The silence has been broken.
Just over two weeks since she and Marc Anthony announced their split after seven years of marriage, Jennifer Lopez opens up in the August issue of Vanity Fair.
"That was my biggest dream, and I really worked hard at it. We both did," Lopez, 42, says of her failed union with Anthony, also 42.
Continues the singer, actress, designer and American Idol judge: "Sometimes it doesn't work--and that's sad. But I remain an eternal optimist about love. I believe in love."
It was the third marriage for Lopez and the second for singer Anthony; the couple share 3-year-old twins Max and Emme.
Will she try again at love? You bet. "It's still my biggest dream," she says. "I am positive--determined to move forward with my life, bring up my babies, and do the best job I can as a mother, entertainer, and person. I now look forward to new challenges. I feel strong."
Adds the star, whose pre-Anthony loves famously included P. Diddy, Ben Affleck and others: "I'm a hopeless romantic and passionate person when it comes to love."
Although she doesn't get into specific about her rocky romance with Anthony , whom multiple insiders have described as frequently controlling and jealous, the single-again Lopez sounds triumphant. "It's not that I didn't love myself before," she confides.
"Sometimes we don't realize that we are compromising ourselves. To understand that a person is not good for you, or that that person is not treating you in the right way, or that he is not doing the right thing for himself--if I stay, then I am not doing the right thing for me. I love myself enough to walk away from that now," she declares.
But things are not bitter with Anthony, she insists.
"I will always respect Marc as a singer and performer," she says. "We actually work great together, and he was always very supportive. Together we could make magic-—and we did. He will always be in our lives. He will always hold a special place in my heart as the father of my children."