May 21, 2007 08:15 AM

Dispelling rumors that his wife Nicole Kidman is pregnant, Keith Urban says that one day he does hope to be a daddy.

Asked by the UK’s Sunday Times if he’s looking forward to fatherhood, the country singer-songwriter, 39, says: “I am. Next year actually would be lovely.”

Right now the timing isn’t ideal. Kidman, also 39, is currently Down Under with costar Hugh Jackman, shooting the historical epic Australia for director Baz Luhrmann.

Urban confesses that when he and his movie-star wife first met at a dinner in January 2005, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. But “there was something, a good connection. Something indefinable. There was a familiarity to her, of course, but it had nothing to do with who she is professionally.”

Not that he’d seen all her movies, which he considers a positive – because he wasn’t falling in love with her screen persona, but with the real Kidman.

“You know, it was a different kind of familiarity” he says, “a mystic familiarity.”

As for how the marriage has changed him, he answers, “Oh God, in every way. I am more selfless and I am learning so much about myself from loving her. I am more comfortable with who I am because at the core I’m happy. It’s a beautiful journey.”

And a smooth one, at this point. Of his domestic routine, he says, “In Sydney with my wife, we have breakfast in the morning, then she’s been working, and we’ll have dinner in the evening. It’s a beautiful place and it’s nice not being beholden to a schedule.”

Does Kidman cook? “A little bit, yes,” he says. “But I like being supportive and I’ve had a good chance to be that. It makes me happy. Having that contentedness now at home means that I actually love being home.”

Urban has previously spoken of the “extraordinary” support and encouragement Kidman provided after he left rehab this past January, after entering in October 2006, four months after he and Kidman had wed. He also says he is managing with his struggle with the disease.

“I learnt a lot about addiction in the last six months,” he says. “I think there’s a certain amount of denial in addicts, but also legitimate ignorance about what the problem is, how it manifests itself. It’s easy to think, Oh, I just went through a bad patch,’ and not realize the core of the problem. The disease of addiction requires a particular way of living every day.”

How easy is the fight? “Actually, it’s not,” he says. “The other way for me [to numb yourself so that you don’t feel that pain] was tougher because I was not living. I chose the option to not feel, and that means you’re not living.”

He notes, “In the last six months I’ve felt I’m alive, engaged in my own life, present, accountable and responsible. And the irony is, I’m becoming the person I was trying to be all along.”

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