Adele put herself first when she decided to divorce Simon Konecki.
“I was just going through the motions and I wasn’t happy,” she told Vogue. “Neither of us did anything wrong.”
Appearing on the covers of both Vogue and Vogue U.K., the British singer, 33, opened up about her separation from Konecki, 47, to whom she was married for about a year, and how she’s healing from the heartbreak and moving forward.
“Neither of us hurt each other or anything like that. It was just: I want my son to see me really love, and be loved. It’s really important to me,” she told journalist Abby Aguirre. (Adele shares 9-year-old Angelo with the charity magnate, whom she started dating in 2011.) “I’ve been on my journey to find my true happiness ever since.”
She and Konecki kept their split “to ourselves for a very long time. We had to take our time because there was a child involved,” she told Giles Hattersley in British Vogue. “I’d trust him with my life. I definitely chose the perfect person to have my child with. That – after making a lot of knee-jerk reactions — is one of my proudest things I’ve ever done.”
Adele explained that the former couple lives near each other, share custody of their son and that they often host family movie nights. (“He’s not one of my exes. He’s the dad of my child,” she said.) She’s also had a hard time reconciling the fact that the divorce truly affected their son.
“If I can reach the reason why I left, which was the pursuit of my own happiness, even though it made Angelo really unhappy — if I can find that happiness and he sees me in that happiness, then maybe I’ll be able to forgive myself for it,” she said.
“He said to my face, Can you see me? And I was like, Uh, yeah. And he was like, Cause I can’t see you. Well, my whole life fell apart in that moment. He knew I wasn’t there,” she added about a particularly heart-wrenching moment with Angelo. “That’s when I started sharing with him.”
While many would consider her upcoming LP to be a “divorce album” given her recent separation, Adele clarifies that it’s not exactly that.
“It was more me divorcing myself,” she said. “Just being like, Bitch, f—in’ hot mess, get your f—in’ s— together!”
“I realized that I was the problem,” Adele later added. “Cause all the other albums are like, You did this! You did that! F— you! Why can’t you arrive for me? Then I was like: Oh, s—, I’m the running theme, actually. Maybe it’s me!”
Part of the healing process for Adele was attending therapy and meeting with a professional, who told her to “sit with my little 7-year-old self” and address her feelings growing up, especially with the issues she face with her father. “Which I’d been avoiding,” she said. (Adele and her father, who died last year of cancer, had a strained relationship throughout her life. He was mostly absent during her childhood and sold stories about her to the U.K. tabloids when she reached fame.)
“Not being sure if someone who is supposed to love you loves you, and doesn’t prioritize you in any capacity when you’re little. You assume it and get used to it,” she said about those issues. “So my relationship with men in general, my entire life, has always been: You’re going to hurt me, so I’ll hurt you first. It’s just toxic and prevents me from actually finding any happiness.”
“Sometimes, with my own son, he could talk to me in a certain way, and I shut down. With my own f—ing child,” she continued. “I’ll take it so to heart, what he’s saying, when actually what he’s saying is, No, I don’t want to go to bed.”
“We got married when I was 30… and then I left,” she said, before saying she would not “go into that detail” about how long after her marriage they separated.
“Remember I am embarrassed. This is very embarrassing,” she said. “It wasn’t very long.”
Adele referred to Konecki as her husband as she accepted a Grammy in 2017, leading many to believe the couple wed in 2016, but in reality, the two got married in 2018. “I always called him my husband, because we had a kid together,” she continued.
While she is now in a happy relationship with sports agent Rich Paul, the singer says she had “sky-high” expectations when it came to meeting new people following her divorce.
“There’s a very big pair of shoes to fill,” she said, before adding about her marriage: “It just wasn’t… It just wasn’t right for me anymore. I didn’t want to end up like a lot of other people I knew.”
“I wasn’t miserable miserable, but I would have been miserable had I not put myself first,” she added. “But, yeah, nothing bad happened or anything like that.”