like that's necessarily the truth for all marriages, I just think that was for in my case," she said on the June 13 episode of Glennon Doyle's We Can Do Hard Things podcast. "If you're on the same path at the same time—and you're actually working together, and every day communicating together and doing the work—I think that it could be beautiful. But for me, it wasn't that and it was very limiting."
However, Kelly noted that she doesn't place the blame of what went wrong solely on Brandon. "That's my fault, for allowing that to happen," she explained. "Maybe, as in love as I was, I just wasn't ready and maybe the other person wasn't either."
In fact, the talk show host recalled feeling a "carnal" attraction to Brandon during their initial encounter. "The first time I met my ex, he passed by me and I felt altered," she said. "I was like, 'Well, I've never felt that before. I mean, I will take your clothes off with my teeth.'"
However, as time went on, Kelly found herself dimming her light in order to stay in what she described as the "high" in their relationship.
"It's like there's always this tug-of-war happening, like, 'Oh my god, I love you, but god, I hate you. You are just horrible,'" Kelly shared. "You go back and forth, and that's not healthy."
So, what made Kelly choose to stay in the marriage for as long as she did? "My ego," she admitted. "I'm like, 'I can do this. I can handle so much.' My ego is like, 'I can control my actions. I can control my reactions. I can do this, and I can reach this person and I can get through.'"
She continued, "And it becomes a little bit of your ego that gets in the way."
Furthermore, Kelly said she and Brandon—who are both children of divorced parents—didn't want "to do what we saw done."
"I don't want my kids to be those kids at school...when you come down to daddy-daughter dances and you don't have anyone show up," she said. "You have to think of all those things and I think you play it out differently in your head, too. You try so hard—like, I do not want to do that to her, I don't want to do that to him—that you start never thinking about yourself."
Ultimately, Kelly filed for divorce from Brandon in 2020, citing irreconcilable differences. The divorce was finalized last year, with the two sharing joint legal custody of the kids and Kelly having primary physical custody.
And though the Grammy winner believes she's now a "far better mother" since the divorce, she said it's still difficult to know that her kids are "really adamant about keeping that dream alive that we might still be together one day."
"Love is tricky," she remarked. "It's just a very hard thing when you love someone so deeply, to separate that and to have the right answer—which I don't. When my kids ask me sometimes, I'm like, 'I can't give you that whole story. This is your separate relationship with your father. This is mine, this is yours.'"
While Kelly is currently "not ready" for another serious relationship, she "would love to fall in love" again.
"I don't know that I'll ever get married again," she said, before clarifying that she's "not against" it either. "I would love whatever the future holds. I'm open to it."
Kelly added, "I think people get married all the time for reasons that they just feel...it's the next step. That is not why you should get married."
E! News has reached out to Brandon's rep for comment but hasn't heard back.