"Mike and I were very in love when we met," the former Disney star told the mag. "We both really wanted to get married. I'd been working since the age of 11 or 12, so making that choice at a young age seemed right for me. Maybe it wasn't, but we spent the majority of our time together really happy."
Duff, 27, mused: "It wasn't working well enough to stay together, but there was still a lot of love involved. It was just a slow set-in of us not being the match that we used to be. "I'm lucky for the person he is and I am and how we decided to handle this."
After four years of marriage — and the birth of one child, Luca, 2 — the couple separated in January of last year and have remained extremely amicable since their split announcement — even sparking hopes of a reconciliation. On multiple occasions, Duff discussed their separation, noting in one interview: "I mean, if there wasn't a chance for getting back [together], I think we would've filed for divorce."
On Feb. 20, Duff did just that, one day after a paper reported that Comrie had a raucous night out at Beverly Hills hot spot Mastro's. A source confirmed the report to Us Weekly, saying the former NHL player was "aggressively hitting on" his waitress at the restaurant. Comrie also "drunkenly threw money at [another woman] and asked for sex."
A source close to the Younger actress told Us that Comrie's behavior that evening made her realize that it was over. "Hilary finally realized Mike wasn't going to change," the source said. "He totally blew it."
After her failed marriage, Duff shared with Cosmo that her view of marriage has changed. "I don't want to sound bitter because I'm definitely not," noted the star, clad in denim shorts by American Eagle. "But I don't know if people are meant to be together forever. Things happen over a long relationship that you can't always fight. A marriage of 20 years, the accomplishment of that must feel really great, but there are also huge sacrifices. I just always want to fight for happiness."
As for whether Aaron Carter will finally get a shot at winning back his long lost love? Not so much. "Him reaching out through social media? It's ridiculous!" Duff said. "But then people do it all the time, like Chris Brown and Karrueche? Come on, guys. Keep it between text messages."
Cosmopolitan's cover with Duff hits stands on March 10.