updated 06/20/2012 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 06/20/2012 AT 3:30 PM ET
“I am sorry, because I did stuff I wouldn’t want done to me,” he says, referring to the steady stream of women he dated after their split.
He also accepts his share of responsibility for the divorce. “I was passive-aggressive,” he says. “Then I’d get mad, but I was the one who wasn’t communicating.”
Now, he says, times have changed.
“I’ll call [Kate] up and say, ‘Mady’s sick. What do I do?’ And she’ll tell me,” he says. “She’s a great Mom. We just have different parenting styles.”
Gosselin, 35, moved back to Berks County, Pa., in 2011 after two years of bouncing around the country. He recently took a new job as director of sales and promotions for Gameface Int. and started dating single mom Liz Jannetta, 27. Time – and therapy – has given him a different perspective on things, he says.
“I used to talk to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (Michael Jackson’s rabbi) a lot when I lived in New York,” he says. “He said, ‘There are two things you can do with your fame – sell out or take it and use it for good.’ I didn’t grasp that at the time.”
Now he does. Which is why he says he’d consider a return to the entertainment world, but only for the right gig.
“I’ve been offered a lot of stuff,” he says. “Crazy stuff. It wasn’t the right fit, then or now. I don’t want [my kids] thinking I take every show just to make a buck.”
For more on Jon’s new life, and his new girlfriend, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday