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Kelly Clarkson doubts she would have found lasting love if she had wed in her 20s, because she changed "so much" during those formative years.
The Since U Been Gone hitmaker didn't walk down the aisle until 2013, when she was 31, and she believes waiting to settle down has made her more suited to life as the wife of music manager Brandon Blackstock.
Discussing the secret to their happy marriage at a recent Good Housekeeping luncheon, Kelly said, "I think the biggest thing is just getting married later in life..."
"You change so much in your 20s," she continued, before using Brandon's relationship history as an example. "I mean, (my husband) got married at 21 in his first marriage, and they both went, 'What?!' It can be very hard to grow in the same way. Your 20s are all about growth, and giant (mistakes)."
Kelly's single status during her rise to fame had many questioning her sexuality, but the Texas native refused to let the pressure get to her.
"I'm from a small town in the South. Everyone thought I was gay 'cause I wasn't married with kids already!" she laughed. "And I was like, 'That's kind of insulting to the gay community!' But, especially in this day and age, I had a very high bar."
Now 34, Kelly believes having the time to establish herself in her career has paved the way for a better relationship with her husband, reports People.com.
"I have an awesome life, and I can hold this down on my own," she commented. "I learned that from my mother. She depended a lot, financially, on a man. I don't depend on him (Blackstock), and he doesn't depend on me. We made our own way in our own right, and I think that's what really helps, too."
The couple has since welcomed two children, two-year-old daughter River Rose and six-month-old son Remington Alexander, while Kelly is also stepmother to Brandon's two kids from his previous relationship, Seth, 10, and Savannah, 15.