Chris Daughtry Offers His Tips for a Happy Marriage

The singer bought his wife "a diamond ring that should keep me out of trouble the rest of my life"

Photo: Greg Watermann

Guys, listen up. One of music’s hardest working rockers may have the solution to a happy home … even while away from home for months at a time.

“Honestly, I think the biggest thing is to do what we say we are going to do,” Chris Daughtry tells PEOPLE. “When we say we are not going out partying, don’t let them find out that you were out partying. We don’t party. We hang out … We’re not out hanging out with random girls and all this stuff. We entertain each other and keep each other in check.”

Daughtry, 29, caught up with PEOPLE on the set of his band’s new music video, “Life After You” from Leave This Town, about how he keeps his wife of nearly nine years, Deanna, and two kids, Hannah, 13, and Griffin, 11, not missing dad … much.

Give Credit to the Wives: “They support us. They are the heroes,” Daughtry says. “They are holding everything down at home while we are out here. We are ‘working,’ quote-unquote. It’s something that we absolutely love. Even getting up at 5 in the morning doesn’t feel like a job. Luckily, our wives wanted this for us as bad if not worse than we did. It’s not like a big guilt-trip thing going on, which would make it more difficult.”

E-mail or Text Photos: “We send pictures back and forth to the kids. That’s the hard thing. No matter how old they are, you miss a lot of things. If there is something going on, I will tell my wife to take a picture of it and e-mail or text it to me. It is what it is. We make do.”

When Not Together, Don’t Waste Time: “A lot of times, you are so busy that you don’t have time to be lonely. There is not a lot of time where you are left to your own devices, which is generally when the sadness kicks in, because everything is catching up with you.”

Spend Time with the Kids:“We will be in Ohio playing a show [this Halloween],” Daughtry says. “I wish I was home. I love doing that stuff with my kids. I love doing their makeup or making their costumes with them. I tend to dress up like Batman every now and then. So, it all works out.”

Daughtry and his band, who hit the road in October for a 2½-month American tour, released their second album, Leave This Town in July, and it has sold almost 700,000 copies. Daughtry’s first album, Daughtry, came out in 2006, after he finished as a finalist on American Idol.

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