Rihanna is opening up about her relationship with Chris Brown ... and reveals why she decided to give him another chance.

"I decided it was more important for me to be happy," she tells the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone. "I wasn't going to let anybody's opinion get in the way of that. Even if it's a mistake, it's my mistake."

The two, of course, have a very violent past together -- one that includes Brown brutally assaulting her after a pre-Grammy party in 2009.

But after keeping their distance for a little while, the two started hanging out again.

"After being tormented for so many years, being angry and dark, I'd rather just live my truth and take the backlash. I can handle it," she adds.

In the new issue, out Friday, she tells the magazine what's changed between them.

"When you add up the pieces from the outside, it's not the cutest puzzle in the world," Rihanna says. "You see us walking somewhere, driving somewhere, in the studio, in the club, and you think you know. But it's different now. We don't have those types of arguments anymore. We talk about s***. We value each other. We know exactly what we have now, and we don't want to lose that."

Rihanna also says the public aren't the only ones who were horrified by what Chris did ... so is Chris.

"He doesn't have the luxury of f***ing up again," she says. "That's just not an option. I can't say that nothing else will ever go wrong. But I'm pretty solid in the knowing that he's disgusted by that. And I wouldn't have gone this far if I ever thought that was a possibility."

While it's interesting to hear her be so honest about their relationship, is it sending the wrong message to her fans? Or should she just be who she wants to be?

We're really interested in what you have the say about this one ... sound off below!

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