A lot of celebrities join Dancing With the Stars in hopes of winning the glorious Mirror Ball Trophy, but for country music star John Schneider, his only goal was to repair his dissolving relationship with his three adult kids. On Monday, Nov. 5’s episode of DWTS, John opened up about how his messy divorce from his estranged wife, Elvira Schneider, has caused a lot of stress on his children.

“I’ve been going through a divorce now for four years and it’s awful,” John shared in a clip before performing his dance on the reality series (Spoiler: He was eliminated later in the night). “The worst part about it is that it’s wedged itself in between my three adult children and myself.”

In a previous exclusive interview with Closer Weekly, John explained why his marriage with Elvira fell apart. “I would be hard to be married to,” he admitted. However, he still wanted to have a great relationship with Elvira for their kids’ sake. “Elly and I want to prove that you can be great divorced parents.”

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Sadly, John’s two daughters, Karis and Leah, and his son, Chasen, never came to watch any of his performances on DWTS. “My kids still weren’t here,” he told Entertainment Tonight after the show before adding that he would “look in the crowd every Monday” hoping to see their faces. “I would love my kids to have been at Dancing With the Stars.

“I never thought, in the vision of my life, [what I never saw] was not having a relationship with my children,” John explained. “It more than hurts. ‘Hurt’ is a tiny, tiny word. I don’t have a word for what that feels like.”

John’s children are still warming up to his new girlfriend, Alicia Allain, too. His new romance has not been easy on his family and although the country crooner admitted that Alicia has made him “happier” than he’s ever been, his distant relationship with his kids has been unbearable.

Alicia Allain and John Schneider
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“This is tough stuff, and it’s real life. It’s the ugly part. And the big ugly part is I don’t know why it’s there,” John revealed to ET while trying not to cry. “I feel like I’ve been diagnosed with some kind of cancer, and no one will tell me what it is, or why it is, or where it is.”

John hopes that Karis, Leah, and Chasen will soon welcome Alicia into the family and realize how happy she’s made him. He wants them to one day tell him, “‘Dad, I’ve never seen you so happy, and it’s wonderful!'”