Singer Aubrey O'Day struggled with torturous approval issues throughout her relationship with reality star and DJ Pauly D.

The former Danity Kane star dated the Jersey Shore hunk for over a year until their split in July, 2017, and in hindsight, she is convinced the romance was toxic.

"(I) truly felt tortured," she tells Us Weekly magazine. "There was no healthy dialogue. There was no progressive communication. There were rules and the rules needed to be followed and when they weren't, you were punished.

"I come from an abusive childhood that I'm still processing and I think that person inside of me that hasn't quite healed was attracted to the chaos of constantly proving yourself to someone and when they were disappointed in you, fighting harder for their approval."

Aubrey, 34, also admits she tried to make it work out of fear she was getting too old not to settle down and have kids, hoping to realise her family dreams despite the problems she faced with Pauly.

"I think I had to go through such an extreme state where I take responsibility in the fact that I allowed it and that I said yes every time," she adds. "I needed to be less and I justified it in my head as, 'I can handle this. This is what this person needs to feel safe.'

"I normally wouldn't cross myself that much, but I got to this state after I turned 30 where I was like, I've chosen my career first every time... Any time a guy wanted more than my career, I sacrificed the guy. I wanted to choose the guy first this time because I want to get closer to having a family and children..."

Aubrey and Pauly put on a last ditch effort to save their relationship by appearing on the upcoming 11th season of Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars, which they filmed before their split, and although it was difficult to showcase their problems on the show, she insists she has no regrets.

"I'm one of those girls that's probably going to dangle on the cliff till the day I die," she says. "I like a challenge and I like pushing myself and I like learning so yeah, I'd probably do it again."