American swimmer Michael Phelps and his fiancée Nicole Johnson had briefly parted ways in 2012 before getting back later. The former Miss California USA opened up about her relationship with the most decorated Olympian of all time.

In an interview with the Cosmopolitan, the former Formula One reporter agreed that she sometimes hated Phelps during their split. "There definitely were times, and I think Michael would say the same thing, where I hated him. We were at odds at times. Even when I loathed him, there were still times when I was like, 'God, I wish I was with him'," she said.

But she also agreed that their temporary separation helped them grow as individuals and build a stronger relationship. "Michael and I both know that had we tried to have a child and get married in the previous time we were together, it probably would not have ended pretty. We both had a lot of growing up to do. We both had a lot of learning about ourselves to do. I don't think you can be in a good relationship unless you love yourself to the fullest and you want to help the other person become a better person. We definitely needed that time apart to recognize that about ourselves and to appreciate one another," the 31-year-old American model told the website.

The couple got engaged in February 2015 and now have a three-month-old son Boomer Robert Phelps and are planning a "small and intimate" wedding by the end of the year. Phelps, who has won 28 Olympic medals, is helping his fiancée with the preparations.

"I took on everything, obviously, because he had to focus on going to the games. And now I'm like, "What do you think about this and what do you think about that?" I know Michael well enough to know he doesn't need to partake in the tiny, minuscule decisions. But I also know him well enough to know that he does want to be involved in what flavor our cake is going to be and what flowers he thinks are ugly and what flowers he thinks are really pretty. I show him pictures and I ask what he thinks and he'll either brush it off, which means he doesn't really care, or he'll give me his opinion," Johnson added.

Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson
Michael Phelps and his fiancée Nicole Johnson Joe Scarnici/Getty