The "I Hope You're Happy Now" hitmaker filed for divorce from Ray in June, but Carly reveals the relationship began crumbling not long after they tied the knot in October 2019.
"(We) very quickly realised we were not meant to be," she tells People magazine, as she opens up about "single-handedly the hardest year of my life."
"I did everything that I knew how to do," she says of trying to save the union. "It takes two people to work on something."
Carly doesn't share exactly what drove the pair apart, but tellingly states, "When you love somebody, you trust them."
The couple was forced into isolation during the coronavirus shutdown at the start of the pandemic in March, but Carly insists the marriage had already run its course, and the career downtime gave her the opportunity to "really deal with it" - and seek a divorce.
"This was not a flippant decision," she explains. "This was something that I really took time to make sure I was doing the right thing. It was very clear that this was not the marriage that I wanted."
Carly had to "work through the pain" of the break-up without her usual outlet of live performance, and she feared her heartache would consume her. "I truly thought I was gonna die," she shares. "There were moments I seriously did not know if I could breathe. It was awful. It is awful. But I think that what's been awesome has been trusting myself and trusting what I have always known, which is God won't take me through something that he won't bring me out of or bring good from."
Carly turned to her faith and her loved ones to pull her through, but it was counselling which really helped her turn a corner.
"I never really knew the power of therapy before all of this," she admits.
The singer also adopted a "lifesaver" shih tzu puppy named after country icon June Carter Cash this summer, and despite the heartbreak, Carly doesn't regret her shortlived romance with Ray.
"I believe we don't go through things that we're not supposed to go through," she says. "My love was real. I will stand by that forever."
Carly's candid comments about the doomed relationship emerge following the news that Ray has already moved on - he's dating country music veteran Travis Tritt's 22-year-old daughter, Tyler.