01/12/2012 05:44 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Madonna on 'Nightline': What She Misses About Marriage

Madonna revealed what she misses most about being married in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Cynthia McFadden, airing on "Nightline" Thursday.

The 53-year-old icon told McFadden that she misses "being a part of a family unit" and "not having to make all the decisions on my own," ABC News reports.

"I don't want to live my life on my own," she said. "I love being a mother. My children fill me up in many ways, and inspire me in many ways, but I need a partner in my life and I think most people feel that way."

Madonna split from director Guy Ritchie in October 2008 after eight years of marriage. The former couple share custody of their two children -- adopted son, David Banda, and biological son, Rocco (Madonna has two other children as well). She was previously married to Sean Penn, whom she divorced in January 1989 after three years of marriage.

Madonna has said that her two exes encouraged her directorial efforts, next seen in February's "W.E."

"I am and was attracted to very creative people which is why I married Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie, two very talented directors," she said at the Venice Film Festival in September 2011. "They both encouraged me as a director and as a creative person to do what I did, and they were both very supportive."

The Material Girl is currently dating 24-year-old dancer Brahim Zaibat, whom she met in September 2010. She told McFadden that she is the more low-maintance partner in the relationship.

WATCH what she had to say: video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

The complete "Nightline" interview airs Thursday on ABC.