Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman seem to be one of Hollywood’s most functional couples, but before the country star met his future wife, he admits that he was terrible at relationships.
"Before I got married, I sucked at relationships. I couldn't give myself to a relationship. But I'd write songs about love and relationships," Urban said in a speech at South by Southwest, according to Rolling Stone.
He recalled playing a love song that he wrote for his then-girlfriend, who was not pleased. "She looked at me and said, 'You're a fucking hypocrite.' And I couldn't argue. I realized I was writing from the place of the person I wanted to be," he said.
Part of his relationship problems stemmed from his alcohol addiction, which he didn’t kick for good until after he married Kidman. Now, he’s been sober for 12 years. "It's something I needed because I'm alcoholically wired. I wish I'd gotten sober many years earlier than I did, but it is what it is," he said. "I knew I wasn't at my full potential, and that's what was starting to get to me. I was enslaved ... I was living a very, very small life.”
Urban has opened up a bit about his addictions in the past, revealing that he went to rehab twice before marrying Kidman, but was still using drugs and alcohol. Four months into their marriage, the actress staged an intervention, and Urban finally got sober for good.
In a Rolling Stone interview back in 2016, the country star revealed the deep depression he was in while using coke and Ecstasy. "I didn't seem able to stop. There was no stopping this time. I'd go to sleep, wake up a couple of hours later, go at it again, drinking to take the edge off. I remember thinking, 'I'm probably not going to make it until tomorrow.' And then I thought, 'Fuck it. I really don't care. It'll be a relief to not have to. I'll take an Ambien and at some point I'll pass.' I was taking everything. I remember thinking, 'Oh, good, this is the end of it, yahoo.' I was quite happy about it,’” he said.
In that interview, Urban affirmed once more that Kidman was the one to pull him out of his addiction. “I was spiritually awoken with her. I use the expression 'I was born into her,' and that's how I feel. And for the first time in my life, I could shake off the shackles of addiction."