Mary J. Blige's divorce has been ''hard'' and painful because her perception of what her relationship was has been totally altered.

The 45-year-old singer is in ''the thick'' of her separation from former partner Martin 'Kendu' Isaacs, after filing for a divorce in July after 12 years of marriage, and has admitted realising her loved one was not the person she thought he was has been ''horrible''.

Speaking openly about her love life on UK TV show 'Loose Women' on Tuesday (01.11.16), the soul powerhouse said: ''I'm in the thick of it. I'm in the middle of a divorce. It's just how hard life is. It's the pain. Not even knowing someone that you thought you knew for years is horrible.''

However, the 'No More Drama' hitmaker has revealed she has to ''keep the joy'' to ''survive'' and get through the split.

She explained: ''But there's hope in it as well, because I have to keep the joy so I can live and survive. I can't just die in all this sadness. In spite of my pain and crying and releasing everything on stage to my fans, I kept my joy and that's what keeps me going. Life is real.''

Despite previously battling alcohol and drug addictions, as well as being in an abusive relationship with a previous boyfriend in 1994, Mary is adamant she would have never followed a self-destructive path all the way to death like Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston who both died from their respective addictions and were married to abusive husbands.

She explained: ''I wouldn't [change my past] because I wouldn't be this strong person. It's through trials and hard times that make us stronger that show us how to keep our joy and show us what we're made of. You find yourself. Am i a wimp? Or am I a strong woman? I'm a strong woman.

''I feel great and I feel like it is very, very hard period [to overcome alcoholism], because I know because I was there. You have to choose life, I chose life. I can't speak for them [Amy and Whitney] because I don't know how strong or how weak they were, I just know they were beautiful to me. But, when you actually see death, you choose life.

''It's a product of staying positive. It's not just about looking fine, it's about my mental being, my mental, my physical, my spiritual, just everything being together.''