Jake Owen had a rough time following his divorce from his wife of three years, Lacey Buchanan, in August of last year. The singer has been quiet in the months since he they split, but says he’s in a better place now, both in his personal life and in his music.

“Last year was an interesting year for me both personally and professionally,” he tells SiriusXM’s the Highway. “I went through a divorce and my ex moved back to Florida and my little girl went back with her to Florida.”

Owen says he loved being married and coming home to find his daughter waiting for him. While he and Lacey’s marriage didn’t work out, he reveals they both still care for each other and have so much love for their little girl, Pearl.

“We wanted to do what’s best for her. With me being on the road all the time, her staying here in Nashville and not being around her family and friends back home would have been tough,” the singer explains. “We made the decision that it’d be better for her to move back there and have our daughter with her family and friends. While I’m on the road it wouldn’t be fun for them to be here alone.”

The “American Country Love Song” singer says going home to an empty house has been an “interesting transition.” While the reaction he got from fans every night listening to his music was an incredible feeling, he admits nothing topped getting home and hearing his daughter say “Daddy!” and running to greet him.

“Now it’s weird. I get home and I’m the only person there and it’s so quiet,” Owen reflects. “It’s taken me a while to gain strength again into knowing, ‘Okay, I gotta start rebuilding again.’ I’m back on my feet and feel really good. I’m back to being happy again.”

As Owen leaves on a road trip from Nashville, Tenn., to Key West, Fla., he says he’s enjoyed reading fans’ comments on social media that correspond with his new single. However, that was not the case during his divorce. In fact, it was quite the opposite — reading the reactions to the end of his marriage “seriously bothered” him.

Owen says he envisioned a lifelong marriage similar to his parents, who have been married 35 years, and his grandparents, who are still married after 60 years.

“It’s hard for people to understand and judge someone else’s life. At the end of the day, I think we made the right decision,” he concludes of his own relationship. “Our daughter is beautiful and happy and the two of us are being the best parents we can be.”

Remember Jake Owen’s Out-There Wardrobe Malfunction?