One year after announcing their split, country singer Zac Brown opened up more about his divorce from Shelly, his wife of 12 years. Although he admitted during an interview CBS This Morning on October 7 that divorce wasn’t the way he “planned it to be,” the country crooner still has a lot of admiration for his ex.

“You know, lots of things that you don’t ever foresee. But you know, when you live in something long enough that it’s not working anymore, and that the differences that are there are greater and that it’s healthier to not live in conflict than it is to try to stay,” the 41-year-old explained after being asked when he knew his relationship “was not going to last.”

Zac Brown and Shelly Brown on Red Carpet while Married

Their romance fizzled out, but that doesn’t mean what they had wasn’t real. “And no matter how many mistakes, or whatever, and she absolutely was the one. And, you know, we have five amazing, beautiful children together. And that was the reason that we were together,” he continued. “It’s not how I planned it to be. But it gave me more than I could’ve ever dreamed of having, you know?”

Shelly Brown and Zac Brown Son
Courtesy of Shelly Brown Instagram

As far as how he deals with the ups and downs of life, the Zac Brown Band frontman turns to what he knows best — music. “It helps me to, like, grieve the things that have happened,” he noted. “And if I’m doing it right, then other people can, too. Like, when I look out and see people crying, that’s us doing our job, trying to. And we’re always chasing that emotion in the songs.”

Zac and Shelly announced on October 5, 2018, that they were ending their relationship. “We feel blessed to be on such an incredible journey in life and sometimes the journey begins to lead in different directions. It is with deep love and respect that we announce we are separating as a couple,” they said in a joint statement. “We have led a whirlwind life together growing into a beautiful family with five amazing children and while life will be rearranging a bit, our love and commitment to our family will always be there. This was a difficult decision, but we’ve done plenty of tough things together and this is our next venture — love, mutual respect, and care for each other are what we are moving forward with.”

Hopefully, this next chapter brings positivity to the exes.