Despite putting on a brave face during her BRIT Awards 2010 performance shortly after the infidelity allegations were made, the X Factor judge confessed her upbeat persona didn't last behind closed doors.
"To be honest, I coped in public and crumbled in private," she told InStyle magazine.
"It's growth, it's life. They say a good sailor would never be a good sailor if he hadn't experienced a rough sea."
Cheryl also revealed how those that once judged her for taking Ashley back after they'd split have since apologised, and now admire her courage for making tough decisions under the glare of publicity.
"It's funny – those who didn't understand my actions at the time have now had that happen to them and they get it.
"A friend of mine told me her husband was having an affair and she said, 'I understand everything that must have been going through your head.
"But what I will never understand is how you had to face the world.'"
Cheryl and Ashley tied-the-knot back in 2006, with a £1 million showbiz wedding and filed for divorce four years later in 2010.
However these days Cheryl is happily married to French restauranteur Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini.
The couple wed on the Caribbean island of Mustique on 7 July.
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