updated 11/30/2013 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 11/30/2013 AT 11:45 AM ET
Brooks, 51, stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show Friday to chat about his wife of eight years, with whom he recorded a remake of “After the Fire Is Gone” – one of a handful of songs featured on his new box set, which just hit stores.
During the sit-down, the country crooner recounted first meeting Yearwood back in 1987 – he was already married to his college love Sandy Mahl then – and according to Brooks, his connection with Yearwood was immediate.
“It’s strange because I felt that feeling like when you just meet your wife, but I’ve been married for 13 months,” Brooks recalls of his confusion, noting that Yearwood, 49, was “somebody I that always enjoyed being around and we had a lot more in common than I ever dreamed we did.”
Brooks and Mahl divorced in 2000, and he and Yearwood – who had been married twice – eventually began seeing each other before marrying in 2005.
“We’d known each other music-wise, but we got to see each other as people,” he says of their blossoming romance. “She’s the real deal.”
Adds Brooks: “I never knew it could be like this. I never knew that everyday you can wake up and feel like this.”
Nowadays, Brooks jokes that his wife’s successful career and hyper-busy schedule allows him to bask in a life of luxe leisure.
“I’m part of the working wives club,” he cracked. “I do, I lay out at the pool with the other husbands.”
He may not be lounging around forever: Yearwood has hinted that she’d be keen on doing a joint tour with her hubby. In an interview with CBS This Morning last August, she said that once their youngest child graduates from high school, she and Brooks plan to hit the road.
“It’ll be a whole different ball game, you know, as man and wife to go do this together,” she said. “So I’m looking forward to it.”
Music to fans’ ears, no doubt.