“Two #tumbleweeds are better than one,” the actress wrote alongside a sweet snap of the pair holding hands and cuddling on a wooden bench.
Even their friends were excited about the mushy social media post.
“They both looked so happy and in love,” says an insider. “It was very nice to see them like that during these stressful stressful times.”
Especially after everything they’ve been through. From afar, Nicole, 53, and Keith, 52, seem to have the perfect marriage, “but the truth is, they’ve been to hell and back,” the insider tells OK!, blaming cheating rumors, an addiction issue and their busy careers.
“At times, giving up would’ve been a lot easier than staying together — but Nicole and Keith worked through their problems,” the insider continues.
“They may have had to walk through fire, but they’re stronger because of it and more in love than ever. They both feel incredibly lucky.”
A ROCKY ROAD
Nicole and Keith famously tied the knot in a romantic (and tearful!) candlelit ceremony just after sunset in June 2006. But four months later, problems began to become apparent when Keith checked himself into rehab for alcohol abuse.
Not long after, a Tennessee-based lingerie model claimed to have carried on a two-year affair with the country superstar right up until his wedding day.
“It was terribly hard on both Nicole and Keith,” spills the insider, noting there are whispers whispers that the rumors almost ended their marriage for good.
“They had to dig really deep. It wasn’t easy, but in the end, Nicole chose to believe in Keith and support him. And with the help of therapy — which they’ve been in and out of ever since that time — they got through that painful time together.” But their problems eventually came back.
After surviving a few minor hiccups — like at the 2017 Emmys, when Nicole planted a celebratory smooch on her Big Little Lies costar Alexander Skarsgård — the pair hit a major rough patch a little over a year ago.
“Keith was on the road, and Nicole was working like crazy on back-to-back projects. Money was pouring in, but they had no time together,” explains the insider. “The word is they were miserable and even talking divorce.”
“The move forced them to slow down,” shares the insider. “They started taking romantic walks, just the two of them, where they’d talk about the stuff that was bugging them and plaguing their marriage,” the insider continues. “It helped them reconnect and just be a couple again. In fact, it saved their marriage.”
Now that they’re back on solid ground. Nicole and Keith are making their love last by following a strict set of guidelines.
“There are 10 rules they both swear by: date nights once a week; never go to bed mad; do something fun everyday; eat dinner as a family; laugh as often as possible; always say I’m sorry’; don’t sweat the small stuff; pay each other one compliment per day; and always greet each other with kiss,” reveals the insider.
“But their favorite rule is the last one: that they have to go to bed early, turn on some soft music, dim the lights and cuddle until they both doze off.”
Their new approach seems to be working. “Not only are they madly in love again, but Nicole and Keith are talking about having one more baby via surrogate!” spills the insider, pointing out that the pair used a gestational carrier to welcome their youngest daughter, Faith, back in 2010. (Nicole’s also mom to two adopted kids, Bella, 27, and Connor, 25, with ex-husband Tom Cruise.)
“She and Keith will both be 53 when the baby arrives, but they aren’t worried about being older parents because they still have so much love to give,” the insider continues. “The word is they’ve already started the process and hope to have some good news before the holidays.”
No matter what the future holds, Keith and Nicole are already blessed. “It hasn’t always been easy, but at the end of the day, they can’t imagine their lives without each other,” notes the insider. “They truly are proof that staying together and working things out — no matter how hard it is — will always lead to greater happiness.”
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