Damn, Ryan Phillippe!

In a hot new pictorial in the May issue of Men's Health (out next Tuesday), the actor reveals his chiseled, super-buff physique -- but in his interview, he shows a softer side, too.

"I still have sadness and complicated feelings about my divorce," Phillippe, 35, tells the magazine of his 2006 split from Reese Witherspoon. (The couple had been married for nearly 7 years and share kids Ava, 10, and Deacon, 6.)

But he likens the breakup -- also marred by allegations that he cheated on Witherspoon with actress Abbie Cornish -- to a trauma. "How beneficial is it to keep hanging onto those feelings? If someone lives through an accident, his aim is to become better and healthy."

The in-shape actor adds optimistically: "My aim is always to progress --- to make better decisions and be a better father, a better boyfriend, a better husband if it happens again."

The MacGruber star says he also revels in being a dad -- and cooking for his two kids, even at 6 in the morning.

"There's something about the kids knowing the parent is making the food for them with love," he says. "My kids think I'm an amazing cook, and that's all that matters."

Ava and Deacon even motivate his daunting workout routines. "I like feeling strong...I want to throw my kids up in the air and wrestle them. Working out has become about functionality."

The star had a more free-wheeling conversation with Howard Stern on his Sirius XM radio show Monday. "I've been dumped on in the press for relationship stuff since Reese [Witherspoon] and I divorced," he told Stern. "I'm tired of getting s*** on."