Lauren Goodger lost her "identity" when she was dating her jailbird boyfriend.
The 'Only Way is Essex' star recently split from Joey Morrison - who she was in a relationship with for 18 months - after his sentence was extended following an "incident" behind bars and feels like she's finally back to her old self now they're over.
She said: "You lose your identity because you're not on your own and you're in a two. You're not as strong anymore. Especially when you're with someone inside."
The 30-year-old beauty was hoping her and Joey would be reunited this year but was forced to reconsider their relationship when she found out she'd have to wait longer.
She explained: "It wasn't a sudden decision, it was months and months of it getting harder. Joey was meant to come out in November last year and if he had done, things would have been very different. But he suffered a knock back inside and was moved to a high security prison. His sentence was extended and I was told he could be inside for another year. That was hard because I'd been with him for a while but he'd had day release so we could walk around the grounds and sit on a bench together.
"When he was moved to high security, his day release was cut and our visits became more formal. It was really sad and we would row because of the pressure of the environment. It changed the whole relationship for me."
And Lauren noticed a change in Joey - who was convicted for a string of offences, including possession of a firearm, kidnapping, blackmail and actual bodily harm - too.
She added to new! magazine: "I think he tried to harden up a bit and push me to make the decision that we would just see how things worked out when he was on the outside. He knew me waiting for him was unfair. He tried to give me tough love."
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