"There's something about that sort of existence that, if you really focus on each other and you’re in that bubble, it's very intoxicating, because it's just the two of you," the flame-haired actress reveals in the December issue of Vanity Fair.
"And there is only one other person that's going through it. So it brings you very close, and it's deeply romantic."
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"I'm sure Brad and Angelina have that—because there's nobody else that understands it except that person who's sleeping right next to you," adds the Australian actress, who split from Tom in 2001, after 11 years of marriage.
"With no disrespect to what I had with Tom, I've met my great love now," says the star, who married Tom when she was just 23; "so young".
"And I really didn't know if that was going to happen. I wanted it, but I didn't want it for a while, because I didn’t want to jump from one relationship to another."
"I had a lot of time alone, which was really, really good, because I was a child, really, when I got married. And I needed to grow up."
Describing life in Nashville with Keith and their children as "very, very peaceful", Nicole says she doesn't miss living in Hollywood.
"There's an enormous amount you have to give up if you want to have a family. You can have a certain career, but you can't be living in Hollywood, [where] absolutely everything, everything revolves around it. That wasn't my choice. I'd rather revolve around somebody else's career and then still find my own.
"I have stepped away from the fame part of it. I didn't find what I was looking for in fame. So I went, OK., this is not for me. And it was such a blessing that I found somebody who said, 'Well, are you willing to move to Tennessee?' And I was 'Oh, am I willing to move!'"