Having gotten together after failed relationships, the couple wants to prioritize each other and their relationship.
What's better than falling in love? Falling in love with a close friend. It fills our hearts and makes us feel safe as well. Sometimes, it may take people years to understand that what they feel for a friend is actually romantic love and not platonic love. But, once someone does have that experience, it could be life-changing.
Country legend Garth Brooks, 58, and his wife Trisha Yearwood, 56, who have been married almost 15 years, started out as friends way back in 1987. They met while recording a demo in songwriter Kent Blazy's Nashville studio. "Kent Blazy introduced me and Ms. Yearwood, and he goes, 'I knew you were gonna like her,'" Brooks told Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show. "When she left, he goes, 'What do you think?' I said, 'Well, it's strange because I felt that feeling like when you just met your wife.'"
However, Brooks was married at the time and so was Yearwood. He had been married for 13 months to his college sweetheart Sandy Mahl and Yearwood was wedded to musician Chris Latham, according to EOnline. It had been hard to deny the attraction but they did it anyway.
"When you meet someone, you know," Brooks told Parade. Yearwood added, "It was probably the minute I met him, even though I didn't know it at the time. I just think we're meant to be."
Instead of romancing each other, they used their interest in each other in furthering one another's careers and etched out a professional bond. Brooks helped Yearwood by introducing her to his producer, Allen Reynolds, who led her to producer Garth Fundis. He helped create her demo tape. In 1990, Brooks let Yearwood sing background on his second album, Fences. He also took her on the road as the opening act for his 1991 tour.
During that time, he made sure to stay committed to Mahl, with whom he has three daughters. "You being married, it's gotta be right. This is who you went to college with," he told DeGeneres. "And you were married in front of God and your family and everything. And you keep hacking, and you work and you work," he added.
Brooks and Mahl ended their marriage a year after the country singer announced his retirement. "The big word in a relationship for me is respect, and do we have that for each other? If you don't, then you must try and find it," he said, according to Yahoo Music. "If you can't find it, then is your position better as friends, finding that someone for Sandy that makes her feel like she really likes herself, and for me to find somebody that makes me feel like I really like myself."
Turns out, Yearwood made him feel like himself. Her first marriage ended in 1991 and the second one in 1999. By 2002, Brooks and Yearwood wanted to tell the world that they had finally fallen in love.
"This was somebody that I always enjoyed being around, and we had a lot more in common that I ever dreamed we did," Brooks told DeGeneres. "And so we started seeing each other after the divorce. We came off tour, so we'd known each other music-wise, but we got to see each other as people. And I'll tell ya, if you like her and don't know her, you'll love her. If you love her and don't know her, you're gonna worship her. She's the real deal and I'm very lucky."
He asked her to marry him in May 2005 after living together for a few years. He pulled a Johnny Cash on Yearwood and proposed in front of a crowd of 7,000 people. The couple was at Hee Haw star Buck Owen's Crystal Palace, a country music venue in Bakersfield, California.
"You're not going [to do this] in front of these people?" Trisha asked, mock pouting, according to Country Living. But, he did ask and she said yes. "Her knees were like Jell-O," talent coordinator Jerry Hufford told People.
Yearwood and Brooks will be celebrating their 15 years together in December 2020. They continue to honor each other and have fun together. They also spend as much time together as possible. "We made a conscious effort when we got married not to be apart. Garth was retired but I wasn't. So when I moved to Oklahoma I cut my tour dates way down. Then I eventually didn't tour. That's how my cookbook began," the Emmy-winning host of Food Network's Trisha's Southern Kitchen told Parade in 2016. "It was something to do creatively that I could do at home, never dreaming it would turn into all this other stuff. 99 percent of the time we're together. We don't spend very many nights apart."